If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can ask the A team!
I recently met a guy on a night out and we got on really well. He took my number and asked me out on a date the following week. Again, we had a really fun evening but I went back to his afterwards and we had sex. I’ve never had sex on a first date before and I don’t want him to think that I’m easy. We’ve been texting since but he hasn’t asked me out on a second date. Do you think I’ve ruined things before they’ve begun? Name withheld
Fear not, if a man is still texting, then he is still interested. So why hasn’t he asked you out? Simple. He feels as awkward about the sex as you do. So either one of you grows a pair and asks the other one out, or you keep going as you are. If the date question gets aired, then congrats, you have the chance to forget the fumbling and start your relationship afresh. If it doesn’t, then commiserations, pretty soon one of you will get bored of texting and all communication will cease. If you like him, don’t let this happen. Ask him out before it’s too late.
My partner and I have been together for six years and we’re very happy. The only problem is, he won’t propose! We talk about marriage regularly and he says that’s what he wants, but he hasn’t put a ring on my finger yet. I’m a bit old-fashioned and think that he should be the one to ask me, but as it’s a leap year, should I ask him to marry me on February 29? I’d be so scared! Name withheld
Ask if you want, but he’ll say no. And he’ll say no for the same reason he hasn’t asked you. And that is… I don’t know. But I know how you can find out. Drag him into bed, do the no-pants dance and then start chatting. Tell him that your friends suggested using the leap year to pop the question, but you ignored them, because you figured he must have a good reason for not asking. At this point, he should explain his logic. Tell him you love him, but enough is enough. It’s been six years, so if he’s not going to propose to you then you’d like an explanation.
Dear Dr Hilary
I’m due to start work in Qatar in the Middle East soon, and am concerned how I’ll handle the heat because I suffer from hot flushes. I have an underactive thyroid, which is controlled with thyroxin, and I’m also going through the menopause so take HRT. How can I deal with the climate? Carolyn, via email
It will be much hotter in Qatar than here, but shops and offices are likely to be air-conditioned so you won’t have to worry during the day. Your thyroid won’t make you overheat, but your GP may suggest increasing your HRT dosage to help the hot flushes. However you will need to check with the Qatari embassy before you go to see if your medication is permitted at all. Maintaining a healthy weight will also help, as will staying hydrated and keeping a water spray in your bag to cool yourself down. Over time you should acclimatise to the heat.
Dear Dr Hilary
Since having a baby six months ago, the corners of my nails have turned yellow. I had an emergency Caesarean then weeks of complications. I’m starting to feel normal and am trying to eat healthily, so what’s wrong? Becky, via email
Like hair, your nails can temporarily change in appearance after a traumatic experience, such as childbirth. Yellowing can also be caused by fungus or yeast infections. Alternatively, smoking, taking antibiotics or regularly using coloured nail polish without a base coat could be to blame. It could even be caused by washing-up, as some detergents discolour nails. Eliminate these and, if things don’t improve, visit your GP, who can rule out a medical cause. You can improve how your nails look by soaking them in a solution of dissolved denture tablets, then using a whitening pencil under the tips.
In 2009, I was made redundant. As a single parent I found it tough, and bankruptcy followed. I’m slowly getting back on my feet, but I’ve lost my confidence. I would like to be at home in the school holidays – is working from home an option? Mellie, via email
Well done for getting through it! Regaining your confidence is a priority and work will help you do that. There are a lot of businesses that allow you to work from home and others that use a network of agents to sell products, such as cosmetics. This kind of work may help you generate income and also give you flexibility to spend time with your child.
I started a new job a few months ago, and though I’ve tried to make friends in the office, I feel really left out. It’s getting me down and I’m starting to dread going into work. I enjoy my job so I don’t want to have to leave because of this almost bullying behaviour. Do you have any advice? Name withheld
It can be daunting when you are in a new workplace where there are already established friendships, but you shouldn’t ever have to feel bullied. Perhaps you could organise a social gathering or suggest a team-building activity. Being out of your work environment will give everyone the chance to get to know each other and hopefully allow you to build better relationships.
I have a crush on a man who’s joined my gym. I can’t ask him out because he always sees me at my sweaty worst. Should I cancel my membership? Jodie, Bristol
I’m afraid I don’t have too much personal experience to draw on here. I’ve never much cared for the Lycra-clad, verruca-filled stench of desperation that emanates from these institutionalised sweat boxes. I prefer to keep trim with a carefully controlled regime of liquid lunches (and dinners). I do however have a “personal trainer” who I see three times a week. But even Mr De Beauvoir can see through that barely concealed euphemism. So if I were you, I’d spend a fortune on designer gym wear, have a blow-dry and apply full make-up before going to the gym and heading straight to the jacuzzi for a grope. On second thoughts, maybe joining the gym would be right up my street.
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