What struck me the most was his explanation for cheating — it wasn’t about her. It was about...history. It was about insecurities, and the way that comfort can take the edge off of the demons that we all mask as we trudge through life, pretending to be blissful and unaware of how our problems — our past, our parents, our pain — how it all melts together and threatens the happiness of our future. It was about how one night with a person who offers history, comfort, and security can, for some, be more appealing than a lifetime with a person who offers passion, excitement, and risk. It was about wanting to not be afraid.
I never wrote him back; I didn’t have to. His email was the closure I needed. More importantly, it took the mystery out of the exfactor. There is nothing alluring about exes. They are old news, stubbornly clinging to the present in hope of making it into today’s headlines. The truth is, we are all on one side of the exfactor at one point or another. Some choose to hold on to the past while others embrace the future. Since I came to terms with my own “mother of all exfactors,” I know one thing for certain: I will never look back.
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