'But are they happy deep down?': Your guide to nit-picking other couples

WORRIED that your relationship is faltering? Here’s how to make yourself feel better by pulling apart the relationship of friends who seem genuinely in love.

PDAs mean they’ve got something to prove

Anything more than a peck on the cheek is a try-hard display of public affection that should be unnecessary when you’ve been together anything longer than three months. Why are they holding hands and whispering in each other’s ears during your pub roast? Acting like they’re that into each other obviously means there’s something very wrong at home.

She’s only with him for his money

Can’t figure out why your friends seem blissful together? It must be down to money, so grab a pen and try to game out their earnings. He’s a solicitor and she’s a teacher, so he must earn more and together their annual earnings could be anything up to £150k, you wildly guess. She’d never make that alone so she’s obviously only in it for the money. He must be devastated, but he hides it well by looking very happy.

They used to be so fun

You used to hang out together all the time but now you only see them about once a month and they’re not into getting shitfaced until 3am anymore. How sad that their fun-loving spirits have been crushed like this. They’ve obviously ruined each other’s lives and it’s nothing to do with the fact that they’ve got two kids under three and live 70 miles away now. Definitely not.

He’s punching well above his weight

Rather than asking whether you’ve let yourselves go and this is why you’ve become so horribly judgemental about others, instead focus outwards on the attractiveness of your friends. She’s at least an eight, whereas he couldn’t be considered anything more than a five. It’s an affair waiting to happen, you think, and then spend a fevered ten minutes imagining an affair of your own.

But are they happy deep down?

Fine, so on the surface they seem very well matched and incredibly content. But are they actually happy? You know, like really happy? Or is it all a sham? You heard her call him a ‘massive f**king geek’ once during a pub quiz and, while he appeared to laugh it off, it’s your smoking gun. They secretly hate each other and will divorce within the year. You’ve made yourself feel 5% better. Mission accomplished.

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Nigella vs Deliciously Ella: Which pathetic posh bird fantasy floats your boat?

ARE you unsure whether you’d shag posh celebrity chef Nigella Lawson or posh celebrity chef Ella Woodward? Let’s try to resolve this improbable sexual dilemma.

The food

Nigella: Cooks basically everything, from beef wellington to Thai noodles, with a bias toward hearty, meaty food. ‘Perfect’ is not a word to be used lightly, but Nigella is very close.

Ella: Sticks to healthy vegan stuff. This wouldn’t matter if it was a one-night stand, but could lead to frustration for a meat-eater in a longer-term sexual relationship with Ella. So basically it depends on your sexual fantasy.

Winner: Nigella.


Nigella: What can you say? Extremely pretty, charming smile, great tits. You don’t think anyone was watching to learn how to make a side dish of red cabbage with cranberries, do you?

Ella: Also extremely attractive, with perfect features. You wouldn’t think someone could make chickpea burgers sexy.

Winner: F**king hell, this is a difficult one. Can’t this fantasy turn into an even unlikelier threesome?


Nigella: Poshness is a key part of this rather sad sexual fantasy, and Nigella scores well, being the daughter of former Conservative chancellor Nigel Lawson, now a baron and global warming weirdo in France.

Ella: Daughter of Tory MP Shaun Woodward and granddaughter of Lord Sainsbury, which must be handy for flogging her sweet potato brownies. Went to Rugby School, whose famous alumni include Neville Chamberlain. Not suggesting she’d appease Hitler, just that she’s definitely posh.

Winner: Uncertain. Not a fag paper between them, as far as we can see. You’d probably have to ask a posh person.


Nigella: There was a lot of silly nonsense about Nigella taking cocaine, but to any sensible person this just adds to her fun-ness. She also seems quite modest and insecure at times. What an absolute tosser Charles Saatchi must be.

Ella: Seems very nice, but almost certainly has a tendency to talk about the surprising versatility of kale.

Winner: Nigella

Likelihood of this fantasy ever actually happening

Nigella: Some pretty serious life changes are going to be required to shag Nigella. It’s not a prerequisite to be super-rich, but an income of, say, £500,000 a year would count in your favour. Owning an art gallery would be handy. And you’d need to become more cultured and interesting. Even then she just might not fancy you.

Ella: Again, some catching up to do, probably involving a punishing exercise regime and extensive plastic surgery/dental work. The fact that she’s married doesn’t help your chances either, which a quick calculation suggests are roughly 0.000000000000001 per cent.

Winner: Draw.


Despite Ella’s youth and American fluffy pancakes with blueberries, Nigella is the clear winner. You are now free of the burden of worrying about what to do if Nigella Lawson and Ella Woodward simultaneously start coming on to you at the bus stop.