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Dear Rosanna: on thoughtless boyfriends

Also: foreign flings, being young and broke and getting your man to clean up his act

We had amazing sex the other night and then my boyfriend went and said it was the "second best sexual night of his life". I asked him what he meant by this, and he said it was just something he had said in the heat of the moment. I'm 21 and he is 26 and a lot more sexually experienced than me. My big worry is that I'll never be as good as the girls who have gone before me and last night this thought made me feel very self-conscious in bed. I'm worried I'll never be able to repeat the other night and fulfil his desires. I used to think it was only men who worried about their sexual performance.

A: YOU must try to stop worrying about how you fare in bed compared to girls your boyfriend has slept with in the past. He is with you for many reasons, and one of them is because he finds you attractive and clearly wants to be intimate with you.

So what if he has had previous sexual experiences that he has found different or better? You're an individual and the person he wants to be with. I strongly feel that he never meant any hurt or disrespect by what he said to you in bed, he simply just has had more experiences to base it on.

I would believe him when he claims it was only said as a spur of the moment comment. And if you thought it was amazing, then that's what you must stand by. Learn from your boyfriend's experiences and don't be afraid to try new things. Be experimental! Sex is a basic and natural human instinct and a primordial physical pleasure, don't make the mistake of over-complicating it.

Q: I'm a 27-year-old architect who emigrated in January for work, leaving my college sweetheart behind. We have been together for six years and the idea was that I'd get settled and then she would come over and join me. I've been stalling because I've become involved with a girl in my office in Toronto. I don't know if I'm ready to break it off with my girlfriend, but I am enjoying having someone new being into me.

Does this mean that what I thought I had with my girlfriend isn't what I had at all? I'm home on holidays and she keeps talking about marriage.

A: As you're in a whole new country, trying to create a brand new life for yourself, a part of me understands why you're looking for acceptance and credibility in a person you don't know. But it genuinely makes me sad to think you'd consider swapping your long-term love for somebody you haven't known that long, and who will most probably be a fling.

If it doesn't work out, work life may become awkward with her. Furthermore, can you imagine life without your girlfriend in it? My advice to you is to cut all ties with this woman. As difficult as it may be to let down one of the first people to show interest in you since you have moved, your girlfriend in Ireland sounds as if she expects you to commit to her fully.

It's your responsibility now to maintain your conviction and not be led astray by distracting new conquests. Ultimately this is your decision, but you must think it through carefully.

Q: I've built up a lot of debt from keeping up with my friends. I've used my credit card for meals out, for a holiday in New York where we went shopping a lot and on clothes, as my friends are very much into glamming up when we go out clubbing. I've also borrowed off my mum to pay my car insurance and to help towards my rent. I'm afraid that if I slow down and try to solve the financial mess I'm in, I'll be left alone while my friends party. It's bad enough being 24 and single without sitting in alone.

A: I admire you a lot for doing your best to keep your friends happy. But keeping up an image is hard work and I believe that it would ultimately be a better idea to speak to your friends about how you feel. True friends will not judge your circumstances and would rather support you than get in the way of your happiness. That's why I think you should be open with them about your issues and suggest you all come up with places to socialise in the future that are less of a burden on your wallet.

Also focus on your rent, car insurance and any other outstanding payments first. Prioritise what is important and spend time speaking to your friends about where to get the best value in everything else.

Q: I've just moved in with my boyfriend and we're fighting all the time over cleaning up and keeping the place tidy. I've suggested we get a cleaner, as I feel this will make our home life a lot more harmonious.

He is adamant that a cleaner is a waste of money. Any suggestions on how I can get him to see the light?

A: Believe ME, a cleaner is well worth it! I moved in with my boyfriend at the start of this year and trying to keep up with all the housework, as well as everything else, began to wear me out. I found a great cleaner who comes once a week and I find that's all we need. It's not hugely expensive.

If you have already tried speaking to your boyfriend reasonably about getting a cleaner and he still refuses, I recommend you take the matter into your own hands and find one yourself. Let him see what a difference it makes to your home and your relationship. I'm confident that once he sees the positive results, he'll quit fighting it and agree to split the costs with you.


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