Q&A Lifestyle page

Sex can be embarrassing to open up and talk about, and not talking will NOT improve your situation. All people single or in a relationship go through several stages in life they want assistance with.

Feel free to send us your lifestyle questions covering sex and relationships.

lianne@houseofardent.co.uk

Lianne, I am 22 and single. I have a full-time job that I love, however I work with my ex partner who I dated for 3 months. He is constantly texting me and trying to get back with me. I have been warned at work that having a domestic issue at work is not allowed. I don’t know how to tell him to go away without hurting his feelings. He text me around 10 times a day and will not stop following me and trying to talk to me. I don’t want to leave my job but I don’t know what to do or how to handle it, what do you suggest?

Thanks for your email, it sounds a bit messy your end, I assume you did not end the relationship on mutual ground? If he is bombarding you with text and following you around this causes serious issues both for your work and your own saftey. Being a target of someone’s attention when it is not mutual can be both intimidating and a nuisance, Ask yourself would you allow a stranger to do this, the answer is probably “No”, it works the same with ex partners.
My first suggestion would be to address the issue in an assertive way. You need to remember that he is responsible for his own feelings and you for your own, you are not responsible for how he feels so put your own well-being and feelings first.
It seems to me that he is still very keen on you and looking to reconcile and thinks there is a chance, so you have to make it clear there is not. The best way to address the situation and make yourself heard is to approach him and ask for a chat, text messaging is not the answer, there is no emotion connected to text and he will most likely read it the wrong way. I will suggest somewhere open, with others nearby so it is less personnal and for saftey reasons.
There is no need to raise your voice or use any insults, tell him nicely its 100% over by remaining calm and being assertive but direct, this way he will hopefully hear it correctly and hopefully he will take it on board. Remember not to give him false hope, one of the worst things you can do is to pretend there is hope of a reconciliation, now or ever.
You have to make it clear that your relationship is over and you have moved on, and he needs to do the same. Maybe open the conversation with something like “I enjoyed what we had when we had it, however it’s now over and I have moved on”.

If this does not work, do NOT reply to his text messages. You have to make it clear that you have no interest in anything more than work colleagues. Replying or accepting calls from him will make him think he has a chance as your are in interacting with him.
Make it clear you have no bad feelings but if his actions continue you will have no choice but to report it to your manager. Also, make it clear there are personal boundaries he is overstepping-especially trying to distract you at work, whtever you do, do not go back on your word, you must report it.
Domestic issues should be resolved away from work in your own time and at your own expense.

Lianne, I have been dating a guy on and off for around two years, we are both 25. We have a kind of friends with benefits relationships when we are both single, and then we don’t even talk when we are with a new partner. I really like him and don’t what to do. At the moment we are both single and I would like more than friends with benefits.

Oh, the great friends with benefits situation I have definitely been here on more than one occasion.
Friends with benefits can have both positives and negatives attached to it, first if you’re just after hassle free sex it’s great, however this very rarely happens long-term without one or both parties falling for the other.
You say you turn to one another when you have sexual desires and are both single, my advise would be to take some control and not just fall into bed with him next time. If you are friends without sex and can spend time together then it’s best to be open with him. You need to have the conversation and let him know you have feelings, then you can make a long-term decision based on his answer, as to whether you wish to continue as friends with benefits or work at a real relationship.
I know of successful relationships from these situations and I have also known of heartache and resentment building up from them. I suggest having the conversation sooner rather than later to find out where you stand. Then you can either say thank you for the great sex but you are looking for more, or you still have sex and accept it for what it is. At least you will have the answer.
I would also advise having the conversation soon before he gets into another relationship, otherwise you will be waiting again until they split up and regretting you never made your move.

Lianne

I have been with my partner for 18 months, he’s 28 and I’m 21. Recently he has started mentioning adding stuff to our sex life such as masturbation in front of him and anal sex. I have been brushing it off when he mentions it as I feel embarrassed by it. I’m worried because I don’t know how to do any of it and I am scared its going to hurt. He has also become offensive about it when he’s had a drink by making comments that I am not very adventurous in bed and it makes me feel really pressurised. I’m not sure what to do as I feel if I don’t start adding things he will look elsewhere. What should I do?

First off let me tell you so you can be assured your attitude is perfectly normal, however as for your partner he seems like he could do with a bit of a wake up call. A considerate worthy partner would never make you feel bad about not wanting to try something that is not regarded as regular sex in a relationship, especially when you are scared about it. Relationships should be built on respect, honesty, loyalty and supporting one another, if you feel this is the case then you need to speak up.

I suggest next time he mentions it, you tell him about how you feel and not avoid the issue. I recommend doing this when he has not had a drink, also ask him why he always mentions it. You need to explain you are feeling uneasy about his attitude and its knocking your confidence, I know you say your embarrassed by it, but ignoring it is not the answer.

I can tell you many couples experiment with anal sex and masturbation as a way to enhance their sex life’s and enjoy it. Knowing how to do it is the key. Masturbation is something you can work on alone until your comfortable too share it with him. Anal sex is more advanced and I would suggest reading up on it first, the main point for anal sex is to know that you are in control, its about you pushing back onto him and not him pushing in to you. Make it clear you are in control.

It would also be wise to mention to him that he needs to be more patient until your ready, and if he cant be patient to be quiet. Tell him you want to be with him but not under pressure and not with him insulting you. If he does not listen then maybe its time to let him go and find someone who is more compatible for both of you.

Lianne

I hang around with a group of friends at college and I am totally loved up on his one guy in the group who has no idea I like him. We all hang out in the bars on the weekend and we talk a lot on the phone and on Facebook, we have flirted on nights out but nothing more. I really want to be with him but have been waiting months for him to ask me out but he hasn’t. I’m not sure weather to carry on waiting around for him ask me out of to just forget about him.

Wake up lovely, we are in the 21st century, years after women fought for equal right’s as the men, and not so long since the spice girls released a song encouraging women to stand up and say “ I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want”.

Women have the right to ask men out just as men have been asking women for many years. Gone are the days of waiting around and praying you will be asked and putting your love life on hold until he asks you for a date, take the lead and ask him. Remember the saying “if you don’t ask you don’t get”.

Its not wrong, embarrassing or rare for women to to ask men out on dates or to be open with someone they admire, its one of the most attractive factors a women has to offer, a female with confidence.

If you don’t ask you will never know, but you will always kick yourself and wonder in the future “what if?” if you miss your chance.

Take control, ask, find out and don’t waste any days wondering, remember each day you don’t ask is a day not knowing, and it could be potential day lost with someone you could be sharing it with.

Good luck, now go and ask him.

Dear Lianne

I am 21 and pregnant, the thing is I am not sure who the father is, it could be either of two guys. I have been online dating and have had several dates with two guys, not to be a serial dater more the fact its casual dating until I decide if I want to continue with one of them. I have always used condoms but on a couple of occasions they have split. I did take the morning after pill but it never worked. I’m 3 months pregnant and going to keep it. I only have contact with one of the guys now as the other has moved away. I need to get a DNA test from both, but the one that thinks he’s the father even though we are not even togeather is being really off and will not allow it, he just says he is the father and that’s it. I want the baby to grow up knowing the real father.

Congratulations. Firstly and let me reassure you, you are not alone, and neither are you stupid for waiting to see how the dates developed to decide who to be with, too many people jump into relationships because they are given the ultimatum, its all or nothing. Decisions are then made on emotions and they can turn out to be disastrous relationships. I want to take my hat off to you for using condoms, even if they broke. You have tried all precautions to prevent this situation happening but sometimes they just happen. Embrace the fact your pregnant and your going to make it work, single parents are just as good as two parents, sometimes better. I was a single parent and it was healthier than being in a relationship with arguments around the children, and its wrong to force a relationship neither party wants to develop just for the sake of children.

Most importantly you need to find out who the father is before anything else, first off-the selfish one, who is not assisting you needs to be told no proof means you cant name him as the father, he needs to get a grip for the sake of the child and not take the attitude that he can just play the role. Anyone can father a child, only a real man makes a dad. If he sees himself as a decent man he needs to assist you with providing DNA.

The man that has gone away needs to be contacted or at least be made aware that he could potentially be a father. I know you say he has gone away but he is traceable, social media is amazing these days! You need to track him down and be honest with him, if he’s a real man he will assist in helping you. If not, you must try to work with the one who is at hand so you can find out which one is the father.

If this happened to me, I would meet the one who is refusing and get his DNA via his saliva or hair. You do have 6 months to go but you dont want to wait longer than you have too to sort this out . You can buy testing kits online, provide a sample and send it off when the baby is born. Its your peace of mind that’s at stake, and that of the child, I would make sure I got it.

Hopefully, he will see that the baby is most important than himself and work with you when the initial shock is over.

I wish you all the best, and hold you head high your going to be a great mum xx

Lianne

I tried to fix my relationship by offering a three some. My partner was always staring and making comments to very attractive woman. I felt he wanted to be adventurous so I took the risk based on my own confidence. I was willing to do anything to save my relationship, but when I made the offer, I was cruelly judged. It debilitated me sexually and after that reaction, I felt mechanical. I’m not sure what I did wrong.

The first rules about fixing a relationship is to know why the relationship is broken in the first place. It sounds to me like our partner is an inconsiderate idiot. You say you took the risk to try to save your relationship, the only risk worth taking is to confront him, be honest with yourself and not do anything you don’t want to do, offering a threesome to satisfy him is not the answer. Having to fight for a partners attention is not healthy either in any circumstances, it should come naturally. You need to put your own boundaries and expectations in order to gain confidence not offer sexual situations you may later regret. Your partner does not seem the person who has any respect for you, first making you feel inadequate and insecure by giving his attention openly towards other females in front of you. Secondly by judging you for making suggestions to try and improve your relationship. I’m sorry but he does not seem like a man worth investing your time in, you need to invest in yourself and work on your own needs and expectations. I would suggest sitting him down and asking if he wants to sort the relationship out. If he does not listen to your worries or insecurities then its time for you too move on. The relationship will keep affecting your confidence if you stick with this guy, you will also become more insecure. Take a leap of faith in yourself. Don’t try to satisfy and please others before your own needs first, a one-sided relationship will never work. Accept him for how he is or move on and find someone willing to be an equal partner, both intimate and sexually.

There is a famous saying “Dont let the heart that didnt love you, keep you from the one that will”

I am 39 I didn’t feel like having sex very often; however I do have sex with my partner in order to keep him happy at least once a week. I have recently discovered he has been seeing another women who he met in the local supermarket and I don’t know what to do. I am doing my best to try to be available sexually for him. Should I continue being sexually available and in a relationships with him even though I know he has been unfaithful? Should I have considered it just an affair and turn the other cheek?

Lets slow down here, you have a lot on your plate. You must be feeling lost. You have not mentioned why you don’t feel like having sex and this is an important issue. Yo are at the age where there could be hormonal changes going on, making this a health issue and not a relationships issue. My first advice would be to go visit your doctor. The first sign of peri-menopause is a lack of interest in sex. There are many other reasons it may also be such as thyroid issues, therefore I suggest the first step is to contact your doctor and go have a check-up. Explain your situation and loss of sexual desire and get to the bottom of your own sexual issue first.

Your partner is obviously wanting more sex than you but that is no excuse to go to the local supermarket to go meet a women and start an affair. For relationships to work they do involve not just friendship and hand holding, they need intimacy. The fact he has decided to get sex from outside your relationships is something that needs to be addressed and quickly. Men are natural sexual creatures, they also have desires but this is no excuse to be use deceit. You both need to sit down and decid if you both want to save the relationship and support one another. Tell him the affair needs to end and he needs to support you. Mediation and a doctors visit is the first port of call.

Try not to take any fault for him having an affair, ask him if it was for emotional or sexual satisfaction as thease are 2 seperate issues. If it was sexual I would suggest working on it to save the relationsip. If it was emotional then you both have to work out what you both want from the relationship and decided if it is worth investing time to try to make it work.

What ever your decision you need to go and visit your doctor and get checked-up. Life is for living and sex is a natral part of this.

My partner has accused of having an affair even though I am not, it really hurts me. I have been unfaithful in a previous relationship and I confessed , as soon as I could. That relationship still broke down and we seperated . I confessed to my new partner at the start of our relationship and he now thinks I cheat in all my relationships, and all the time. I have my uspicions he is, but I have no proof. He is a tradesman and I have the feeling he crosses the professional line with his customers, especially, lonely housewife type. He carries on personal contact with some of them outside of work, while he accuses me of cheating. I’ve given up my own job to assure him of my intentions and commitment. I’m not sure what to do at this point but the changes I make are making no difference in his approach to other women.

What are you doing in this relationship? Get away form it as fast as you can, its got toxic written all over it. This relationship is never going to work, and for each day you are in it you can not claim back! You are both as bad as one another. Im sorry but you are putting yourself in a situation to be a victim. You are giving up your own identity to try and be something he thinks you should be in. Never do this. Never loose your self to please others. Right now you have your finger on the self disctruct button

My first part of advice is too go and love yourslef, go and discover who you are and quickly! You need to understand that being honest is not wrong and that anyone who uses your honesty against you is not someone worth in vesting your time in.

You are both too insecure to be in a relationship, especially with one another. Stop making excuses for him and accepting his behaviour. Run as fast as you can!

Lianne
My friend has been heterosexual since I have known her which is 9 years. She has 3 children and married the love of her life. Unfortunately they got divorced and she went off the rails and became addicted to drink and drugs, thankfully she is now sober. I seen her on FB and I saw that she was in a loving relationship with a new man which was going well until she suddenly disappeared for 6 months. She has now got back in touch and revealed she has married a women! I’m so confused and think she is making a real mistake. I don’t know how to deal with it or even to take her seriously. D x

This seems a lot to take in for anyone, no wonder you are confused. Her divorce obviously knocked her off-balance and she went off the rails for a while, it happens to a lot of people. You have to be thankful that she sort the help she needed through rehabilitation and is now clean. Once thing I can tell you is that rehab comes with fantastic therapy which really helps people rebuild their lives. Maybe she discovered during her time there that she was attracted to women but decided not to act on it because it was the wrong time, which is why she dated another man. That relationship ended and she has moved on and found love again, so what if it’s with a women. The way to view this is that she is feeling love again and she is happy. Support her as a friend and ask questions, don’t avoid her just because you don’t know what to say. Why don’t you invite her for a coffee just the two of you, then you can see if she seems genuinely happy and genuine. This gives you the opportunity to raise any concerns you may have about her mental state. I suspect she will tell you she is happy where she is at right now and that’s what counts.

Lianne
I split up with my partner and went straight into another relationship. The guy was lovely but it never quite grew into a full on love relationship and we agreed to break up, we are still great friends. Since then I have not had the desire to date or have sex again. I don’t have trust issues and I have a mature outlook for my age I’m 45. What’s wrong with me. Why do I not have an interest in dating or sex when I still like men? I don’t want to be alone forever but I am scared I will. How do I get the urge back to want to meet someone?

It sounds to me like you are not putting yourself in situations to meet new people, therefore your libido is shouting out it’s ‘out of sight-out of mind’. Many people have failed relationships and easily go on to date and have sexual encounters by simply getting back out there and getting on with life.
There is another well know saying ‘if you don’t use it, you lose it’! It has never been truer than when it comes to sex. If we don’t have sex, we don’t want sex. It’s like with most things if you don’t have it front of you then you don’t desire it!
My advice is to get yourself back out there and grab yourself some attention and get back in on the action. If you can’t go out then go online, there are thousands of websites and apps for every kind of date, casual, short-term, long-term and some specifically for the over 40s. One thing I have discovered over the years is that it’s ok to be single, but we still need attention.

Lianne
I am in a 25-year-old guy who is in a long distance relationship and it is tearing me apart. I love my girlfriend to bits and don’t want to lose her but I can’t rid these feelings of insecurities. She said she wants to be with me and has put her life on hold until I finish my university degree when we can be together full-time. She is based in the UK and I am in Australia. I have asked her to be with me in Australia but she said she can’t leave her job which I understand. I am kept awake at night with thoughts going through my mind of her being with someone else and I just don’t know what to do. Sometimes I don’t get any sleep and it’s making me feel sick and depressed. I would so appreciate your advice.

I am so sorry to hear of the anxiety and confusion you are going through, let me reassure you I know how hard it is to have a long distance relationship, I have dad one. You need to sit down and address a few issues sooner rather than later as it’s clear your partner fully supports and loves you and wants you both to be together full-time once your studies are over. Start by being open about your emotions and talking about how you feel, she sounds like a supportive partner so will understand.. The best thing about long distance relationships is that it gives both people the chance to be independent and show support for the other during hard times. Why not ask her to send you a bit of her clothing so you can smell her and feel she is with you. Also try date nights where you can date on skype and flirt with one another, this will show anc reassure the other just how much you love them.
Don’t try to make the mood low by saying how much you miss her repeatedly, this can make her feel you have insecurities and can make her feel uneasy. Instead explain how much you miss her then say how great her clothing smells and how well she looks. When you make someone feel confident they will want to make you feel good about yourself. Hang in there because long distance relationships can work as long as the couple support one another.
Lianne

I have been dating this guy for around one month and he keeps asking to meet my friends and family. I like him a lot but am not in love with him and feel he is pushing me before I am ready. He keeps suggesting I don’t like him as much as he likes me and that I am embarrassed of him as I don’t introduce him to anyone. I am just a private person who has been single for many years and don’t feel the rush to make introductions in a hurry . How can I tell him I like him a lot but I need him to back off a bit.

To be perfectly honest you have to say it how it is and be strong about it. There is nothing worse than a pushy guy demanding you introduce him to your friends and family, you need to make sure he is hearing you from the start. When you are both alone and calm suggest a chat about your relationship and how you are feeling pressured, use this opportunity to inform him you choose to be with him and not need to be, tell him to take it as a compliment and to work with you and not push you. At the same time try to find out if he has insecurities about your relationship and why, he may feel he needs to open up to you about a past relationship that he may have been hurt by, its only then you know what you are dealing with can you solve the issue. Remember stay assertive and don’t be made to feel uncomfortable.

Lianne

I have got myself in a crazy situation. I am in a relationship with a guy I have been with for 2 years and we are really happy. However, last week I went to a job interview for an office job which followed with wine, I got the job. The man interviewing me was so charming and before I realized what was happening we were drinking in his hotel room and undressing one another. We went on to have the best sex I have ever had, something that has have been lost with my partner recently. I now have to go away on a training week with the same man who interviewed me and I just know I am going to fall in bed with him as I have not stopped thinking about him. I feel so guilty towards my partner but really need this job as I have been unemployed for nearly 12 months.

I have to admit you have reminded me of a situation I got myself in many years ago and I’m happy to say you can also get yourself out of it to. Just like one of my old managers. I am sure he came across charming especially as he made you feel confident about getting your new job, you celebrated with drinks and it seemed nothing could go wrong, however it did and in a big way. See it as a one-off and stay focused on your job if you can’t then walk away. I can assure you these kind of flings head nowhere and it will not help you climb the ladder in your career. There is only one industry you can sleep your way to the top and it’s not an office job! I know it’s been 12 months but there are other jobs out there.
You also need to look at your relationship and be honest about what is missing and how you can get it back on track with your partner if you want too. Explain to him that you are feeling the relationship has lost its passion and you want it back. One more word of advise try to leave the booze alone when in situations where emotions can run wild.