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Partners should be worried as more than half of people suffer from 'Rebecca Syndrome'

Partners should be worried as more than half of people suffer from 'Rebecca Syndrome'

It's not a good habit to have

Apparently, more than half of people are suffering from 'Rebecca Syndrome' and it's not great news for their partners.

In the age of social media, general ‘stalking’ has reached new levels.

Before the internet, viewing someone's photos without them knowing just made you rather weird to say the least.

Nowadays, you have anonymous access to hundreds of photos and videos within seconds.

And cyber-stalking, or simply keeping tabs on, your mates, colleagues or family members has almost become a social norm.

However, when you combine this stalking with jealousy, that's when things go sideways. Checking in to see how your mate is doing is completely different to seeing if your ex is happier without you.

Your partner may be guilty of it. (Getty stock)
Your partner may be guilty of it. (Getty stock)

Rebecca Syndrome, otherwise referred to as retroactive jealousy (RJ), is being overly interested (and maybe even obsessed) and envious of a partner’s past relationships.

Tanith Carey of The Sun said she had 'a full-on interrogation' of her husband after finding a 25-year-old photo of a woman gazing into the lens of a camera.

"'Where was the picture taken?' I demanded. Why was she looking at him in such a sappy way? Had they already had sex?" she recalled.

"Once the green-eyed monster had got its teeth into me, I couldn’t stop.

"The picture, in an envelope of old family photos, had been taken 25 years ago at a family christening. He’d gone out with this woman before we’d started dating and hadn’t seen her since they broke up.

"But over the next few days, visions of them kissing, holding hands — and worse — kept popping into my head."

In 2017, 1,000 people from Europe and America participated in a study by Superdrug showing just how often people stalk either their exes or crushes on social media.

The survey revealed that 56.5 percent single Americans admitted to glancing over their ex’s profile, with most saying they did it once a month or less.

Married people came in at 65.8 percent and 66.7 of those in relationships looked up their ex online from time to time.

It's not a good habit. (Getty stock)
It's not a good habit. (Getty stock)

Kate Balestrieri, PhD, a licensed psychologist, certified sex therapist, and founder of Modern Intimacy, has opened up on retroactive jealousy and just how dangerous it can be.

"It can really bring up a lot of pain for couples because for the partner with RJ, they are often fixated on understanding the details of their partner’s past relationships, wondering if their partner is thinking or fantasising about their ex, or even comparing their current relationship with their past experiences," she told Women's Health. "It may be how somebody compensates for abandonment fears and ideas that they’ll never be good enough for a relationship because of past relational trauma."

Jacqui Gabb, PhD, a professor of sociology and intimacy at The Open University, added: “There’s almost an intensification of retroactive jealousy because there’s a greater capacity for exes to be present in your life through social media, even if you’re not close friends with them anymore."

Emily Simonian, a licensed marriage and family therapist based in Washington, D.C., says that it's important to speak to your partner about it and not to lead things up to your imagination.

"We tend to get in trouble when we try to fill in the blanks, which leads us to creating our own narrative," she said.

In short, maybe it's time to ease off the social media stalking.

Featured Image Credit: Getty/EmirMemedovski/Netflix

Topics: Sex and Relationships, Social Media