What's that old flame doing now?

It’s a staple plot of romance novels – what happens when the heroine encounters an old flame years later? A new twist is available with the super-easy search capabilities of the internet – and, best of all, it’s anonymous. Now, you can check out that ex without any embarrassing repercussions. Of course, you don't get any do-overs or happy endings when your re-visit is virtual. But, is it fun to peek into the new lives of your past loves?

Well, I tried it. What I discovered was both fascinating – and heartrending.

The first ex I looked up turned out to be a guy who could feature in a Desire novel. I always knew he’d be a successful businessman. But I was stunned to read the extensive financial press about him, press due to the fact that he’d reached the pinnacle of his field. His home purchases were deemed newsworthy, his family background had been written about and finally, his salary was splashed everywhere.

His very, very large salary, lol. Wow. I didn’t expect that.

I moved on to a second ex, this one from college. Ouch. I discovered that he’d died just a few months ago. What a strange feeling to read that, and then to see the poetry written to him by his wife, and to realize he’d left behind two young children. I'd never had a particular desire to see this man again, nor the expectation of doing so. But I was sad to realize he was gone from the world.

I was almost cured of my desire to continue exploring, but the ability to nose around so easily enticed me onward. I uncovered an ex who’s made a name for himself in the winemaking field. Nice guy. I'm happy for him.

I learned that another guy who I thought would be a brilliant lawyer ended up working, not for a top billing Wall Street firm, but for an alphabet soup firm in a small state. Major surprise there, but I trust he's satisfied with his choice.

Having opened Pandora’s box, would I close it again? Well, the Web and easy access to personal info is not going away. But I have to say, I kind of wish I hadn’t looked. I don’t have exes I hate, and the death hit me pretty hard. Not that I expected to ever see him again, but I like to think of these guys enjoying their lives, having happy marriages, and wonderful children. A bit Pollyannish, I admit. I guess that’s why I write romance.

So, true confession time. Has anyone else ever looked up their former boyfriends?

16 Responses
  1. Carly, I haven't had quite as much luck as you finding exes. I know my high school boyfriend is a fireman and my college boyfriend is married, no kids, and works in computers or sales or something like that. One of my post-college boyfriends passed away, but I found out about that when it happened. I don't think there are any super rich, super successful, or famous ones! Also, I'm careful when I search because I don't want my hubby to find out I'm doing those kinds of searches...

  2. Carly Carson Says:

    Carol, lol. I actually hesitated before posting this because hubby will read it and he will be able to pinpoint every guy, except maybe the lawyer. But he still has live contact with some of his female friends (Christmas cards, phone calls). I have no real life contact whatsoever, so I figure I'm in the clear. But I definitely hear ya...

  3. Cathy Shouse Says:

    Carly, you're assuming we know how to find our old flames. All I've done is searched for the name of an old flame on Facebook. A lot of people with the same name popped up and I couldn't figure out if he was one of them.

    Any tips?

    BTW, I would be doing this out of curiosity so I'm not that worried about my husband knowing.

    After nearly 20 years, we expect that we're married for life :)

  4. Carly Carson Says:

    Hi Cathy,

    Good question. I don't even have Facebook. I googled them. I knew enough about each of them to narrow it down by profession and location. The one who died and the vintner both have unusual names so that was easy. The "famous" one (in the business world) had his pic on some of the articles and, hmmm, he also has an unusual name. Is there a pattern here? The lawyer who didn't end up brilliant is the only one I'm not sure of, because he had an ordinary name. It literally only took minutes to find each of them.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  5. I've tried looking up an old boyfriend of mine. Mostly out of curiosity. He was a functioning alcoholic when we were together. Never missed a day of work, and he worked hard and he was a good guy. I wondered if he was able to ever get past his addiction. The last I heard about him was ten years ago. I know he'd moved to Texas and had a kid, that is all I know. I still wonder about him from time to time. Mostly just hoping he is happy. I've done searches too, but like Cathy, I get a bunch of hits and have no idea if any of them are him:)

  6. Yvette Davis Says:

    I went to a funeral for an ex from High School and it really bummed me out. Gack! I don't want to go to any more of those, so I know how you feel. As to the rest of the exes, well I do have some on my Facebook! So I keep in touch. The others... I don't so much want to know.

  7. Inez Kelley Says:

    EX #1 is to be married next summer. He will be divorced in 5 years. He has a small problem keeping his sipper zipped.

    Ex #2 is single and will be for a loooooooong time.

    Ex #3 is on marriage number 3

    Ex #4 ... hmmm.. I dunno. Off to google search!

  8. I found one on Facebook. I didn't contact him, just checked out his profile picture - he's a stockbroker on Wall Street. Haven't found anyone else, I guess I haven't tried very hard, either.

  9. Cameo Brown Says:

    Strangely, I'm still friends with a couple of my exes on FB.lol We've all moved on and don't want to go back. It is nice to be able to find out what happened to someone who was once so important to you, although sad when you hear bad news about them. Very intriguing post.

  10. Carly Carson Says:

    I love hearing all the stories.

    Yvette and Cameo, my husband would never ever let me be Facebook friends with an ex. Even though, when he got his account this summer, the very first person to friend him was a woman, okay, she's my friend too, but she's also divorced! Should I work up some jealousy? lol Nah, I'm not the jealous type.

    Esme, I'm surprised how many people can't find their exes. I didn't expect that to be an issue.

  11. Carly Carson Says:


    So, #4? What'd you find out? Bound to be something interesting there.

    Delia, you do have to go after a bit if you're curious like I was. (not nosy!)

  12. Natasha Says:

    I've never done that, Carly, but now you've got me wondering...

  13. Minx Malone Says:

    Never have and I am trying to resist the urge. I have a feeling that once I go there I will wish I could take it back!

  14. Nicole North Says:

    I'm kinda in the don't want to go there camp. :) I might find out something I don't want to know.

  15. Carly Carson Says:

    Okay, 3 in a row who don't look into the past. You probably sleep better for it!


  16. Cameo Brown Says:

    Weirdly, an old flame just sent me a friend request on FB yesterday. LOL

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