herald

Monday 23 October 2017

Dear Rosanna: Will I lose him if I say no to sex?

Should you sleep with someone to stop friends stealing him? should you stick by a skint boyfriend? Just two dilemmas for our new advice columnist

Dear Rosanna, I AM 16 and my boyfriend is two years older.

We have been together for over five months and I love him very much. The only problem is that he is pressuring me to have sex. I don't feel ready (I am a virgin) but I am so afraid of losing him. All my friends fancy him as he is so good looking, so I know he can get any of these girls to sleep with him if I refuse.

Rosanna says:

SEX with your boyfriend should happen when YOU are ready, and not because you feel pressured to sleep with him. You're very young and my worry would be that if you're not emotionally ready to become that intimate with another person, you would quite possibly regret it.

You will never get your virginity back, it's your body and your decision alone. It's crucial that you speak to him seriously and explain that you feel he is putting pressure on you and that you're just not ready.

If he genuinely cares for you, beyond the physical attraction, then he should be completely supportive and wait until you feel it's right. My advice is to listen to your head and not your heart. As for worrying about your friends sleeping with him, genuine friends don't behave like that. If either your boyfriend or friends are that disloyal, they don't deserve to be in your life and you would be well-advised to disassociate yourself from them to avoid further heartache.

Finally, if or when you decide to sleep with someone, don't forget to always use contraception to help avoid pregnancy and STDs.

Dear Rosanna, I AM 23 and all my friends are having Botox. I don't want to, but they are putting pressure on me. What do you think?

Rosanna says:

BOTOX is a relatively recent introduction to the beauty industry and it worries me that nobody really knows the long-term effects of injecting botulism into your body. There are numerous examples out there of people who have either overdone the Botox or it has gone terribly wrong, misshaping their face for good.

Dear Rosanna, I REALLY love my boyfriend but he has no money, and is confused about what direction he wants to take in life. It means we can't often do the things my friends and their boyfriends do. I am a student and am supported financially by my parents. We are both 21. Should I stay with him, or leave?

Rosanna says:

BEING a bit of a romantic, I'm a big believer that love conquers all. And being in love with someone, like you say you are, means supporting them and being there for them through good and bad. Plenty of people are experiencing hard economic times at the moment so his situation is not necessarily unique. You are extremely lucky to enjoy the financial support of your parents.

As you are both so young, it's also not unusual for him to be confused about what to do with his life, the key is to try and make the most of every opportunity.

So my advice is to stay with your boyfriend and be there for him. Giving up on your relationship would break both your hearts and help nobody. Life has a way of helping you out when you most need it, and I'm confident that he'll find his direction and make positive steps forward before too long.

As for the issue of socialising with your friends and their boyfriends, why not suggest you do things that cost little or nothing? There is plenty to do that doesn't cost a fortune. Look out for things geared towards penniless students -- free concerts, great meal deals in restaurants and weeknight student deals in clubs and pubs. Best of luck!

HOW much money is acceptable to spend on clothes, hair, nails and make-up? I am constantly fighting with my boyfriend about this, and I think my spending, or his meanness, whichever way you look at it, is in danger of splitting us up. He is always happy to have me look lovely on his arm. I am 24 and he is two years older.

Rosanna says:

Dear Rosanna, HOW much money is acceptable to spend on clothes, hair, nails and make-up? I am constantly fighting with my boyfriend about this, and I think my spending, or his meanness, whichever way you look at it, is in danger of splitting us up. He is always happy to have me look lovely on his arm. I am 24 and he is two years older.

IT IS fairly difficult to ascertain how much is the right amount to spend on beauty products, grooming and clothes, as everybody has different tastes and requirements. My best advice is to do your research into the best quality and value products, and decide what you really need to spend.

Us girls are all guilty at some point of indulging in impulse buys which we never use or wear. Some products, such as a good foundation for example, are worth spending a bit more money on, but other products aren't such good value for money and cheaper equivalents can be found.

I never spend much money on lipsticks, nail polishes or hair products, but do shell out that bit more for important things such as skincare.

As for your hair, why not get together with a small group of girlfriends and find a hairdresser who will call over to one of your houses at a good price for an afternoon of colour/trims/blow-drys? I have done this for a couple of years and it works out a lot cheaper.

With regards to clothes, the high street does some great versions of designer classics so it's easy to be well dressed on a budget. Plus, fashion is so cyclical and fleeting that it's only worth investing in a couple of key pieces a year.

Now to tackle the issue of your boyfriend. While I understand his concern for your possible spending habits in these economic times, it's also not up to him to dictate to you how much you can spend. As a couple, you should be working as a team, helping and supporting each other, and something which is simple enough to address should not threaten to end your relationship. Communication is your best tool, so rather than arguing just sit down and iron out your issues with each other in an adult way.

Also, don't ever feel like a piece of arm candy for him, as you said in your question. While it's lovely to be praised, you should dress to boost yourself and nobody else.

Ask Rosanna - send your questions to rosanna@herald.ie

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