Q MY mum, who recently turned 50 and lost a lot of weight, has started to borrow my clothes and it's driving me nuts.
I'm 23 so they don't even suit her – she looks like mutton dressed as lamb but she thinks it's just brilliant and keeps bragging about how we're more like sisters than parent and child. I asked my dad for a new lock to my bedroom but he told me to be more understanding.
A I WOULD say well done to your mum! That's a huge achievement and it's always wonderful to hear of people who take control of their health and fitness and make some serious changes for the better. I'm sure you're very proud of her, but I can appreciate your irritation at her changed personality.
She's obviously delighted with herself and cannot believe that she's able to fit into your clothes now. It may be just a phase that she's going through and will calm down when the novelty wears off. I would be inclined to agree with your dad though, as it's important to be very supportive and understanding. This is a big deal for her and turning 50 is also a milestone.
I suggest you arrange a shopping trip together to bond over your similar tastes in clothes while also getting her a whole new wardrobe.
Q MY marriage ended some years ago and I spent a long time making sure our kids were okay with all the change and thankfully they do seem to have adjusted as my ex is such a good person and we get on great.
About five months ago, I finally felt ready to start dating again and met someone really quickly through friends. The connection was immediate but he understood that I needed to take things slowly. We now want to embark on a full sexual relationship as there is real trust there but he hates condoms and says there is no need for an STD test – I'm afraid to lose him as he has been perfect in every other way so should I insist or trust that he is 'clean'?
A IT sounds like you have really worked hard to ensure that your kids and their home environment feels safe and well-adjusted. It's also commendable that you waited a long time before dating somebody else, so now is your time to enjoy an intimate relationship with this new man and you absolutely deserve every happiness. No matter what age or stage you're at in life, I strongly feel that it's important to respect your sexual health and your body and your partner's body. Many STDs don't carry symptoms yet can damage your health and fertility.
If he is rejecting condoms, then the least he can do for you is to carry out a simple health check, in my opinion. Explain to him gently that you have every confidence that he's 'clean', but it would really give your relationship that extra boost to know that you're both safe to proceed without condoms. Many people go for sexual health screenings annually, and it should really just be a part of normal healthcare and maintenance. Go together as a couple and try not to make it into a big deal. It's better to be safe than sorry.
Q I GOT really drunk on a night out over Christmas and slept with my boss – which is fine, we are both grown-ups and have just acted like it did not happen – but I feel so guilty about my boyfriend who I have been with for five years. I told him I stayed in a friend's house but was actually in a hotel in town. For Christmas he bought me our summer holiday in Italy as he wants me to have something to look forward to – everyone is expecting us to come home engaged and I feel such a fraud.
Should I tell him?
A YOU have made a mistake in the heat of an alcohol-fuelled night out which cannot be changed, so rather than dwelling on what you have done and beating yourself up about it, it is time to really think carefully about how you want to proceed. Think about all the potential consequences of telling your boyfriend and not telling him. If you decide to spill the beans, will he be accepting or will he walk away from you immediately? I am always in favour of honesty, but in this case it was a terrible drunken mistake and it might be better to stay quiet and ensure that nothing like that ever happens again.
You must also question whether your secret would be safe or if your boss has told anybody else. If you decided to say nothing to your boyfriend, then him finding out from another source would be devastating for him and the relationship. Finally, if you don't tell him, then can you live with that on your conscience? Please think carefully about every angle and then decide what is best for you and your man.