The Ex Factor

You could be best friends, cordial acquaintances, or never speak again. What type of relationship should you aim for with an ex? And how do you get there?

My Shocking Discovery After Googling an Ex

Sometimes you have to Google an ex to put the memory to rest.

As a rule, I don’t Google the men of my past. Dealing with the present is challenging enough. But at my college reunion, one of my classmates Googled every unmarried man mentioned in conversation. After Googling one man, now widowed, she exclaimed, “His ex-wife was a sculptor. I took a pottery class. We’d be perfect!”

When I got home, I decided to Google an Ex.

Many years earlier, I had a wild romance with a man from my youth who had searched me out. By then we lived on separate coasts, which meant spending a lot of time and money to be together. But we were doing well in the corporate world, and flying from city to city on business, with an occasional trip to a pleasant port of call, fueled our adrenalin rush.

A long distance relationship made for an exciting fantasy — we never had to deal with the reality of day-to-day. We’d plan weekends in Prague and the Caribbean, pouring through brochures, talking to travel agents. (Remember brochures and travel agents?) Sure, some plans seemed more reality based: “I’d love for you to live here with me this summer to try it out,” he said, but that never materialized. We did go to the Caribbean for a weekend, but didn’t make it to Prague.

Odd things happened along the way, things I wouldn’t tolerate today. But I was younger, in love, more naive, and willing to accept a lot. Like the time we traveled a long distance to be together and he decided he had to meet with two women he’d met on the plane to “talk about business” (without me). Like the time he said he’d just been to the island paradise where we were headed and it was gorgeous. It ended up being a chain of strip malls and gas stations.

I’m not bitter, but amazed at what I would put up with in exchange for a sexy, over-the-moon, romantic love affair.

The relationship ended badly. A “rush” can only last so long.

For years I wondered about him. Had he found someone or gone from one hot, giddy relationship to the next? Was he as famous and rich as he wanted to be?

I Googled him and learned he was dead. He had died young, the cause of death unstated in the obituary link online. It noted that he’d fought valiantly. Probably his heart, I thought. Even though he appeared robust and worked out daily at the gym, half his suitcase was filled with medications and supplements.

I might call his sister to find out what happend. It's a memory I can put to rest.

Writing prompt:

Write about what happened after a relationship ended.

Copyright © 2014 by Laura Deutsch



The Ex Factor