In problem page edition 27, there’s more free relationship advice from me – your online relationship coach! This week, when you fall in love with your cousin, when he eyes you up in front of his girlfriend and when you have to obey their rules – or it’s over.
If you would like any free relationship advice, just message me or add a comment at the end of this post and I will answer selected questions on this problem page.
A: Headbutting is pretty horrible and, no, I don’t think that was a very sensible approach. Unfortunately, if you took the first physical action, provocation aside, it may well be viewed, legally, as an assault.
Was there no better way of handling the situation? Moving away? Telling them that they are invading your space and that you will be forced to protect yourself if they do not leave you alone?
You are an adult, after all, and the most sensible thing to have done, assuming this was a one-off, is to remove yourself from the situation.
If alcohol was involved in this scenario, you might want to consider the effect of drink on your temper as it is likely to lead you astray in the future.
If this is an ongoing situation with this individual, a bit of legal advice and a word with the police would be more sensible than landing yourself in the dock.
A: I do and I think it’s important to maintain your romantic relationship, especially if you have kids..
Sometimes we need to remember who we are as adults, rather than spend all the time in our roles as parents.
It’s so easy to fall into good cop / bad cop roles or to get into the habit of constantly talking about kids or work. When was the last time you asked your partner how they were feeling or what their plans are for the future? What are the places that are still on their travel bucket-list? What life experiences will they feel they have missed out on if they don’t do them before they die?
When you have these conversations it’s often surprising what you discover – and it’s a good reminder that people change and grow over time – even our partners – and we need to make sure that we are keeping up.
A: It’s not the most normal reaction is it, unless you have been apart for a long time. Some people are highly sensitive types, I appreciate, but to cry (your description is to actually break down) after a phone conversation is a little extreme.
Have you sat down and tried to work out why this is? Are there other situations that push your buttons to this extent?
Could you be suffering from depression? Are you anxious about the future of your relationship?
There is more to this but only you will know what it is that is triggering you so badly.
I would gently suggest you need to do something about it. If you are this emotional over the phone, what are you like actually in the presence of your boyfriend?
Needy and emotional isn’t always that attractive, you know, so you need to work out what is going on.
A: Yes it is. This is emotional blackmail and it’s pretty unpleasant. If it were a parent making these ‘rules’ I can understand that they may only want the best for you but this has all the appearance of an attempt to control you.
It does, however, depend on the rules. No booze or partying is pretty dictatorial but if you expect to go out partying without them, or you think it is OK to flirt on and offline or even to date other people, then it is understandable that they may try to impose some sort of boundary.
I think what worries me about this, though, is that you are already asking whether this behaviour is OK – a clear sign you’re being controlled because you should know that it is NOT OK.
Controlling people are experts at making you think it’s all your fault and shaking your confidence.
They like to gradually remove you from friends and family so that your whole world revolves around them.
I would tell him that he knew what you were like when you got together and, whilst you respect his ‘morals’, you are not prepared to be treated like a child.
In your shoes, to be honest, I’d be off like a shot.
A: Get to know girls as friends. It’s old advice but find something – a hobby, an interest, that you really enjoy and make friends with the girls you find there. There’ll be loads of groups, clubs and societies to sign up for a freshers’ week, won’t there?
Develop your confidence. Do you work out? You don’t need to be a bodybuilder but take a healthy interest in your body and your fitness – whether that’s at the pool or the gym – or just go out for a run.
I think maybe you need to spend more time in the company of girls so that you understand the signals a woman gives off when she is interested. You might need to also hone your flirting skills.
Lastly, at 18 I think you need to take a deep breath and say to yourself “there is no hurry”. Desperation will turn people off. Have confidence that you are a kind, decent man and women WILL find you attractive.
You do have to put yourself out there but concentrate on friendship before you launch in and ask an unsuspecting girl for a date.
A: This guy sounds a bit of a creep, to be honest. He already has a girlfriend and he also has a wandering eye.
If he is really interested in you, he needs to dump the current girlfriend and then ‘come near you’.
If he behaves like this with the current girlfriend, chances are he’ll do exactly the same to you.
A: We love who we love. There is absolutely no shame in that so, first off, forgive yourself. We are all worthy of love and you have done nothing wrong.
Where it gets complicated, however, is that this girl is your cousin and, if I understand correctly, that makes her too close a relative to have a relationship with.
On that basis, I would continue to express your friendship and affection for her but keep quiet about the true strength of your love because, hard though it is, it can’t really go anywhere and it may cause upset within your family network.
It’s also normal, by the way, to test out our romantic feelings when we’re young. Sexuality is fluid and doesn’t necessarily settle for many years.
Is there anyone you can talk to in confidence about this? Have you thought about telephoning a gay counselling service or something like that?
I hope you find some support. I’m sure there are lots of people on Quora who have had a similar experience who can offer some wise advice.
A. I’m not sure whether you are in the UK, but I can tell you that if you were to have sex with this woman she risks ending up with her name on the sex offenders’ register.
At 17 you are a minor and pursuing this woman could lead her to lose her job – and possibly wreck her career for good.
Until you are 18 and have preferably left school, the best advice is to focus your attention on someone else.
I hope you enjoyed Problem Page Edition 27 and if you’re looking for free relationship advice, get in touch!
You can find more dating tips in these posts:-
Midlife mum from Cardiff. Wine Imbiber. Likes glitter, fluff and olives. Approaching tweendom with Caitlin (11) and Ieuan (10). The husband is hiding in the loft.
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