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Dear Rosanna: 'Should I trap my man with a baby?'

Rosanna answers questions on a troubled romance, a surrogate mother figure, bailing out his family and the cost of looking lovely

Q My boyfriend has broken up with me three times and always comes back. Why do I keep taking him back? Because he's the funniest and sexiest man I know. To be honest, I think I'm a bit addicted to him. But I'm 22 now and am tired of his behaviour. I am thinking of nailing him down once and for all by forgetting to take the pill and getting pregnant. What do you think?

A I think that getting pregnant just to snare a man is a terrible idea. It is completely selfish to bring a child into the world under such dishonest circumstances. I can sympathise to an extent with your constant need to take this man back, as once you fall for somebody, it can be difficult to say no.

Despite his behaviour, you have strong feelings for him but you're right to be getting tired of his games -- he's proving to be hard to rely on. If you ended up getting pregnant by him, why do you think that this would keep him by your side? Yes, he would have to play a part in the child's life, but he sounds like the type of person who would run a mile.

He's clearly not ready for a serious and committed relationship, and you would be left as a single mother in your early 20s.

My strong advice is to be brave and walk away from him. You're in your prime, so don't waste these years on somebody who can't commit. There are plenty of others out there, you just need to change your mindset and learn to give yourself more respect. He may be shocked by your decision to leave him, but he will look at you with a renewed respect when you have finally stood up for yourself. It may just be the shock he needs.

Q I love my best friend's mum more than my own, and am very upset that my friend and her family are moving away. My own mum is always angry and critical, but my best friend's mum shows me lots of support and love, and listens to my problems. I've been around their house since I was 10, and I'm now 16. Don't tell me to talk to my mum, as she is only interested in talking about herself. I wish I was moving with my friend.

A This must be an incredibly difficult situation for you. You have relied on your best friend's mother for the love and support you don't receive from your own. However, you are going to have to face the reality of what's happening.

You will still be able to speak regularly to your friend's mum and she will not forget about you, but you also need to ask yourself some serious questions. Why is your relationship with your mum so fraught? I appreciate that you're reluctant to speak to your own mum about this, but I can't see any other way of getting to the root of the problem.

You will need to be mature and brave and find a way to relieve this tension. How about you ask your friend's mum to speak to your own mum about her concerns over your reliance on her and how you will cope when they move away? It could be simply that your mum is hurt that you have displayed loyalties to somebody else. Focus on gentle communication and work hard on rebuilding mutual trust and understanding. It's never too late. Good luck.

Q My boyfriend's sister has asked us for a loan of €4,000 after getting herself into financial trouble. I want to support my boyfriend in his decision to give her a dig out, but I really resent the sacrifices we'll have to make because his sister is a spendthrift and I can't help but feel it's her own fault she is in debt.

A You will have to make a tough decision. I feel that it's important for you to speak to your boyfriend about your concerns. Explain to him that you would really like to help out his sister and show your loyalty to him, but that you're worried about the personal consequences of lending so much money. You must think of your own debts and expenses, as you don't want to find yourself in financial difficulty having helped out somebody else.

You could offer to lend a very small sum which would not be such a sting to your wallet. She would probably have to seek other people to help her out too, but at least then the required amount would be divided out more.

You could suggest meeting with her to brainstorm other ways of raising funds, or even visit her home and see, together, if there is anything she could sell to get the money together. Encourage her to find ways of raising smaller sums in many different ways. Then you will be offering your support without facing a cash crisis of your own.

Q How can I get my boyfriend to understand that dresses, shoes, handbags, blonde highlights and make-up cost a lot of money. He thinks I should pay more on our dates, whether we're out for dinner or for drinks. But looking good doesn't come cheap and all he has to do is put on jeans and a shirt. Is he mean?

A I'm going to take a neutral stance with this situation. It is a shame to allow financial problems to affect your relationship. I don't believe that your boyfriend is mean, I think he simply doesn't understand how expensive it can be to remain well-groomed. However, you're going to have to reach a compromise if you're both serious about your relationship.

Is it really necessary to pay so much for beauty treatments and cosmetics? There are plenty of ways to look good on a budget and, with a little bit of research and clever decisions, you could save enough money to contribute to dinners and drinks on date nights with your boyfriend.

While I think it's important to invest money in good skincare and foundations, you can get away with spending less on other products. As for hair, you could consider going darker to avoid the costly maintenance of blonde hair. Try searching online for bargains and always compare prices.


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