IF YOU want to get the most from keeping fit, don’t exercise with your partner.

Research among older couples has shown that exercising together results in lower physical activity levels compared to people who exercise on their own.

The findings, published in the catchily-titled International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, came about following a study of people aged between 54 and 72 scientists. Couples found it harder to coordinate and adopt each other’s exercise routines, and more effective to focus on their own.

This doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. The only exercise I do with my husband is walking, when he spends most of the time lambasting me for being too slow. Frequently, this results in me abandoning the walk and stomping off home in a bad mood.

And it’s not only exercise: in my experience, whatever your age, most things are best done alone.


More and more couples are opting for a so-called sleep divorce, which sees them retiring to separate bedrooms for various reasons - snoring, body heat, differing work schedules and insomnia. They say it helps to strengthen their relationship.

Research has backed this up, and on TikTok the hashtag #separatebedrooms has amassed more than 1.1 million views, with social media users sharing that come nighttime, they kick their partners out of their bedrooms to get a better night's sleep.

It’s true for me. Although we haven’t yet come to the ‘divorce’ stage, it’s getting close. Sharing a duvet with a six-foot-four male doesn’t make for a settled night. Every time he turns over I have to wrestle it back, otherwise I’m left exposed to the cold night air. We are sleep incompatible in other ways too - he has one pillow, I have three, he wants an extra blanket on the bottom of the bed for his feet, I don’t.

Watching TV

I hold up my hand, the lack of sofa-snuggling harmony is entirely down to me. Either its my poor hearing, my failure to understand something or my enquiring mind - I am a journalist after all - but when watching TV there’s always stuff I feel the need to ask about. It’ especially true with those true crime documentaries - “Who’s that woman?”, “How did they get that phone number?”, “How come they’ve let him out on bail?” It’s the same with dramas - if I feel something has been overlooked or not properly explained, I need answers.

He hates watching the news with me, knowing that at some point I will ask something about the Middle East and he will have to explain it, as though to a two-year-old.

He gives a huge sigh of relief when I head off to have a bath.


With my husband in tow, I spend at least half the time scouring the shop looking for him. Recently, in Asda, I was seconds away from asking for an announcement over the tannoy: ‘A 61-year old man wearing a khaki coat, blue jeans and a checked scarf has gone missing. Last seen near herbs and spices. If spotted please report to customer services.’

I hadn’t seen him for almost 45 minutes and had already gone upstairs to get a bird’s eye view of the shop. Thankfully, he appeared before the full-blown APB went out.

It's best to shop alone - it can be done in half the time.


My husband is often to be found slaving over a hot stove. It’s his choice, he loves cooking. If I enter the kitchen while he’s cooking, I can feel him bristling. The idea of us preparing a meal together is as likely as Putin and Zelensky teaming up for Race Across the World. Cooking solo is the only way.