The paper seems locked into a conspiracy with the reader to lament the modern independent woman. It assumes the role of watchful neighbour, sniffing disapprovingly as it leans over the garden wall to share malevolence disguised as concerned gossip. It constantly harks back to a kind of mythical golden age in which women knew their place. It's a Stepford Wife picture of the world.
And sadly nothing was different about the "Are you ready for extreme dating ?" article in last Sunday's paper. Guised as a piece on the 'world of romance New York-style,' it was little more than a Middle England version of The Rules. It includes lines such as "the more attractive a man is, the less available you ought to be." Inspired.
But there was one bit I did rather enjoy. The article suggests there are three levels of problems one comes across in a relationship: glitch (minor annoyance), core challenge (tough problem) and deal-breaker (it's over). The key being to find out what yours are, so you know what you can and can't live with. It was then that I realised mine would be if he hates Elvis, loves PlayStation and reads the Daily Mail. What are yours?