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.
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?