Ask @Jay_Row:

I've been with my boyfriend for a few months. He's sweet, funny and kind. The only thing is, I'm not attracted to him. I've known that all along but I've been trying not to be superficial. I tried to ignore it but now I feel like I resent him because I don't fancy him. Should we break up?

In a word; yes. Why are you with him if you don't fancy him? Sure he's sweet, funny and kind, but so are puppies and friends. And you don't have to go to the effort of going out with them to get that. If you don't fancy him, then he shouldn't be your boyfriend. The 'fancying' part is one of the fundamental defining points of a boyfriend or a girlfriend, so if that's missing, you're selling yourself short. You're also not being fair to him; he deserves to be with someone who gets tingles in their tummy at the thought of being with them. Would YOU like to be with someone who didn't fancy you? My guess is you'd be gone before you could say 'Chemistry'.
You're not being superficial by wanting to end it because he doesn't do it for you, among other things we're visually-stimulated creatures, and physical & sexual attraction is what separates a guy who is a friend from a guy who could be a potential love interest. It's the funny feelings in our fuzzy bits that keep this world of ours turning :)
I could labour the point, but I suspect you know all of this. I think you're maybe trying to find a way out of this without hurting his feelings, and without feeling bad yourself. I don't imagine you were going to just grin and bear it for the next few years, having absolutely no sexual attraction to someone you're stuck with just because you don't want to be the breaker-upper. Unfortunately, it's gotta be done. It will hurt his feelings, but you're doing him a favour and it's not out of nastiness; it's out of honesty and respect. You're giving the two of you the gift of freedom to have something way better with other people who will melt your butter in ways you never imagined. Sure who wouldn't want a present like that? Go forth and take the step, it'll sting but things will be far better for the both of you. Let some chemistry into your life!
Best of luck <3

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My bf cancels our plans all the time just cos he doesn't feel like it or wants to do sometime stupid together like go to McDonalds, so I guess I'm asking should make it look like an accident or suicide? Or just straight up chop his bollocks off

I'd go for the bollock-chop, personally. Unless he throws in the odd apple pie and hot fudge sundae while you're paying a visit to Maccy D's, but that's just me.
Seriously though, why doesn't he want to hang out with his girlfriend? Has he got some other idea of what a girlfriend actually is? If he keeps telling you he doesn't feel like doing things with you, then I recommend you develop a case of not feeling like doing him. See how long this Sexican Stand-Off lasts with Mr De-Motivator, and I'm pretty sure he'll come around fairly quickly. Either that, or he'll have to get used to coming alone. The lazy fecker.
I'm sure you're awesome, so he's lucky you've deigned to stick with him. Make sure he knows it. Go forth and kick his apathetic arse!
<3

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I'm absolutely torn between two lovely guys. I know them both for years & I have such a great connection with each of them, I have the opportunity right now to be with either one of them (both have recently asked me to give it a go), which should be fantastic, but i cant decide which one, any tips?

That's a nice quandary to be in, albeit a tricky one! It's really down to chemistry at this point, if all the things you tell me are true and equal to both guys. If all of the boxes are being ticked, it falls to whichever chap can deliver everything you need on a long-term basis. Can you see yourself with one more than the other? Is one more dependable? More secure in himself emotionally, financially, in other ways? It sounds like both are very good friends, so either way you will gain something lovely and keep another friendship. I would exercise caution in how you go about it, however. Just be mindful of the feelings of both guys whoever you choose. My tip would be; all other things being equal, go for the one who gives you the most butterflies. Whoever you choose, there will be a sight element of risk involved, but sometimes you have to just take a deep breath and dive in! Good luck :)

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I ended a friendship recently as my friend's an emotional dumper & was bringing me down. I talked to her&explained how hurt I felt. She refused to accept any responsibility for my feelings & said it was my problem. Now I miss her. We've been friends since we were kids. Do I get in contact?

Friendships are a tricky business in the grown-up world. As people get older and change their priorities in life, it's very common for friendships to change and for some to cool off as people go their separate ways. It's a rare thing when someone actually specifically ends a friendship though; most people are content to just let such things slide naturally so as not to attract any attention to the issue.
I'm guessing it wasn't a decision that you took likely in telling her how you felt about her behaviour towards you, and the fact that you didn't get the result you wanted must have upset you a great deal. So I'm wondering what it is that has made you want her back in your life at this stage?
When you guys were friends, you found her quite draining, and referred to her as 'an emotional dumper'. Friendship, like a romantic relationship, is something that functions at its best when both parties are benefitting from the union. It seems that she got the better end of the deal, in that she could vent to you at her leisure, and bring all her problems to your door, but you were left feeling like all YOU got was negativity. If she refused to accept responsibility for your feelings when you brought it up, chances are it's highly unlikely she's changed in the time since you guys spoke. So if you DO want to revisit the friendship, you'll have to accept that not much will have changed, and she'll still be the same person who brought you down all the time.
It could be that you miss the good times or what could have been, and things seem a lot better than they actually were through the rose-tinted glasses of time. Or it could simply be that you DO miss her. Only you can know the answer to that question. Once you've figured out your motivation, you'll find it easier to decide whether or not you want her back in your life.
I would say that it's probably no harm in reaching out, after all, life is too short to hold grudges, and it'll be better for your overall well-being to eliminate animosity and strife wherever you can in your life. But if you do reach out and offer the olive branch, remember she may not want to get back in contact with you, and so you'll have to make your peace with that.
However, if all goes well and you guys get back in contact, I would advise you to mind yourself in it from the beginning. You can keep her in your life, but keep your emotional cards close to your chest, and watch out for signs that you're falling into old roles where you're the designated shoulder for her to cry on constantly yet again. Just make a decision in your mind about what you will & won't tolerate, and then avoid situations where the old habits could kick in again. Remember; you can't change her; you'll have to be the one to change. You can resolve to be more assertive, and set a higher standard for how you want your friends to treat you.
Best of Luck!

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I'm head over heels with my guy. We've been together a year & now started talking about marriage. But I can't keep him excited in bed, tho he has plenty of "privet time." I've tried EVERYTHING. He swears he loves/wants me but we haven't had sex in months. I love him but I also love sex. Advice?!

Ooh, that's a tough one. A year is a very short time to be with someone and having a dry spell in the bedroom department that lasts for months. That's a considerable portion of your time together where you're feeling rejected and unhappy and you have needs that aren't being met. It definitely needs addressing with your fella. Your sex life and intimacy level can often reflect how your relationship is progressing, and if it's non-existent, it's worth further investigation.
What I find intriguing is that from what you're saying, he's got no problem meeting his own needs himself in private time? So he has a sex drive of sorts, but only on his own. It could be an intimacy issue he has or some internal worries that are preventing him from being intimate and loving with you. Masturbation, as well as a sexual release, is a way to relax and decompress without any burden of expectation on the part of an outside party, so I wouldn't panic too much about that. What's more important is why you guys aren't talking with each other about something this fundamental. If he's swearing that he loves and wants you, then if he's plainly not wanting to be intimate with you and it's gone on for months, you're well entitled to ask for an explanation or at least get the ball rolling on some proper honest communication.
Normally if there's a sudden lack of interest in sex from a partner, it could be that they're under a lot of stress in other areas of their life. Stress and anxiety are the ultimate passion-killers, so have a think about whether you have noticed any changes in his behaviour in other areas of life. Are there financial concerns? Could he be depressed? Has he worries and fears about the relationship and where it's going that he hasn't spoken about? You guys are only together for a year and are talking about marriage, and that's a big step. Have you guys really, honestly talked about it and what you want from each other in the long run? Sometimes when things move as fast as that, things tend to take on a life of their own and it can be hard to pump the brakes and really take a look at things to make sure you're both on the same page.
Let's tackle the other fear that may be flying around your brain: infidelity. The old "If he's not getting it from me, he's getting it somewhere else" cliché can rear its ugly head, but in this situation, I don't know enough about the relationship to say that it could be a factor. Only your gut instinct and evidence will present that possibility. This would be my 'last resort' suggestion if you haven't gotten any satisfaction (so to speak) with any of the above.
Bottom line: Talk it out. If he's not willing to discuss it, then to me that's a way bigger issue than a lack of sex. No point in talking marriage with someone who won't communicate with you about any problems or concerns they're having. That's far too lonely a state to be in. Talk, listen, and face whatever comes.
Good Luck!

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Have you ever used anti-depressants? Any weird side affects? I'm currently on Venlalaxine and they cause me to sweat a lot and have dry mouth, just wondering if this is common for other people on ant-depressants to have recurring and annoying side affects.

In my own experience: I’ve used anti-depressants on and off over the years (under doctor supervision), and been on a wide selection in the years that I’ve been treated. I’ve heard of one called Venlafaxine, so I think maybe that’s the one you’re referring to, because no search results are coming up for the one you mentioned. I’ve found Venlafaxine very helpful in the treatment of anxiety-based antidepressants, and is more commonly known through the brand names Ireven or Effexor.
There CAN be side effects to taking any anti-depressants, mostly in the first few months of getting used to the drug – the important thing is to take the time to read through the leaflets you get in the box, and that will make you feel a bit better about any strangeness while you’re on them. Sweating can be a side effect all right as far as I know, but if it’s giving you cause for concern, ask your GP for a detailed chat about any changes that occur after you start taking them. Unfortunately, it can be a trial-and-error process when you start getting treatment for depression, and some pills will be more effective than others. It depends on your diagnosis and the nature of your illness.
The important thing is to not give up or stop taking your prescription unless on the advice of your doctor. If you suddenly stop taking Venlafaxine then you’re REALLY going to experience some crappy side-effects, and you don’t want that. So keep taking them as prescribed until your next doctor’s appointment, and then have a chat with them about the side effects you’re experiencing and get some reassurance. You’re most definitely not the only one who gets these side effects, but consult your doctor before you do anything anyway.
Bottom Line: Talk to your doctor before doing anything.
Well done on being proactive in your treatment plan! Always be in tune with your body & mind and don’t be afraid to speak out if you’re not happy with what is being prescribed to you. The more information you have, the better you and your doctor can work together to find the best treatment for you in the long run.
If you haven’t before, I would also recommend bringing in a talk therapy aspect or some Cognitive Behavioural Therapy sessions to help with recognising signs of distress or anxiety and learning how to manage and deal with them in everyday life, and in conjunction with meds, you’ll be fighting fit and happier in yourself over time! Who doesn’t deserve a little peace and contentment in themselves?
Best of luck!

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I am in love with a liar. I question almost everything he says. It started when I found out he had a fondness for flirting over text with other women... Its been years since he has done that but he still lies about little things, money

Good Lord, what a horrible relationship to have been stuck in for so long. It must be exhausting, not to mind soul-destroying for you. I think your opening sentence both asks AND answers your quandary. You're in love - but he's a liar. So you're in love with a guy who has no truck with the whole 'being honest and respectful to the woman he's in a relationship with' thing - which, for most self-respecting females, is Number One on the Deal Breaker List. That can't make you feel very good about yourself, now can it?
From what you've said, it seems like this has been the status quo for years, and yet you wonder why he's still lying to you about pretty much everything ever since you let him get away with his attempts at infidelity. You've been telling him in no uncertain terms for YEARS (without having to physically say anything) that you're totally fine with him being deceitful, disloyal and sneaky. Of COURSE he's going to keep doing it. Why not? There are no consequences for him whatsoever; while you get the lovely reward of tormented nights, self-doubt, distrust, and generally driving yourself up the wall as payment for your acquiescence. Who do you think got the better deal? And for how long more are you going to sentence yourself to this mindset? Is your time on this earth less important than his? Are you worth less than basic honesty and respect in a relationship? Only you know the answer to these questions. I hope you're good and angry after reading this far into the answer...
To put it simply, this problem is about you. He's not going to change, and you can't make him. The only part of this you can control is you and the standards you set for yourself in relationships. If you don't think, at the very fucking least, that you're worth basic truth and respect from someone, then you stay stuck in this mental hell-hole and brace yourself for a lifetime of misery and insecurity.
I can't tell you to stop loving him obviously, but I can tell you to try and start loving yourself a bit more. Would you let a dear friend or relative stay with a man who, by your own admission, is a liar? I'd imagine the answer is no. So why are you worth any less?
Either way, while you're still involved with this guy, I'd start by immediately calling him out on every lie he tells you to let him know you've had enough. Write each deception down, keep a detailed list, and if you're still with him in 6 months, hand that list to your best friend and ask her what she thinks. Her language may be far more colourful than mine.
Bottom line: Be nicer to yourself, prioritise your own mental health and happiness, and you will begin to command more respect and honesty from those around you.
What You Can Do Today: Tell him to cop the fuck on with the lies, or you'll start a blog called My Lying Asshole Partner - and give his name.
If you end up doing that, send me the link.
Best of Luck!

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Hey Jen, Absolutely love you but wondering could you help. On a recent night out I really embarrassed a friend due to alcohol so much so he's done with me and hates me. I've completely ruined our friendship which I can't bare as I've had feelings for years (which he acknowledges)Idk what to do, help

Ah, the wonder of booze. What it gives in false confidence it takes away in caution and the ability to think ahead. I've been there, I feel your pain. It all really depends on what exactly happened, and how close you've been with this friend. Each friendship has its own dynamic and nuances, so it's hard to tell exactly how it will pan out overall. You won't be able to control or influence his reaction, so all you can do really is take responsibility for how you acted, and resolve never to get to that point with the booze again. Look, we've all done (and said) cringey mortifying things while under the influence, so don't be too hard on yourself. I'm sure your friend has had a few of those nights himself, and when he cools down he might remember that...
If you haven't already, I would suggest apologising to him, in person if possible. Keep it short and to the point. Just own what you did, let him know how much you value the friendship, say sorry and then leave it with him. You can do no more than that. Dust yourself off, forgive yourself, and move on. I can't say whether he'll come around, but at least you'll have maintained your own integrity. People fuck up; that's human nature. It's how you come back from a mistake that shows what you're made of. This was just a blip in your life. You're not the sum of your mistakes, so just chalk it down to experience and reset your alcohol limit for future reference!
I hope your friend comes around and forgives you, but if he doesn't, don't force the issue with him. That will only torment you more and dig a deeper hole. Who knows? Time is a great healer, especially when it comes to embarrassing drunken antics! TRUST ME... :)
Best of luck, fingers crossed!
<3

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Hey Jen, I have been really down lately, I have battled depression for a couple of years, but lately I have been lying awake beside my amazing husband thinking he would be better without me. I can't work up the courage to get help. Some days I feel normal and tell myself I'm fine. Others are bad....

First of all, thank you for contacting me. It must have been so difficult to write those words down. Suicidal thoughts can be louder than any other thoughts running around your brain, so to sit and put them down in concrete form takes a supreme amount of energy. Well done for reaching out!
Second of all, don't despair. You will be okay. You're still here, so you have options. If you think people would be better off without you, I can tell you now quite categorically that you're wrong. Apart from your immediate family and loved ones who will be devastated and forever changed by such an event in ways you won't be able to imagine, you have no idea how many other people you have influenced indirectly or connected with who will be affected by you deciding to end your life. So promise yourself that you'll stick around, and in time you will be very glad you did.
It's also vitally important to recognise that depression is an illness, and suicidal thoughts are a symptom of that illness, so thoughts are not coming from a place of logic. They're coming from a brain that is battling with its chemistry & wiring levels, so when you get these feelings of despair and depression, don't take them into your heart. Tell yourself it's your brain chemistry, and it will pass. I've been there more times than I can count, so trust me on this one. It will pass. It may pop up again, but it will go again. The trick is to be self-aware. And that starts with talking to a professional.
Get the ball rolling with a visit to your GP, but also check out www.aware.ie for some fantastic support ideas. MOST IMPORTANTLY: Talk to your husband, and I can assure you, you will be glad you did, and so will he. You don't have to do this alone. You would want to help him if the situation was reversed. What's also fantastic is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, it helps you to train your mind and learn how to cope when you do have bouts of depression. There's more info here: http://ie.reachout.com/getting-help/face-to-face-help/types-of-therapy/cognitive-behavioural-therapy/
Pieta House http://www.pieta.ie/?gclid=CKe6lZ_N6cQCFSRf2wodjEUAZw are fantastic as well. Reaching out and saying that you're not feeling good and you're having those thoughts is a big step to take, so you should be very proud of yourself. Don't be afraid to keep taking those steps. You're going to be okay. You ARE okay. You can always keep coming back here as well with any questions or support you need! Best of luck!
<3

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I've started seeing a guy, and it's going well. We get along great, the sex is amazing, and hrs just generally a good person to hang out with. We've both been hurt in the past though, and we're both hesitant. I'm afraid to let myself fall for him, and I think he's the same. What do we do?

When it comes to recovering from being badly hurt in past relationships, I think it's important to work at your own pace. The idea of moving on is great in theory but in practice it's a bit more of a bumpy road than simply just meeting someone new and 'boom' everything is perfect. Real life is a bit of a gowl like that :)
Patience and communication is the best combination in cases like this. You will both have your own time-frame and process of getting over past hurts so by being aware of that will help lessen any worries or insecurities on each other's part. But really when it comes to dealing with any emotional issues in a relationship, there's no substitute for honest communication. I know it'll be a big risk coming from a place of having been hurt before, but sometimes you have to power through and take a chance anyway, especially if you see a long-term commitment with this guy.
It's also worth actually saying out loud to yourself that he is not your ex, and you are not your partner's ex. You can't make the next person pay indirectly for someone else's mistakes. You have to tell yourself that every new person is a blank slate, a clean start, and enjoy the feeling of liberation that comes from that realisation.
Most of all, try not to allow your previous partner to occupy any more of your headspace. That's an awful lot of power to give someone who's not in your life any more. Make room for something new and exciting and issue-free! Be nice to yourself :) Hope this helps! Best of Luck :)

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I've been seeing my bf for 3 months and we're mad into each other. There's talk of living together and all kinds of long term plans. One problem. I go down on him and he doesn't reciprocate. I don't want to ask for something he doesn't enjoy but I'm not going without for the rest of my life. Advice?

Oooh, it's a tricky one! My first instinct would be to get rid of him because if he's not willing to give you what you need to help fulfill your sexual needs despite the fact that you do it for him, I'd consider it a dealbreaker. I've heard from the senior women in my life that "If he's selfish in bed, he's selfish in life" - and I can tell you that it's the truth. Real men take pride in the pleasure they give their other half, and it's no chore to visit the South, if you know what I mean :)
But I hear you saying you're mad about him, so it might not that simple. It seems that you haven't broached the subject with him, which is an issue in itself. For something as intimate as sex and going down on someone, it's so important to talk about it. It shouldn't be a taboo subject of conversation. Good open communication is the foundation of a great sex life within a relationship. You guys HAVE to have a chat about this; your long-term sexual satisfaction is at stake here. If you don't say anything and you guys are in it for the long haul, it's going to be a source of resentment for you, and you won't want to even go down on him in time because it will seem unfair. If sex becomes a battle-ground instead of a place of happiness and intimacy for you, that can only spell disaster. Talk, talk, talk. You may die a little at first, but think of what you may gain in the long run...
It may be that he doesn't feel confident going down on a woman, or he may never have done it before - only he knows why he doesn't do it, so chat with him and see why. The best time to bring it up, ironically, is while you're having a bit of a post-sex pillow talk. Start by chatting about what you liked about what he DID do, ask him if he likes the stuff you do, then when he brings up you giving him oral sex, say something along the lines that you'd love to have that done to you, and you bet he'd be really good at it - or whatever way suits you! You could even tell him you read an article online that talked about sex tips and how to enhance women's pleasure in bed and you saw one that tickled your fancy, so to speak..he's bound to be curious, so let him have a read if he wants. If he's as mad about you as you say, chances are he'll want to be the kind of guy who makes his girlfriend feel like a billion dollars in the bedroom.
Those are just a few suggestions on how to broach the topic if you're feeling a bit shy. Here are some links to popular articles from Cosmo (The bible for topics like these!) so you have some evidence of things you've read. The first one is actually very funny, maybe you could share it with the boyfriend and have a bit of a giggle. It'll make sure he won't feel like he's being attacked, and he may take your points on board.
http://www.cosmopolitan.com/sex-love/advice/a5050/cunnilingus-noooo/
http://www.cosmopolitan.com/sex-love/advice/g2985/better-oral-sex/?
Go forth and get talking!
<3

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Idk what sort of questions you answer but any advice for someone trying to be more confident with boys after a long (5 yr) relationship where I didn't really realise I was unhappy? I love your Twitter by the way & you seem so confident!

Oh thank you! I dunno about confident, but you've got to try and lift yourself up as much as you can don't you? :)
So you're out of a long-term relationship and you're feeling a bit fragile, which is completely understandable. Five years is a long time to be with someone with whom you're not 100% happy with, so naturally you'll be feeling like your self-esteem has taken a hit. But fear not! It's just a period of adjustment, so try not to take it all too personally. You're still the same person, and now you're in a new phase in your life, which can be as exciting as it is scary, depending on what way you look at it!
The most important thing is to carve out a social life for yourself independent of any guys you might have an eye on, so spend time with your friends and any hobbies or things that interest you. Throw yourself into life, have the laughs and focus on being happy in yourself. Have the banter and the flirts with the boys in your social circle, there's nothing nicer than a bit of back-and-forth with the fellas to boost your confidence with getting back in the dating game!
Make sure you're feeling happy in yourself whatever you get up to, there's nobody more attractive than someone who smiles. Treat the guys you meet the same as your friends, after all they're just people too, and they may not be feeling as confident as they seem. Don't put any undue pressure on yourself to be super-confident, I don't think anyone is ever always at the top of their game confidence-wise. Take comfort in the fact that when you really think about it, most folk are thinking the same way you do. Everyone wishes they were more outgoing & confident, the difference is some are better at faking it than others (me included!) :)
Most importantly, just relax and be patient with yourself. You've got some fun times ahead, and if you nurture relationships with your friends, your happiness and confidence will flourish and the rest will take care of itself. Hope this helps! Best of luck!
<3

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my last boyfriend was really shit and kind of abusive. i've been through therapy and am pretty unscathed at this stage. i've just started dating this new boy who i fucking ADORE, but i'm very very reluctant to open up about my past- which is weird, as i'm normally v open and honest. what do i do? :(

When it comes to opening up about past traumas or painful memories in a new relationship, I'm always of the opinion that you should take your time, trust your gut, and don't feel pushed into revealing anything you don't want to. Someone has to EARN the right to access those emotional parts of you that are hidden from public view. So it goes with starting a new relationship. I think you're right to be reluctant in opening up, and it's not really to do with your new boyfriend.
It's fantastic that you seem to have sorted through it in therapy, and come through it 'unscathed' as you said. However, that doesn't mean you're not still going to be wary as feck about any other man that comes into your life. Being over-cautious and playing your emotional cards close to your chest in the beginning is a defense mechanism, and a natural one at that. You may be ready to move on and found a guy that you adore, but deep down in the part of you that was hurt, it's understandably going to take a wee bit longer to feel safe and secure.
The outside world these days will tell you that when you meet The One, you'll click instantly. Like two soulmates bonded together for life, there'll be no barriers between you and all your mutual emotional secrets and dark sides will be exposed and your worlds will mesh together for blissful eternity...that's bullshit. All that intense stuff takes time and trust and patience. My advice is don't worry too much if you're not opening your soul early on, if it's looking like it'll be a long-term relationship that will come naturally in time. Trust your instinct. If you really feel like it's imperative that he knows about it, you can give him the general gist of what happened without feeling too vulnerable. But don't be worrying too much. Enjoy the process of a new relationship! You are more than the sum of your past experiences, and I'm sure he's with you simply because he thinks you're an awesome person.
So go forth and let yourself be adored, and lose yourself in the buzz of a new relationship where BOTH of you can explore getting to know each other's pasts and get stuck into making a new future :)

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I seperated from my wife a year ago. there's a girl that likes me and I like her. She has a kid. She fears 2 things, firstly that I'll return to the ex and second that I'll reject her because of her son. How can I reassure her that this isn't the case for either. When I'm with her my world lights up

I think the first and most important thing is keep talking with each other, but in a productive way. You don't want to end up in an endless cycle of constant reassurance, because that does nobody any good, and gets in the way of the fun part of beginning a new and exciting relationship. It sounds like she's playing it very cautiously, possibly from having been hurt before, so I think you'll have to take it slow, and be patient. You know how you feel, so let her know your feelings and be open about how much you care for her.
Actions also speak louder than words, remember. So show her what she means to you. I'm not talking about grand pricey gestures or anything material like that (although nobody's gonna stop you if you want to!). Listen to her, be loyal, trustworthy and reliable, be someone she can depend on and who will be around when she needs. If you really see something long-term with her, it'll be important to make her son feel valued and important to you; but let her call the shots on that one. Once again, it's all down to patience. When there's a child involved it can move things along a lot faster in a budding relationship, and force both parties to lay their cards on the table early on to avoid hurt feelings. Build on what you guys have first, and when she's feeling secure and sure that this is a long-term thing, she may start bringing her son into the equation.
Lastly, mind yourself in it too. There must be balance, so as long as you feel valued and wanted in the relationship too and not spending all your energy on trying to reassure someone, in time it could be something really special for both of you. If down the line there are still some insecurities surfacing, there really is no substitute for a spot of couple's counselling. It's a fantastic way of developing tools of communication and discussion in a safe environment. Therapy is not necessarily a sign of cracks appearing, it's a sign that you're prepared to do some nurturing of a relationship that really means something to you. That can only be a good thing!
Good Luck!

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I came back to check on the drugs question and your answer is all over the shop, i'm actually asking for advice, not for you to go creative writing.

I actually gave some pretty specific advice, including some really informative websites that can give you way more drug-specific info than I can. I've got very limited personal experience with drugs as I said before, and my advice was to check the website http://m.talktofrank.com to get everything you need to know. I'm not going to tell you what drugs to take while you go abroad because I don't know you or what your tolerance is like, some drugs can really fuck with your brain chemistry if you're not careful. I said all this in the answer, and that's as much as I can say to you. You're an adult, you decide what to take at your own risk. Sorry if you didn't like the answer, but them's the breaks. Best of luck!

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Our neighbourhood cat Simon uses us for our food, he sleeps on our couch, urges us to lavish him with petting and ear scratches as he eats our food then ups and leaves. Are we stupid to indulge this selfish cat in the hope he may one day love us?

“In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this.”
Terry Pratchett.
Ah, cats. Bunch of divas, the lot of 'em. Can you tell I'm a dog person? Don't get me wrong, cats are great while they're deigning to acknowledge your existence, letting you rub them while they act all snuggly and cute...with the emphasis on the word 'act'. Don't let them away with that shit for a SECOND.
Did you ever see Mean Girls? The cat is the Regina George of the pet world. We're all their adoring fans just throwing ourselves at their feet begging them to love us. Sometimes it works and they'll be gracious in their mercy by acknowledging your existence; other times they'll start cleaning their assholes right in front of you like "This is WAY more fun than you will ever be."
If Simon was a dude, you'd tell him feck off and get his own food. He knows he's on to a good thing here. By being a slave to his flighty affections, you're only enabling what is sure to be a future dictator when The Cat Revolution starts. When that day comes, you'll be the one shitting in boxes of litter buck-naked and being filmed every second of your existence in case you do anything worthy of YouTube. Don't say you haven't been warned.
In the meantime, take all the cuddles and snoozy cat-purring you can get. You can't beat animal-lovies when you're feeling blue. Make the most of his superficial attention and make him work for his food by snuggling you guys like a mad bastard. It's all about Give and Take, you know.
(Until the Revolution, but that's for another time)

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Jen, I've been a bit down lately due to homophobic comments slipped into normal conversations with a friend. They pass them off as humorous, but it's still quite uncomfortable to say the least. I only recently started coming out as gay but he makes me feel ashamed of my sexuality. Thoughts?

First things first; don't EVER feel ashamed of your sexuality. Your friend is clearly the uncomfortable one, not you. As us Limerick women say about people like that, "He'd want to go away and have a chat with himself".
You made a seriously courageous decision to come out as gay, and your friends need to have a bit of understanding in how difficult it must have been to take the leap and tell them. In groups of friends, there tends to be a lot of mental categorising of individuals; the funny one, the mad one, the Star Wars nerd etc...and nobody likes it when the balance is upset because it shakes up preconceived notions about who people are. The reality is you're still you, and you're still their mate whether straight or gay.
If it's just the one guy responsible for the homophobic comments, then he's got his own issues that are feck-all to do with you. Not that it hurts any less to know that. Maybe he's an out and out homophobe, or maybe you're his first gay friend and he's all discombobulated (Been waiting to use that word!). Or maybe he's not secure in his own sexuality. Either way, totally HIS problem.
Whatever the reasons are behind his obviously shite attempts to disguise his discomfort with 'jokes', it needs to be nipped in the bud ASAP. If for no other reason than to save him from losing a hell of a lot more friends down the line if he keeps it up.
Phase 1 would obviously be to talk to him one-on-one, not in an aggressive confrontational way. Tell him you find the jokes that he makes really hurtful, and as a friend he should be aware of what it took for you to come out, and hearing stuff like that won't help ANYONE who's thinking about doing the same. If he's your true friend, chances are he'll be thoroughly ashamed and won't have realised he was hurting you. Then he'll hopefully beg your forgiveness and find another source of 'comedic' material. If, however, he gets defensive and says things like "too sensitive" and "only a joke" etc, it means you've hit a nerve and he doesn't like being called to his account for his behaviour. In which case you can move swiftly to Phase 2.
For Phase 2; I would suggest a subtle push of reverse peer-pressure. Have a chat with one or two other mutual mates in your group whom you consider to be loving, supportive friends to you. Let them know that what he's saying is not funny to you, and is really hurting your feelings. If he's saying these things in a group, and nobody is calling him out on it, they are complicit in his actions. So a simple request for others to call him out on his crappy homophobic comments - or, worse yet for him, not laugh or find it funny - could be the kick into the Personality Hole this fella needs. No harm for him to know what it's like to feel real shame.
If he persists in being an insensitive gowl-bag after all that, feel free to tell him go fuck himself. There's a whole world out there waiting for you to live a fantastic authentic life. Hop to it!
Best of Luck <3

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Jen,I've been very attracted to a friend for years. In the early part, my marriage was falling apart but now it's been over for five years. I've admitted to her directly a few years ago how I felt but she didn't respond how I'd hoped. I'm afraid if I say something again it will ruin our friendship.

Sorry to hear about the end of your marriage; it's not easy to call an end to a union you believed would be permanent. However, you're living proof that there is still good times and great connections to be made if you do become separated / divorced, so give yourself credit for wanting to get back in the game!
I can only imagine how painful & complicated a process it was to get to where you are now, and the fact that it's been five years tells me that the feelings for your friend seem to be more than just a rebound straight out of your marriage. I think in a case like this, there's a few factors at play here. I don't know if you told her about how you felt while you were maybe still in the middle of the messiness of ending the marriage, or if you were free and totally single at the time. If it's the former, I think she was probably right to knock you back because you might not have been in the best mindframe to launch into a relationship, especially with a friend, because the consequences would have been disastrous.
It's a tough one. She sounds like a fantastic person who was there for you during one of the most stressful & emotionally demanding times anyone can experience, and the value of that should never be underestimated. She's obviously aware of your feelings from before, and the fact that a few years have passed tells me that she's probably happy with things as they are right now. It can't have been easy for her to turn down a friend who was openly hurting and just getting back into dating, so I imagine it was a decision she didn't make lightly. The last thing she would have wanted to do was add to your hurt, so the fact that she did knock you back may mean that she really was happy being your friend, and that was enough for her. You guys are still very close by the sound of things, so it seems she may have made the right call.
It's been a few years since you ended the marriage. Have a think about where you are relationship-wise. Have you been dating since the marriage ended? Anyone serious? Have you met new people or socialised differently to how you would have done before? If you've been out & about expanding your horizons, and you still have strong feelings for your friend, then maybe it's worth testing the water, but in a subtle way. Pick a friend who knows you both well and can be honest with you on the QT about whether they think it's worth the risk. In the end, only YOU will truly know in your gut whether your friendship is open & honest enough to not be ruined by a second overture. But tread very carefully, this sounds like a friendship worth keeping.
Whatever else you do, be kind to yourself. Don't put yourself in a position where you may be rejected outright again. Nurture what you have right now, and if there's something more there, a natural dynamic will take over. Relax and be happy you know someone like her, she sounds like good people. But, whatever else you do - DON'T DO OR SAY ANYTHING WHILE DRUNK.
Best of Luck!

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What drugs should I take when I'm interrailing around Europe this summer? My boyf says yokes are good and they seem fairly safe bit he's done coke and a lot of other stuff too.

DUUUUUUDE. Interrailing? Europe? Drugs? Boyfriend? You guys are a Hostel sequel waiting to happen. I couldn't have that kind of thing on my conscience. These are the days of the internet - the Mammy brigade would have my guts for garters on their very own "Lock Up J-Ro" page. If you want to come back from Europe in one piece I suggest you get your story straight with The Good Lord before you leave, because only the fun-loving carefree experimental young people get massacred to shit in those torture-porn box sets. Bring a Bible, only drink water and Barry's tea, and catch a mass once a week to ensure survival.
But seriously, folks. I'm a non-drug taker myself, thus I have very little experience first-hand with them. So my first instinct is to tell you stay the hell away from them, particularly if you're heading out to strange parts. However, having chatted with mates who dabble recreationally, the general consensus is if you're hell-bent on trying some stuff; be very careful and super-aware of the workings of your own body & mind - drugs hit everyone in different ways. It's down to your own tolerance and brain chemistry. Personally, if I even got a sniff of an A-Class drug I'd end up coming around in a daze in a corner of a cell, wild-eyed with half my clothes missing, clutching onto a bloodied scalp and singing "Sesame Street" to a face I'd drawn on the wall. But that's just me.
Whatever you choose to do, CHECK THE LAWS in every country you visit, just to be aware of the differences in penalties lest you get caught. I've heard things about Greek prisons that I can never repeat here.
For ACTUAL, honest, far more informed advice on the drugs themselves; www.talktofrank.com is a great site to visit. Hop over there for a look. And tell that experimental boyfriend of yours to take it handy and MIND YOU, whatever else he does. It's not going to be much fun if you're playing nursemaid in the middle of Zagreb while he's tripping balls.
Now that I've lectured the arse off you, have a ball! If you're the writing type; try and document as much as you can on your trip - there'll be so much mad stuff going on and people to meet that you'll only believe it happened if you go back and read it. TRUST ME.
Bon Voyage!

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Are you more of a dog person or a cat person?

Dog person, hands down. But I'm probably the worst person to own a dog because I'm such a soft touch, they'd have no discipline and be King of the Castle in a matter of days! I don't have space for a doggy where I live so I get my kicks from doting over all my friends' dogs :) Cats are grand, but dogs are better :P

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Ha ha p.s. I love you best irish accent ever lol not a horror fan then?

I actually LOVE horror, but there's very few out there that would give me the decent proper scare I'm looking for! Asian horror is the way to go for proper psychological terrorism though. Mind you, the Paranormal Activity series scared the living shite out of me, mostly because it's unseen stuff. That way then your mind becomes the source of the scare - great stuff! However, minus craic when you live alone - eek!

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I am head over heels about this guy and he is mad about me too, but he's married!! What do I do, am I mad to pursue it?

You're not mad, but you will be very, very unhappy. No good will come of this. But you're smart, you don't need anyone to tell you it's not a good idea to hook up with a married man. So let's step away from the moral quandary for a minute and look at the practical aspects. Brutal truth: If he was as mad about you as he says, he would not be with his wife. Or at the very least he would be a stand-up man and not let anything happen with you until he has been honest with his wife (and kids if he has any) and started making arrangements to separate and sort out places to live, financial arrangements, custody agreements if needed, and a million other heartbreaking world-shattering things he would have to do out of respect for everybody involved, including you. Is he willing to do that? Because that's what it would take for you guys as a couple to have any kind of chance out in the open.
Next thing you need to ask yourself: Is his time more valuable than yours? Because if you guys DO go down the road of getting involved while he's still married, then the answer to that question is going to be yes, unfortunately. You're the one who'll be second fiddle to everything organised, lest his plans are uncovered and you both get found out. Fuck that. You're NOBODY'S lesser priority.
Ultimately you want someone in your life with integrity, and who puts you first. You're not just a distraction for a man looking to alleviate some boredom in a marriage that, let's face it, could be getting a lot more attention on his part and thus be far more rewarding. Nothing wrong with thinking a married friend is hot, and there may even be a bit of chemistry, but write it off as human & evolutionary responses and look forward to the real thing that isn't hindered by life-long vows of faithfulness to someone else :)
PS: If they did it WITH you, they'll do it TO you. You'll never have a moment's peace or trust ever again. Not worth it really is it? Also; what would you tell a friend who came to you with this?
BEST OF LUCK! <3

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