YOUR partner’s exes may be a distant memory, but it’s important your boyfriend realises they were all deeply flawed. Here high-maintenance girlfriend Nikki Hollis gives her tips – including what to do if you meet in person.
Claim they were ‘stuck-up’
I definitely felt Lucy was stuck-up, and I frequently remind my boyfriend Steve of this. I can’t give a specific example of her actually being a snob, but she had a very clear way of speaking. And her dad was a solicitor. Definitely a stuck-up little madame.
Highlight terrible dress sense
OMG, what did Kim look like? Hot pants with Doc Martens, tartan bondage trousers and a Nirvana t-shirt, the purple hair. Any employer would run a mile. What do you mean it was ages ago when you were students? I doubt she dresses any differently after just 22 years.
Engender an awkward atmosphere
Last year I met Steve’s ex Sal, who’s got a lot of the same friends. Needless to say she’s dreadful, so I did the normal thing and made small talk that could easily be taken as sarcasm, such as ‘I like your jacket’ in a cold, sneery tone. Or gave very short answers to friendly questions. Everyone looked tense and uncomfortable, but what d’you expect with someone like her?
Mention annoying traits
Some of Steve’s dysfunctional former harem have those annoying personal tics that drive you up the wall. You know, like holding a fork the American way when it’s food you can just scoop up. God that boils my piss. One of them, Jane, laughs a lot. Laugh, laugh, laugh, all the f**king time, even at Steve’s mediocre jokes. God knows how he put up with that.
Refer back to one regrettable incident
You won’t believe this, but Philippa – stupid name anyway – once got so drunk she was sick all over the table in a wine bar. I like to say to Steve: ‘Wonder what Philippa’s up to these days? Probably being sick somewhere.’ I’m pretty sure that single incident from over a decade ago entirely defines her personality and life. Steve just looks a bit weary, but he’s probably embarrassed about going out with a hopeless lush.
Be a bit unhinged
One of Steve’s exes could come back on the scene, like Emma. You can’t be too careful – she could easily give up her job as head of a merchant bank in Frankfurt and abandon her husband and three kids to be with Steve. So it’s lucky I regularly put him off her by reminding him she used to wear one of those stupid Tibetan hats.