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He's already a lothario at 22...

QUESTION: The guy I'm dating has admitted to sleeping with 15 girls. He's only 22. He grew up abroad, and travelled a lot with his family, and he said his older brother encouraged him to start sleeping with girls when he was very young.

He wasn't exactly boasting about all his former girlfriends, but he did tell me that he now knows what he likes sexually and looks forward to showing me.

I'm 20 and have had one serious boyfriend. My friends are torn between telling me to enjoy being with 'a man of the world' and telling me that I'm way out of my depth. We've been on three dates and he's lots of fun and takes me to nice places. I fancy him, but at the same time I'm frightened of what I might be getting into.

Answer: Everyone has a history and I don't think it's right to judge others based on decisions they've made in the past. It sounds like he had a very different upbringing to yours, and his big brother was clearly a huge influence on him. He probably spent plenty of time trying to compete with and emulate his older brother, which seems to have manifested in the amount of women he's bedded for someone so young.

But there's nothing wrong with him knowing what he likes in the bedroom and he's perfectly entitled to experiment.

However, you should feel no pressure to get intimate with him if you don't feel confident or comfortable with it. I think it would be a good idea to voice your concerns to him and such honesty is always best in a close relationship. Do what feels right for you and try not to listen to what your friends are saying as they can only speak from their own experiences.

QUESTION: My boyfriend surprised me last night with the news that he's booked us to go on holiday with his best friend and his girlfriend to a beach resort in July. He was so excited telling me, that for a second before he got the words out I thought he'd won the Lotto. No such luck.

The thing is, I don't like his best friend's girlfriend. She never stops talking about herself, and I've heard all about her school days, and how she got on in college, and how much she loves her job. She goes to Dundrum Town Centre to buy a pair of shoes, and makes a whole drama out of it, and talks about it for ages. She's been over in my house and my mum says she would bore a saint. I don't think I can survive a fortnight with her. But my man and his best friend go back to primary school, so do you think I'm stuck with her, like, forever?

Answer: I can appreciate your concerns, as you never truly know somebody until you go on holiday with them, and this girl may drive everyone crazy if her track record is anything to go by. But I'm a big believer in giving people a chance to prove themselves, and she may simply be disguising a lack of self-confidence or nerves by constantly talking about herself.

You could end up being the best of friends after two weeks away together, so it's always a good idea to keep an open mind. It must be wonderful to find out as a surprise that you're off on holiday, so try to enjoy the sense of excitement and anticipation in that and share in your boyfriend's joy. I definitely think you should encourage his friendship with this friend, so don't make a big fuss. See how it all goes and take it day by day. You can always plan to spend time away from the other couple.

QUESTION: Do you ever think it's a good idea to get a tattoo? I never thought I'd go out with a man who had tattoos, so I'm quite taken aback that my new boyfriend has them on his upper arms. He's in the music business and all his friends have them, too. He suggested that I get 'some ink' for my birthday, and that he would organise it with the man who does his tattoos. I find myself drawn to the idea, but am afraid that I'll regret it in the future.

Answer: This decision is completely up to you, but I would recommend that you put some serious thought into a tattoo as they're so permanent and you'll have to look at it forever.

I'm not personally a fan of tattoos and I think there are plenty of other ways to make a statement and express your individuality, through clothes, make-up and hair. You admit to being a conservative person naturally, so while it might seem glamorous and exotic to get a tattoo to fit in with your new man and his friends, you're making a big commitment. I strongly advise you to think long and hard before agreeing to anything.


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