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I like big girls but this bothers pals

qI've always been attracted to bigger girls, no exceptions and I'm 31 now so it's not going to change.

My problem is that no matter what, other people have to have their say - the 'funny' comments and then the more serious conversations about how I 'could do better' etc.

The women I have dated 
had more than their size in common - they have all been lovely, smart, kind and interesting.

How can I get other people to mind their own business, stop suggesting diets and gyms and respect the fact that skinny girls don't do it for me?

aIt's great that you know exactly what you want in a woman, and that the typically popular slim, athletic body type isn't what attracts you. But why are you worrying about what other people think?

Surely at 31, it's more important to do what makes you happy, and at this stage, your friends should know what kind of woman you like and should stop making comments.

My advice is to just ignore them when they make remarks about your girlfriend's figure or firmly tell them that it's what you like and leave it at that. Frankly, it's none of their business and I'm sure their own partners aren't perfectly flawless either.

When you meet the right woman with a beautiful curvy body, you'll have every right to feel confident and proud of her. Others will also respect you more for paying no attention to the detractors. .

qMy sister keeps coming home really drunk.

At 19 she's seven years younger than me, so my parents are a bit easier on her - they practically clamped me when I was her age.

All the signs of way too much boozing are there - including shakes and bruising the day after big nights out and big nights are not restricted to weekends anymore. But the folks don't notice.

Do I talk to her or them about it?

aThis is definitely a cause for concern and something needs to be done as soon as possible before your sister really hurts herself or gets into serious trouble.

As a woman drunk out in public, she's particularly vulnerable, and it's not normal to be arriving home covered in cuts and bruises.

If your parents aren't paying as much attention as they should be, it would be more beneficial for you to speak to your sister instead. Without sounding scolding or judgemental, you need to explain how worried you are about her.

There is often a reason for somebody drinking to excess, such as a deep unhappiness or desire to numb out parts of their life. Perhaps ask her why she feels the need to party so much and encourage her to think of taking up a hobby or a sport.

Maybe she just needs to see how worried you are about her to finally calm down, but there's also the option of seeking professional help, such as a counsellor.

It would probably be worth speaking to your parents just to fill them in once you have discussed your concerns with your sister.

qMy parents are getting older and I want to be closer to where they live - it seems obvious that as time goes on they may need me more and we've always been close.

I live in Dublin with my partner and our children while they are down the country. The kids are in primary school so if we move now I know the adjustment will be easier for them.

However my partner refuses to even discuss it. Our work is not a barrier as we are self employed and work from home. He doesn't come from a close family and cannot understand the need I have to be there for my parents and for my children to get to know them better too. He likes us being a self contained unit. I know I can't expect to have it all my own way but he just wants to pretend the issue is now sorted.

aI can completely understand why you feel the need to move to be closer to your parents as they get older and it would be wonderful for your children to spend more time with their grandparents while they're still active and healthy.

But it would involve a big change for you and your family to move to the countryside. It does sound like your partner doesn't understand your need to be closer to them.

I think what would benefit you most at the moment would be to sit down and seriously discuss the pros and cons of a move. Really find out what is making him so resistant to change and explain your own feelings towards it. It's also important to speak to your parents about your thoughts.

Would them moving closer to you be a possibility? If you brought up the subject with your parents, you might all be able to agree on a plan for spending more time together.

Whatever you manage to decide on, I definitely agree that you will eventually have to live closer to them. But you need to make sure that everybody involved is happy and understanding of the reasons for doing it.


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