Facts about Orbiting in the Philippine Dating Scene

Yasmin Del Rosario
6 min readMar 11, 2024

Thank you for the 3 years, 5 months, and 13 days we spent together.

Please know that you were one of the greatest things that ever happened to me.

It is very common for most long term couples to utter this kind of statement after deciding to end the relationship. Sure, you can’t blame yourself nor your ex for coming to that conclusion, knowing you had shared a lot of happy memories together.

But one day, during the process of healing and moving forward, you notice that your ex partner has been liking and reacting to your social media posts for some time now.

Is this something that you should worry about or does it mean anything at all?

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In 2018, a new dating phenomenon made a huge impact on the experience of couples and flings whose connections are built over the web — ORBITING.

Orbiting is a new dating trend referred to as “the new ghosting.”

The term was used in the essay written by Anna Iovine in an article for Man Repeller. This is to describe someone’s act of cutting off all direct, meaningful communication, but continuing to connect with you on social media by liking, reacting, and viewing your posts.

Surprisingly, some online daters have already experienced this without realizing it.

In the Philippines, around 42 percent of Filipinos use mobile dating apps, according to a survey conducted by Rakuten Insight in 2020.

These statistics show that the Philippine dating scene has evolved dramatically, allowing Filipino users to exchange messages and build connections with someone through various dating apps and sites.

You basically meet someone online and as the conversation gets better and deeper, both of you agree on exchanging your social media profiles. Then you start reacting to each other’s Facebook posts, Instagram stories, and Twitter tweets.

Usually, those who matched with someone online spend time and share intimate memories with that person, resulting in making the relationship official. However, a portion of these matches don’t last long.

There are several reasons for ending the connection, but they don’t mean to cut the social media linkages between the person they cut off contact with.

The Worst Thing about Orbiting

You are left confused and frustrated.

When a friend of yours or someone you know likes your posts on Facebook, loves your tweets on Twitter, and reacts to your Instagram photos, you feel appreciated.

But this kind of scenario differs if the person who does it is an ex lover or fling.

Their likes and reactions mean something different. You tend to think about other things and go back to the time when you both ended your relationship that severely caused you pain.

You get confused if your ex partner wants to work things out with you, making you frustrated to find out why.

But at some point, you don’t want to make it a big deal because if you do, you may end up getting disappointed. Again.

Orbiting makes you feel that the person is still into you and creates a false sense of intimacy.

That’s why for some reason, it affects your mental health. You should never allow that to happen.

You become complacent in setting boundaries.

Setting boundaries seems to be the most difficult thing that a person experiencing orbiting could ever do.

No one can deny that being in a relationship these days means having the opportunity to go public. You want people to be informed about how things are going between the two of you.

If being orbited by your ex leads you to hope that one day you will be back in each other’s arms, however, you are letting your emotions control you.

The likes and reactions of your former partner in every social media post you make means so much to the point that you want them to see how you are and, in particular, the activities you’re doing that they’re missing out on.

It may feel inconvenient on your part, but setting clear boundaries must be your first goal when your orbiter triggers feelings of self-doubt.

Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels

You find it difficult to heal.

The lack of setting clear boundaries after breaking up with your partner makes your healing complicated and difficult to achieve.

For some reason, people tend to not cut the connections between them and their ex because they want their ex to see how they are now feeling happy, carefree, and outrageous.

Yet in real life, they experience nothing but sadness, pain, and suffering.

The emotions that go along with someone’s healing process won’t be gone if they continue amplifying them the other way around on social media.

Steps to Take Towards Healing and Closure

Don’t deal with it (too much).

The fundamental truth behind the matter is that you don’t have the absolute knowledge why someone keeps on interacting with you on social media. Dealing with these acts makes our confirmation bias rule our narrative about the situation.

So the best thing to do is not give attention to it.

It is the healthiest course to take. But if you can’t control yourself when dealing with it and the person behind it, never hesitate to set boundaries for your own well-being.

Consider blocking or unfollowing.

When you feel that your peace of mind and healing are affected by your ex partner’s act, you have the power to block or unfollow them.

This decision doesn’t need to be permanent. Muting that person is the least forceful yet helpful move you can make to check your mental and emotional health for the time being.

Do not compromise your hope of recovering from something that’s not even worth your time.

Ask yourself: Do I need to feel guilty too?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions when a person tries to check the current situation of someone who used to be important and special to them without wanting others to know.

Then again, this is a clear sign of an ongoing problem.

Clearly, you want to know their activities, check if they are happy, and subtly inform them that you still exist.

The more you keep on engaging yourself with the people that caused you pain, the more you experience suffering. Remember that you should do things that will outweigh the negative feelings you might be having.

Examine how it makes you feel.

The moment you still feel the negative emotions running through your system, consider taking a break from all social media platforms. This is very beneficial for you, especially when you are experiencing anxiety.

A social media detox can help you focus on yourself and seek answers to some questions that keep on bothering you. Spend time with your family and friends and engage in real and genuine interactions.

Set Yourself Free from the Negativities of Orbiting

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Engaging in online dating — in which a simple swipe to the right is a key to get started — is one convenient way to communicate with a few people within your proximity.

Aside from accepting the existence of online dating apps, the importance of social media should not be taken as nothing.

In the context of Philippine dating, every Filipino boyfriend and Filipina girlfriend deserves the most genuine love that the world can offer.

To all the orbiters, don’t think that your former partners and dates won’t notice if you’re still liking and viewing their posts, especially when they feel that there was no closure when the relationship ended.

An orbiter doesn’t have space in anyone’s life.

No one deserves to be played around to the point that they question their worth as a person and if they deserve to be loved.