When you hear about orbiting, you immediately associate it with someone or yourself going in circles. Or you might think of Planets, who knows.
Well, the same idea applies to orbiting in dating.
This means that your former girlfriend or boyfriend keeps breadcrumbing and cyber-stalking you.
You keep going in circles and they keep pulling strings but they’re never open to discussing their actions or even taking action to reconcile.
To know exactly what I am talking about, follow the further explanation:
Psychologists and experts explain the meaning behind orbiting in dating!
The general meaning of Orbiting is to move around in a circle.
Even in dating or in a relationship, orbiting has the same meaning.
Orbiting is when the person whom you’re not in a relationship with keeps stringing you along but never talks to you directly or tries to reconcile.
- They like your stories or pictures.
- They react to your stories.
- They might even try to match again with you on dating apps or message you there.
Pancani, Aureli, and Riva (2021) claim that orbiting is an action from orbiters that creates confusion after breaking up and rejecting someone.
They make the orbitee think that they’re either missing them or that they’re not sure enough to rebound.
Are you being the orbiter or are you orbiting?
To know if you’re being the orbiter or vice versa, you need to keep an eye on their actions and yours.
If they’re the ones who are orbiting you then they will give you mixed signals after ghosting or rejecting you.
1. An orbiter will try to interact directly with you offline too.
They might hang out in the same places as you and shift from cyber-stalking to stalking in person.
They might also ask your entourage who you’re hanging out with or where you’re going but never speak to you directly.
2. They make indirect references.
They might post stories or posts reminiscing on the past. They might use a song that both of you might like or a quote from your favorite movie.
They will try to trigger you and think that maybe you will interact with them first.
3. They keep asking your friends about you.
An orbiter doesn’t keep you hanging only over social media.
They will also give you indirect signals and keep you confused where they don’t interact with you but still ask your friends about you.
4. If you’re an orbiter then you find yourself keeping tabs on them.
On the other hand, if you’re an orbiter then you will constantly check their story and check their followers or following list.
Maybe you might even like or react to their story.
5. You avoid giving them closure and don’t remove them from your social media.
If you were the one who initiated the breakup then you might feel guilty or hollow for doing it and you chose to not explain yourself to them.
While you’re dealing with mixed feelings and confusion, you still don’t remove them from your social media just to check up on them.
6. You keep putting minimal effort on them, just checking around.
If you find yourself checking where they’re going or what they’re doing at the moment and reacting to their achievements then you’re orbiting them.
Especially, if you ghosted them and left a huge mess after the breakup.
How soon can you tell that a guy is orbiting you?
To tell whether your ex is orbiting you and how long does it take you to notice it depends on their actions and on your feelings about them.
If you still love them deeply then you will continue to romanticise the relationship and you won’t be able to reflect on their actions properly.
- You might think that they are still keeping you on their social media because they still have strong feelings for you.
- Or that they’re reacting to your stories because they’re thinking of you.
- You won’t notice that they’re doing this on purpose and their purpose might not be clear.
In general, it will take you at least a few weeks, maybe a month, until you will notice what they’re doing.
Why do people Orbit their exes?
A professional counselor Mary Jo Rapini explains that orbiting’s main aim is to send mixed messages.
And if you didn’t want to break up with that particular person then you will still have some type of connection even though you aren’t present in their life.
This is the most common reason that people Orbit their exes. They do it to fulfill their essential needs regarding themselves and the relationship.
1. They want to feel powerful and important.
They orbit you because they want to check how important they were and are to you and if you are still hooked on them.
They do this because they don’t want to accept the responsibility of a relationship and want to either hinder you from moving on or keep themselves satisfied.
2. They might keep you as a backup plan.
If they orbit you that doesn’t always mean that they are regretting their decisions.
That might mean that they have ghosted you because they might have found someone new but their relationship ended earlier than thought.
Now, to feel something and because they couldn’t get what they wanted, they will keep orbiting you.
3. They are bored and just want to feel something again.
If the past brings them any type of emotion then they will go back to it through you.
Maybe they find comfort in you and want to feel important once again that’s why they keep giving you slight signals.
They might not know that they’re orbiting you but as soon as they keep tabs on you and interact through social media, they’re doing it.
4. They regretted their decision but still couldn’t admit it.
Sometimes, an orbiter might have a huge ego and pride and this prevents them from showing emotions or being upfront with you.
They choose to leave you in a haze instead of admitting their wrongdoings and getting back to you.
But, still, they might be looking for a way to establish a connection and maybe reconcile with you.
Should I block an orbiter?
You should block an orbiter if they’re bothering you or their interaction is negatively impacting your mental health.
On the other hand, if you think that their actions aren’t going to keep you lurking in the past, you can keep them on social media.
1. If he is a narcissist then you should block him to save yourself time and avoid hurting yourself.
Usually, a toxic ex-partner or boyfriend would keep orbiting you so he can have you under their control.
They try to show how they’re still “sticking” around and that they are not the ones to blame.
Still, they’re using this tactic to change your opinion and mix your emotions and thoughts.
And if you want to distance yourself completely from them, you can block them and focus on your life.
2. If you can’t heal and contacting them hurts you more, you should block an orbiter.
If this breakup happened suddenly and you’re still processing it but they don’t give you space and time to do so, it’s better to block them.
If they hurt you but don’t respect your boundaries then it’s better to start no contact with them.
In this case, if you keep contacting them then you will only stay in the past and won’t be able to heal and reflect on what’s best for you romantically.
3. If they told you that they aren’t interested in a relationship but keep feeding your delusions.
I’ve been in the same situation since I started my first serious relationship.
When we broke up, it was a mutual breakup but mostly initiated by him, I agreed to that.
After a few months, he decided to come back into my life slightly, trying to match with me on dating apps and so on.
To be frank, I was confused. I was asking myself why he didn’t want to date me again when he was the one who didn’t want a relationship a month ago.
I noticed that I started to daydream about him once again and he was keeping me in the past.
How do you deal with orbiting?
First, check if interacting with their actions will benefit you or not.
- If you feel that you’re stuck in the past and cannot move on then remove them from social media.
- Try to surround yourself with other than your mutual friends because that will keep stimulating orbiting too.
- Set your boundaries and don’t indulge in orbiting.
- Just try to limit your engagement if you don’t want to remove them from your social media.
- In the end, you can try to give them some time after you communicate directly with them.
If they decide to not take any certain action and reconcile then you can reflect and move forward.
The end: How to notice that you’re being orbited by an ex?
To notice that you’re being orbited by an ex you need to reflect on two main things:
1. If they are still breadcrumbing you.
2. If they find indirect ways to keep you hooked.
Thus, you can spot that they keep lurking but don’t ask to meet you or interact more with you.
They just continue to keep track of you and hinder you from moving on.
I recommend you just focus on your goals and healing process because if you keep falling back, you won’t either heal or reconcile.