Saturday 20 January 2018

My secret past as a party girl

QI: I'M engaged to a lovely man and we plan on getting married next year. He really is the love of my life. He is also very conservative and drinks very little and has never put a foot wrong in his life. I was a bit wilder when younger. In fact, there was a year when I could have been best described as a party girl. I bumped into an ex recently and it all came flooding back – the parties, drugs, drinking and one-night stands. Should I tell my fiance about my partying past – I think he would be horrified – or should I keep it a secret?

AIt is wonderful to hear that you're happy and settled now, and that you have moved on from your wild days of youth. I always believe that it's crucial to be honest with friends, family and partners as they deserve to know the real you. But in this case, your fiance obviously loves you for who you are now.

Your partying past represents what you once were, but it probably also made you realise that you no longer wanted to be out of control and known as a party girl, so you chose to go in the opposite direction. It helped you to become the person you are today and made you realise that you wanted a different lifestyle. My advice is to be totally honest about your past if he asks you about it, but I don't feel that there's any need to bring it up out of the blue unless he specifically wants to know. It's the past now for a reason and it's important to focus on what you want from life now and in the future.

Q: My little sister caught her boyfriend cheating a few weeks ago and to cheer her up, myself and my boyfriend have been taking her out with us. It's been a disaster. She gets drunk really quickly and flirts with every guy in the club. She finishes off a night by throwing herself at one of them. She's falling down drunk by the time a guy tries to take her home. I end up rescuing her and she either gives me an earful about what a bore I am, or cries in the back of the taxi. My boyfriend is losing patience, but I don't feel I can abandon her.

A: Your sister has obviously been through a really tough time lately and has been forced to readjust to life as a single girl again, so it is understandable that she wants to get rid of some anger and frustration. However, I really hope this is only a phase she's going through and that her behaviour won't become a habit.

It's very kind of you and your boyfriend to look after her, but unless you stage an intervention very soon, she may get herself into trouble. I advise that you speak to her and explain how worried you are that she's been getting so drunk and throwing herself at guys. Be kind and understanding because she's been badly hurt, but suggest that you do other things together that don't involve excessive drinking. Hiking, running, kickboxing and numerous other sports are fantastic ways to get fit together and for her to relieve some of her built-up frustration without the morning-after hangover and feelings of guilt and remorse.

Q: My best friend has always been competitive and if I buy a nice dress then she'll go and get one in the same colour. but will pay more for it and will let me know. When I bought a purple chair for my apartment she went and bought a purple sofa. We've been friends from school but now we're in our 20s her oneupmanship is beginning to grate. I've become friendly with a girl at work who is rather plain and my best friend made a remark about her being more at my level. In fact, my best friend is no prettier than I am, but she always acts like she is the good-looking one. Is there any way to save this friendship?

A: This girl does not sound like a real friend to me. While she may be a naturally competitive person which shouldn't be a problem normally, she is using you to measure herself against. Many people would take this as a compliment, as imitation is a form of flattery.

But when you're trying to maintain a friendship which should be based on mutual respect and support, it is understandably unnerving that your supposed friend is so focused on this constant oneupmanship. If I were you, I would begin to distance myself a little bit from this girl. Don't be so quick to tell her everything you have bought as you know she'll just do the same. She will probably question your reasons for being less available for her, so don't be afraid to tell her that her constant competitiveness was putting you off. Hopefully she will calm down and you may want to start to rebuild the friendship again.

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