I’ve been friends with a guy for three years and we dated at one point, but it didn’t work out and he’s now seeing someone else. I’m moving abroad and having a leaving party to which he’s invited, but he wants his new girlfriend to come too and I don’t want her there. How can I tell him without sounding like a jealous and bitter ex? Eleanor, via email
Why isn’t she invited? If it’s because you’re jealous and bitter, then you’ll sound jealous and bitter. But if it’s because you don’t have room for plus ones, then you’ll sound genuine and apologetic. Got that? Excellent, now I have a query for you. Why are you moving? If it’s because you’re going travelling or have bagged a great job, then don’t let a few bad dates sour a friendship. Invite them both and get to know your pal’s girl. But if it’s because you’re still in love with him, then don’t be an idiot. Don’t run away – tell him how you feel. If he loves you back, celebrate. And if he doesn’t, move on, not overseas.
I’ve been with my boyfriend for six and a half years and we’ve been living together for over a year. He said that once we’d been in our house a few months we’d get engaged, but it hasn’t happened and it’s making me feel inadequate. He says he does want to marry me but “not yet”. It’s starting to affect my confidence. What should I do? Carly, via email
Six years and no proposal. Panic! I’m joking – anxiety attacks won’t help, so cease this “I’m inadequate” rubbish
and talk to your man. Without being accusatory, ask him why he hasn’t made an honest women of you. There are three possible answers: One: he doesn’t want to get married, in which case you need to decide whether a ring is a deal-breaker. Two: he doesn’t feel ready to get married, in which case you need to decide how long you’re willing to wait. Or, three: he had no idea you felt this strongly about it, in which case look forward to him popping the question.
I’m having a garden party and most people have RSVP’d but lots have just ignored my e-vite. What should I do? Hannah, via Twitter
Your first mistake was the e-vite. I like a solid, embossed invitation. Presented to me on a silver tray. By my butler. I try to refrain from reading emails – they’re either spam or from my long-lost daughter who still won’t get the hint. But clearly these silent types are just waiting to see if they get a better offer. An amateur move. Every professional party-goer knows you accept (with a delay so as not to look keen) and then bail on the night with a mysterious, highly infectious illness. However, some people are so stupid they think RSVP is part of your email signature, or a fancy way of saying “best wishes”. But would you want these idiots at your party? I think not. They’d only breathe through their mouths and eat all your vol-au-vents.
In a quandary? Email Kiki at firstname.lastname@example.org or send her a tweet @KikiDeBeauvoir
I’ve been a lap dancer for seven years and want to change jobs. I’ve done the odd bit of waitressing, but don’t have any specific skills. Where should I go from here? Emma, via email
Taking an entirely new career path can be daunting, but it’s important to focus on your strengths and finding a job that allows you to use them. As you have done waitressing jobs, the hospitality industry would be a great place to start. Compile a list of places you would like to work, and produce a CV detailing your past jobs. Focus on your personality as this is the key to success in hospitality. If you prove you will be an asset to a company, they will snap you up.
I’ve been getting very angry at work recently as I’ve become more stressed. I try not to take it out on my colleagues but sometimes I snap. I’m worried it’ll mean I lose my job. Should I confide in my boss? Kate, via email
It is important to speak to your boss or HR department if you are under stress – especially if it’s affecting your work. They may suggest you visit your doctor, who will be able to offer advice on how to deal with your issues and ease the problem. Visit Nhs.uk for tips on how to manage stress. Personally, I find exercise to be a great stress buster. Whatever you do, you need to deal with this issue. If you don’t tackle it now it could grow into a bigger problem.
Dear Dr Hilary
For years I’ve suffered with a runny nose. My GP gave me a nasal spray, but it’s had little effect. My nose tends to run more when I eat hot or cold foods or when there’s a sudden change in my body temperature. What could be wrong? Sarah, via email
A constantly running nose could be the result of an allergy to something, such as dust mites or the proteins that live in pet dander (the dead skin cells animals shed). However, your case sounds more like vasomotor rhinitis, a non-allergic condition where the blood vessels that form part of the membrane lining in your nose are oversensitive. Certain triggers such as cold weather or spicy foods can cause the blood vessels to expand, leading to congestion and the leaking of a watery fluid. Speak to your GP about using an anti-cholinergic nasal spray, which prevents the blood vessels from expanding. Atrovent, or ipratropium bromide, is available on NHS prescription, and it should ease your symptoms.
Dear Dr Hilary
I have had type 2 diabetes for 14 years and suffer from high blood pressure. Both conditions are controlled, but I now suffer from leg pain. My consultant gave me gabapentin tablets, which haven’t helped. Should I ask for a higher dosage, or is there anything else that will ease the pain? Tracy, via email
Your leg pain may be caused by nerve irritation, since the painkiller gabapentin is often prescribed for this. However, as this hasn’t eased the problem, it is important you go back to your GP. Over the counter painkillers, such as ibuprofen could help and won’t interfere with your blood pressure or diabetes. You may also get some pain relief from massage and aquarobics. Depending on the cause, your doctor may be able to refer you for some NHS physiotherapy.
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