Counsellor Fiona Caine answers your relationship dilemmas
Q My friend is attracted to a new guy at work and, as she’s shy, she asked me to scope him out first.
At first, I thought he was a bit boring and I told her so, but she’s keen on him and a good friend, so for the past four weeks, I’ve taken every chance to chat with him.
At an after work drinks session last week, he made it clear he was attracted to me, which also made me realise I’ve fallen for him too.
I’m in a real mess now – how do I tell my best friend I’ve fallen for the guy she wants? Should I just say that he’s not interested?
A If you value your friendship, and I suspect you do, I think hiding your feelings would be a mistake.
It sounds as if you all work at the same company and the probability that you will be able to keep this a secret, especially if you start seeing this guy, is very slim indeed.
Better, I think, to come clean and explain that you never meant for this to happen.
Your friend may well be upset and angry, but hopefully she’ll be able to see that you have been honest and that you value her friendship.
Q I feel as though my teenage children have stopped loving me. For the most part, it’s as though I don’t even live in the same house as them, even though I do the lion’s share of the cooking, cleaning and washing.
If I ask them a question or make a comment about something, they’ll roll their eyes, snigger at each other and carry on doing whatever they were doing.
Last week, my youngest lost his temper and accused me of hating him, when all I’d done was ask him to finish his homework before going out.
A You’re doing nothing wrong. You provide a loving home for three young people and you’re doing it in the face of some fairly typical teenage behaviour – moodiness, anger and a reluctance to do anything that’s asked of them.
You might find it useful to get some pointers on how best to communicate with teenagers and what tactics are likely to work best.
The charity Family Lives (familylives.org.uk) has an extensive section on teenagers on their website.