I get so nervous around men – Fiona Caine

Fiona says you should not put so much pressure on yourself when you're around men. Picture: PA
Fiona says you should not put so much pressure on yourself when you're around men. Picture: PA

Fiona Caine solves your personal problems. 

Question: Why can't I hold it together when I'm around guys? I get nervy, tongue-tied and sweaty and I also blush like a tomato, which is never a good look!

I'm 28 and, although I have had a few dates, they have all led nowhere, as I struggle to talk coherently with other people, particularly men. 

My sister says that I am attractive and, if I am patient, I will meet Mr Right one day, but how much longer have I got to wait? I already feel that I am the only 28-year-old virgin on the planet.

Fiona says... I think your sister has a point; you're possibly putting too much pressure on yourself to find someone, which might be making your symptoms of shyness even worse.

Thinking negatively about yourself probably isn't helping either. Shyness and a lack of confidence stem from anxiety in social situations but the good news is, you CAN do something about it. Please consider counselling, which I suggest you speak to your GP about first.

I'VE LOST WEIGHT AND GAINED CONFIDENCE - BUT MY BOYFRIEND DOESN'T SEEM TOO PLEASED

Question: Having lost nearly three stone in weight I feel so much better: I'm happier, fitter, and have so much more energy.

I've joined an evening art class, go to the gym twice a week and go kayaking most Saturdays - something I would never have done a year ago - and I've started to look for a new job.

It was my boyfriend who first encouraged me to diet and exercise, and I love him for the support and help he gave.

However, now that I want to get involved in everything, he keeps trying to talk me out of it. He says he's worried he won't see me as often but, the truth is, I see him just as much as I did before.

Why is he doing this? Can't he see how much this means to me?

Fiona says… You are no longer the overweight and lacklustre person he knew before - well done you!

You're now energetic, confident and ready to take on the world, something he clearly feels threatened by. I suspect he is worried that if you continue to try new experiences and meet new people, he will lose you so you need to talk with him about this.

Encourage him to see that it was he who pushed you to change and that you don't understand why he is now trying to hold you back.

He may not want to talk about his own insecurities in this context, and you may have to reassure him that you don't intend to leave him. However, if he is unable to accept the new you and continues to try to restrict you, perhaps you do need to think about moving on.