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Relationships chat with Rita & Dimitra
Dimitra and Rita, peer advisors from askTheSite, join us in live chat to answer your relationship questions on dating, coping with rumours, problems in the bedroom and more.
KayBee1991: Hi Dimitra.
Dimitra: How are you?
KayBee1991: I'm good thanks... a bit confused though.
Dimitra: Why is that?
KayBee1991: Okay,so I've been dating my boyfriend for almost two months now and at the beginning, he was always hugging me and stuff, but it's as if overnight he's become a bit distant. I've talked to him about it and he says he's fine. I have no idea why he's like this.
Chelsea157: Maybe he's embarrassed in front of people?
KayBee1991: He's never embarrassed.
Dimitra: Is there anything new or major happening in his life right now that you're aware of?
KayBee1991: No, there's nothing at all.
Dimitra: Talking to him about your feelings was a good idea. Do you think it helped at all?
KayBee1991: I think so, he's still affectionate and everything. I'm just wondering if it's normal because it's been a while since I was in a relationship.
Dimitra: It seems like it could be normal for his enthusiasm to appear a little less after a while. It's good he's still affectionate towards you.
KayBee1991: Yeah, well that's okay then, thanks.
Dimitra: Thanks for your question. Try not to worry, but see how it goes and keep talking to each other.
Rita: And one final thing KayBee - you might find this link useful. It's from the BBC and it's about arguing but has some good tips in ways to talk to people: Couples Communication
Chelsea157: I've been with a guy for a long while now and we're sexually active. People at school are starting to find out, what should I do?
Dimitra: Hi Chelsea, how do you think people are starting to find out? Has one of you been talking about it to other people?
KayBee1991: Is he saying anything?
Chelsea157: No, other people are making comments and telling people. I've only told my best friend.
KayBee1991: It's possibly a rumour fiasco. I had something similar a couple of years ago.
Dimitra: Can I ask how old you are Chelsea?
Dimitra: Why is it bothering you that other people are finding out?
Chelsea157: Rumours are going around and some aren't even true. It's something personal between me and my boyfriend, so I didn't want everyone to know.
Dimitra: I understand. This can be really frustrating, especially when it's in school.
KayBee1991: You could just ignore them? Or do what I did?
Chelsea157: What did you do?
KayBee1991: Well, the rumour was that I was pregnant by this guy in one of my classes and the person who started it happened to be someone who was jealous of me getting along with said guy.
The person who started the rumour started having a go at me and I just turned around and said: "Well if I was pregnant, I'd rather him than you be responsible!"
Dimitra: Perhaps there is something you can say to these other people. For example, that this is a personal thing and it's really none of their business! Try to get on with your life without paying too much attention to their ill manners. They'll find something else to gossip about soon.
Chelsea157: Yeah, people will get over it :)
Dimitra: You may also want to talk about it with your boyfriend and make sure he's not talking too much about your sex life to his friends. Let him know you're not comfortable with that.
Chelsea157: Yeah, okay I will thanks.
Rita: Here's a link you might find useful when it comes to dealing with the gossip.
Chelsea157: Thanks, this is really helpful.
Dimitra: Glad it helps.Try to be strong.
KayBee1991: Thanks for the link you gave me too Rita :)
Rita: No problem.
Jo7: OK, let's move on to the next question now.
Lucy: My mother stole my shoes and does not understand how this is an issue for me.
Chelsea157: Why is it an issue?
Rita: Have you spoken to your mum about how much this has upset you?
Lucy: I bought a gorgeous pair for my birthday. I left them in France last summer, and intended to buy a new pair on my birthday. Seeing the same brand box at home recently, I assumed she bought me a new pair but they were too small and in a different colour.
It's really obvious, they're the same shoes which she's bought for herself when I expressly asked her not to.
Rita: I see, well you could see this as a compliment perhaps? Have you asked her why she went against your wishes?
Lucy: I see it as her pathetic attempt at youth. She says she forgot.
Rita: And do you usually get on with your mum?
Lucy: Yes. I'm 20 and I live with her. I can talk to her about almost everything. She values my opinion about her younger kids which I look after regularly and is a real support with my depression.
Rita: I know you are frustrated, but maybe one next step could be to ask her not to wear the shoes at the same time as you.
Lucy: Yeah, maybe I just needed a rant. I get the impression she's living through me quite a lot.
Dimitra: You might want to take a look at this article on problematic parents too.
KayBee1991: Lucy, my mum is EXACTLY the same!
Rita: It's really great that you usually get on well; perhaps you should have an open and honest conversation about her living through you and about how you feel? Maybe you can set aside some time to go out shopping together or something?
Lucy: Hmm, Idont think so. She always goes on about how she doesn't have enough time to do that kind of thing.
Rita: Perhaps this is a case where you have to understand both sides of the story even if it's hard. Maybe you can use this as an opportunity to talk about the issues in your relationship.
Lucy: We've just been knocking heads a lot lately. I need to move out but I can't afford it.
Rita: What have you been arguing about?
Lucy: Just petty things.
Rita: It's always the petty things that upset us the most - anything in particular?
Lucy: This shoe thing is just the straw that broke the camels back I guess.
Dimitra: We mentioned this article about couples earlier, it talks about some useful techniques that you could use in your relationship with your mum too.
Rita: Is there any way that the two of you can sort things out? You did say that you both normally get on and that you both help each other out.
Lucy: That's odd you posted me that, I've been referred by my GP for psychosexual counselling because I have commitment and intimacy issues. Thank you!
Dimitra: We don't know if you have recently moved back home, but this article might be helpful too: Moving back home
Lucy: I moved back last year after a particularly traumatic episode of depression.
Rita: Perhaps it might be something that you could talk about with the counsellor. If you are feeling particularly low then you might be likely to get into more arguments.
Lucy: Thank you, I'll take a look at those links.
Dimitra: You are very welcome, we hope it helps.
"It's not surprising you are feeling anxious. The start of a new relationship is always an anxious time. Be gentle with yourself"
Rita: Hope that has helped Lucy.
Lucy: It does, it's put in to perspective how much I need to start being proactive about these issues.
KayBee1991: My boyfriend's told me he has trouble regarding his sexual performance, in other words, he has ejaculation trouble - he can't come. He's worried about what I think.
Dimitra: Has he been to a GP?
KayBee1991: Well, he's fine when he masturbates.
Dimitra: Maybe he's being nervous with you. Have you reassured him that you still like him no matter what?
KayBee1991: Yeah, I told him it doesn't matter, to me anyway.
Dimitra: Well, reassuring him will really help him get over this, if it's not a physical thing.
And this one too might be useful about ejaculatory incompetence.
Dimitra: It may be that it's related to stress. He might like to contact Brook which is an organisation providing help and support on sexual issues.
Try not to make his ejaculation problem a focus point of your sex life too. You could try having more foreplay or playing games you think might boost up your sexual libido.
Rita: This article has tips and advice on sensual sex.
Dimitra: Thanks Rita. This kind of approach might make him more comfortable about enjoying the process and not worry about whether he'll actually come or not. Does this sound like an idea?
KayBee1991: Yes that sounds great. Thanks :)
Lucy: And try non-sexual touch like massage. Massage oils and the like can relax him and, when you get to it, might help him with this problem. If he falls asleep and you are horribly frustrated, let him. It's getting him used to non-sexual and maybe non-threatening touch.
Rita: Great advice Lucy.
Dimitra: Hope this helps, best of luck with it!
Lucy: I have just started dating a guy, he's 29 and I'm 20. He lives in London and I'm about three hours away, so I don't see him very often. He says his job is something he can't talk about as he has signed The Official Secrets Act.
Now, in my time (the last 18 months actually) I have been cheated on, cheated at (he didn't tell me he had a girlfriend) and raped. So it's not an understatement to say I have major commitment issues as well as anxiety and depression. I like this guy, I don't want to mess it up with him, but alarm bells are ringing.
Rita: Thanks for your question Lucy. It's not surprising you are feeling anxious. The start of a new relationship is always an anxious time.
Lucy: I'm being pulled two ways, I want to be happy, but my self-defence reflex often manifests as self-sabotage.
Rita: I know we mentioned this before, but have you spoken to him about your anxieties?
Lucy: He knows about them, but we haven't talked about it in depth, no.
Rita: It actually sounds like you're really self-aware and that is a great thing. How long have you been seeing him?
Lucy: A month. He's funny, kind, and he challenges me. But then so was the one with the secret girlfriend and the long term one that cheated. I'm so scared I'll get hurt.
Rita: Remember, it's still really early days and perhaps you need to be really gentle with yourself.
Lucy: How do I get over my relationship anxieties? I feel like I'm stalling. I'll just keep doing this to myself.
Rita: Unfortunately no one can give you a guarantee that you won't get hurt but taking it slowly, keeping talking to him about how you feel and giving it time might be the answer. You don't have to rush in to anything. Try not to beat yourself up about it, you need to give yourself time to deal with and get over your anxieties.
Lucy: The time in between seeing him is the worst, I just brood and I dont know how to stop. I need to get back into counselling. Hopefully this new one will come through soon.
Rita: Perhaps you can try and find other stuff to do when you are not seeing him?
Lucy: Well I have a full time course, a job and two little brothers! But I also have a very short attention span so I end up brooding anyway.
Rita: The counselling could well help. The counsellor can give you coping mechanisms and ways of dealing with the time you have to yourself. It sounds like you are super busy, do you ever get any 'Lucy' time?
Lucy: If I spent half as much time doing all these things as I did worrying about them, I'd have a promotion and a 1st BA! I don't really think he's cheating, it's mostly the job thing.
Rita: It could be that you need to get some time out, to do an activity like swimming or something and have that time to yourself, to focus on you. You did say earlier on that you want to be more proactive on your issues, perhaps if you try to stop worrying and just do.
Lucy: I think this is a good idea! I have been given some new allowances on my course, so I have the time now.
Rita: Well that sounds positive, having more time.
Jo7: Plenty of food for thought. You'll get there Lucy.
Lucy: Anyway,enough about me! Thank you!
Rita: OK if you're sure we will move on to another question. Just take your time; this isn't going to be solved over night.
Lucy: Thanks x
Jo7: Hi Posy, there's nothing in the queue right now so if you'd like to ask Dimitra and Rita something then feel free.
Posy: Yeah, it'sjust this - how do you know who is right for you?
KayBee1991: Posy, you don't know, its just trial and error.
Dimitra: KayBee is right, you can never be 100% sure if someone is right for you or not.
Chelsea157: Posy, when you're with someone and you're not sure if they are right for you then they're not.
Dimitra: It takes time to discover if the other person could be good for you or not and you can look out for some signs like if you share things in common.
maud: Yeah, if you have things in common and enjoy spending time with each other that's a good sign.
Chelsea157: Yeah, I would say get to know them and maybe see each other for a while before going out and then you will get the time to find out if they're right for you or not.
Posy: How long?
Chelsea157: Until you're absolutely sure.
maud: You feel an attraction, 'sparks' fly!
Dimitra: It depends on the person basically, there are no fixed rules I'm afraid.
Chelsea157: And remember it's your call whatever you do, don't get pressured by anyone.
Posy: He does upset me a lot.
maud: Then maybe he's not for you?
Dimitra: In what way? Is he not treating you well?
Lucy: If it doesnt feel right early on, that's not a good sign.
Unfortunately we only have a couple of minutes left here Posy, but the chat room is staying open for another two hours and you can continue discussing your relationship troubles with other users as well as one of our moderators.
Jo7: Posy I hope the advice from everyone helped a bit at least. Take some time to think about what feels right. It doesn't sound like you're all that happy at the moment.
Rita: Hope this has helped. It was great talking to you all. Thanks.
Dimitra: Thank you for your questions everyone. I hope this was helpful to you and feel free to send in a question to askTheSite as well if you still feel you could use more help.