Out for dinner this week, Luke told me a harrowing story about an ex of his. We had never really discussed our previous relationships, but suddenly he was telling me about how he broke up with his ex-girlfriend but then still invited her over to his family’s house for Christmas (there was some sort of good reason for this) and she was so heartbroken that she cried the whole time.

It affected me probably more than it should have done, and I found myself thinking about it over the next few days. I realised that I was worried about being the next heartbroken girlfriend crying into my (Christmas) dinner.

Does ex mark the spot when it comes to dating? Should you use the stories of your partner’s exes to determine what your relationship will be like?

I think it’s probably good to talk about previous relationships to some extent, if only to set a frame of reference for the kind of relationships your partner is used to. If there are some obvious terrible relationship patterns then perhaps you should be a little cautious.

But then again each new person offers a chance to start things anew and do something differently. Luke’s ex-girlfriends are a thing of the past. And it would be weird for me to go digging around for more information. In fact, I’m lucky that I’ve never heard about any exes before this incident – I once got treated to many stories about a whole host of ex-girlfriends on a first date (not okay).

So Luke’s story went down like a lead balloon, but actually it’s fine. He was still nice enough to invite his ex over for Christmas, right? I’m not going to let ex mark the spot. Although I will learn from his ex-girlfriend’s mistake and absolutely turn down any consolatory, post-breakup invites for Christmas.

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