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These nuggets leave a sour taste

ARE you divorced?

Did you know you could have cemented the fissures in your crumbling relationship by fixing your spouse a cup of tea?

Wait, your spouse doesn't like tea? In that case, you've had a lucky escape.

But, if you're willing to stick with someone even though they don't like tea, you could have drawn them a bath. Or taken them to the cinema or left them wee letters littered around the house.

Love nuggets, these are called, in a new Government-funded programme aimed to help couples stay together. Paid for by the Department for Education, with £45,000 gifted to charity OnePlusOne, the idea is that grand romance is built on small gestures. Make a mix tape, give a footrub. Women should put their arm around their husband at the cinema. Men should stroke their wife's hair as they fall asleep. Nothing says "I love you" like a government-issue cuppa.

Love Nuggets is all fine and well. I suppose when you sidestep the ­financial and emotional issues that can lead to relationship breakdown, the notion of warming your husband's side of the bed is rather sweet.

But why's it always marriage that earns the efforts of government bodies and busybodies? Friendships are far more important and usually far less nurtured. After all, when your marriage fails, it's your chums that are going to help you through it. But not if you've ditched them for the sake of hours spent ­painstakingly pinning together a mixtape of the soundtrack to your special relationship.

How about some government-funded Friend Nuggets? I'd tackle the issue of commitment first. It seems to be a thing now that it's acceptable to respond with "I'll try to make it," when offered a social engagement. This is not ok. Don't haver on the off chance you get a better offer; let's face it, if you're that type of person you're unlikely to get an upgrade.

Meanwhile, never use "tired" as an excuse to stay home. Having a spouse is no excuse for slinking off the social scene. They may have signed a legally-binding contract to hang out with you but don't put all your social eggs in one basket. I'd be slightly perturbed if my friends started stroking my hair at the cinema, or whatever that particular advice was, but there's scope for across-board relationship improvements.

OnePlusOne is doing its best but this is one scheme that could more do with a kick in the love nuggets.

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Weddings

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