Outright lying is never a good idea in a relationship, but to ensure that harmony is maintained, you should think very carefully before you say the following to the object of your affections…

“My mum thinks you should get a haircut”

Don’t break the cardinal rule of relaying what your mum says about your girlfriend. Naturally, your girlfriend will want to impress your parents and any criticism, as slight as it might be, will make her paranoid about what they really think of her. And you might run the risk of annoying your mum in the process if she finds out you’ve been blabbing, so keep schtum!

“That waitress is hot”

Realistically, your girlfriend knows you’re going to find other people attractive, but she still wants to feel like the most beautiful girl in your world. And if you’re at a restaurant together chances are she’s made an effort to look her best, so give her your full attention instead!

“You’re being hormonal”

If your girlfriend’s grumpy or agitated, there’s nothing she’ll find more irritating than having her gripes reduced to PMT by a condescending man. Try to be considerate of her feelings and don’t mention the P-word; she’ll thank you for it in the long run.

“Isn’t it time you booked yourself in for a wax?”

Let’s face it, girls are expected to go to far greater lengths than men in the pursuit of physical per-fection. So if she’s rivalling you in the body hair front for once, give her a break. Everyone’s their own worst critic so she’ll probably be silky smooth before you know it anyway.

“You’re just like your mother”

Much as us girls love our mums, we don’t want to turn into them just yet. And with mother-in-law jokes a stock-in-trade of many comedians, we won’t take it as a compliment to be compared to our ma by our man.

“Yes, your bum does look big in that”

She should know better than to ask the question, but for goodness sake don’t reply with anything other than “No darling, it looks great, those trousers are really flattering on you.”

“Oh… I thought our anniversary was next week”

Forgetting an anniversary could make your girlfriend think you don’t care. If the date creeps up on you unawares, pull the old trick of promising a big surprise later then hit the shops/internet for a last-minute gift.

“Calm down dear!”

Unless her secret crush is Michael Winner, this unhelpful phrase is only going to make her see red. If you take the time to listen and talk through her concerns you will help her find that inner peace a lot more quickly.

“But my ex loved it when I played the tin whistle!”

Discussing an ex in detail is always dodgy territory, but comparing your current flame to a former one is a no-no, especially if your previous girlfriend comes out favourably.

“Do you really need a third helping of crumble?”

Everyone knows women are sensitive about their weight, so any casual hints about what they’re choosing to eat or not eat won’t go down well. Raising eyebrows about her diet could make her par-anoid and make you come across as a control freak, so steer clear and let her make her own deci-sions.