Novelty Seeking

I have admitted that my snooping on others has been an on going problem, but I’ve never really thought of it as a potential disorder or imbalance. I decided to do a little research on it and to see if there was anything out there that I could relate to. I do find that in searching for personal things like this there is a lot of bias on my part but it’s the best I could do on my own.

The closest thing to a disorder or imbalance that I could find was an article on “Temperament and Character Inventory” (Also known as Tridimensional Personality (TDI)). In this personality breakdown there are are some character breakdown categories, one of which being Novelty Seeking. This characteristic is very strong in me, if this was on a scale from 1-10; I’d most likely be an 11. Novelty seeking is also broken down into four categories;

  1. Exploratory Excitability
  2. Impulsiveness
  3. Extravagance
  4. Disorderliness

I fall into all of these categories, but I especially relate to the impulsiveness issue. There’s a balance with everything in life and I feel like this part of my personality is out of control when it comes to snooping and having this uncontrollable need to know. I’m having a hard time figuring out if its a psychological issue or if I have some sort of chemical imbalance. The article states that it could be due to a higher than normal level of dopamine but it’s hard to control without medication. I’d like to be 100% sure what’s happening in my mind or body before I start taking medicine. I know I don’t have any of the big disorders so I don’t want to push my mental health by taking anything I may not actually need.

The reason I decided to look into this as a potential health issue was because of another snooping incident involving Hunter. Nothing at the moment is wrong in our relationship, I haven’t snooped on him in a while, he hasn’t done anything out of the ordinary and things have been really good as of late.

He came over to my house like he normally does and I asked him to hook up my new console with his Netflix account. As he was punching in his password on the console’s handheld screen, I could briefly see what he was typing on the actual TV screen. I couldn’t believe that he didn’t notice that I could see it, even just for that brief second between letter and dot. It was an easy password to remember and I knew his e-mail now too and my heart started to race. All I could focus on was the fact that I could now potentially go into his Facebook account and snoop at my leisure. I was so excited at how much fun I was going to have analyzing everything, who I would see him talking to, what he was saying, past messages he’d sent, and just everything I was going to learn and see in general without fear of him walking in on me doing it. I’d be invisible, I’d be stealth and secretive and be in the know for all his relationships with everyone. It was such a high just to even think about, I dreamed about it, I was constantly thinking about it, it was going to happen.

The next morning, as soon as he left I went to try and login to his account; but before I could commit to it I decided to research a bit and make sure he couldn’t find out I was on it. Facebook has definitely upgraded its privacy and I was worried to try because it looked like it might contact him since it wouldn’t recognize my computer. Instead, I decided to try his e-mail account so that maybe I could even just check out the past facebook e-mail notifications. I thought that was very harmless, it’s just an e-mail account right? WRONG! I logged in, and got into the account no problem; it was a waste of time though because there weren’t any facebook e-mails. I logged back out probably within a couple of minutes since there wasn’t anything there that I wanted to look at. After about twenty minutes since that incident I got a text from Hunter asking what the hell I was doing in his e-mail. It had sent an e-mail to that account as well as an e-mail to his back up account and maybe more. He told me that he received the e-mail and that it said someone logged into his account from my hometown. I was petrified; did I just break us up? Did I just unintentionally end things for no reason? So I lied on the spot. I told him that it couldn’t of been me since I don’t know any of his passwords and that the only thing I did was log onto his Netflix account which uses that particular e-mail account. I kept telling him that it was the only thing that made sense to me, since it was sort of connected. I was really worried that he was going to call my bluff on the not knowing his password thing but I guess he really didn’t notice. Hunter ended things by just telling me not to worry about it and I told him that it was okay, because I’d ask about it too if that happened to me.

I think he knows obviously what I did, I assume that he’s just trying to be the bigger person and let it go even though he was definitely entitled to ending things. I saw him later that night and he never brought it up so I think it’s done with but I could also see him bringing it up in future arguments.

It really scared me that I could of lost him over something that I did, which I shouldn’t have done what so ever. I just felt like it wasn’t going to hurt anything to find old facebook notifications but it really could have. Even if I did find old facebook notifications, good or bad, I wouldn’t of been able to ask him about it without proving that I did go through his e-mails.

That’s my biggest problem with all of this is that I’m always frustrated! I’m frustrated when I can’t get into Hunter’s Facebook, I’m frustrated when I only have limited time to snoop on it or through his texts, I’m frustrated with myself when I don’t find anything or I’m frustrated with Hunter when I do find something (old or new), I’m frustrated when I can’t bring it up, I’m frustrated when I bring it up and he’s mad at me compared to whatever he said to who ever. And then, I’m frustrated because I don’t know if he took what I said seriously, I’m frustrated in thinking that he may be doing it again, I’m frustrated to the point that I want to look again – and then the cycle continues. I’m never satisfied, there’s always a “but what if” lingering in the back of my mind. My inner voice is constantly trying to convince me to snoop, what if there’s something to find and what’s the worst that will happen if there isn’t anything to find. Wouldn’t you rather know either way? If he’s up to something you can leave him and if nothing’s going on you’ll be reassured!

That’s why I feel like there’s something wrong with me on some level. I know curiosity is a normal human trait but when it’s all I can think about, it’s all I want to do, my biggest goal would be to be able to privately browse his whole account without him knowing; that would be the ultimate high. That sounds like a pretty obvious personal problem to me but it’s the truth in what I want right now.

Psychologically, I know I have boundary and trust issues that have been a long stemming issue in my life. I’d like to blame it all on my ex but I still feel like it’s something in my own internal psyche. I snooped on my ex constantly; I did have his login information for all of his e-mail accounts, his facebook and messenger and so on. I could get onto his laptop without him knowing all the time and go through his saved pictures, videos, and documents just in case there was something to be found. Even though I did this all the time, even though I confronted him when I did find things, and even though nothing I found or didn’t find mattered in the end. I still never broke up with him, I still had that intense urge to snoop, he still managed to cheat on me without me knowing, and in the end dumped me so he could date younger girls. (He started university late, he was around 21 or so when he got into first year and lived in residents with a bunch of 18 year olds, go figure I guess).

So if snooping never resulted in anything, it didn’t shape anything, it didn’t change my ex for the better he just got sneakier, than what’s the point? I guess if you have your mind set on cheating you’ll find better and more discrete ways to do so, especially when your girlfriend can get into all of your social media accounts.

I think the appeal for me is more for the secrecy, it’s like reading someone’s diary and being able to analyze what they’re like behind closed doors. So it’s not so much that I think snooping will somehow help me figure out our relationship, it’s more for finding out what he thinks of our relationship and me with his online behaviour and other things I may not know about him.

Maybe I have an acceptance disorder, where I always feel like no one really likes me. So having found messages of him flirting with other girls initially just fueled my fire that he really is just keeping me around until one of these girls flirts back. I talked about some of these issues to my mum, and she thinks it would be good for me to actually see a therapist. I just see so much causation for why I am the way that I am, I don’t know what else a therapist could actually tell me that would be new information.

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