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Did you ever wake up and wonder when your life became a soap opera? A bizzare mixture between 'Dawson's Creek' and 'Days of our Lives'?

I know I've had that feeling - that it's just all too dramatic and ridiculous, and wouldn't it be nice to go and under a nicely-furnished rock for a while? So, whilst I do not promise or claim to be an expert on how teenage boys minds work or how you can uncode your best friend's baffling behaviour, I'll always attempt to empathise and offer some honest words of advice.

I am 21, with a fairly dysfunctional life as a artsy student type. I've recently graduated with a degree in Philosophy, and am spending time working in the law before returning to university for further study. I still don't know what I want to do with my life, but I like where I am at the moment. I like shoes, bad television, chocolate cheescake and pretty things.

I am very busy at the moment, attempting to fund my life as a postgraduate (that's grad school to the Americans). I do still stop by quite a lot to help out with the admin stuff, but my column is pretty lame and inactive. Boo-hiss. I will however still endeavour to answer any questions that are sent my way, so feel free to send questions to my inbox.

Frequently Asked Questions

Actually, I made them up. But they are questions that I've seen more than once around this site (and, indeed, in the real world), and so have created general responses to them, linked below. It's a little sparse at the moment, but I'll be adding to the list as I think of more questions (and, er, answers to them).

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Gender: Female
Location: England
Occupation: Student
Age: 21
Member Since: December 30, 2003
Answers: 455
Last Update: June 7, 2009
Visitors: 39992

okay well my boyfriend gets really jealous, but not to the point where it's over bearing.. his last relationship ended when he found out his girlfriend had TWO other boyfriends, so i don't really blame him for being this way.. well, we've been going out for a year (tomorrow, actually =) yayy!) and i was just wondering something.. well i never really talk to any guys as much as i did before being with him, but there was this kid on my myspace that added me who lives like in ohio and i live in pa (but on opposite ends so we're like 8 hours from each other, not that it really matters though) and he posted a bulletin about being upset cause girls are confusing or something, so feeling generous, i messaged him and we just talked about stupid stuff for a little bit and that's all. messages always seem shady, i know that.. so if my bf sees it, he'll probably be upset.. he knows my password and stuff cause he doesn't have a myspace so i gave him my info so he can still look at other poeples, although he like never goes on the computer anymore just because he doesn't.. so my question is should i delete the message? if he saw it i know it would create controversy, but its not really a big deal.. the kid said i was cute in the message.. and in his about me it says he's a flirt, so i know that part would deff make him be kinda upset.. i know he wouldn't like break up with me over it, but should i delete the messages just to be safe?? thanks =) sorry so long, i just like details haha ♥

I shall offer a dissenting voice here.

If you delete the messages, you are hiding something from your boyfriend. Why would you do that? Either you think you did something wrong that you think needs to be hidden from your boyfriend, or you are afraid of and want to avoid the drama your boyfriend will cause if he sees the messages.

You haven't done anything wrong. You haven't even spoken to this guy. You've messaged him on the internet, in a friendly way, to give advice and be a friend. This is not something you have to hide. If it is something that you feel you have to hide, that is a problem.

Why is that a problem? Because it means that you are afraid of your boyfriend’s reaction. You are afraid of how your boyfriend will react to you talking to another guy - a guy you probably won't ever meet in person because he lives nearly 8 hours drive away from you. That shows a spectacular lack of trust and faith in you from him. If he trusted and respected you, he wouldn't be threatened by you just talking - not even talking, I might add, but messaging over the internet - to a male friend.

It is understandable that your boyfriend is more suspicious than he has justification to be when he has been cheated on before. This does not however mean that you should tolerate his jealousy and moderate your behavior by stopping speaking too or messaging male friends that you have. If you do this, you are allowing your boyfriend to control you in a way that is not healthy for you as an individual, or your relationship.

For these reasons, it would be better to leave the messages, and if he discovers them, explain calmly that it was just a friendly conversation that you have every right to have had. If he becomes upset, empathize with him - say you understand he has been hurt before and finds it difficult to trust, but be strong and say that it is essential that he does trust you and allows you freedom in this way.

If he can't let you have this freedom after a year of dating, then he probably isn't willing to trust you at all, and this will never be a good foundation for a relationship.

All the best.

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I heard this story a while ago and I still can't quite understand it. I'll call the people involved Rick and Jenna. So, the two of them dated for a couple of months, but soon Jenna got pregnant. She was 19 at the time. She wanted to have an abortion (I don't know her, so I don't know why - I can just guess that she had her reasons.) However, Rick was strongly opposed to it - he said that if she didn't want to keep the baby, she should give her/him up for adoption. She still wanted to have the abortion, so Rick broke up with her.

What confuses me here is that Rick is pro-choice and even feminist! He tells things like 'women should have control over their bodies', or 'if men got pregnant abortion would be a sacrament'. I would have thought that he changed his beliefs, but he still resents his ex-girlfriend and blames her that she 'probably didn't want to get fat'. What's the deal here?! (Btw I don't think he was looking forward to fatherhood, he suggested adoption if Jenna didn't want to be a mother, but he didn't suggest she have the baby and then leave it with him, for example)

I think there are a few things worth noting here.

Firstly, people can have a set of opinions that they think are politically justified and correct, but feel different when they are directly involved in the situation. This can be just plain hypocrisy of the not-in-my-back-yard variety, but sometimes it comes from the best intentions. I myself identify as being pro-choice and think the protection of abortion rights is extremely important. That however doesn't mean that I know how I'd react if I myself ever became pregnant unintentionally. I might feel that for me, it just wasn't an option, and I would hope that if I did this nobody would criticise me for being hypocritical if I made such a decesion.

Perhaps your friend Rick is like this. Politically, he thinks abortion and choice are important, but he finds this difficult to reconcile with his own personal feelings that this is his potential child. Within the abortion debate it is easy to forget that the foetus is the man's too, and he may have conflicting feelings about it as much as the woman does. I don't think you need to be looking forward to impending parenthood to feel this conflict. If Jenna felt like this she might have had the baby and given it up for adoption, and we wouldn't see that as incoherent. It's a little odd that he so strongly defends choice politically and so strongly fights against it on a personal level in his relationship, but I don't think his emotions are rare.

I admit that his comment that she probably just didn't want to get fat seems off for somebody who supposedly identifies as feminist, but I guess we don't know the full circumstances and maybe the remark comes from bitterness after an unpleasant break up against a difficult background.

He might also be somebody who is pro-choice but doesn't believe in unlimited access to abortion. The pro-choice movement encompasses a wide-range of beliefs, and very few support absolute access to abortion at any time for any reason - few for example would hypothetically support a woman who sought an abortion at 8 and a half months because she was sick of being fat or a scan had revealed the foetus was ugly. Although I am always personally suspicious of arguments such as this (I don't believe anyone takes abortion that lightly), you note that you don't know what Jenna's reasons were, so perhaps Rick has more reasons that we can currently guess to be angry, upset or hurt by Jenna's actions.

It's not incoherent to be pro-choice and still believe that a foetus has some rights: Judith Jarvis Thomson for example argued that a foetus has only a right not to be killed unjustly. This makes abortion morally permissible in some scenarios (for example, if the health or wellbeing of the mother is jeopardised by the foetus) but still allows that a foetus has some right to protection. Although I would expect a self-identified feminist to allow quite broad reasons to count towards justifying abortion, perhaps in his personal circumstances (which we do not know fully) Rick felt that there weren't sufficient reasons to justify abortion.

I wouldn't write Rick off as being a hypocrite. This situation was probably far more difficult than he imagined it would be, and though in criticising his former partner he isn't behaving in the best way possible, I think it's entirely understandable that he's confused and hurt.

All the best.

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I'm 17/f, and I've really formed this crush on one of my friends, who's unfortunatley 22. I know him through work and I've been friends with him since August. Well lately, everytime he sees me he hugs me and lifts me off the ground, and half the time he kisses me on the cheek. He constantly jokes around about "ravaging" me, and calling me "sweet" and "lovely."

The other day we were walking down the street and he grabbed my hand and was like "let's pretend we're going to the prom, darling." and he was joking around and laughing with me about it. He kept kissing my hand/cheek/forehead.

He keeps doing stuff like this, but I'm not sure if he's just being his crazy self, or if he has a thing for me.

I'm afraid that if I ask him, he'll just be like "you're a sweet kid, but I was just joking around" and that would be mortifying for me.

Any advice on what to do in this situation??

It definitely sounds like he's flirting with you.

Of course, some guys are flirty and don't necessarily mean anything by it. Does he do this with other women that he's close to? If he's naturally very playful and "crazy" with lots of people it can be very hard to tell when the playfulness has progressed into flirtacious playfulness. If on the other hand he's just like this with you, or behaves with you in a way that is significantly more playful and flirtatious than he does with others, then I would probably read something into it.

That said, human behaviour is hard to read, and there's a chance that you and I are both wrong in reading his signals this way. For this reason, I'd avoid asking him directly if he likes you. This puts him on the spot and might embarass him or make him just brush off his behaviour as nothing - after all, he might not be 100% sure how he feels. Flirting is both a way of indicating interest in somebody and exploring our own feelings and how we click with a person.

I can't really tell from your question whether you are interested in persuing things with this guy or not. You say that you have a crush on him, but I don't know if that means you want to be with him as you note yourself the age difference.

Either way, I think you can respond to his flirting in a way that will give you answers about how he feels and beging to change the relationship in a direction that makes you happy without having to have an embarassing "do you like me?" conversation. It's all about how you respond to his behaviour. If you like him, follow his lead and be playful and flirty back.

If you don't want to be with him despite your crush, it's a little harder as you'll probably enjoy the flirting and want to flirt back as you have a crush on him, but you should respond in a way that is friendly but doesn't encourage him. You can still be friendly and laugh and joke with him, but don't let him pick you up and carry you around or similar things like that. It may take a while to train him out of the behaviour, but if you don't give him any indications that you want him to behave that way he should stop.

All the best.

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I apologize in advance for this long question... I'm very confused right now.
Also, I am 15, and a female, if it is any help.

I think I am falling in love with this guy. But I'm not really sure. We have everything in common- even obscure things, like certain composers. And... he is just one of the most amazing individuals I've ever met.
Let's call him... Richard.

The thing is, Richard has been dating one of my very best friends- let's call her Sue- for over a year. They have the most amazing relationship. And I love Sue. She is one of my closest friends, and perhaps the person I respect the most in the world.

Sue and Richard have been having relationship problems for the past few months- they've been taking breaks, and Sue tells me she likes someone else also.

I'm not asking for ways of how to separate them- I don't want to destroy their relationship, as I love them both. However, I want to know when it's an appropriate time- once they eventually do separate (even if it's not for a while), for me to start flirting with him. Or, in case anything does happen, when it is appropriate for us to go out.

Thank you very much.

It's a horrible position to be in, but I think all you can do is wait until your friend seems to be beginning to get over the relationship. If they break up I think you can, after a time, talk to your friend and be honest that you have strong feelings for her ex-boyfriend and would like, with her permission, to persue things with him.

Until then? There's not much you can do. It's natural and admirable to want to be honest with your friend about the feelings you have, but if you tell her whilst she's still with this guy, or whilst she's still struggling with very strong feelings for him having just broken up with him, she will in all likelyness feel betrayed and confused by your revelations because on top of her already existing relationship difficulties, she then has what she'd percieve as competition from you, somebody she's close to and trusts.

I do however think that you do need to talk to her before you start flirting with this guy. Of course, it's difficult to judge how long it's appropriate to leave after the break-up to talk to your friend, and there is no straight answer. You have to read her and the situation and wait until she has got some distance and perspective on the relationship. How long this will take will depend on her and the dynamics of the relationship they had, and you will have to use your personal judgement on when she'll take the news best, depending on how she's feeling about the relationship, their chances of getting back together, and perhaps starting dating again herself.

Be honest but gentle with your friend, and be prepared to take things slowly out of respect for the two of them. It's a tough position to be in, but with honesty and kindness your friend will eventually understand, although it may take time for relations between the two of you to return to normal.

All the best.

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first off, this may be long so i apologize but i hope people will help me outa bit.

we are both twenty years old.

i've been with my boyfriend for a little over four years. even though we broke up in february we still act like we're still together. basically, its like we're bf/gf without the label but it's like everyone including myself still consider us together anyway. kind of confusing, sorry. anyway, the problem between me and him is that even though we dont have the label that he feels that it's okay for him to talk to other girls. which i can understand at some extent.. however, i feel as though even if we dont have the label that he's my boyfriend and vice versa. if im the girl sleeping in his bed for weeks straight at a time, the girl he calls and texts every few hours when we aren't together just to ask what im doing, the girl who he takes out on dates on the one day out of the week he's not working, the girl who hangs out with his mom and other family members when he is or isn't around, the girl he tells that he loves every night before he goes to bed, IM HIS GIRLFRIEND. and the list goes on. we've talked and argued about this so many times already and it always ends the way it always does with him saying that he loves me, that he's in love with me, that im the woman he wants to marry and the woman he wants to have his children with (although that will not be any time soon) but he's not ready to be committed at this age and that he is going to talk to other girls regardless. okay. maybe i seem dumb or something but some days im just like okay whatever, im content because i know that even if he may be talking to another female, i'm still his number one and that he will never put another girl before me. other days it just bothers the hell out of me.. i just feel like if i'm the woman he loves and wants to be with in the future, why do something to ruin the chances of what we may have? i know people may say "girl, he doesn't love you." i'm not being naive when i say this but i know he's in love with me, but he feels he's just at the age where he's just not ready to commit yet. people tell me that just having the label is too much for a person to deal with. i dont know.. him and i, we honestly have two different outlooks on almost everything (and i love that) and i'm here trying to understand his point of views with what you guys think about all of this. i'm sorry i am babbling.. i'm just very in love and very confused and everything in between. your advice and comments are most definitely appreciated. thankss so much.

You've been dating 4 years, he tells you he wants to marry you some day and you spend time with his family, and yet, he won't call you his girlfriend?

I'm sure in a way he does love you very deeply, but it seems to me that your own diagnosis is right: he, despite his love for you, isn't ready for commitment at this stage in his life. He loves you but is torn because as a young guy, he also wants other things, and so is trying to have things both ways - a girlfriend he loves and can come home to every night, and being able to somehow feel that he's carefree and single and can talk to whomever he likes.

You could put up with it and hope he grows out of it soon, but the chances of him suddenly snapping out of it when he's got along with having the best of both worlds for 9 months is low.

I think you deserve better. It must be heartbreaking for you because you love him and have spent four years with him, but do you really want to spend an indeterminate period of time waiting for him to start treating you the way that you treat him - the way you want to be and deserve to be treated as his girlfriend?

I also think that taking a stand and saying that you aren't willing to play the game this way any more will be a good test of how he really feels. If he feels the way you do, then although he may be resentful of the ultimatum at first, he'll realise that his feelings for you are the most important thing. If he says no, he won't be cotrolled, he needs to be free more than he needs you - well, you've then been given the clearest signal that you can that he just isn't ready to commit to you at this stage in his life - and if that's the case, you should have the courage to move on and find somebody who loves you in the way that you deserve.

All the best - I really hope it works out for you.

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I've been with this guy for three and a half years. Things between us got pretty bad within the last year. We argued constantly. The thing about us is that we're very different. He believes in things that I dont believe in and vice versa. That never stopped us during the first two and a half years or so.. Honestly, I loved how he thought so differently from me even if it would cause arguments. However, I can't speak for him. He hated how I never agreed to his views. But I'm not going to say yes to everything he says just because I love him. I stick up for what I believe in as well. Well, I guess that is why we aren't together anymore..

We've been apart for two months now. We still talk to each other every day. He still tells me that he loves me. But sometimes he says to me that he doesn't think him and I will ever work out because we are so different but if we do go out again, it wouldn't be any time soon. Another thing is, after we broke up, he told my best guy friend who is also a friend of his that I'm the type of girl he wants to marry, that he wants to marry me. Uh.. if he doesn't like the person I am, my morals, my views on life, than why is he telling my friends that he still wants to be with me later and that he wants to marry me? I know he loves me, and the thing is, I know he wants to be with me. I know he can't ever stand the thought of me with another guy. He doesn't say it, but I know it. But honestly, I don't know if I'm holding on to something that will never ever work. It's like.. like I said earlier, I love the fact that we're different. That is one of the reasons why I fell in love with him. But him on the other hand, he can't stand it.. I don't know..

Am I foolish for being in love with someone who is the total opposite of me? Am I stupid for still having hope in us? For still wanting to be with him?

Thank you in advance.. Any advice is appreciated.

We are both twenty, if that helps or anything..

I have been in a position similar to yours, and as a result I'm sure this isn't exactly what you want to hear. I certainly didn't want to hear it, and it meant I dragged things on and caused myself a fair amount of pain.

You love this man. This man probably loves you too. But. BUT.

You both need space from each other.

You have a three and a half year history with each other. You have, to an extent, grown up together. This is wonderful, and many years from now you'll have very powerful memories of being with someone who you felt safe with, but also challenged you.

The problem is, because you have been together for so long and had such powerful emotions, you cannot - physically cannot - just seperate yourself from all that immediately when you break up. You cannot click your fingers and analyse your relationship together from an objective standpoint. You are still far, far too close to it all, far too emotionally tied up in the past. You can't objectively judge whether you want to get back together with him, because you are still in the stage where you are hurting and reeling from your break-up, and yearning for the past which however less than perfect it was, was easier and less painful then the present. This is completely natural and normal.

The point is, by speaking to him daily, by allowing him to speak to you and tell him he loves you, you aren't helping yourself. Both of you need to take some time away from each other to get over each other. It's strange when you break up from a longterm relationship because you are used to turning to the your partner for suppport, but this is something he cannot help you with, and you cannot help him with. You need to heal when you are apart, so that one day in the future you'll know what you want, and he'll know what he wants.

I'm not saying that you cannot be friends in the future, or that you cannot get back together. What I am saying is that to judge whether you really want to be with him you need to give yourself some time so that your response isn't just a gut "but of course I want to be with him, I've been with him forever / I love him" type of reaction.

It's extremely hard to do, but it is something that will help the both of you. Perhaps you will realise that you need somebody who sympathises with your opinions on certain matters more, or perhaps he will realise that the differences between you aren't so big after all. You can't really tell until one day you just decide that is how you feel. It takes time and you can't force it, but one day you will come to a decesion.

It's not stupid to believe that you are compatible with somebody you had an somewhat turbulent history with. You have passion for this person, and though you are very different and irritate each other, you understand each other and obviously have a deep connection and a huge amount of love and respect for each other. It's not foolish or overly optimistic to believe that one day you might get back together. You can think that, but give yourself time for your mind to catch up with your heart, and work out if this is what you think rationally as well as emotionally.

All the best. I really do hope it works out for you, because I've been there.

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Hello, i'm new to here...
well I've been an airline pilot for 2 years and me and my girlfriend are talking about marriage and stuff. Generally speaking she is pretty attractive and hot...but if we get married, I will always think that she will cheat behind my back when I'm off to work...(usually for a few days)
What should I do? I'm not good at love relationship at all, i mean I can fly a big jet, but hey, i'm not good at this kind of stuff...

Relationships cannot work without trust. If you think your partner will cheat on you on the short trips you are required to take for your job, you do not trust her as much as you need to to make a marriage work. Think about the long term effect this will probably have on your relationship - you cannot escape going away, so you'll be constantly plagued by thoughts that your partner is cheating on you, and as a result probably become suspicious, resentful or accusatory, which will over time chip away at your relationship.

The only solution is to tackle why you don't trust this woman. Is it an irrational fear based on a lack of self-confidence on your part, or has she given you reason to believe she'll take advantage of your frequent absences? If it's irrational on your part, you need to develop your self confidence and confidence in the strength and staying power of your relationship before you can fairly marry this woman, because if you don't believe it will work, it probably won't. If on the other hand there is something in her behaviour that makes you lack trust, then you need to tackle it together and work out whether you can ever learn to accept her behaviour and trust her. Either away, I would suggest some relationship counselling for the both of you before you get married. It's normal and healthy to have some worries before you get married, as it's a huge decesion about the rest of your life, but you shouldn't be plagued by huge doubts about her cheating on you, and shouldn't really be thinking about a wedding whilst these thoughts are plauging you.

All the best.

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ok, where to start?.... ok i met this guy he started working at my job and in the begining i hated him abd wanted nothing to do with him, then he started showing intrest in me but at the same time my best friend too. he ended up asking me out one day and we hit it off. that nigh he had asked me to be his gf! i had said yes and everything was fine we were son into eachother and spending every second with eachother, soon he started throwing how my best friend was more his type and that he wanted to be with her but be with me at the same time! i told my friend that she was not to do anything with him but of course i cant be there 24/7 and i ahd later found out that they had did stuff! so i broke up with him. but i still had all these feelings for him. so about three weeks later he had asked me to be his a again and i accepted, like an idiot!! he started using me for my money and lieing to me but everytime i tried to break it off he would have a really good reason and we would try it again till he would dump me! then the same crap would happen again. like now he dumped me yesterday, cold and blunt just kicked me out of HIS HOUSE! and now im sitting here in pain wanting him back! i dnt know wats wrong with me i have never let any guy use me like this! i have such ddep feelings for him im scared to let him go cause i think he might change! wat do i do! hes gonna call me soon i know it! and im gonna give in help i dnt wanna be in the same position i am now! pls! thankyou

I'm sorry to hear you've been so horribly used by this man. However, you need to start taking responsibility. You know, rationally, that this guy is scum and you should steer clear of him. So start standing up for yourself and take charge of your life.

Only you have the power to save yourself here. Be resolute. Do not take his calls. Change your number if you have to. Do not see him. Do not allow yourself to be tempted. I think you already know deep down that this is what you have to do - he's not going to change, and even if he did, you have no reason to forgive him and let him back into your life - he systematically mistreated you, played you and cheated on you with your best friend. Even if he never did it again, he still betrayed you massively. This is not, and will never be, a good foundation for a realtionship.

If you find it helps, write down all the things he did that hurt you. Put that list by your phone so that you see it if he rings or you are tempted to ring him and be reminded why it is you are fighting so hard to stay strong and stay away from him. At the moment, he has you under a spell and you need to break free of that. The hardest part is breaking out of the cycle of going back to him. Once you've done that and successfully steered clear of him for a week or two, things will get easier. In the meantime, keep yourself busy and distracted - surround yourself with good friends who understand and will help you out if you are tempted to contact him.

I know it hurts, but the way to make it hurt less is to be strong and not keep going back to him. In a situation like this, weaning yourself off him slowly is not going to work. You need to do this 100% and not let your guard down and be seduced by his charms, because you know deep down that it isn't good for you.

Good luck, and all the best.

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Whats Yeast infection?

A yeast infection happens when yeast that is naturally in the vagina gets out of balance. Symptoms include an unpleasant itchy sensation, unusual 'cottage cheese' like discharge and a yeasty smell, like baking bread.

Yeast infections (also sometimes known as 'thrush') happen to around 75% of women during their lifetimes. They are more likely to occur if you take some forms of hormonal contraceptives such as the pill, or have taken antibiotics. If you do have a yeast infection, it's important to seek out treatment, as untreated there can be long term effects, and although yeast infections are not classed as sexually transmitted diseases, they can be passed on to your partner if you are having intercourse, and this can be extremely unpleasant for them. It might feel embarassing discussing your symptoms with your doctor, but it's absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. is an absolutely wonderful resource for information on this. Check out this article, this FAQ - and the livejournal community ( if you have any more questions. All the best.

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Ok heres the deal my bf has been in a relationship before me with another girl and he was very serious with her and while they were going out he treated me like crap. Then, they broke up and he was all upset bc he said she was the love of his life, blah blah blah. So then me and him start to flirting and stuff and we both like each other and he asks me out well I said I need to think about this and the next day I find out he's back with her. Well he dumped her and then we some how end up together. But now he says he loves me and a part of his always has and was thinking of me when he was going out with her, but how do I know this it feels like he's using lines on me that he used on her and idk if their genuine or not or if he's just saying this and is going to end up changing his mind, P.S. this boy said he had liked me since fourth grade and it's been a while since then and we've dated before, THANKS SORRY ITS SOO LONG!!!!

Sometimes people change, but more often they do not. If a guy has a history of, in your own words, 'treating you like crap', then chances are he'll do it again. If he's hot and cold with you and fliting about between you and his ex-girlfriend then he doesn't like you enough to make a commitment, whatever lines he pulls about having liked you for years.

Maybe he does have some genuine feelings for you, but that does distract from the fact that he's behaved and is continuing to behave badly to you. Moreover, you don't trust him. Why be in a relationship if you aren't sure any of the sentiments are real?

Give yourself a break from this guy. If he does have genuine feelings for you he'll start behaving differently and you'll get some confidence that his feelings are real, and you'll be able to start on a meaningful relationship. If on the other hand he is just spinning you lines, he'll just swing straight back to his ex-girlfriend or somebody else, and you will have been saved some heartache. All the best.

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My name is Alexis and I need guy advice... If I'm fifteen and I like a guy that's fourteen... is he too young for me??? I've tried not to like him but iit's impossible! He is so sweet and cute! HELLLLLLP!!!!

It's more about maturity than age. If you are mature for your age and he's immature for his age then it might feel like a big gap, but there's no reason to assume this will be the case, as he might well be mature for his age or at your own level.

At your age a year younger than you isn't so young to dismiss off hand as being too immature for you. Teenage boys mature at different ages, but when they do mature seem to do it very quickly, so he could be at just the right point in his life for you. You like him and like his personality, so why not give him a chance? Take things slowly if you aren't one hundred percent sure about him, but there's no reason to try and ignore this crush for what is really quite a small age gap. All the best.

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There's this guy in my History and Math class that's very popular and goodlooking. Recently, he's been acting different around me. Unusually nice. He complimented on my shirt and necklace, and asked how my tutoring was coming along, etc. He's also lately been acting really cocky, but in a playful way. I don't know if he's flirting. Does it seem so? Because I'm confused as to whether I should flirt back. He has a girlfriend, and that might make me look like an asshole (I don't have a crush on him at all, by the way). Also, if he wasn't flirting I would look like an asshole. What do you think I should do?

If you aren't at all interested him, there's no point in flirting with him. What are you hoping will come from this? That people will notice that the two of you flirt and you'll bask in reflected glory of his popularity? That is highly unlikely to happen, even in the strange world of American high schools.

If you like him and think he's interested in you then it's a different question, about whether it's worth flirting with somebody who you think likes you but who is in a relationship. If that's the case, it's something you just need to weigh up the risks of against the chances of nothing coming of it. If as you originally claim though, that you "don't have a crush on him at all", then I can see no reason at all for flirting with him, as all that is likely to happen is that you'll annoy or hurt his girlfriend and yourself end up confused by his behaviour and why you are flirting with each other when you aren't interested. You can be nice to him and enjoy his compliments, but there is no point entering into something that isn't going anywhere, even if it is 'just' flirting.

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I am a single girl in her twenties and joined a ToastMasters Club back in September. I joined the club to help with my speaking skills and self esteem, and also to meet some nice single guys. Well to my disapointment I didnt meet any nice single guys, but I did meet two really nice married ones. They are both the nicest guys, and treat me with respect. The one has 3 boys, and the other guys as far as I know doesnt have any kids. I find myself going to these meetings sometimes just to see these two men. I don't want to have an affair with either of them, or replace their wifes. I just like going because of the way they make me feel. I've had problems with men in the past. My question is am i commititting a sin by liking these guys? I would also like to add that I don't fantasize or lust about them, I just wish that I could be there friends.

There's no sin in liking somebody or wanting to be their friend. I am worried however that you are setting yourself up to get hurt because although you rationalise that you don't want to be anything more than friends with these guys, knowing that they are married, deep down you still have some conflicting romantic feelings because they are nice guys you enjoy spending time with, that respect you and make you feel good. Anybody who has had an unwanted or inconvenient crush (people who are already in committed relationships, people at work, good friends, etc.) will tell you that these aren't feelings you can just magic away. The problem is, if you continue to spend large amounts of time with these men, even in a stricly platonic fashion, your feelings may well grow and you could easily end up hurt, as both men are married, as you realise already. You've said that you don't fantasise or lust about them, which is good, but if you ever find yourself wanting more than the relationship you currently have with them, it's better to take a step back and cool the friendship for a bit until you are sure you can be friends without any other feelings getting in the way and causing you hurt. I'm not saying that you cannot be friends with them - it's perfectly acceptable for a married man to have single female friends! I'm only saying that if one party has any hint of romantic feelings, even if they have no intention of acting on them, there are complications and it is often easier to have a little space from the friendship so that any feelings don't develop into a full blown crush or infatuation.

All the best.

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I love this guy hes my bestfriend and i dont know what to do ive already dated him on and off about 20 times. Im afraid to give him a kiss one because it would be his first kiss and two because weve been bestfriends for 6 years...he keeps asking me to kiss him.. i mean i have kissed a lot of guys but something about kissing my bestfriend feels so weird i want to but i dont so confused..please help!

What exactly do you mean by saying that you've dated him on and off about 20 times?

If you've had numerous attempts to change your relationship from friendship to something more and it's never worked out, or even got off the ground properly there's probably a good reason for that. Perhaps you are both interested in each other as more than friends, but you are stalling because you are afraid of what might happen.

Some of the best romantic relationships start as ordinary friendships, but there are obvious dangers that it won't work out and you not being able to make it through the experience as good friends, or friends at all.

A degree of uncertainty is natural at the start of any romantic relationship especially one which has high risks for a friendship, but if you are so unsure that you are stalling about kissing him and have already rejected him more than once (you've dated on again off again) and, in your own words, it feels "so weird" then maybe it isn't so right after all? You say you love this guy and he certainly seems interested in you, and yet it's not going anywhere at the moment.

I think if you have romantic feelings for a close friend, you need to be absolutely honest with yourself - is it worth the risk? You need to make a decesion and then trust in your own judgement.

If the answer is no, you value your friendship too much and you aren't convinced it would work out, then don't go ahead and be firm with your friend. If however you do decide it's worth the risk, trust your judgement and go for it. It's hard not to keep second-guessing yourself and wondering if this is really the right thing when the odds are high, as they are when you begin dating a friend, but if you've decided to go for it you need to relax and enjoy that decesion.

All the best.

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Hi! I just finished my shift at my job today. This married lady that I work with is trying to set me up with a guy that knows her husband. They met him at a New Years party and he asked her if she knew any cute, nice girls from her work that would want to go out with him She said he is 32 and owns his own computer business. She said he is a really nice guy and wants to date a nice girl who has no kids. He's had problems with on line dating (and so have I)

I am 28 and have never been married or have had children. I told her I am quite shy and havent dated anyone in a long time. She said he is shy too. She is going to phone him and we (me, this guy, her and her huband) are going to meet for coffee.

Do you think he sounds like a nice guy that won't just try to sleep with me?

I rate high!
p.s it was my new years resolution to get a bf this year!

At the moment you know relatively little about this guy, but this is a great oppertunity to get to know him better.

A person is much more than a list of qualities like "has a good job" and "is shy", so it's difficult to know if you'll be well suited or not without getting to know him. Dating can feel difficult when you are shy and haven't done it for a long time, but this is a great chance to ease yourself back into dating. He might not be your soul-mate, or even somebody particularly suited to you (although there isn't anything from your description of him that would suggest the two of you were incompatible), but getting out there with somebody in a safe enviornment with your friends at your side will probably be really good for you.

Take this oppertunity, but don't put too much pressure on the two of you - you don't have to find a boyfriend straight away. It's better to just relax and enjoy the process of getting to know him without feeling like you have to decide by the end of your first date whether he's boyfriend material or not. All the best.

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13/m. I have a sister who is 14. Where we live, stuff happens slowly. It's not like in NYC where everyone loses their virginity at, like 13. My sister finally got her first boyfriend. I'm not too worried about that. But, they're taking everything too fast: one week, they're dating. Another week, they're holding hands. This may not seem like much to you, but where I live it is. And now yesterday---they've been together 2 months, tops---they both had their first kiss.

I've been trying to get more info, but she's really private about this. I asked her if it was just a peck or if she made out, and she said that it was about 5 seconds. Is that long for a first kiss? And I asked her when, and she showed me a ring that she got from him. Unfortunately, I suck at taking hints, so I still don't get it.

She doesn't want to tell anyone about anything that happens. My other sister and my parents are still completely unaware that they've done so much as hold hands, and she doubts she'll tell them about kissing any time soon.

So, I was just wondering, is this too fast, am I worrying too much, will she be turning into a sex-obsessed slut any time soon, and how can I get her to communicate more? "Why do you need to know?" she asks. Well, I intend on getting a girlfriend this year, and I'm gonna have to learn somehow, right? No smartass answers. Thanks! =)

Caring about your sister is extremely admirable. Unfortunately, you are being rather judgemental in the way you are treating her, and I think you need to rethink exactly what it is that bothers you about her behaviour.

You think it's acceptable for you, who are younger than your sister, to have a girlfriend, and your language suggests that you don't object to your sister having a boyfriend in itself, as you say she "finally" has one. Is it then the physical dimension the relationship has taken, or just the speed of it?

I obviously live in quite a different culture from you, so my telling you that two months isn't extremely quick probably won't console you much. What I will say is that relationships are extremely personal, and that there is no universal time when it's right or wrong to kiss somebody, or take your relationship to the next level, whatever that might be. Whether you should or should not depends wholly on whether the people concerned feel ready and want to. In this situation, the people concerned are your sister and her boyfriend, not you: if they felt ready, wanted to and enjoyed the experience together, what exactly is wrong about it?

I sympathise that you might not like the idea of your sister being in any way physical with a guy - she's your sister, and it's difficult to imagine her in this light, and of course, your protective side that doesn't want to see her get hurt kicks in. But you do just have to accept that romantic and sexual desires are a natural part of youth, and that your sisters behaviour is normal and healthy.

Your concern for your sister's wellbeing is understandable, but you do need to take a step back and let her get on with her own life. Incessantly questioning her about exactly what she's done with her boyfriend will only result in annoying her or driving her away so she no longer feels she can confide in you. Let her know that you think she's taking it a bit fast, that you don't want to see her hurt and she should be careful, but then leave it - if she wants your advice, she'll come to you. You seem to have a good relationship at the moment to be able to talk about these things to begin with, so don't ruin it by being excessively nosey - everyone needs their private life and emotions. Trying to force details out of her when she doesn't want to give them will just make her resent you for probing (and this is true pretty much universally), and, to be perfectly honest, the details really aren't any of your buisness anyway.

As a final word - "slut" is vile language to talk about anyone, especially your sister. Think about what you are really saying before you use it again.

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My bf is a stubborn jerk, to be blunt. Well for starters he got mad at me the last time I phoned him becuase it was before 6 pm. He moved away to another province 6 weeks ago for a job. He hasnt phoned me or emailed me since then. I also suspect he was annoyed becuase I didnt sound more upset that he was moving.
Everyone has warned me about long distant relationships, and I used to think me and my bf could do it. But now I can see what they were warning me about.
I cannot believe that my bf hasnt even wished me a merry xmas yet! Or bought me a gift and sent it in the mail!!
So my question is should I wait for him to email me or should I?

So, your boyfriend hasn't attempted to make contact with you for six weeks and is, in your own words, a "stubborn jerk".

Why are you still clinging to this relationship? He's either not that bothored about being with you, in which case you should break up with him because you deserve better, or he's playing ridiculous mind games because he's annoyed that you didn't create a ridiculous drama when he moved away, which is frankly pathetic behaviour from a grown man.

The mature thing to do would be to call him and tell him that you are ending things because he is clearly not capable of maintaining your relationship. The tempting thing to do would be to consider yourself a free woman and halt contact the way he's done to you and make him wonder what on earth is going on - it's your call.

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I just had my birthday several days ago, and I was wondering if someone could explain to me what this one gift from a guy I really like was supposed to mean.
While we had been friends for a while, but i had been hoping that one day he would be my bf. I thought we were heading in that direction, but since I had my birthday I've been thinking I may be wrong about that.
The gift that he gave me was a little insulting actually. It was a very tacky looking t shirt from Walmart with the words "IF YOU"RE CUTE I"M SINGLE," on the front.
Now does that mean that he is giving me some sort of message? I mean if he really liked me why would he give me a shirt to let other guys know that I was single? Or to attract any other guys at all for that matter.
It really hurt me and embarrassed me. It made me angry because his birthday was the week before and I got him a really nice gift.
Does anyone know what this meant? And do you think he gave me that shirt to let me now he wasnt interested?

The most likely explanation is that he is just clueless.

Lots of people find buying gifts difficult. Teenage boys (I assume you are teenagers) often find this particularly akward, as girls often seem very alien to them. Imagine he did like you and wanted to buy you a present - what would he get you? You might think something that showed he cared, but he might be afraid to show that he really likes you for fear of rejection or being laughed at for being too sensitive by his friends. Or perhaps he really did try to get you something you'd love but just had no idea what would be appropriate.

It's natural to feel dissapointed that his gift didn't live up to your expectations, but I wouldn't assume he doesn't like you because of what he got you. On the contrary, the fact that he made the effort to get you something at all shows he thought of you and tried to get you something you'd like. OK so it wasn't particularly intelligent on his part, but he probably thought it was a fun T-shirt, or something that would make him smile if he saw a girl wearing it. I'm sure he wasn't trying to imply something about you or try to palm you off on other guys.

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My boyfriend and I are fairly young, but we've been together for a long time. We have been talking about marriage, and both of our families support us and think it's a good idea.

Here is the problem. We're both from different countries. I don't want to have to choose one country over the other, or in other words, one family over the other. Also, I have never really pictured myself having a big wedding. I am pretty shy, and I know making my wedding a huge show would end up being very stressful for me. I would rather have it be a private ceremony between two people that love each other. Also, if we eloped, it would be more affordable.

So does it sound like a good idea? If you're wondering, he is indifferent about how we would get married.

You should ask yourself: if there were no issue with your families travelling, where and how would you like to get married?

You don't want to elope if that isn't what you want independently of this problem, as you may end up regretting it in later years. From reading your question however, it seems that this is something you'd quite like to do anyway, for a number of reasons - that it's more private, that it's less stressful and that it's more affordable. That it also solves the family issues is a fortunate consequences, and as such, I think it's definitely something you and your partner should look into.

That said however weddings are invariably extremely complicated and some families may be liable to get offended by your decesions, however good your intentions are. If you or your partners family have particularly strong feelings about being invited to the wedding you should discuss it with them first. I'm not suggesting you should allow your families to bully you into a wedding that isn't what you want, merely that you should sit them down and explain the reasons behind your decesion to them beforehand rather than just, say, coming back from Hawaii wearing wedding rings.

Planning weddings is stressful, and it can be difficult to stand up for what you and your partner want in the face of family pressure to have a big or traditional wedding, but your wedding should be your day and it should reflect you and your partners wamt, so be assertive and if you want to elope, do it.

All the best.

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I hate to place such a long babblement on you, but I've always approved of your advice, so here goes.
Okay, so the issue at hand is essentially this: I like a guy, and he appears to like me. Or at least, he did.
My roommate kinda had a thing for this guy. But I started hanging out with him because we had a lot in common, and he sort of developed a crush on me. I hate to admit it, but my feelings for him kinda grew and I developed a pretty mutual crush on him.
He and I fooled around a little, I admit, but here's where it gets complicated.
He came to the dorm one time while my roommate was there, and we ended up laying on my bed talking.
My roommate proceeded to throw things at us and wholly piss us both off. She hit ME in the head at one point, and her friend was trying to get her to stop.
Since then, nothing has really happened with me and this guy.
I think he stopped because he doesn't want to deal with my roommate. Every single one of our friends, both his and mine, think there's more than just friendship between us.
Even our theory teacher, I think, knows something. We've come into class together a few times, we talk all the time, we're always the last to leave...
My issue is kind of this: On one hand, I'd like to continue whatever me and this guy have going...but I don't want it to escalate into a relationship because he's a good friend and I'm worried about losing the friendship.
So I guess my question is what should I do about this? Should I just let it go? I hate to admit that I'm attracted to him, but I am. My roommate is "kind of dating" someone else, so that's not a problem, really (it shouldn't be). I guess what I want is kind of a friends with benefits kind of thing, without it getting too complicated...
My first instinct is to talk to him about it, but I'm not sure that would pan out too well.
What do you think?

When faced with a complicated problem, it sometimes helps to simplify things a bit. On the one side are arguments for taking things further with this guy, and on that side there's basically the point that you like him and he likes you. On the other side of the equation, reasons to be cautious and perhaps not take things fruther, is the thing with your friend complicating matters, that you don't want to mess up a friendship you obviously value and that you yourself are unsure and stalling over what to do.

My gut instinct here is that if you don't like him enough to make the leap and start a relationship with this guy then vaguely falling into a relationship of sorts with him won't work out well. Either you like each other enough to be in a relationship, in which case you should be prepared to work past the hurdles of your friendship and the behaviour of your roommate, or you don't - in which case you should accept that and realise that you're better apart despite the attraction that both of you feel.

Can 'friends with benefits' relationships work? That depends what you count as 'working'. They can be fulfilling for short periods, but the setup inevitably end with somebody saying that they're ending the arrangement because they're interested in somebody else who they want to commit to more fully. Can your friendship survive that? However much you try, it's impossible to detach yourself fully from your emotions - it hurts to be broken up with, whatever the setup of the relationship, and it takes a while to get over feelings of hurt and rejection, and your friendship might not survive the damage. It seems if you are really worried about your long term friendship withstanding a relationship it would be better to avoid a sexual relationship of any nature. If however you think you would work on your friendship after the ending of your friends-with-benefits relationship then why don't you have faith in yourself that you could do the same if you ended a full blown relationship? Of course it would be hard, but it is possible, and if you like a friend perhaps you need to make that commitment to yourself that you would work on things after the end.

It seems to me from the language of your question that you do really quite like this guy, but are afraid of making a commitment for fear of getting hurt yourself and ruining a friendship. It is frigtening to let yourself go and risk messing things up with a person, but sometimes it's worth it, and if you like him, perhaps you should take that leap.

All the best.

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