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’m a 27-year-old woman and have never had a serious relationship. My friends are settling down and I’m beginning to feel like I’ve been left on the shelf. I meet men on nights out, then go out with them two or three times, but don’t hear from them again. Am I doing something wrong?
Yes, you are. But what? Perhaps you’re really nervous? Maybe you offer sex too quickly? Or too slowly? If you pick idiots who are only up for one thing, they’ll stop calling when they don’t get it after two or three dates. But don’t worry, this is easy to solve. Firstly, you’re only 27, so not having had a serious relationship is not a big deal. Secondly, be aware that this often happens to girls who meet guys in bars and it’s easy to solve. You can meet great guys in bars but it’s hard. You’re better off trying to meet men by internet dating. In the 21st century, going online is the best way to find someone with shared interests. So sign up to a dating website and find Prince Charming.
My boyfriend and I have been together for three years and he keeps talking about marriage. I’m reluctant, not because I don’t want to be with him, but because in this day and age I don’t think it matters if we’re married or not.We’ve discussed it, and he’s sure I can be persuaded to change my mind, but I’m adamant marriage isn’t for me. I want us to stay together but where do we go from here?
You’ve talked about it? Great, tell me exactly why marriage is so important to him and then get him to say exactly why marriage is so ghastly to you. You can’t, can you? So you need to sit down, lay out your agendas and listen to each other. Then one of three things happens. You concede he has a point and hotfoot it up the aisle. He concedes you have a point, eBays the ring and finds another way of showing your commitment. Or, most likely, you each concede that the other person has a point and come up with a solution that makes you both happy.
Dear Dr Hilary
I’ve started bleeding heavily during sex, and it lasts for days afterwards. My partner recently slept with another woman and although he says he used protection, I’m not sure if I believe him. What should I do?
Carrie, via email
See your GP right away – these symptoms should be taken seriously. Although a sexually transmitted infection isn’t likely to cause this kind of bleeding, you should still be screened for STIs in case your partner didn’t use a condom. Your GP should also carry out an internal examination to check the neck of your womb and rule out any uterine or ovarian problems, as well as a smear test to check the health of your cervix. If you are taking the Pill, this could be causing your cervix to erode, which leads to softening of the cervix and bleeding.
Dear Dr Hilary
I was recently admitted to hospital with nerve pain all over my body and prescribed pregabalin. It did stop the pain temporarily, but every now and then I feel giddy and the pain comes back. Are there any alternatives to taking traditional medication?
Paula, via email
Pregabalin is a good medication for nerve pain, but it also has a number of unpleasant side effects, such as the dizziness you describe. The good news is that there are lots of drug-free treatments that you can try. These include acupuncture, hypnotherapy, aromatherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy and biofeedback therapy, where you’re taught to enter a relaxed state to control your pain. Ask your GP about these treatments and if they don’t help, you could always ask to be referred to a specialist neurologist who can investigate further.
I’d like to set up a business to help young people, but I’m struggling to find out about funding. I think I could get an entrepreneur grant – where can I find out more about this, and how would I apply?
Ashely, via email
Your first port of call should be your Local Enterprise Partnership or Company. These organisations are a great source of information and support when starting up a new business. They can help you identify potential funding avenues such as grants and soft loans (a loan with a lower interest rate than normal) and can assist you in making the applications.
I have a new line manager at work and I’m more experienced than she is. She’s been brought in from a rival company, on the basis that she turned her previous department around, but I can’t see that happening here. Is it wrong for me to say something to our boss?
This is a tricky one and something that I would approach with care. Has your new line manager done anything that’s made you think she can’t fulfil her role? If so, you could bring this up with your boss and see what their opinion is. If your new manager isn’t right for the role they’ve been given your boss will see this and deal with it. In the meantime, I would suggest you keep your head down and work as effectively as possible.
One of my male friends has just split up with his girlfriend. I got on really well with her, so is it OK for us to stay mates?
Jess, via Twitter
This all depends. If he dumped her then you need to follow suit. Right now she’s your NBF, but soon you’ll be watching her whine into a Chardonnay while she grills you about whether he’s moved on. If she dumped him, then provided he’s not the “sensitive” (read: pathetic) type, stay chummy but tread with caution. What this really comes down to is who do you like more – him or her? Bear in mind that you could potentially sleep with him (if you haven’t already). Other questions to ask yourself are: “how good is her wardrobe and can I borrow her clothes?”, “how hot are his friends?” and “who’s going to leave me more money and/or property in their will?”. I hope this clears things up.