9 OCTOBER 2004, Page 111

Q. As a single woman who has had a busy

love life, I find it humiliating in a way when, at parties, I meet old boyfriends, now married, who ask me whether I am in a relationship. The answer is currently no, to which their response is usually a patronising moue of pity. I would much rather not be asked this question and I think it so unfair that people who are married shouldn't have to account for their sex life. What should I say, Mary?

Name withheld, London W8 A. You could make the innocent reply, 'Why do you ask? Are you still sleeping with your wife?'