| 5.5°C Dublin

Dear Rosanna: 'I woke up with my best friend's bro'

On drunken memory loss, the safe way to lose weight, premature ejaculation and the stress of needy parents

Q I got extremely drunk on Friday and woke up in bed with my best friend’s brother — the party was in their house as their parents were away. I left pretty quickly, before he woke up, and my friend hasn’t mentioned it when we’ve been chatting about the night. The thing is, I can’t remember what happened between me and her brother. I will see him this weekend in my friend’s house, what am I going to say to him?

A I can imagine how frightening and frustrating it must be for you. It will have, hopefully, taught you a lesson about how dangerous the excessive consumption of alcohol can be. You're very lucky that it happened at the house and not out where you could have got into a bad situation.

While you are probably thinking the worst, it is likely that nothing at all happened between you, and that you just found yourselves sleeping there because no other rooms were available. Generally, if you can't remember much it was because you were asleep!

If your friend hasn't mentioned it yet then I think it would be best to leave it. As for having to see her brother at the weekend, he quite possibly feels just as embarrassed as you do.

I would advise you to take him aside for a quiet word and just honestly explain that you can't remember anything and you're worried about how the situation might have been interpreted.

Hearing his version of events will hopefully help settle your conscience and may even boost your memory of the night. But what's done is done so, whatever happens, just treat the situation as a learning experience.

Q I need to lose weight so I look good in a bikini on holidays with my boyfriend in June. I’m a size 14 and would love to be a size 10 by the time we go away. My diet hasn’t been going well, and I’ve started sticking my fingers down my throat and making myself sick after I eat too much. I did this before, when I was 13, and I am now 19. Why can’t I just diet like a normal girl?

A It concerns me greatly that you have resorted to making yourself vomit after meals. Bulimia is a serious eating disorder which can really harm your health and well-being. And as it's something you've done before it indicates to me a deep-rooted problem.

I strongly advise that you speak to somebody close to you about this. Seek help before you cause yourself more damage and end up regretting it. There is plenty of support out there. As for losing weight, the best and only way to do it safely is through good diet and regular exercise. There is no secret formula.

Crash diets don't work because they slow down the body's metabolism and you lose water and muscle as well as fat. Once you come off a diet like that, the body will store every single morsel of food it can get, and you will put on much more than you lost.

The body can only lose two pounds of fat a week, which totals 7,000 calories. If you want to lose weight which will stay off, my advice is to focus on eating small fist-sized portions of lean proteins, raw or steamed vegetables and wholegrains such as oats and brown rice, six times a day. Eat regularly to keep your metabolism revved up and stay off sugar, salt and alcohol. Drink loads of water and don't eat carbohydrates after 4pm. Always eat until you are two-thirds full, never overload your digestive system.

Losing weight involves 80pc nutrition and 20pc exercise so try to do at least 30 minutes of exercise five times a week. Good luck.

Q I love my fiance and the home we live in, and am looking forward to getting married this summer. There is one problem, my boyfriend is useless in bed, I have tried everything to change this but, well, it’s over in no time, and he won’t seek help for premature ejaculation. I’m beginning to think bad sex is the price I have to pay for a secure family life. We’re both 26.

A It's great that you recognise all that you have going for yourself and are appreciative of it. But you shouldn't feel that you need to compromise on your sex life at the age of 26. If you're feeling this unsatisfied with it now, then it will lead to more problems for your relationship in the future.

You really need to speak to him again and convince him to accept that there is a problem and there are ways of solving it. But you need to be careful, as the last thing you want to do is damage his ego and self-confidence. Be kind and understanding, explain to him that you're excited about your impending wedding and your future together, but for the sake of your relationship, he must seek help. With plenty of positive support and encouragement he will realise what needs to be done.

Q My parents separated after Christmas and my dad moved out. My mum begs me to stay home and have dinner with her, and feels her friends are letting her down. My dad, who has always been shy, likes me to go to the cinema and theatre with him. My boyfriend has been no support at all and tells me to tell them I’m not available. I’m 18 and feel I can’t cope with the pressure of minding my parents.

A For somebody of your age you seem to have a lot to cope with. You have also been pulled in two directions by your mother and father while you must also feel that you have to maintain a neutral stance and be loyal to both. My advice is to call a family meeting and air all of your concerns.

You need to be firm and honest and explain everything. Let them know that you love them both equally and that while you support their decision to separate, you had no idea you would have to be the pillar of support for each of them. Together you will need to come up with a plan to work things out.

As for your boyfriend, explain to him the pressure you have been under to hold everything together. Please don't deal with this stress alone any longer.