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Problem Page Edition 37 2017

This week in problem page edition 37 – when your girlfriend never texts you at work, calling a love who rejected you 27 years ago and when you ditch your boyfriend and decide you want him back.

Woman in a park in Autumn - problem page edition 37

If you would like any advice, feel free to treat me as your agony aunt. Just message me or pop a comment in the comment box at the end of this post. I promise to be gentle.

Here are the questions for problem page edition 37.

Q: I broke up with my partner but after dating loads of unworthy men, I want him back. How do I tell him?

A: What are you going to tell him though? That you wanted a new relationship but you can’t find anyone who is suitable so he’ll do?

If you instigated the break-up I think you need to be VERY sure you are going back to him for the right reason – which really isn’t because you can’t find a new man who meets your criteria.

Going back just because you don’t want to be on your own is a recipe for disaster.

If, on the other hand, you realise that he is the one after all and that you really do want him, then all you can do is tell him you made a mistake and is there any chance of a reconciliation?

Tell him WHY you think he’s the man for you and the things that have made you realise this.

But if you can’t think of anything to tell him, then I don’t think he’s really the one you want.

Q: I have the urge to talk to a girl who rejected me 27 years ago. I have her number now. Is it normal, and okay to call her?

She was my classmate in college; she rejected me twice. once when I was 17 and then again when I was 25. I am now married with kids.
 A: It’s normal to hanker after ‘the one that got away’ but this is just a fantasy you know – an urge for romance and the thrill of the chase which often fades in a marriage.

But you are not 17 or 25 any more. You are a mature adult with a wife and kids.

You know full well that it is not okay to call her – particularly since you seem to be in denial about your intentions.

Your wife would feel betrayed if you pursue this woman, and frankly, you would do better to rekindle the romance in your marriage and consider how different things would be if you had ended up with a woman who has already dumped you twice and lose your wife and kids.

Q: How do I get over a crush? She’s married with kids and a great husband. There’s no way I’ll ever get a chance with her.

We work together and even attend the same church, so my chances of avoiding her are slim. Also, we’re pretty good friends, and I don’t want to lose her over this.

A: I hate to break it to you but you don’t ‘have her’ to lose. As you say, she is happily married with kids but it seems you have created a fantasy relationship in your mind.

Does she know you feel this way?

I appreciate that your paths will have to cross at work and possibly at church but you are not a teenager (I’m assuming), gripped by a passion you can’t control. That is just an excuse.

Have you considered how her husband would feel – or react if he caught you pursuing his wife – and your colleagues and brethren at church? And what about the children?

Since you mention church, perhaps prayer may help you focus on doing the right thing and give you the strength to develop a relationship of your own.

Q: Is it weird that my girlfriend never texts me at work?

A: No it isn’t. By the sound of it, your girlfriend is mature enough to understand that when you’re at work you’re supposed to work.

It’s when she doesn’t bother to contact you outside work that you have a problem.

Q: Shall I marry my friend with a 10-year-old kid who proposed to me and who slept with her first love once when she was going through a bad phase?

A: There seem to be two issues here – the first being (I’m assuming), her unfaithfulness when ‘going through a bad phase’. Were you together then? And what was the ‘bad phase’ and your role in it?

Secondly, I’m not sure that having a 10-year-old kid is a reason to turn a proposal down unless you think that you are merely being asked to be a financial solution to single parenthood.

Is this the case? You don’t sound as if you have any interest in or relationship with this child?

Also, given that she has proposed to you, you obviously don’t feel strongly enough to make the suggestion yourself.

I think you need some time apart to get your head straight, examine your feelings and decide whether this relationship is right for you – particularly since there are the feelings of a 10-year-old child to consider here.

Q: How do I tell my partner that my feelings for him are slowly fading away?

A: Why do you need to tell him? What do you hope to achieve? Is it something he is doing? Is there something he can change?

If you are not happy then yes, you need to talk to him about it, but I don’t see the need for telling him you don’t love him any more unless you want the relationship to end.

Would you bother to change for someone who told you their feelings were fading?

Do you know why your feelings are fading? Before you tell him something which may upset him, I think you need to think about your role in the relationship – it takes two, after all.

Have you been as loving and supportive of him?

Q: What should I do?  My best friend is dating my ex-boyfriend.

A: Oh dear. It’s not very ‘girl code’ is it? And, if you had an acrimonious break-up or he dumped you, she’s not much of a best friend.

I imagine it’s pretty awkward between you and, if you’re hurting, I’d feel entirely justified in telling her so – and that you’ll resume your friendship in the future when you have got used to the idea.

Are you sure this is not a ploy by your ex-boyfriend to get back at you?

By the sounds of it, you’re better off without the pair of them.

I hope you enjoyed Problem Page Edition 37. You can find more dating advice from your online relationship coach in these posts:-

Dating:  11 Ways To Tell They’re Really Into You

 6 Signs Your Dating Buddy Isn’t On Your Side

32 Ways To Tell They’re Just Not That Into You

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Disclaimer: All materials included in this post are intended for informational purposes only. This post/information is not intended to and should not be used to replace medical or psychiatric advice offered by physicians or other health care providers. The author will not be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, exemplary or other damages arising therefrom. 

Problem Page Edition 36 2017

This week – exes who text you after 5 months with just an emoji, co-workers who talk to themselves constantly and a 14 year old who can’t stop comparing her body to those of the Instagram models she sees online. Yes – it’s this week’s problem page.

man, woman, holding hands in a cafe -


If you would like any advice, feel free to treat me as your agony aunt. Just message me or pop a comment in the comment box at the end of this post. I promise to be gentle.

Here are this week’s questions.

Q: Should I send a song via a Spotify link to a guy I really like which describes my current feelings for him?

A: It’s a brave romantic gesture, that’s for sure. If he doesn’t have any idea that you like him he might feel a little put on the spot.

Sending someone a link to a song is something that can’t really be ignored and will need an answer, won’t it?

If you think he feels the same then, of course, you’ve nothing to lose

The question is how you will feel if he doesn’t feel the same way or simply ignores your message.

If that happens though at least you will know not to waste any more time on him.

Life’s short. Give it a whirl. Good luck.

Q: I keep comparing my body to Instagram models and it’s really affecting me.  I am 14. How do I stop this?

A: By realising that lots of these photos are FAKE.

Many of these girls use apps like Photoshop to alter their body shape, remove wrinkles, change the lighting so they look healthier – there are all sorts of tricks.

If you met lots of them on the street you would not recognise them.

And lots of them have very unhealthy health habits (like extreme dieting) which will cause long term harm to their body.

Don’t be taken in. You sound like you’re a smart girl who is rightly questioning the fairy tale you’re being spun on Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook.

If you’re feeling less than confident, chat to your mum or a close friend about this.

We all go through a phase of not feeling our body is good enough but as a mum myself now I can tell you one day in the future you’ll look back at your photos and think – you know what? I was gorgeous. Why on earth did I waste all that time worrying.

Rather than spending hours on Instagram, go out where the real people are – make friends, have fun and use your brain to study and create a great life for yourself.

Instagram will probably be old hat by the time you leave college.

Q: Is it OK for my ex-boyfriend (we were together 6 months) to post pictures of him partying and having fun a week after our breakup?

OK, we’re not kids. We’re 30+ professionals with decent jobs. We had a decent relationship but he grew out of love and broke up with me 2 weeks ago. He’s been posting pictures of his body and partying videos. He looks so happy. We have friends in common, and that is making me feel embarrassed

A: Hard though it is, he’s not doing anything wrong if you are no longer an item you know. And 6 months is not very long in terms of relationships. It obviously meant a lot more to you and that is what really hurts.

It sounds as if you are still following his every move on social media and I think you need to give yourself a break.

Since he broke up with you I would simply unfollow him and get on with my life.

What your friends make of his behaviour is up to them and is no reflection on you.

Why don’t you go out and have some fun and post some pictures of you enjoying yourself on your social media?

That would be the best revenge, surely?

Q: How risky is it to travel overseas to meet someone personally you’ve only met online?

A: There are loads of different scenarios to your question and it’s a tricky one to answer.

If you are a minor and are considering crossing the ocean to be with a romantic interest you’ve met in a chat room – as a parent, I’d say absolutely no way.

If you are an adult and have struck up a lengthy online friendship and you can validate that this person is who they say they are, then possibly – but certainly not at their home, probably not unaccompanied and with a very clear idea of what it is you are trying to achieve.

I’m sure you’ve heard of catfishing – where the unscrupulous lure lonely hearts into relationships using fake photos and fake IDs, all in an attempt to relieve them of their money.

Or all the cases of older ladies falling for handsome young men from foreign climes who are just after a visa?

Without more info on your situation it’s impossible to say but on first instinct, I’d be tempted to stay home and use Skype!

Q: Should you approach a girl, although you are not good enough for her and you know she’s not interested in you, to get her off your mind?

A: So, you want to approach a girl whom you suspect isn’t interested in you so that you can experience her rejection?

I’m not sure I see the logic.

Are you sure she isn’t interested in you? If you’ve never approached her how do you know?

Have you considered that most of the time people grow on other people. They are not hit by a bolt out of the blue. Love develops from friendship often.

Rather than build this up to a great romantic movie in your mind, try openly and honestly seeking her friendship and see where that leads.

If she doesn’t want to know then at least you will have made the effort – and it will be her loss.

That’s how you need to think. People will take you at the value you place on yourself. Make a list of your good points. Smile and take a risk.

Q: My ex texted me after 5 months of no contact.  What does he want?

My ex sent me just an emoji (a man weaving his hand= hello) I replied with the same emoji and he still didn’t text anything else. What does he want ? Is he waiting for me to text, does he just want me to be confused ? I want to ask him so bad why he would do this. Should I?

A: He is clearly testing the waters to see where he stands, albeit in a rather childish way.

I’m not sure how old you both are but if he dumped you or was unkind, in your shoes I’d be looking for a much more mature response than an emoji hello.

The ball is in your court.

If you can forgive and forget then text him back – but using words, not an emoji.

Although if he was a bit of a bastard, I believe there’s a poo emoji.

Q: Is it alright to talk to yourself constantly?

I have a coworker who talks to herself constantly, and basically it sounds like she doesn’t have an internal dialogue. She seems to verbalize every thought that happens to cross her mind. I’m not sure if this is just how she is or if it is a means of getting attention.

A: That doesn’t sound quite right to me and I would be wondering if she is unwell.

If you are not sure, is there a manager or HR officer you could raise the matter with?

I wouldn’t raise it with your coworker directly but I think you do need to seek advice, not least because it must be incredibly distracting to work with.

If you’re not sure how to broach the matter, I would say you are struggling to concentrate and are wondering if your coworker is OK.

How would you have responded to these questions? I’d love to know.

Disclaimer: All materials included in this post are intended for informational purposes only. This post/information is not intended to and should not be used to replace medical or psychiatric advice offered by physicians or other health care providers. The author will not be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, exemplary or other damages arising therefrom. 

Problem Page Edition 35 2017

This week – boyfriends who can’t ‘forget’ their last date, leaving the father of your two kids and whether a handsome 21 year old can love an ‘ugly’ 19 year old. Yes – it’s this week’s problem page.

Woman looking through glasses

If you would like any advice, feel free to treat me as your agony aunt. Just message me or pop a comment in the comment box at the end of this post. I promise to be gentle.

Here are this week’s questions.

QMy boyfriend is still friends with his last date. Should I believe that nothing will happen between them?

After we started our relationship, he found he still couldn’t stop thinking about her. We argued. Now he says he only loves me, but I find it hard to trust him. Our relationship will soon become a long distance one whilst they will meet again. What should I do? Tell him to stop being friends with her?

A: The difficulty here is that you entered a relationship with a man knowing he wasn’t over his last one.

It sounds as if he is not completely over her, despite his protestations of love for you.

You could tell him to stop being friends with her but I suspect it won’t make any difference.

Your best bet is remain calm, dignified and to not put up with any nonsense from him.

I may have got the man entirely wrong but someone who loves you would be doing all they could to remove your fears.

You don’t say how long you will be away for but when you are away I would feel perfectly entitled to date other people.

And this time make sure they are really free to love again and not still hung up on their ex.

Q: My female friend never contacts me first. We are close friends but it makes me really sad when I think of this. Why do you think she does that?

We are close friends. Sometimes we talk for long hours on the phone till late night. But I’m always the one who starts the conversations.  I feel if I stop contacting her, she will never contact me again). Don’t you think she’s being selfish here or am I thinking wrong?

A: Some people are leaders and some are followers, happy to be led and for everyone else to take the initiative.

This may be one explanation for her behaviour.

But have you considered that she might be finding long conversations into the night intrusive or a bit annoying when she might just want to go to sleep?

And are these conversations always all about you?

Friendship has to be a two way thing and if she is not taking the initiative to call you it might just be that she doesn’t want to be stuck on the phone for hours when she has other stuff to do.

I think you might need to take the hint here.

Q: How can I get her to understand that I don’t love her?

I met this girl online and we just started chatting.  Now she says she loves me madly but I don’t feel the same way. She has become quite desperate and says if I don’t love her she’ll commit suicide. What do I do?

A: If you have never met this girl it is highly unlikely that she truly ‘loves you madly’.

It sounds as if she is using emotional blackmail to keep you online.

It also sounds as if she isn’t very well.

As long as you are sure that she has other friends and family around her to take care of her then the best thing to do here is to explain clearly that you don’t feel the same way and that it’s best if you stop chatting because this is NOT what you want.

You are not helping by continuing to chat and giving her false hope.

If you do have any mutual friends it would be worth mentioning to them that you are concerned about her threats to kill herself so that they can keep an eye on her.

At the end of the day though, however, harsh this may seem, she is not your responsibility.

I would also be a little more cautious and rein in the flirting and flattery next time you talk to a girl online before you have met them in the REAL world.

The internet is not real life.

Q: I started talking to this guy and he told me that he has been cheated on twice. Should I be worried if he shows signs of insecurity?

He took a screenshot of one of my Facebook posts where another guy corrected my grammar. I responded “oops, thanks for catching that :)” and he WENT NUTS. He said I was too friendly with guys, and started getting pretty upset. Mind you, we barely have 2 weeks of constant texting. Should I drop him?

A: How many warning bells, klaxons and sirens do you need to tell you that this man has serious issues and is not a good bet for a relationship?

Have you actually met him?

Can’t you see that trying to control your behaviour after ‘barely 2 weeks of texting’ is not only completely unreasonable but deeply unhealthy?

Already you are trying to placate him. If he had screen-shotted my Facebook post, my response would have been, frankly, “it’s Facebook and I will talk to whoever I like. I really don’t feel you should be dictating to me at this stage in our friendship”.

Drop him? I would run for the hills.

Q: Can a 21 year old handsome guy date a 19 year old ugly girl?

A: I don’t think there’s such a thing as ugly. Sure, some people are more attractive than others but the true gauge of beauty is how they treat other people.

If you are seeking relationships based on something as shallow as appearance, somewhere along the line you will come unstuck.

Looks fade you know and there has to be a friendship supporting the relationship or it will, like the youthful bloom of your skin, just vanish.

Sadly, those who are more attractive tend to know it and seek out those who match their own estimation of themselves.

Not all, of course, but if you are chasing the local beauty (whether male or female) you are going to have a lot of competition.

And teens / twentysomethings don’t always have the maturity to recognise that it’s someone’s heart that matters, not their face.

The question you need to ask (and I can’t tell if you are the guy or the girl here) is whether they are a nice, decent person who will make you happy.

If their primary occupation is seeking validation from others through flirting or admiring their own reflection, I’d suggest you leave them to enjoy their moment in the sun and find someone more worthy of your affections.

Q: How do I leave my partner with whom I have two kids?

Until now I stayed mostly for the kids but also because it’s always seemed easier than leaving. We have ZERO in common and until now we were good for the kids. It now seems that we can’t even  agree on what was said in a conversation 10 minutes ago, I think the kids would be better with us separate.

A: Not without causing a great deal of pain and heartache to all involved – including yourself I suspect.

You don’t say why you want to leave but if they are unfaithful, or cruel or abusive then it’s understandable.

It’s trickier if you have just grown apart and have nothing in common any more because many people will tell you to grown up and put up with it for the sake of the kids.

Once we have children, really, our own happiness should take second place to theirs – in my view at least.

Have you really done all you can? Talked, had counselling, thought about the repercussions on your children’s lives?

It’s an incredibly hard, life-changing decision and there are no easy answers.

Q: Our relationship is moving too fast.  How do I tell my boyfriend I need to slow things down?

A: I think you need to be clear about what ‘slowing down’ means.

Do you mean you are spending too much time together? Do you mean you are not ready for a sexual relationship? Do you mean you don’t see him as a life partner? Do you mean you don’t want children with him?

Or are you really saying you’ve had enough but don’t have the courage to leave him?

The man deserves the truth and some honest communication, not game playing with his feelings.

And you need to own your feelings and tell him exactly what you need.

How would you have responded to these questions? I’d love to know.

Disclaimer: All materials included in this post are intended for informational purposes only. This post/information is not intended to and should not be used to replace medical or psychiatric advice offered by physicians or other health care providers. The author will not be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, exemplary or other damages arising therefrom. 

Don’t Miss The Chance To Rekindle Your Romance

Now I wasn’t aware of this but there are some who take the opportunity to celebrate their relationship on the 6 month anniversary of Valentines Day – August 14th.  Yes folk, we’ve just missed Rekindle Your Romance Week.

bride and groom holding hands sat on a wooden bridge, rekindle your romance tips,

Not that you should need a special week or day to tell each other you love them / hate them / wish they had never been born depending on your mood.

Freud said the opposite of love is indifference not hate – lest you think my tone is slightly violent.

In my problem page, I regularly find people who have lost relationships they later deeply pined for simply because they didn’t pay attention and nurture their romance.

That sense of connection needs more than sex – it needs talking, shared goals and ambitions, passions, interests and the willingness to say sorry when called for (and even sometimes when it isn’t even your fault).

Choosey Cards, the makers of the rather sweet video I include here asked 100 couples what they did to keep their love alive – all year round and here’s what they found.

1.      Travel Together

Travelling together can help you bond, and exploring a new place in the UK or abroad can be a welcome change to your normal routine. It reduces stress, builds intimacy, and helps the two of you learn more about each other. It’s also a great way to give you more to talk about and create lasting memories together.

2.      Remember, The Small Things Count

Showing you care, doesn’t have to be with extravagant gestures, sometimes the smallest of gestures can have a big impact. Stock up on your partners favourite food for a little surprise after a tough day at work. Never skip an episode ahead on your favourite TV show. And don’t assume romantic cards are just for Valentine’s Day. It may seem like a dated way to communicate but in fact the research shows that nearly a third of couples buy each other ‘just because’ cards, with the highest age group being the millennials.

3.      Make Each Other Laugh

Sometimes life can get serious, work can be tough, and we forget to laugh. The study found that the closer and more relaxed couples were with each other, the more they would laugh. Be it reminiscing, teasing or observing the world around them, laughter is an underrated way to share more. Couples that share jokes report higher levels of intimacy and understanding, from reducing awkwardness on the first date to squashing tension during a heated moment.

4.      Between the Sheets

If your sex life starts to dull down and perhaps even become routine, it’s important to make time for intimacy. The research found couples said sex was an important part of staying close to the other – mentally as well as physically – and they spiced things up by trying something new. Broadening your horizons together can be an adventure that lets you learn more about yourselves and each other.

5.      Tell Them How You Feel

Choosey’s research found that 66% of couples said “I love you” daily, however 8% of couples never say it. Those three little words are incredibly powerful offering a sense of security that can’t be misinterpreted. Let your loved one know that they are special, that you do care, that you still love them. It doesn’t have to be done through an elaborate poem, just be open, be real, and be honest.

Those of us in the 26% of couples who say “I love you” occasionally should perhaps try to be a little more expressive.

You never know, it might stop the wet towels on the bed, the ever empty toilet roll holder and get you a night out with the girls.

Here’s hoping.

3 selfless acts we should all consider

For a lot of us, life is a busy whirlwind of family, work and social events, making it difficult to free up time to step back and look at what we can do for those around us. If you’d like to find out the ways in which you can selflessly give back, keep reading.

man, hand, rose, charity,

1. Donate to charity

Donating to charity is a great way to give selflessly, and there are a number of ways you can do this. For example, you could make a monetary contribution. Whether you’re able to give a little or a lot, this can make a huge difference to those who need it most.

You could make a one off payment, sign up for regular contributions or, if you’re Muslim, you could choose to make a donation by giving Zakat. However you decide to do it, there are some charities, such as Human Appeal, that allow you to make contributions online quickly and easily.

Aside from giving money, there are a range of other ways you can make donations. For example, you could donate your unwanted belongings to your local charity shop. These organisations are usually able to accept a variety of different items, including clothing, shoes, books and ornaments, while some shops can take in larger items such as electrical appliances and pieces of furniture.

While you may no longer want some of your belongings, someone else might, giving the charity shop the opportunity to raise funds for a worthwhile cause.

2. Volunteer your time

In today’s world, time is precious, and it can be easy to get so wrapped up in our own lives that we forget to look around us to see if other people need our help. So, if you’re looking for a way to utilise your time to do something good, you could volunteer. Whether it’s for a few hours or a couple of days a week, there are a number of ways you can spend your time helping others.

From serving the homeless at a soup kitchen, to visiting unwell children in hospital, you shouldn’t struggle to find a whole host of projects you can get involved in within your local community. Volunteering is a fantastic use of your time and can have a positive, uplifting impact on others.

3. Give blood

It’s no secret that giving blood can save lives. So, if you’re looking for a way to help make a difference, why not sign up to be a donor? Blood donations can be used for a variety of procedures, whether it’s in an emergency or for long-term treatment, ultimately helping those who need it most.

You can give blood if you’re between the ages of 17 and 65 and as long as you’re healthy, fit and weigh over 50kg. You could donate as a one off or you might decide to give blood on a regular basis. You can find out how and where to give blood by searching online.

Regardless of what you choose to do, spending time selflessly helping others is the first step to making the world a happier place.

Problem Page Edition 33 2017

This week – can you love someone but still have affairs and would you date someone with bad teeth? Yes – it’s this week’s problem page.

Woman in swimsuit standing at water's edge-mother distracted problem page

If you would like any advice, feel free to treat me as your agony aunt. Just message me or pop a comment in the comment box at the end of this post. I promise to be gentle.

Here are this week’s questions.

QIs it possible to get an ex-girlfriend back after you were abusive and insecure?

I’ve taken the first step to get professional help after I realized that I am mentally and emotionally unhealthy. I have pushed away the only person who tried to love me into wholeness again and I have lost her completely. Is it possible to get her back once I turn my life around?

A: Without wishing to downplay your seeking professional help for being ‘mentally and emotionally unhealthy’, and not in the least being flippant, lots of us are you know.

Before you rush to label yourself and berate yourself I think you need to examine whether you have just discovered that your behaviour has consequences.

Sometimes we can get into a pattern of behaviour and pick people who put up with it. In fact we choose them so that they do.

Sometimes, however, we find someone who won’t put up with our BS and calls us out on it.

That doesn’t mean we need counselling necessarily.

Rather than wallow in guilt and self reproach, a more useful starting point would be to see if she will talk so that you can apologise, sincerely, for whatever it was you did.

Be sure, though, that your behaviour was unreasonable.

You don’t need to wait until ‘you turn your life around’ – what does that mean? She could be long gone by then.

Apologise now, apologize sincerely and see if at least there is a basis for a friendship which could be rebuilt into a relationship at some point.

Good luck.

Q: Is it possible for a person to love someone seriously but have multiple affairs with others?

A: Your question will divide opinion. Some people are quite happy to have sex separately from their ‘main relationship’, probably to the misery of their current partner. They don’t see it as any form of commitment.

The majority, I suspect would say if you truly love someone you have no need for multiple affairs.

If you do something is missing from the relationship I think.

And there’s no justification in having multiple affairs behind someone’s back – nor on the basis that you have told them that you’re not going to be ‘tied down’.

Hearts are fragile things and those who pursue sex for its own ends tend to break quite a few leaving a trail of misery in their wake.

Who’d want that as an epitaph?

Q: My girlfriend says she loves me, but doesn’t think she is in love with me. She says, evidence suggests she is in love with me. What does this mean?
I asked her: If she wants a relationship with me, is happy with me, likes being with me, loves me, cares about me, sees me in her future, is excited to see me and is attracted to me. To all this she answered yes. She also said she likes holding my hand, hugging me, kissing me and having sex with me.
A: Sometimes I think people get so hung up on analysing their relationship they forget – to have a relationship!

All this analysing of feelings is a bit wishy washy don’t you think? Why are you asking her if she wants a relationship with you if she’s already in a relationship with you?!

I think you need to make yourself more attractive by playing a little more ‘hard to get’.

Rather than worrying about whether she loves you as a friend or is in love with you, make yourself more of a challenge.

Let her wonder how YOU feel for a change.

Focus on yourself for a bit. See your mates. Indulge in a little light flirting.

I think you’re trying way too hard.

Humans are funny. Sometimes if they get steak given to them on a plate, they’ll still go out for a burger.

Time to make yourself a little LESS easy to get.

Think of your current girlfriend as one of a number of options open to you.

Stop asking her all the time how she feels – that’s a real passion killer.

Making yourself less available will crystalize her thoughts nicely on whether she loves you or not.

Q: Has your ex ever come back to you when it has seemed impossible?

I broke up with my ex 3 years ago. Lately I have confessed my love for him without any intention of getting back together because we had a nasty break-up.  I don’t think I can commit myself but he doesn’t seem interested any more either.

A: Sometimes there’s too much water under the bridge and you know somebody so well that even if they did come back you couldn’t forgive, forget or trust.

Sadly when you get to that point – which is where I suspect you are – it’s time to let it go.

That doesn’t mean you don’t regret the loss of the relationship. You say you confessed your love for him and perhaps you mean it but I suspect you are really missing the good times when things worked – before whatever triggered the nasty breakup.

After 3 years I think it’s time to move on. Has he? Are you confessing your love to someone who has a new partner? A new life?

That’s not good for you, you know, after all this time.

It’s normal to hanker after the good times, seeing them all through ‘rose tinted spectacles’ but when you feel like that remember the BS, the bad times, the break-up and ask yourself – do I really still love him? Or what he used to represent?

He’s not interested. You couldn’t commit to him even if he was.

Don’t waste any more time – go out and find someone new to love and create a happy, functional relationship because, by the sound of it, you deserve it.

Q: Would you date someone with bad teeth?

That’s a really interesting question and the answer, for me, would be no – unless I knew that he intended to get them fixed.

A: It’s not really about the teeth.

It’s the fact that he didn’t care enough about himself to get his teeth fixed.

Now I appreciate dental fees are really expensive so no blame attached there but someone who takes care of their appearance – and values themselves to make taking care of their appearance a priority – is always going to be more attractive than someone who is a bit of a slob.

I do think you have to define ‘bad teeth’ though.

There are so many ‘Hollywood smiles’, so many veneers that are so white you need sunglasses (which I personally don’t find attractive).

Normal teeth come in a variety of shades – from white to yellow – and are rarely perfectly aligned – mine certainly aren’t!

But I clean them regularly and see my dentist at least every 3 months. I am lucky though. Here in the UK we have Denplan (an insurance system) which I am able to afford.

If you have ‘normal’ teeth I don’t see it as an issue.

If you have gaps, blackened teeth, bad breath or any other dental problem then you need to get it sorted – not just to improve your chances of romance but because gum disease can trigger other diseases such as heart disease.

I can’t think of many dental problems that couldn’t be changed. My dad had dentures from a very early age and he’s been married to my mum for over 50 years.

And, lastly, a kind heart and soul always beats nice teeth.

Q: How should you react to someone flirting with your wife or girlfriend even if they know you are together?

A: It depends whether this is a consistent ongoing campaign, or a one off flirtatious gesture at an event like a wedding or party?

If it’s the latter then I’d just say something loudly in front of them like “I’m a lucky guy she’s coming home with me aren’t I”?

If it’s an ongoing flirtation then firstly you need to make sure your wife or girlfriend isn’t encouraging it – in which case your first conversation needs to be with her – or if not I would take them to one side and ask them what they are playing at.

Be sure, if you do that though, that they are openly flirting and you are not over-reacting – in which case you could look like a bit of a prawn.

Either way faint heart ne’er won fair lady.

Speak up and address the behaviour if it’s more than a one off.

Q: Is it OK for a woman to make the first move and propose to a guy she really loves?

A: Do you mean ask them out on a date or ask them to marry you?

Either way it’s OK, although the last one is a bit more of a risk.

I think the events of recent weeks (particularly here in the UK ) have reminded us all that life is bloody short and I’d say take a risk.

Men have to handle rejection so why shouldn’t we?

Better to know where you stand I always think, than to waste precious years on someone who really doesn’t want to be with you.

How would you have responded to these questions? I’d love to know.

Disclaimer: All materials included in this post are intended for informational purposes only. This post/information is not intended to and should not be used to replace medical or psychiatric advice offered by physicians or other health care providers. The author will not be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, exemplary or other damages arising therefrom. 

Problem Page Edition 32 2017

This week – when you still miss your ex after 3 months and whether you can still find love at the age of 34.

Man, woman and dog chilling together, problem page edition 32

If you would like any advice, feel free to treat me as your agony aunt. Just message me or pop a comment in the comment box at the end of this post. I promise to be gentle.

Here are this week’s questions.

Q: Should I tell my ex about my hidden bad feelings or should I keep trying to maintain our friendship?

I feel spite (she cheated and left me for that guy) and I want to be her friend.  She’s cool and quite alone and has a lot of problems, but I don’t feel like I can listen to those anymore, and I never said it. So it would be a crappy friendship… but I have to get things off my chest

A: It’s not much of a friendship is it, if you’re secretly bubbling with ‘spite’ as you put it.

It sounds more as if you want to keep in contact with her so you can get your revenge at some point.

You either have to forgive her and concentrate on being a good, supportive friend or accept that the relationship has soured and move on.

If you want to get things off your chest write it all down in a letter and then burn it.

She made her feelings clear when she left you for someone else.

Time for you to concentrate on the future, not the past.

 Q: Is it possible for a girl to maintain a friendship with someone who is in love with her? Nothing more? Or is she getting something more out of it?

She is already in a relationship. She loves her boyfriend, She respects the other guy, although she turns him down every time he tries to tell her that he loves her, but she never avoids him or tries to cut him out of her life.  But when he tries to cut her out of his life, she tries to make him  stay.

A: You wouldn’t happen to be the ‘other guy’ in this scenario would you?

This girl is understandably confused because she has two men vying for her affection and she doesn’t want to hurt either of them.

She does need, however, to make a choice and not lead the second man on.

You say she tries to make him stay when he tries to leave. Surely he needs to be a little firmer and tell her clearly that he will be back when she has made her choice, or is single.

Because if her current boyfriend knows about this, he might not be around for long.

Man 2 needs to find someone else to date and get on with enjoying his life, rather than playing second fiddle to her boyfriend and her need to feel adored.

Q: Do you think a parent has the right to restrict their child’s vocabulary?

The parent says “I pay the bills, so you do as I say”. Do you think that they can restrict the child’s vocabulary on this basis?

When I say restrict vocabulary, I mean swearing. And it’s not a question of their opinion on the word, as they swear often.

A: No I don’t, necessarily. But if we are talking about swearing, using obscenities and generally disrespectful language then yes I do.

My kids are 9 and 8 and love to push the boundaries by using swear words to shock and get a reaction.

That’s pretty normal at their age I think.

But I tell them that it isn’t acceptable, when they have their own homes they can swear all they like and actually talking like that doesn’t make them seem all that intelligent.

Some people don’t bother about swearing and that’s fine. But lots do and if you are going out into the working world or dealing with older people, you need to learn when it is appropriate.

It’s all about fitting in as an adult – and growing up.

Q: Why do I still miss my ex after 3 months?

I feel stupid for missing him because he broke up with me over the fact that I have a child. I hate that I miss him. We were together for 3 yrs – my daughter was one when we got together. How can I erase him from my mind? Maybe date others? I feel that I can never forgive myself for being with him.

A: Very often we can’t help who we love and that your ex turned out to be unable to cope with step-fatherhood is not your fault.

Your daughter is now 4, is that right? In your shoes I would be livid that he had spent the last 3 years building a relationship with my daughter only to abandon her when, presumably, the novelty wore off.

Isn’t that what you should be focusing on?

I am sure everyone is telling you you can do a lot better. You don’t need to throw yourself into dating. Take some time off to spend with your daughter.

Are you sure your daughter is the only reason he left? It sounds a bit out of the blue. Were you hoping to start a new family with him? Isn’t there more to it?

Time to get angry on behalf of your daughter and vow that your next man will be worthy of both you – and her.

Q: Is monitoring your girlfriend’s phone after she cheats with an app wrong if that app gave information about more cheating that she didn’t admit to?

A: Has she confessed to any of it?

In your shoes, I wouldn’t be faffing around with her phone, I’d be looking for a new girlfriend.

If she is still cheating this isn’t really going anywhere is it?

I understand your need to check her out (I’m assuming this is Tinder) but I’m not sure what will be achieved, other than you feeling more hurt and betrayed.

If she’s not confessed then it’s time for some pretty straight talking and you need to tell her that if she wants you to stay then the cheating stops.

All you can do then is try to trust her. You can’t check up on her 24/7.

To be honest I think the trust has gone here and it’s time to move on.

Q: My girlfriend wants to break up with me even though she professed her love for me just last week. Can I save this relationship?

A: Well what has changed in a week?

It sounds as if she didn’t mean what she said and felt under pressure to tell you she loved you because she didn’t want to hurt your feelings.

I am sorry for your predicament but if you want to save the relationship you need to talk to her and listen to how she truly feels.

Because I don’t think she’s been entirely honest.

Until you know that you won’t be in a position to decide whether or not your relationship can be saved.

Q: Is 34 too old to find love?

A: Of course not. Why ever would you think it would be?

Age has absolutely nothing to do with it – a happy disposition, a zest for life and an interest in other people will draw love to you at any age.

If, however, the only thing you focus on is finding love, then desperation is unattractive.

Being happy in your own skin and in your own company, on the other hand, will make you far more attractive.

Put the ‘checklist’ away and go out and meet people, enjoy yourself and see what happens.

How would you have responded to these questions? I’d love to know.

Disclaimer: All materials included in this post are intended for informational purposes only. This post/information is not intended to and should not be used to replace medical or psychiatric advice offered by physicians or other health care providers. The author will not be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, exemplary or other damages arising therefrom. 

If You Don’t Fancy Him – Problem Page

This week – can you have a successful relationship if you don’t fancy him and what to do if he never lets you hang out with his mates – but other women do.

Man and woman holding hands

If you would like any advice, feel free to treat me as your agony aunt. Just message me or pop a comment in the comment box at the end of this post. I promise to be gentle.

In this edition:-

  • what will he think if you have sex with him after he dumps you?
  • how do you know if you should leave your boyfriend?
  • can you have a successful relationship if you don’t fancy him?
  • what does it mean if she already has a boyfriend but lets you kiss her?
  • will your ex contact you if you haven’t heard from him for a month?
  • how do you know if you’re really in love?
  • when he doesn’t take you to hang out with his friends

Question: What does a guy think of me if I still have sex with him after he dumped me months ago when we were dating?

8 months ago he dumped me saying he is not ready to commit as he had come out from a 4-year long relationship. The problem is I am in love and we keep seeing each other for sex. If I hadn’t stupidly decided to stick around, would he have seen me worthy to be his girlfriend or it would it all have just ended earlier?

Answer: Basically you have given him everything on a plate. There is no reason, currently, for him to chase you, pursue you or romance you because you are there, willingly giving him everything he wants.

Being in love is no reason to be a doormat you know – and it certainly won’t make him either love nor respect you.

I think if you have any chance with this man (and I wonder why you’d want him after he dumped you with the old ‘I’m not ready to commit’ excuse), then you need to start playing hard to get.

I suspect it’s a little late in the day now but you stand a far greater chance if you say I’m not seeing you any more (and especially not giving you sex) unless we are in a committed relationship.

Then don’t call, don’t text, don’t stalk his social media accounts.

Because he is really interested he will contact you and if he doesn’t, to be honest, I think you would be far better off kicking his rather sorry backside into touch.

If he knows you love him but he doesn’t feel the same way and is using you for sex, that doesn’t really make him a very nice person, does it?

Question: How do I know if I should leave my boyfriend?

I have been in a long distance relationship for a year and a half with a guy 13 years older than me, and it frustrates me that he doesn’t seem to want to travel to be with me. I am lonely all the time, but leaving him might make it worse. What do I do?

Answer: How could leaving him make it worse if he’s never with you?

Long distance relationships are notoriously difficult and to be honest I really don’t understand why people put themselves through it.

You mention the age gap but unless he’s a pensioner and practically immobile, I really don’t see what being 13 years older has got to do with it.

The point here is that he is not making any effort.

From the tone of your question, I’d say you have had enough and you don’t need to feel guilty about leaving someone who is clearly making absolutely no effort to be with you.

Isn’t there someone attractive, single and possibly younger closer to home you could date?

A year and a half is surely long enough for him to decide whether he should move himself to be with you.

Question: Can you have a successful relationship without being physically attractive to your partner? What if you don’t fancy him?

I have been seeing this gentleman for a couple of weeks and the time we spend together is great. He treats me like an angel and pampers me all the time. He is older but we get along great. The sex is amazing but the only thing is I’m not physically attracted to him.

A: If the sex is amazing, then you must be physically attracted to him, to an extent.

Isn’t the problem here that you are struggling to deal with the fact that he is older?

These days age really isn’t an issue. He’s kind, generous, cares for you and the sex is amazing.

I’m not sure what else you want.

There are plenty of younger men out there of course, but you might be trading this kind, mature man, for a younger bloke who hasn’t a clue how to treat you and who doesn’t have the wherewithal to make you happy.

You also say you’ve only been seeing this man for a couple of weeks. It’s a little early to stress out about this, don’t you think?

Why not just enjoy his company and see where it goes. The test will be how you feel a few months down the line. When the haze of the initial attraction wears off that’s usually when we find out what people are really like and how they treat us.

It’s really far too soon to tell.

Question: If a girl has a boyfriend but allows you to kiss her, does it mean she loves you?

Answer: Of course it doesn’t. It merely means that she finds you attractive not that she is about to leave her boyfriend for you.

It could be flirtation, and nothing more.

If you don’t think there’s any chance she will leave her boyfriend for you, I wouldn’t waste any more time on her. Go and find a girl you can kiss without worrying about her boyfriend coming to look for you.

Question: It has been a month and my ex hasn’t contacted me. Will he ever contact me?

We had a very messy breakup. He turned cold and I told him that we should stop talking since he was behaving so rudely to me. He left me since he wanted to pursue his studies and career. Then he said that he can live without me but I can’t live without him. Hence I never called him again.

Answer: It’s always hard to accept that a relationship is over when you are still harbouring feelings for your ex but, in all honesty, this man has given you no indication whatsoever that he is going to change his mind and come back.

I doubt you calling would have made any difference – merely given him the opportunity to be rude to you again.

I think, hard though it is, you need to forget this man and get on with your own studies and career.

The best revenge, they say, is success and frankly I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of knowing I was moping when he’s off building his career.

Have you any good friends to spend some time with – who could help you take your mind off things?

I think that’s what you need right now.

Question: How do I know if I’m truly in love with my partner?

I KNOW that I have relationship anxiety (Romantic Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) but it’s like I can’t figure out if I truly love him or not.

A: When you say you KNOW that you have relationship obsessive-compulsive disorder, have you been diagnosed with this by a psychologist – or is this your own interpretation?

Forgive me but people use these terms (particularly OCD) incorrectly sometimes to indicate an obsession which, with a bit of self-control and willingness CAN be controlled. True sufferers cannot their obsessions – and certainly not without a lot of help from qualified professionals.

What I am asking is – are you really saying you are a hopeless romantic waiting for the full ‘Disney’ experience – the violins, the roses, the passion?

Because very often these don’t actually turn up – despite the fact that we may love our partners very much indeed.

Friendship, respect, kindness, affection and, yes, sex, are a much better list of ‘ingredients’ for a loving relationship.

If you have these you aren’t going far wrong.

A good ‘acid test’ is if you can envisage yourself living happily without them – or if you find yourself looking forward to being apart.

Everyone needs some alone time but if you find you need days and weeks then I’d suggest you are certainly not in love.

Rather than analyse your relationship to death (and if you truly have ROCD then I understand), why not focus on others.

When we obsess it’s usually all about us – which isn’t very attractive.

If you make sure your life includes friends, family, hobbies, self-development, sports and so forth then it will soon become clear if there’s truly room for your current partner.

Question: My boyfriend never takes me to hang out with his friends. What should I do?

Some of them don’t like me. Plus he says that due to cultural reasons the women of his friends don’t hang out with them either, which is true, but other women friends are often with them. And it’s not just a guy thing. So this really bothers me.

Answer: Your boyfriend is just making excuses and I think at heart you know that.

A good boyfriend would WANT to show you off and to introduce you to all his friends.

This sounds more like a case of ‘having my girlfriend with me cramps my style’ and in your shoes, I would be asking myself whether I could be bothered to stay with him.

I’m not sure why some of his friends don’t like you – did he tell you this?

And what are these ‘cultural reasons’ the other girls don’t hang out with his mates either?

I hate to say it but I suspect you’re being played for a fool.

How would you have responded to these questions? I’d love to know. You can find more advice on my problem page.

Disclaimer: All materials included in this post are intended for informational purposes only. This post/information is not intended to and should not be used to replace medical or psychiatric advice offered by physicians or other health care providers. The author will not be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, exemplary or other damages arising therefrom. 

Problem Page Edition 30 2017

This week – should you hug your married friends when you greet them, confessing your love to a work colleague and what to do when he forgets your one year anniversary.

Woman in a bikini lying in the water on the edge of the seashore

If you would like any advice, feel free to treat me as your agony aunt. Just message me or pop a comment in the comment box at the end of this post. I promise to be gentle.

Here are this week’s questions.

Q: Whenever I like a guy, I always find out the next day that he has a girlfriend. Should I ignore him and move on?

A: How can you not know if a guy has a girlfriend? Are you meeting these guys when they’re out and about in the evening in clubs and bars?

One of the first questions I’d be asking is “are you seeing anyone at the moment” when it becomes clear the relationship has potential.

Rather than chase men who are ‘safe’ because they have girlfriends and there’s no risk of commitment, why don’t you look for love elsewhere – via friends, hobbies, sport etc and really get to know them.

That way you will know if they are single and have the chance to form a relationship that has far more potential than a quick fling after a night on the town.

Q: Women are advised to date a minimum of 3 guys at a time, otherwise she will be taken for granted. What should you do if you can’t find another 2 guys?

Women are told that if they only date 1 guy at a time, he will take her for granted and never ask for commitment because you’re not seeing anyone else anyway. If you can’t find 2 more guys you want to date, should you lower your standards?

A: Where on earth did you get that piece of advice from? I would have thought the more guys you date the more you will be taken for granted and the less likely you will be to win any kind of exclusive relationship.

Game playing in relationships rarely works. There is no ‘formula’ and playing with people’s feelings generally means you’ll end up alone.

My advice would be to find one man at a time to date and if he doesn’t show you respect and kindness, move on.

Q: How can I get him to understand that I’m trying to move past what happened to me in the past and for him to bring it up all the time doesn’t help?

A: You have to be firmer and tell him, unconditionally, that you do NOT want to discuss it any more and when he does raise it, change the subject or simply walk away.

That’s fine unless what happened to you in the past also involves your boyfriend because if it does then it may be understandable that he needs to talk about it.

In that case professional counselling for both of you might be an idea because it sounds like you both need help to move forward.

Q: I met a married lady friend and we greeted with a hug. Was it wrong of me if my hand slid from her back to her lower waist and she removed my hand?

A: It depends whether you were trying to, as the expression goes, ‘cop a feel’.

If it was an accident then you have nothing to worry about.

If you were flirting with her, she clearly didn’t like it so if you want to keep her friendship I wouldn’t do it again.

Who instigated the hug? People’s attitudes to physical contact when greeting varies of course, but I don’t usually hug my married friends – particularly not ones of the opposite sex.

Q: If you and your boyfriend agree on taking a break due to personal health reasons and he cheats on you within 3 weeks, how are you supposed to take it?

A: Why would you instigate a break for ‘personal health’ reasons? Was it you or him? People don’t usually split up because one of them is unwell – that’s all the more reason to care for one another (remember the ‘in sickness and in health’ line in marriage vows?).

If it was him then I’m afraid he was using his health as an excuse to break up.

If it was you then I don’t understand why you would ask for a break as such.

In any case, I always think ‘breaks’ of any kind are usually an excuse for the instigator of the break to go off and sleep with other people.

I’m sorry he cheated on you but I suspect you’re much better off without him.

Q: How do you tell someone you work with that you love her?

A: Love is a very strong word. Don’t you mean you find them very attractive and have a crush on them? Without knowing someone I’d hesitate to call it love.

If she is married or in a relationship I’m afraid you’ll need to keep your feelings to yourself.

Does she have any idea you feel this way? Are you friends? Do you talk to each other?

If you have no idea how she feels about you, announcing your love might freak her out a bit.

I’d also be careful if she’s senior or your boss.

I would concentrate (if she is single) on developing a friendship with her – ask her out for a coffee or something, get to know her as a person and take it from there.

Q: Is it okay to be upset at my boyfriend? It’s our one year anniversary and I got dressed up thinking we’d do something special.

It’s our one year anniversary and he went out and ate and came back. I hadn’t eaten, having dressed up thinking we’d do something special together. Is it okay to be upset about this?

A: Men don’t ascribe the same importance to birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions that we do. 

Lots of them show affection in completely different ways and HATE being made to show affection – Valentines Day is a case in point.

You don’t say whether this is a wedding anniversary or the anniversary of you being together.

If it’s the latter, it’s possible he doesn’t see it as particularly significant.

Did he know it was your anniversary? Had you discussed it in advance or did you just expect him to automatically remember?

Again, if it was a wedding anniversary I would have been a bit miffed but I would have made sure something was booked in advanced and I’d told him we were going out.

This is a tricky one because if you aren’t married and you create a hoo-hah about him missing this, then you may end up having the ‘commitment conversation’. Are you hoping the relationship will go long term? Do you know how he feels?

Are you prepared for the fact that he might not see this as a long term thing?

You know it’s not so much how we’re treated on special occasions that counts, more how we’re treated through the rest of the year and if he’s a decent, honest, faithful bloke who’s just made a bit of a cock-up, I’d forgive him and book somewhere nice for you to go next weekend.

Definitely a situation to play by ear – and make sure you take charge of next time.

How would you have responded to these questions? I’d love to know. You can find more advice on my problem page

Disclaimer: All materials included in this post are intended for informational purposes only. This post/information is not intended to and should not be used to replace medical or psychiatric advice offered by physicians or other health care providers. The author will not be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, exemplary or other damages arising therefrom. 

Problem Page Edition 29 2017

This week – whether you can get pregnant naturally at 45, sisters who scream at you and why guys tell you they don’t want a family and then start one with the very next girl who comes along.

Man and a woman in red swimwear perched on a rock overlooking a bright blue sea

If you would like any advice, feel free to treat me as your agony aunt. Just message me or pop a comment in the comment box at the end of this post. I promise to be gentle.

Here are this week’s questions.

Q: Can I get pregnant at age 45?

A: I had my son at 45 and conceived naturally so yes it is perfectly possible.

A woman can conceive until she hits menopause, when she runs out of eggs and her periods stop.

There are risks associated with a later pregnancy and the chances of natural conception do reduce at that age. The chances of chromosomal abnormalities increase at this late age (e.g. Downs Syndrome) so you have to weigh up the risks with the benefits.

The main challenge, in my experience, is after the baby’s born – making sure you stay fit and healthy so that you live long enough to see your child grow up.

Q: I’m loyal to my boyfriend but he doesn’t trust me at all.  What can I do?

A: In a way this isn’t your issue -it’s your boyfriend’s. If someone is insecure, they need to learn to deal with their own anxiety, rather than expecting everyone else to treat them with kid gloves.

All you can do is reassure him of your loyalty and your feelings for him but don’t start curtailing your behaviour so that he effectively controls you.

For example, cutting contact with friends and family, wearing what he wants, always going where he wants to go – just so that he can ‘trust’ you.

If you are naturally flirty, you might want to tone your flirting down when you are with him, but I think he’s going to have to learn to trust you.

Q: Why am I so irresponsible about working on my relationship after my emotional affair?

I cheated on my girlfriend with many women (emotional affairs) over many years. She found out and we are now working through it. I want to be with her. Yet, every time I want to work on fixing it, I seem to procrastinate or am not able to cope or organise my thoughts to rebuild the relationship.

A: In other words, you don’t really want to be with her, you want to take the guilt away.

If you are procrastinating or not working to make things better, all you are doing is compounding the problem.

If you don’t think you can commit to the relationship then don’t break her heart again.

It doesn’t matter if the affairs were emotional or not she probably feels completely betrayed.

You might start by asking yourself where this need for constant attention from other women comes from.

It might be better to seek therapy on your own before you continue further with this relationship.

If she hadn’t found out would you actually have told her?

If the answer to that is no, then you definitely owe it to her to have a clean break and sort yourself out.

Q: Why would a guy tell you that he doesn’t want kids but goes and has kids with someone else?

A: Because he’s using the kids thing as an excuse and the real reason he left was because the relationship wasn’t right.

Sometimes it’s also a matter of timing – literally right woman, right place, right time.

It can be really unfair, can’t it.

But if you want kids of your own then he doesn’t sound an ideal father for them. Honesty is hugely important in a relationship and he certainly failed at that one.

Q: Every day my sister screams in my left ear and I am starting to lose my hearing. No one cares so I cannot get an ear checkup. What should I do?

Every time I ask her to stop she will yell in my ear again as “punishment”. I keep asking my parents to take me to get a checkup for my ear but neither of them care about it. It has been harder and harder for me to hear through up and I get ear pains. Even now she is screaming in my ear.

A: You don’t say how old your sister is but this is a form of bullying and I think you need, firstly, to be firmer with your parents and tell them you want it to stop.

Secondly I think you need to buy some earplugs (in the UK you can buy some in Boots called Muffles which are around £2.49) and when your sister is about put them in.

You don’t need to let her know you’ve done this.

You could also try a bit of reverse psychology. The next time she does it say something like “oh, give it a rest you’re so boring with this lame old scream thing. Haven’t you got something better to do with your life”?

She’s doing it because she’s getting a reaction from you. Is there something else going on between you or in your family that is causing her to be so unpleasant? It sounds as if she is jealous of you. Could you try making friends or somehow building bridges with her?

Try not to worry too much – I doubt she is damaging your hearing long term.

In the UK (sorry I don’t know where you are), you can get a hearing test at any opticians, often for free so again, depending on how old you are, this is something you could sort out without your parents or sister knowing.

If this continues is there another relative (aunt, uncle) you could confide in who could have a word with your parents on your behalf?

Earplugs are definitely the first stop.

Q: What does it mean when your ex tries to show you that his new lover is better than I ever was? I gave him my all.

We broke up because we can’t be together (long story). We still love each other. Now that each of us is moving on with someone else, he keeps on shoving pictures to my face and showing me conversations between him and his new girlfriend. Is he not over me? Is he jealous that I’m with someone else?

A: My question to you would be if you’ve broken up why are you having so much contact?

I’m assuming you are still in contact via Social Media in which case if it is truly over – and I’m not sure from your question whether it is – then just block / unfriend and move on.

He can only annoy you with pictures of his new girlfriend if he has somewhere to send them.

Change your phone number and get on with your new partner – who is probably very unimpressed with the trouble your ex is trying to stir up.

By the sound of it you need to choose whether this new partner is for you (if not, don’t mess with his feelings) or whether you are still hankering after your ex.

If it’s the latter, only you have the ability to sort out the situation (whatever the ‘long story’ is).

Q: My girlfriend is very kind, beautiful, faithful and loving. But I just don’t get any intense emotions or feelings when I’m with her. Is this normal?

We are in our early twenties. I am just wondering whether this is what love is like or am I with the wrong person despite the fact that she has a lot of great qualities?

A: The early thrill of romantic relationships rarely lasts and when it fades usually you’re left with a great friendship with sexual benefits, a partnership which supports both of you and allows you to grow and grow UP over the years.

It’s possible what you are experiencing is entirely normal but from the wording of your question I get the impression that, great though your girlfriend is, she’s not your long term love.

Just because people tick all the boxes on our ‘romance checklist’ doesn’t make them the right person for us – and actually perfection is often very unsexy.

Ask yourself if you would be just as happy without her and if the answer is yes then I think the relationship has run its course.

How would you have responded to these questions? I’d love to know. You can find more advice on my problem page

Disclaimer: All materials included in this post are intended for informational purposes only. This post/information is not intended to and should not be used to replace medical or psychiatric advice offered by physicians or other health care providers. The author will not be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, exemplary or other damages arising therefrom. 

Problem Page Edition 27 2017

This week – helping a friend who’s about to experience a break-up and how to react when your partner starts talking about ‘starting a family eventually’.

Collection of dark red roses

If you would like any advice, feel free to treat me as your agony aunt. Just message me or pop a comment in the comment box at the end of this post. I promise to be gentle.

Here are this week’s questions.

QA friend and I drove about 2,300 miles to stay with her family after they begged us to visit. What should we do since they’re treating us horribly?

They now complain and talk about us behind our backs, go out without inviting us, and haven’t once connected with us. They’ve hinted many times that they want us gone already, however, they were the ones who kept begging us to visit! It’s only been 5 days. We’re not bad house guests, either!

A: Oh dear. It sounds like your definition of a good house guest and theirs differs a bit.

Did you agree how long you would stay before you left? 5 days is quite a long time you know if they don’t have the room and you are expecting them to feed you and ferry you about.

If they keep hinting they want you to leave then couldn’t you check into a local cheap hotel or something?

Are you helping around the house? Have you offered to pay for food – or bought food, or a bottle or wine or flowers?

If you’re a couple, are you being less than subtle about physical relations and embarrassing the hell out of them?

Next time I think your friend needs to sort out how long she is welcome to stay. Were they expecting you to tag along or did it come as a surprise?

It sounds as if SOMETHING has happened to royally annoy them and rather than let the relationship continue to sour, the gracious thing to do is to do as they ask and leave.

Q: Why do I always have to reconfirm everything?

For example, I get into a bus after seeing the board to check the route, yet after I take a seat, I find the urge to get down and check the bus number again! It’s the same with taking my keys when I go out or remembering to switch off stove.

A: This sounds as if it is a mild case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder where the sufferer cannot stop themselves from having compulsive thoughts or from carrying out repetitive actions such as hand washing.

I have a mild case of it myself which you can read about here – and it includes examples from others too of how it affects them.

Mother Distracted: OCD – My Glasses & Me

Sometimes though, these behaviours can arise out of nervousness or anxiety without developing into the full blown syndrome.

Rest assured you have my heart-felt sympathy because it is a very tiring thing to deal with and one which non-sufferers really struggle to understand.

If you are a very anxious person, the first thing to do is to find ways to manage your stress to see if that helps – perhaps read up on mindfulness or try meditation.

If, however, your thoughts start to tend towards harming either yourself or others, or putting yourself in danger, then please see your doctor as soon as possible.

Therapy and medication may help this condition so take action and reach out for support.

Q: Do you think my boyfriend’s ex has still feelings for him?

Their relationship lasted for four years and my boyfriend waited for almost two years before entering a new relationship. Now that this girl knows we’re together, she has blocked me everywhere.

A: It’s possible she does but after two years it’s unlikely that he’ll go back to her.

How does she know your social media accounts though? Have you been following her?

Or has she been stalking you via your boyfriend’s accounts?

If so you need to ask him why she’s still a Facebook friend, or whatever, and if she is, seek his reassurance that the relationship is indeed over and that they are not still in touch.

Otherwise it sounds like a case of “I don’t want him but you can’t have him either”. I’d try to ignore her. If she’s blocked you then unless your boyfriend is still in touch with her she has effectively removed herself from your life, hasn’t she?

Q: I have a crush on 4 different guys, all with a high academic profile and really smart, whilst having a boyfriend for 3 years. Do I have to break up?

My boyfriend is also a academic but not that high profile. I have lots of fun with him but having constants crushed makes me feel worried about me relationship. If this is going to continue I can’t say I’ll be happy with him.

A: These aren’t really crushes, are they? They are men you find more attractive than your boyfriend and that’s what you really need to admit to yourself.

If you no longer feel for your boyfriend or don’t want to be with him them just be honest.

Don’t try and fabricate another relationship as an excuse for leaving him.

You won’t be a bad person for leaving him, you know, just an honest one.

It would be far better to admit now that you’ve had enough and you want to explore other relationships.

As a caveat though, if your only reason for wanting to break up with him is BECAUSE he has a ‘lesser’ academic profile than these other men, rather than trophy hunting why don’t you support your current boyfriend and see if you can help him to raise his academic profile.

Or better still, how about developing one of your own?

Q: If a girlfriend says that she wants to “build a family eventually”, how should that be interpreted?

A: She is saying, in a round about way, that if you want to continue in a relationship with her, at some point she will want children with you.

This is a classic ‘test question’ because if you don’t tell her whether or not you want kids, staying in the relationship IMPLIES you do.

Unfortunately, some girls get a bit over keen and ask this question on the second date which tends to send their dates running for the hills but if you have been in a relationship for a while and it looks like it could be a long term one, now is the time to start talking.

If it’s a relatively new relationship, if you’ve no intention of having kids with her, you should do the honorable thing and tell her NOW.

Q: How do I help a friend who thinks that she is going to have a breakup with her boyfriend soon?

My friend thinks that because her boyfriend is not talking to her much now and says he has to let out things he has been holding in, he is about to leave her. She has already had a break up and doesn’t want to lose this guy. She is really stressed out right now.

A: It’s a horrible feeling when you think you are about to lose someone you love but, from your description, it doesn’t sound as if the relationship is going too well.

What did they break up over last time?

And has he let out these ‘things he has been holding in’? Is he too scared of upsetting your friend?

I’m afraid reading between the lines he wants out but doesn’t want to hurt her.

All you can do is gently make her see that there is no point being in a relationship with someone who does not want you.

Help her to see her good points and encourage her to find someone (in time) who sees all the wonderful things in her that you do.

Don’t criticize him – you never know they may end up back together in which case you’ll be seen as the bad guy.

Just let her talk and be there as an ear and a shoulder to cry on.

Other than that, all you can do is advise her to sit down with this guy and have a completely open and honest talk – but she will need to be prepared to hear things she probably won’t want to.

Better that though, than continuing in a constant state of stress and upset.

You’re a great friend for caring.

Q: He asked for a break but to strengthen friendship. Does it mean its over?

During our last fight, he asked for “a break from romantic involvement to hopefully strengthen our friendship”.  Those were his words. He’s upset that a male friend called while I was with him.  He went through my phone and told me to end the friendship. Yet he calls ME insecure for thinking he’s with his ex or seeing someone. I ended it.

A: It sounds like he has mentally checked out of the relationship and, by the sound of it, you are better off without him.

I’m assuming the male friend WAS just a friend? He had no right to go through your phone contacts, nor to demand you end the friendship. That is very controlling behaviour.

I notice that if you challenge him for the same thing, he calls you insecure.

He sounds jealous, possessive and immature.
And asking for a ‘break’ is usually a way of saying I want out but I haven’t got the guts to end it.

I really think you did the right thing ending it.

How would you have responded to these questions? I’d love to know. You can find more advice on my problem page

Disclaimer: All materials included in this post are intended for informational purposes only. This post/information is not intended to and should not be used to replace medical or psychiatric advice offered by physicians or other health care providers. The author will not be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, exemplary or other damages arising therefrom. 

He Says He Is Fond Of Me – Problem Page

This week – when he loved hearing your voice but doesn’t call for 2 days, when he says he is fond of you and when your mother suggests your sister is mistreating your kids in your absence.

The word love spelled out in wooden blocks

If you would like any advice, feel free to treat me as your agony aunt. Just message me or pop a comment in the comment box at the end of this post. I promise to be gentle.

In this edition:

  • when he is fond of you – what does it mean?
  • why would your boyfriend just up and leave?
  • teaching your mum about respect
  • what are the intentions of a long distance lover?
  • when she proposes but you’re in love with someone else
  • when your mum sees your sister mistreating your child
  • when he says he enjoyed hearing your voice and then doesn’t call

QuestionHe says he is fond of me.  What does that mean?

Answer: It probably means that whilst he likes you as a person and even has a certain amount of affection for you, he doesn’t see you as a romantic partner.

It’s the kind of thing we say so as not to hurt someone’s feelings.

Without knowing your exact circumstances, of course, it’s difficult to be precise, but ‘fond’ is the kind of word we use for friends, other people’s children and pets.

I hope you are not about to have your romantic hopes dashed.

The only way to find out for sure is to ask him what exactly he means by ‘fond’. I suspect you can tell whether he fancies you or not by his body language and whether he is always trying to spend time with you.

We might be ‘fond’ of someone but it usually doesn’t mean we’re pulling out all the stops to spend time with them.

Question: Why would your boyfriend just leave you without any reason?

Answer: He wouldn’t. There’s always a reason and if you have been in a relationship for a decent amount of time you are quite entitled to ask why.

If you are very young though, romantic feelings come and go without any particular reason, or because someone else seems more appealing.

Leaving without any explanation is pretty immature.

I would start asking what is up with him and if you are no longer in contact then I’m afraid you’ll just have to chalk it up to experience.

Question: How do I show my mum that respect and obedience are two different things? I want her to know that even if I can’t obey her on some stuff, I still respect her and hold her in high esteem.

Answer: I can hear mothers all over the country gritting their teeth at your question. If your mum asks you to do something – and it’s reasonable, like put your clothes away, get to college on time, tidy your room, doing what she asks is a mark of respect.

It’s not a question of obedience. It’s a question of pulling your weight whilst you still live at home whilst acknowledging that her (and your family’s) hard work is keeping a roof over your head.

The best way to show respect is to help out. If my kids told me they respected me but weren’t going to ‘obey’ me, the WiFi password would mysteriously change overnight and all pocket money would be stopped until they understood the basics of teamwork.

Buy your mum a huge bunch of flowers and give her a hand. She’s the only mum you’ll get.

Question: What are his intentions? We talk every day long distance. I sense he cares about me and obviously he likes me a lot since he bothered to keep in contact.

Answer: Let’s be honest. With email and social media, it is easy to keep in contact. Just a touch of a button and absolutely no effort required.

You’ll be able to gauge his intentions when he starts making some effort to come to see you or to plan a get-together – anything which involves actual PHYSICAL contact.

Until that time, it’s all ‘pie in the sky’.

From your question it sounds like you hardly know this man at all and, without more info about your situation it’s difficult to be precise but I think you need to know a lot more about this man before you build a romantic fantasy which might have absolutely no basis in reality.

Far better to concentrate on a nice guy who lives just around the corner.

Question: What should I do when a well-known girl proposes to me, but I am in love with another girl but it’s one-sided?

Answer: Isn’t it obvious? Say no. Why would you want to break her heart and live a lie?

It may be that you are expected by friends and family or your culture to get married and settle down and I appreciate it may not be so easy to extricate yourself.

But if you do have any say in the matter whatsoever, your answer should be no and you would do better to forget the other girl you love and seek out a partner you do love and who you can be with.

Question: What would you do if your mum told you in confidence that your sister threw your 2 y/o son onto a couch in anger and then said she was just kidding?

I also witnessed her yell at my son unnecessarily & felt like she has anger issues. My son is 2 y/o, he has a twin brother and 4-year-old sister. I find her behaviour odd. She only sees them a handful of times out of the year. My mum said he was whining a little, she wasn’t joking & she overreacted.

Answer: You need to say something to your sister to set some boundaries and expectations for how you expect her to treat her nephews and niece.

It doesn’t matter if she has ‘anger issues’ – that sounds like an excuse to me. As adults, most of us can control our temper and our behaviour – especially around children.

I would tell her you are concerned that she has problems keeping her temper around your kids and ask what it is that is bugging her.

Incidentally, where were you when all this was going on? Are you relying on your mum and sister for childcare – have they agreed to this or is there a chance you might be putting on them slightly?

Sometimes it’s easy to expect our relatives to put up with our kids just because they are our relatives – but they don’t always want to and it isn’t always fair to do that.

Even if your kids are just normal, boisterous toddlers, they can still be difficult to deal with. My two were far from little angels!

I think you need to sort out childcare and, at least for the time being, make sure you are present when your sister visits. It’s unfair on your mum to expect her to play judge and jury between her daughters.

If your sister DID throw your little one onto the couch then that is not acceptable behaviour and you need to ensure he’s not left in that situation again.

By the sound of it, your mum is trying to give you a gentle heads up that your sister can’t cope and you need to step in and care for your kids when she’s there.

Question: What does it mean if a man says he enjoyed hearing your voice but then doesn’t call for two days?

I always thought when someone says that over that phone that means they miss you. But wouldn’t they want to hear more of the voice and call the following day as well? It’s been 2 days. What does it mean and what should I do? Should I show him I am upset that I didn’t hear from him for that long?

Answer: I think you need to take a deep breath and step back a little here.

I think saying “I enjoyed hearing your voice” is a bit of an odd thing to say, to be honest. Do you meet this man? Do you know him well?

Don’t you think if he missed you he would want to see you IN PERSON?

2 days is nothing at all. People still have lives, responsibilities and commitments you know, even when they are dating.

I think you run the risk of appearing way too keen and I absolutely would not hound the man to show him you are ‘upset’.

Far better to show him you have a life of your own and are not a doormat waiting by the phone, surely?

This man doesn’t sound particularly keen to me I’m afraid and in your shoes, I would keep my dignity and take the view that if he’s interested he’ll call and if not, well, there’s someone far better out there. How would you have responded to these questions? I’d love to know. You can find more advice on my problem page.

Disclaimer: All materials included in this post are intended for informational purposes only. This post/information is not intended to and should not be used to replace medical or psychiatric advice offered by physicians or other health care providers. The author will not be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, exemplary or other damages arising therefrom.