Evening Standard - West End Final Extra - ES Magazine - - Lust List -

Last week I woke up in bed with my boyfriend’s ex-girl­friend. And I did that thing you do when you wake up next to a stranger: lay still, with my eyes closed, pre­tend­ing to be asleep, while I tried to re­mem­ber what had hap­pened the night be­fore… The Boy and I have been dat­ing a year. We’ve just cel­e­brated our Shamiver­sary, so named be­cause it’s not the date we started go­ing out but when we had our one-night stand — the night I bumped into him in Soho House and dragged him to a skanky 24-hour casino on Tot­ten­ham Court Road.

Jen, on the other hand, I met on Face­book. I was flick­ing through The Boy’s pro­file when I came across a com­ment from her. Her name rang a bell; he’d men­tioned her as some­one he’d gone out with at univer­sity. Sure enough, there she was in pho­to­graphs from the days they had dated: at a house party hav­ing vodka poured down her throat; at a univer­sity ball look­ing un­bear­ably gor­geous in red lip­stick and a scar­let dress. I found them on hol­i­day hug­ging, and out club­bing in fancy dress: him in Kiss make-up and her in a pink minidress. Fur­ther Googling re­vealed Jen to be younger, thin­ner and clev­erer than I am (a doc­tor who looks great in skinny jeans!). How did I feel as I con­ducted this search of my part­ner and his ex’s his­tory in the first ten­ta­tive days of my new re­la­tion­ship? The one-word an­swer is: shit.

I’m not the only one. Thanks to so­cial me­dia, smart­phones and search en­gines, we’ve got exes ev­ery­where — both our part­ners’ and our own. We can find first loves on Twit­ter and hol­i­day flings on Face­book (used, ac­cord­ing to one re­cent study, by 88 per cent of us to stalk

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