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Love etc

Never cook on a first date

Nicolas Cage and Cher in Moonstruck. MGM/Kobal/Shutterstock

Everyone thinks cooking for a date is romantic, says Tammie Teclemariam in Gawker. In Moonstruck Cher cooks Nicolas Cage a steak before they sleep together. In Nora Ephron’s Heartburn there’s a post-coital spaghetti carbonara. But real life is not like the movies. Especially in the early stages, seductive cooking is a recipe for disaster: “They could be a bad cook, their kitchen could be dirty, they might not know how to wash dishes correctly.” Worse still, if you try to woo someone with food and they break up with you, that dish will be cursed. Best not to lose your favourite lasagne recipe to the memory of a failed romance.

My advice would be to wait until the sixth date before you cook for someone – “minimum”. And when you do, keep it impersonal so as to remain aloof. “Maybe a hastily assembled charcuterie board, or a can of oily fish and crackers – or, better yet, make them order something. The less effort, the better.”

I’ve run out of patience with my husband

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My husband has become a crushing bore since he took up running, says an anonymous author in The Daily Telegraph. I should be grateful that he’s doing something healthy, rather than smoking or drinking, but his running schedule is driving me insane. Like an “obedient puppy”, he’ll go on a run whenever his smartwatch tells him to – even if it’s just before Sunday lunch. Then he bores me “senseless” with his progress charts. The holidays are the worst: he’s always getting lost on long runs in the British countryside. “I’d love it if the same enthusiasm and immediacy were applied to childcare or DIY.”