Americans aren't entirely sure what's going on with Australian reality TV, but it sure does seem to be having its heyday. From Yummy Mummies to Instant Hotel, it's like we can't get enough of the drama down under. But if expectant mothers and Airbnbs aren't exactly your cup of tea, may we offer Back With the Ex as the perfect cringey dating show and your next Netflix addiction.
Although we've covered all the couples from the show and their current relationship statuses, many fans are clamoring to know more about their favorite singles from the show. Especially Lauren, who managed to free herself from Erik Lee's possessive and low-key abusive shackles.
Read on to learn where Lauren is today and how to follow her on social media.
First, who is Lauren from Back with the Ex?
Fans of Back With the Ex know there's not much information out there about the cast members on the show. Luckily, we scoured the web for info on Lauren and (ew!) her ex, Erik.
When we first meet the 34-year-old beauty, she mentions she can't wait to get married. "Most of my girlfriends are all married with children," she tells the camera, "I'm living the single life and they're leading the married life. I just can't wait to get married."
She and Erik were together for six years and "broke up six times over six years, so we averaged once a year," as Erik tells it (that's also the total number of times they've ever had sex, but — we digress). After initially meeting over 11 years ago at a party "on the dance floor," the on-again-off-again couple finally decided to call it quits after Erik proved too controlling and not committed enough to their relationship.
"I haven't experienced that type of meaningful love with anyone else but Erik controlled our relationship," Lauren says ahead of their meeting. "Erik was a workaholic and made the rules in regards to how often I got to see him, which was one day a week."
That's not all, in addition to being a controlling workaholic, some of Erik's behavior was downright abusive. Like the time he gave Lauren $10,000 for her birthday, along with a breast augmentation brochure.
On the show, Lauren says she's "willing to give him a second chance" because Erik was the love of her life. But she wants him to know that her confidence has sky-rocketed since their final breakup and that she's not "the same shy girl that will bow to his every command."
Who is Lauren's ex, Erik?
Workaholic Erik, 36, was an IT manager on the show. He wants to get back together with Lauren because he misses her a lot and doesn't think "there'll be another one like her." Likely because he's not used to going out with powerful women who stand up for themselves.
But Erik enters their first encounter wanting to change his ways. "I know it'll be different this time," he tells the camera. "I've learned from my mistakes and I'm ready to commit to Lauren."
So, do Lauren and Erik end up together?
Fans were thrilled to learn at decision time that Lauren wasn't going to take one more minute of Erik's controlling and manipulative attitude. By the end of their dates, she could tell that he didn't actually care about her and just wanted her to be his subservient arm candy.
"Erik is a narcissistic, abusive asshat," wrote one die-hard. "Congrats to Lauren for not staying!" Another added, "It was evident from the live drawing date that Erik had zero respect for her boundaries/comfort. So when it came out that he was abusive/controlling, I wasn’t shocked. From the very first episode, she gave me the vibe that all she really wanted was to reject him herself, even if it was a subconscious motive."
It seems viewers can all agree on one thing: We're so happy that Lauren was able to say no to Erik — and proud of her, TBH; it just proves how much she really has changed in the past six years.
Here's how to follow Lauren and Erik (if you must) on Instagram.
These days, Lauren seems to be in a healthy and happy relationship that she posts about all the time on Instagram. She's literally so in love with her boyfriend, Michael Barrett, her entire page is full of pictures of the adorable couple — with no sign of Erik anywhere in sight. Maybe she and her new boo will be able to fulfill her dream of getting married and having kids. Only time will tell — but now you have the keys to follow Lauren on social media and see for yourself.
Good riddance, Erik! As for the self-proclaimed workaholic, Erik seems to have quit IT altogether to focus on "fitness" and "food," per his Instagram page. According to his bio, Erik's trying to make it as an "actor, model, host, radio" — basically anything to capitalize on his reality TV fame. Then there's the douchey caption he wrote alongside this photo of him in a Ferrari. Gross!
We're ecstatic that whatever Erik's doing with his life at least doesn't involve dragging Lauren down with him. Catch the whole first season of Back With the Ex on Netflix.