Should you be worried about your partner's opposite-sex friends? Obviously 'yes'

YOUR partner should be able to have opposite-sex friends without you acting like a jealous nutter, right? No – these potential shaggers need to be watched like a hawk. Ask yourself these questions:

What does the friend look like?

An attractive person is not a ‘friend’, they are someone your partner would like to shag but hasn’t managed to. Beauty is a strong motivator. If the Greeks and Trojans were prepared to go to war for a decade over Helen, your partner will definitely put up with the considerably lesser hassle of moving his stuff out and setting up a new wifi account.

Will your partner find it easy to dump you without guilt?

The answer is ‘yes’. Your partner and their friend will tell themselves they’re made for each other and only circumstances kept them apart. Friends will congratulate them on finally getting together. They’ll know all the cliches to make dumping you easier, eg. ‘We couldn’t deny our feelings anymore. We’re just sorry you had to get hurt.’ This is particularly likely if they watch soap operas, and you reluctantly sitting through hundreds of hours of Eastenders makes the betrayal a million times worse.

Do they work together?

This opens up numerous sexual opportunities: trips to conferences, ‘working late’, after-work drinks. Don’t jump to conclusions though – bringing pens home from work isn’t 100 per cent conclusive proof your partner is having frantic sex with Clare or Rachel in the stationery store – he might just be too tight to shell out £5 for more Bics than he’ll ever get through.

Is your partner taking an interest in fictional infidelity?

Have they started suggesting films like Gone GirlFatal Attraction and The Great Gatsby? If so, cheating is on their mind and they’re seeing how it might pan out. In particular beware The English Patient because Kristin Scott Thomas is so classy that having an affair seems perfectly okay when she does it, and quite possibly worth getting turned into a burnt barbecue sausage for.

Do they know each other via a hobby?

Anything like trekking with romantic countryside and overnight stays in B&Bs is obviously dodgy, as is something like a shared love of classical music where they might bond emotionally. However you can sleep easy if they’re both into The Sealed Knot or Warhammer. Neither of those has ever led to sex with another person.

What is their relationship history?

This is important because if your partner and their friend were both single at the same time and could have shagged but didn’t, then your partner probably just has the hots for someone who doesn’t feel the same way. The worst-case scenario then is that they’ll blurt out their true feelings, get knocked back, and you can enjoy reminding them of looking like an absolute twat whenever you’re bored.

Would you have sex with them?

Be honest – would you shag your partner’s friend or friends? If so, don’t be disheartened, use this insight to revitalise your relationship. Try things like meals without the prefix ‘Mc’, presents that aren’t a cooking implement, and some sexy new underwear – you know, the sort without skidmarks.

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