Entertainment And News

Hailey Bieber's 'Obsession' With Selena Gomez Is More Normal Than You Think — 3 Reasons We Stalk Our Partners' Exes & How To Stop

Photo: DFree, Tinseltown, Debby Wong / Shutterstock
Hailey Bieber, Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez

Hailey Bieber has been accused of stalking, being obsessed with, and even bullying Selena Gomez online, especially via Instagram.

The speculation that there’s a rivalry between Hailey and Selena has existed since 2018 after Selena’s ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber married Hailey mere months after he split from the ‘Lose You To Love Me’ singer. Selena and Justin had a seven-year on-again, off-again relationship starting in 2011, one that fans have accused Hailey of “being obsessed” with. 

RELATED: The One Thing That Helped Justin Bieber When Marriage To Hailey Didn't 'Fix All My Problems'

Hailey Bieber’s ‘obsession’ and ‘jealousy’ towards Selena Gomez are more normal than you think.

Being obsessed with a partner’s ex is a common experience– who hasn’t stalked their current partner’s past relationships online?

But sometimes, the obsession with our partner’s exes can go too far, as it seems to have gone in Hailey’s case, as she’s received threats because of the way she's allegedly ‘bullied’ Selena. Although stalking our partner’s exes is normal, it’s not necessarily a healthy way to maintain our current relationships. 

There are several reasons we stalk our partners' exes: 

We compare ourselves to our partner’s past loves.

Instagram seems to have been invented for stalking purposes. It’s almost too easy to get lost on a feed, scrolling through old photos of your partner and their ex. Even Hailey Bieber isn’t immune to Insta-stalking behavior.

In 2018, Hailey allegedly followed a Selena Gomez fan account called ‘houseofsel.’ She immediately unfollowed the account, leading fans to believe that her original follow was an accident.

They’ve since deleted the post, but houseofsel initially posted a DM that was apparently from Hailey, which stated, “hey followed you by accident so sorry!”

Hailey’s mistaken follow is extremely relatable— don’t we all worry our thumbs will hit that like button by accident if and when we’re looking at our partner’s exes’ account?

Although Hailey, Selena, and Justin are in the unusual situation of being famous, it’s normal human behavior to compare oneself to other people, especially the people our partners have spent a significant portion of their lives with.

It could be postulated that in her use of Instagram, Hailey was taking stock of Justin’s past relationship, and maybe even holding herself up to Selena in comparison.

RELATED: What It's Like To Work For Selena Gomez — 3 Gruelling Parts Of Being On Her Team

We want to know that we can hold up to our partner’s exes.

Some fans have even accused Hailey of “copying” Selena, by emulating her fashion choices and even her tattoos.



While that behavior can be a common— and very human— reaction, it doesn’t help to mitigate your own insecurities.

In an article for Stylist, psychotherapist Owen O’Kane stated that “comparing yourself to a previous partner undervalues what you bring to the relationship.”

“This in turn will prevent you from enjoying the relationship, it will create mistrust and ultimately you risk pushing your partner away as tensions mount.”

It’s completely common to compare ourselves to other women, especially our partners' exes.

We live in a society that pits women against each other. The best thing we can do for ourselves, and the women around us, is to resist this comparative behavior as much as we can.

RELATED: Justin Bieber Allegedly Pokes Fun At Selena Gomez With Souvenir He Gifted His Birthday Party Guests

We want to show that we’re ‘cool’ with our partners’ past— even if we’re not, really.

In 2021, Hailey officially liked photos of Selena on Instagram, showing that she was paying attention to her husband's ex's social media presence.

As captured by Pop Faction: After Hours, Hailey showed her love for the September cover shoot of Selena from Elle Magazine that was posted to their Instagram page.

A source mentioned to US Weekly that Hailey liking the photos was her “way of showing support for Selena in a lowkey yet public way.”

The public aspect of Hailey’s likes had some fans questioning if she was trying too hard to be okay with her husband’s past romances. Yet jealousy is an incredibly normal human emotion, one we all experience across different spectrums. 

As noted by O’Kane, “It’s worth remembering jealousy is often fuelled by personal insecurity and has little to do with the other person.”

O’Kane went on to say that “details of your partner’s past will naturally evoke a sense of jealousy, comparison or sometimes a sense of inadequacy. Acknowledging this and talking through is a healthy, human experience.”

RELATED: 7 Reasons People Think Hailey Bieber Is A Mean Girl— Especially To Selena Gomez

So, what can we do to stop stalking our partners’ exes?

Acknowledge your partners’ past in order to accept it.

In October 2022, Hailey appeared on the Call Her Daddy podcast and addressed the growing drama between herself and Selena Gomez.

She referenced her husband’s past romance, stating “that was a situation where I know for a fact it was the right thing for them to close that door." Of her own relationship with Justin, she commented that when they got together, he and Selena “were not in a relationship at that time."

“But of course, there’s a very long history there and it’s not my relationship,” Hailey said.  Hailey's attempt to keep the past in the past is a healthy mechanism for maintaining a current relationship, though she perhaps should steer clear of the topic of #Jelena entirely if she wants fans to back off.

RELATED: Selena Gomez’s Two Rules For Justin Bieber In Their Relationship — And How Breaking Them Led To Their Breakup

Focus on what you have now. 

Shift your focus away from what your partner had in the past, and place your energy on the relationship you have now, and the future you’ll share together.

YourTango Expert Kristine Carlson offers the guidance that “jealousy is mostly a sign of insecurity and not love,” and working to overcome those insecurities will make your current relationship stronger.

Carlson says, “shift your focus to the now, and trust your partner and relationship… practicing mindfulness, as well as realizing your value, will help you understand that you matter in this relationship.”

Stop comparing yourself to what happened in your partner’s past.

As Carlson states, “comparison moves us further away from being real, authentic, and creative."

You can’t change your partner’s past, and you can’t change who you are, in the present. As the common saying goes, “comparison is the thief of joy.” Living and loving in the present tense is the best way to stay grounded in your current relationship.

RELATED: Source Claims To Have 'Proof' Hailey & Justin Bieber Are 'Celebrating Their Pregnancy' On A Yacht In The Bahamas

Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers celebrity gossip, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.