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Saturday 20 April 2019

Dear Rosanna: I don't know who got me pregnant!

Q I am four months pregnant and excited at the prospect of becoming a mum. My boyfriend is equally thrilled, and our parents are on board. So things couldn't be better, except for the fact I don't know who the father of my baby is. I had a row with my boyfriend and got drunk while in a huff, and ended up having sex with a stranger I met in a club in and around the time I conceived.

I'm having sleepless nights over whether or not to come clean with my boyfriend. He would leave me, and then I'd be a single mother, and my child would be fatherless, which I think would be the worst thing.

AFirstly, many congratulations on your pregnancy. However, you're facing a huge, stressful decision. I strongly feel that coming clean is your only option. You have the life of your unborn baby to think about now. Can you imagine him going through life thinking his father was somebody he's not? You must be as unselfish as possible.

If I were you, I would first confide in a parent or close friend you can trust. An outside perspective would surely offer a good degree of clarity and clear advice on how and when to break the news to your partner.

You may decide to wait until after the birth and do a paternity test. If it turns out to be your boyfriend's baby, then that would be wonderful news. But if it confirms your worst fears, then you must be prepared to deal with the consequences. Carrying a secret like that with you for life would surely cause untold damage, hurt and guilt. It's just not worth it.

Q A work colleague asked me out, and I said 'no', as while he is attractive, I don't think it is a good idea to mix work with pleasure, based on past experience. However, now whenever I pass him and his friends in the corridor, or walk by their desks, they all snigger and laugh. I understand his pride is hurt, but I suspect he has been saying things about me which are either insulting or untrue. How can I sort out this problem without having to go to my boss or alienating male colleagues? I do have to go into work every day!

AI feel that you made a sensible decision in turning down the advances of your colleague. You trusted your instincts and acted with maturity. He, on the other hand, sounds as though he hasn't taken it well, and has resorted to immature bullying tactics to intimidate you. He has convinced his friends to join him in his quest to make you feel as small as possible. But what you must remember is that this is nothing more than a dented ego. To cope with it, he has made it his mission to chip away at your self-esteem.

My best advice is to absolutely ignore it. Hold your head up high and be proud of yourself that you made the right decision. Hopefully, he will get bored of making a fool of himself and move on.

QMy sister is pretty, intelligent, and super-nice, and it seems to me that everyone goes out of their way to do things for her, and really seem to like making her happy. I know I can be grumpy at times, and I don't have the same pretty smile when I say thanks, but I would really like it if someone did something special for me for a change. I feel my parents have always favoured her, as have my grannies and aunts, and that I never get a look in. I am 14 and she is 16, and I feel my only hope is to grow up and move out and find someone who thinks I am the best girl.

ASibling rivalry is pretty normal in every family. Perhaps you're only noticing what others do for her, and are failing to appreciate the time and attention family members give to you.

Also, you admit to being grumpy some of the time. Perhaps your sister is simply more friendly and approachable, and people are drawn to her first. Being a few years younger, you perhaps come across as a little bit more shy and introverted. I would imagine that none of this is intended to cause you any hurt, but it has become a self-fulfilling prophecy because you've been focusing so much energy on believing it's true. I would recommend you speak to your parents about it and get everything out in the open. I have every confidence that your feelings would be understood, and those around you would make every effort to include you and make you feel every bit as important as your sister.

With some straightforward honest communication, this issue can be sorted out.

QI had a fling with a guy while on holiday in Spain, and he promised to stay in touch, and even to come over for my 21st birthday in October. Three weeks later and, in spite of me texting, emailing and messaging on Facebook, I haven't heard a thing. Have I been made a fool of, do you think? I behaved in a way I wouldn't do at home, so I suppose I've only myself to blame, but I did really like him. I feel very depressed about being dumped like this.

AI'm really sorry to hear that you're feeling so let down by this guy, but unfortunately holiday romances are often not destined to last once back on home soil. Sadly, the majority of the attraction of a holiday fling is the detachment from the stresses and banality of everyday life.

It sounds as if this guy thoroughly enjoyed your holiday romance, but decided against being entirely honest about his intentions once home again. He probably thought that staying in touch would be too much hassle, or give you the wrong impression. He also may be involved with another woman at home. You've done all you can to contact him, so my advice is to leave it alone now. Hopefully, you will soon meet somebody new, and your holiday fling will be a distant memory.

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