Hello, I introduce a character's "bad boyfriend" by saying: "She wanted to be with her rather dysfunctional date, but she knew that wouldn’t bring him any closer to her." From then on, I refer to him as "lousy date," but I'm not sure it sounds OK. I could replace it completely or I could replace some instances of it. But I don't want to call him "lousy boyfriend" precisely because the relationship wasn't good/stable. Here are the places where I mention him: 1) That's all her "lousy date" could offer her. ... 2) Of course not, she was still in love with her "lousy date." Fortunately, her reflections over the weekend made it clear that she really didn’t need to have a lousy date. She could do better than that. ... 3) Her "lousy date" was there. She felt nothing. She was completely cured. ... 4) That had been one of the problems with her "lousy date": he was too sure he was right. For him, there was no reality out there, only his reality. What would you suggest? Thank you.