My boyfriend is over-reacting to my diet
Q I'm taken aback by my boyfriend's reaction to my diet. At first it was fun having someone on my side. We went shopping and filled the fridge with healthy food and he is becoming a dab hand at making veggie stir fries and vegetable soup. But the other night when I started eating nachos and sour cream dip, he went ballistic, saying it wasn't on my diet plan. I made a handful of chips as a treat last night and he was really annoyed. I am a size 14 and he is very slim, but I've never thought he had a problem with my weight before. Do you think he's been waiting for me to lose weight all along?
A First of all, congratulations for making the decision to lead a better lifestyle and, no doubt, you are feeling fitter and healthier as a result.
You're very lucky to have a boyfriend who is so supportive. It seems to me that he went crazy at you breaking your diet plan, not because he's fixated on you slimming down quickly, but because he's put so much time and personal effort into your new lifestyle.
He obviously finds you very attractive as you are, but wants to see you healthier and happier in yourself. My advice is to appreciate the support he's giving you and do your best to stick to your diet plan. You'll both ultimately appreciate the effort.
Q My best friend showed me a job advert she is applying for as she feels her qualifications are ideal for the position. She is excited as she has been unemployed for more than a year. My dilemma is that I think my own job may be in jeopardy, and I have similar qualifications, but more valid experience.
I'm also going to apply for the job, and I don't know how to broach this without risking losing the friendship. While I want the best for my friend, I'd be a fool not to put my own future security first.
A This is certainly tricky as you value the friendship, but I agree with your decision here. If I were you, I would quietly apply for the position and say nothing until you hear the outcome. Telling your friend that you also want the job could add unnecessary tension and place you in the position of rivals.
If she gets the job you'll have to do your best to be happy for her. But if you get it, then you must take the time to speak to her about it and explain that you don't want it to affect your friendship, but you were placed in the uncomfortable position of going for the job due to insecurity in your present one. If you're chosen then it's clearly because you have better qualifications and a true friend should accept this and be happy for you. Wishing you the best of luck.
Q I want to run away from home as I can't listen to my parents fight any more. At other times they sit in the same room and don't talk. Myself and my brother are miserable because, when they're not accusing each other of being a waste of space, they are picking on us. Sometimes my mum says she wishes she'd never had us.
She says sorry when she has stopped screaming or crying, but I've heard her apologise so often I don't think she really cares. I don't have relatives I can stay with and I'd be afraid to ask my friends parents. I'm 14 and I'm hoping you can tell me of somewhere I can go to get away from my parents?
A I'm really sorry to hear that your home life has become difficult. A home is somewhere you're meant to feel safe and loved. However, you're still a child and too young to be able to support yourself. As daunting as it may seem, the best advice I can give you is to work hard within the family to sort out your differences. Tell your parents how difficult they're making life at home for you and your brother. Seek outside help from a professional, such as a family relationship counsellor. Also don't be afraid to seek the advice and help of a close friend's parent you can trust. Check out familytherapyireland.com for more details.