Monday 20 October 2014

Ask Rosanna: How can you tell if a man loves you?

Published 27/06/2014 | 11:22

Rosanna Davison and Wesley Quirke
Rosanna Davison and Wesley Quirke

Q. How can ou tell if a man really likes you — I’ve been with my boyfriend for over six months now and I am still waiting for him to say he loves me. I’ve tried to subtly broach the subject matter with gentle hints but he never takes the bait. I just want to know where I stand as we have gotten to know one another’s family and friends and have a holiday planned for August — just the two of us.

Surely we should have had ‘the conversation’ by now? We’re in our late 20s so I’m not inexperienced but this guy is a closed shop and if he has no real long-term interest I’d rather know and move on.

A. Each and every relationship is different and unique, so there is no standard path for it to follow. It should be about what feels right for the individual couple, based on the strength of their feelings for one another. As you have been together for six months, met each other’s families and have a holiday planned, it seems very  likely that your boyfriend is serious about you.

The issue may be that he has trouble expressing his feelings and hasn’t felt that the time has been right up until now. He also may not realise that you feel strongly about him as you haven’t expressed it properly yet and he wants to avoid the potential humiliation of saying it to you without it being said back. My advice is to bring it up casually in conversation and explain that you would really like to know if the relationship has a future and if he feels the same as you do.

Q. My friend lost his job a few months back and his confidence was really badly hit. I included him in all our outings and offered to pay until he got back on his feet. He was reluctant at first as he is a proud person who has worked since he was a teenager (we are both 40 now), but it somehow became more normalised as time moved on.

At this point his ‘tab’ is in the thousands and there’s no sign of a job on the horizon. My girlfriend and I have bought our first home so money is tight — she’s also really annoyed and says he’s a ‘sponger’. How can I bring this up without damaging the friendship?

A. It was really caring of you to look after your friend so well following  the loss of his job, and that speaks volumes about the kind of person you are. I have no doubt that he is deeply grateful for all you did for him. But it sounds as if he has been taking advantage of your generosity and doesn’t appreciate it anymore.

With a new house, it’s even more understandable that you have had enough of paying for him but the key is to bring it up in a careful way with him. There is no doubt that you need to speak to him, but approach the conversation in a gentle and chatty way  without sounding annoyed or accusatory. Explain to him that you have been happy to support him during a tough time in his life, but you have done enough for him now and it’s time that he takes responsibility for his own job and money.

You aren’t in the position now to pay for him and while you were happy to help him out, you feel that he has got used to your generosity. Once you speak to him in a gentle  way and don’t leave him feeling ashamed or embarrassed, then you should be able to make your point without it damaging your friendship.

Q. I am seriously overweight and am one of those people who was on the waiting list for a gastric band. I’m devastated that the funding has been pulled and the worst thing is that people do not seem to have any sympathy for the situation I am in. I needed this operation for a new start. When I tell people that it’s not my fault I am fat, that this is an addiction like drink or drugs they look incredulous. I can’t mind my kids or work and to be honest the only thing I feel like doing is eating.

A. You are in an incredibly difficult cycle to break which will require outside help and support. People don’t always understand addictions if they haven’t experienced them themselves either personally or in a close friend or family member. Something initially sparked your desire to eat more than your body requires, and it can often be useful to look back to see what that may have been. It is often a loss of confidence in some are of your life or a bereavement, which can kick off a vicious cycle of binge eating due to depression and becoming more depressed because of weight gain and the various health consequences associated with obesity.

My advice is to speak to your doctor about the options available to you and also seek support  from a close and trusted friends or relative to encourage you to regain your health and stabilise your weight. Also, look out for support groups in your area. It is achievable but better to not do it alone as the motivation from others may be what exactly you need. Good luck.

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