Parallel parking and four other shortcuts to a full blown argument

Being in a relationship is a delicate balance. There are good times, bad times and times when you’ll plunge into a blazing row in 30 seconds flat. Like these: 

Cooking ‘together’

Uttering the words ‘I can help, if you like’ sets you up for resenting your partner for saying yes, and your partner to resent you for obviously wishing they’d said no. Prepare to go from nought to angrily wielding the Sabatier paring knife in less time than it takes to stir the risotto the wrong way.

Washing up etiquette

This one comes off the back of the above for a perfect one-two punch. A simple but aggressive question about why they insist on putting the cutlery into the drainer the wrong way up quickly pivots into yet another furiously yelled rehash of your disastrous holiday to Kos in 2011.

Parallel parking

Doing anything with your partner in the car brings you close to spousal murder, but having them ‘help’ you with a parallel parking manoeuvre could also end up with dead bystanders after you stamp your foot on the accelerator and mount the kerb out of sheer, furious frustration.

Changing the bedsheets

Laundering these vital items guarantees that at 11pm you’ll both be stood naked, cold and screaming at each other when you realise you haven’t put them back on again. All you want to do is sleep and instead you’ll find yourself trying to put the duvet cover on from the inside like a weepy, knackered ghost.


Even if you’re married with two kids and a huge mortgage, briefly and casually alluding to someone you went out with for two months in 1998 will rile your partner into accusing you of maintaining a passionate one-sided emotional affair with them, you absolute bastard.

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Five batshit things to wake up in the night and worry about

SLEEPING a bit too well at the moment? Here are five mad and pointless questions that are sure to keep you up all night.

What if I have a symptomless terminal illness?

You seem to be in good health but what if your body is secretly falling apart on the inside? What if that three-day hangover was an undiscovered deadly illness? You’d better hop onto Google for a few hours and freak yourself out.

What if I left the oven on in the flat I lived in two years ago?

It’s admittedly been a while since you moved out but your sleep-deprived brain is unlikely to let the matter rest. Imagine the guilt if your negligence blew the whole street to smithereens. Better drop the landlord a quick late-night text to be safe.

What if some obscure religion ends up being right?

You’ve had time to weigh up the more mainstream religions, but what if the ancient Egyptians were actually onto something? Time to start mentally drafting the speech you’ll give to Ra when you turn up in the afterlife all sheepish.

What if I sleepwalk and accidentally kill someone?

If you’re close to falling asleep, consider the idea that you might end up an unwitting murderer if you do. Now’s the perfect opportunity to rehearse what you’ll say in your TV interview with Piers Morgan after a long, fraught trial.

What if someone I love spontaneously combusts?

Your waking brain knows it’s bollocks, but suddenly there is something convincing about a relative bursting into flames as they walk down the street. You should wake your partner up and tell them your fears, if only so they can worry pointlessly about it too.