Five great comments to store and use against your partner at a later date

COUPLES must be careful what they say or recriminations will follow. Here are five statements to guilt-trip your partner with – or which might be dredged up and used against you months later.

‘You’re just like your mother/father”

This could spark a thermonuclear row then and there. But also a great comment to sit on until you need some ammunition. Comparing you to the man or woman who brought you up at least adequately is not a problem. But your parent might also be boring, tight, nosy, judgemental, outright vindictive or love your sibling more than you. That’s a good kick in the teeth for your partner, and you’re also implying they’re old.

‘You look fine’

Normally dropped at the hectic time of you both leaving the house. ‘Fine’ is obviously damning your partner with faint praise, when it should be ‘gorgeous’, ‘beautiful’, ‘terrific’ or ‘handsome’. A near-silent journey to wherever you’re going will follow, then a row several hours later when the whole thing blows up in everyone’s face. A classic.

‘Of course you can go out’

This concession is normally given about three weeks before the actual event. If you’re really organised you should record it on your phone as evidence for when the eventual interrogation arrives. Because three weeks later saying ‘I’m going out tonight’ will be met with ‘You never told me…’. One of you is wrong, and the seething resentment will last while you go out and still be there when you get back. A real slow-burner.

‘We’ll have sex later’

Postponing a bit of how’s-your-father is bound to leave someone’s feelings hurt. And chances are it means ‘We’re not going to have sex at all’. The disgruntled partner will be disappointed, frustrated and pretty sure it constitutes breaking a verbal contract. And they’ll moan about it. If no sex is likely, probably just best to say so and at least they’ll know QI will be as exciting as the evening gets.

‘And you ask whether I’m annoyed with you’

If the question is ‘Are you annoyed with me?’ obviously the answer is ‘yes’. Just asking it will lead to an outpouring of your vile behaviour, from thinking your partner is stupid to never washing the cheese grater. However it’s worth remembering the follow-up, ‘And you ask whether I’m annoyed with you. What do you think?’ as it’s a great one to have in the armoury.

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The rules of clothes shopping for men

MEN are provided with clothing on birthdays, Father’s Day and Christmas. If it’s absolutely necessary to own more, grudgingly go clothes shopping in classic male fashion like this.

Hide your discomfort

Men find clothes shopping fundamentally unnatural and awkward. Choose a busy weekend to shop as your discomfort will be less obvious, and go near the end of the day when staff will be knackered and leave you alone. Buy something that provides the necessary warmth, smartness or genital coverage and leave immediately.

Never try things on

Too much hassle, and while undressed in a strange place you are weak and exposed. You should have one pair of jeans that actually fit, so buy trousers in this size. If they don’t fit, that’s life. Trying on shirts is pointless as they’re always the wrong size and there’s no way you’ll get them back in the packaging. Buy three shirts of varying sizes and hope one fits as you try them on at home.

Do not make eye contact

Eye contact with another male in a shopping environment is deeply embarrassing, although it’s not clear why. Even if you spot a friend, give a barely perceptible nod. Treat the clothes shop as you would a public lavatory: no chat, do what you need to, one non-narcissistic glance in the mirror when the task is completed.

Never engage with staff

You might be feeling confident after buying an item without incident and now you think you’re ‘Johnny Cool Shopper’. Beware. You’re opening the door to asking a shop assistant if they have an item in a different colour, instead of the black, grey or blue assigned for male clothing. It’s a short step from there to friendly chat, getting measured and referring to your clothing as ‘an outfit’.

Wait for the queue to die down

No man has ever just paid for their shopping when there’s a chance of the queue ‘dying down’. After choosing your item, idle around the shop until any queue depletes. This could take hours, but you’ll feel you’ve won a tactical victory by going straight in as second in the queue. Even if it’s wasted a fifth of the day.

The first item is always the one

The Golden Rule of male clothes shopping. Like spotting a space in a busy car park, seeing the right item for you is a reflex action. Looking at alternatives is a futile exercise. Dozens of sweatshirts or stretch jeans may be examined, but none will replace the first item seen. It was perfect then, and it still is now. Go back and buy three. This decisive action also leaves time for a quick one in a nearby pub.