An inevitable fact of the new relationship is that we’re going to ask you about your ex. We’re curious about all the details, and, let’s face it, we’re looking to compare. Was she prettier? Smarter? Better in bed? More importantly – we’re better in bed, aren’t we? It may feel like a battlefield, but if you stick to the following rules of diplomacy, you’ll dodge those bullets with dignity.
Don’t smear her name: Even if the ex drove a stake through your heart and left you writhing in pain, if you trash talk her, you’ll inevitably sound petty. Plus, the way you speak about girlfriends past tells us something about how you might one day talk about us. Further, the angrier you sound, the more we’ll suspect you’re not over her. When describing a difficult breakup, convey pain, not bitterness, so we see your emotional maturity – not your vindictiveness.
Spin it: It’s not who’s better, but who’s a better fit. Instead of direct comparisons that put the ex down, praise us for our novel features. Not: “You’re smarter,” but: “It’s so nice to be with someone who reads.” Our ego may love it when you diminish her, but it’ll ultimately be more satisfying to hear why we’re awesome.
Be vague: We may think we want to know everything about her, but we don’t. Avoid intimate details – particularly sexual. And remember: If we suspect she was a quality lady, it will reinforce the fact that you’re a hot commodity – and that you’ve got good taste. Which is why you’re with us, of course.
Image courtesy of Andy Houghton on flickr