DEAR Janice, my wife (who recently turned 50) and I had a huge row at New Year – and to say there is still a frosty atmosphere is an understatement. I had a bit too much to drink at the Bells and when she appeared all dolled up, stupidly I questioned what she was wearing for her age and blurted out that she looked like mutton dressed as lamb. I have apologised numerous times and put it down to my alcohol consumption, but it makes no difference. How can I fix this? Jim.

Dear Jim ... frosty? I bet it’s more like the Antarctic in your house, and quite rightly so. I’m just surprised you’re still in one piece to be honest. Lockdown has left many people slobbing about in pyjamas and trackies day after day, so the fact that she made the effort to look good should have been a New Year bonus, regardless of her choice of attire. When you hit a certain age, no one hands you a style guide of what you should and shouldn’t wear Jim, and we can all get it wrong at times, but wouldn’t you rather your mutton was dressed like lamb than Waynetta Slob?

Perhaps she looked at you and saw Shrek dressed as Harry Styles and dressing up was her way of encouraging you to get your act together.

Either way, continue to grovel and compliment her as often as you can and leave any future wardrobe malfunctions for her friends to sort.

Dear Janice, I’m in my 50s and have been single for a while now and have finally given in to my friends’ persuasion and agreed to try online dating. They say I don’t look my age and that I should state that I am five years younger in my profile. Do you agree? Janet.

Dear Janet, let’s say you tell the initial wee white lie, he looks at you through love-goggled eyes and thinks you’re the best thing since his shiny new Mazda MX5 – at what point do you let the cat out of the bag and tell him you lied? OK, it’s not a major lie like saying you’re single and are still married, but it’s still not the truth.

I know many people who have had nightmare experiences with online dating. The 6ft guy who turned out to be the same height as his date, and she was only 5ft5. The lady who claimed she was a size 10 and was more rotund that a Teletubby, and the guy who owned a portfolio of properties, which he did – but only on a Monopoly board!

It could be hugely disappointing to discover, firstly, that the facts you stated on your dating profile were not correct, and secondly that you have started a new relationship with a porky pie.

I’m sure if your friends say you look younger than you are then rather than being disappointed, your online date will be pleasantly surprised. However, if your intention is to attract younger guys, then this may well backfire.

Lying on online dating sites is the reason many people (probably including you) are put off giving them a go.

You expect to believe what you read, Janet ... well, so do others, so do the right thing and fingers crossed you find your love match.

Dear Janice, I really like a girl at work, but I can’t take things further as I’m too embarrassed to admit that I’m 30 and still living at home with my parents. I’m trying to save for my first flat. Jordan.

Dear Jordan, if you’re honest and upfront from the start and explain that you’re living with your mum and dad to save for a better financial future then she should understand.

It’s difficult getting on to the property ladder, so this living arrangement for financial reasons makes perfect sense. There is a world of difference living with your mum and dad for financial reasons and not because you are a mollycoddled mummy’s boy. So, go on, make a move.

My mother-in-law moved in with my wife and I until structural repairs to her house were complete. However, that was two years ago. My wife goes off on one if I attempt to bring up the subject of her moving out when Covid restrictions finally lift, so how do I approach this again without causing another argument? Billy.

Dear Billy, if you haven’t managed to address the situation in two years then it’s going to be even more difficult now Covid has meant your mother-in-law is living in your bubble. It sounds like your wife and her mum are comfortable with the living situation and to be honest, if your mother-in-law ever does move back into her own home, you may well see less of her, but you’ll also see a lot less of your wife too as no doubt she will feel the need to visit her mum on a regular basis, more so as she gets older. There are countless people (myself included) who have spent many hours running about at all times of the day and night visiting elderly parents, which can be exhausting, so although I sympathise with your situation, all things considered, it’s perhaps best to leave things as they are.

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