Expert chat: Relationships chat

Tamsin, our relationships expertThe Mix's relationship adviser Tamsin offers her thoughts on common problems in relationships.

Rosie: I feel like my relationship is all one-way and I find it difficult to talk to my partner about it as they won't listen to me. What can I do?

Tamsin: Relationships are a two-way street and should be balanced. It's important for you to feel listened to, but sometimes it can be hard for people to listen when they may not want to hear what's being said. It can also be about finding a good time to talk things through with them; when they feel comfortable.

James: You could also take a look at our article about talking to your boyfriend/girlfriend.

Grace: Is it a bad idea to get together with a friend's ex?

Tamsin: It can be a bit tricky going out with a friend's ex, however if everyone is happy with the situation, there's no reason why it can't happen. If at any point it feels odd, make sure you are open and honest with your boyfriend about how you are feeling.

Tara: I want to start dating, but I haven't had any experience with guys. I feel like it's the right time now, I am just wondering the best way to go about it? I have joined a dating site and got chatting to a guy, but I just feel really out of place.

Tamsin: Online dating is a good way to meet people, and it's great you took the plunge. Don't worry that you feel out of place; starting out in online dating can be scary and you can feel like you are coming out of your comfort zone. If online dating doesn't work for you, perhaps you could try joining a new society or a book club, or meeting some friend's friends. There's lots of places for you to meet people who you have something in common with.

James: Our resident vlogger, Hannah Witton, made a series of YouTube videos about online dating.

Isobel: My boyfriend is constantly saying "We'll talk about this later". He avoids conflict at any cost and it's really hard to get him to make a decision on anything important. We want to move in together but I've asked to put this off, which is making me feel really horrible. What can I do to talk to him about important things? He always comes up with excuses.

Tamsin: When people don't want to deal with something, they run away from it. You could try openly acknowledging that he runs away from you when you try and discuss something serious, and telling him that it is important for you both to sit down and talk together. You might want to think about using the Ask A Question service (this service is now closed), and get some expert feedback on communicating with your boyfriend. Relate could also be a good option for you, as they also do online support chats with experts.

Sam: How do you move on from a relationship when you and your ex are still really close? My ex is with someone new and they constantly tell me about their relationship when I'm still trying to get over them. I don't know how to ask them not to do this without being awkward.

Tamsin: It's really hard when relationships end, isn't it? It's a bit of a cliche, but time is the great healer. There's a great article on The Mix about moving on from a relationship. Try and keep busy with things you like to do, such as hanging out with friends, or going shopping, or going to the gym. Also, it's not unfair for you to say to your ex that you would like them to respect your feelings and keep conversations that relate to the new partner to a minimum. You could also try having a short break from being around your ex just to give yourself a bit more space.

Alexa: I became very close with a guy. We were more like 'friends with benefits' but he started coming round more and more. It feels like we're in a relationship now, but I feel like I'm not enough for him. I go out and when I come back, he's watching porn on my laptop. He denies it but I've found it in my browser history. I don't know what to do - every time I ask him about it, he lies to me.

Tamsin: There's a great article on The Mix about 'friends with benefits'. It can be tricky to be in this situation as it can be hard to know where the lines are drawn, especially if one of you wants more. There may be a lot of reasons why he might be hiding the fact he watches porn. It doesn't necessarily mean you're not enough for him. There are a couple of articles on The Mix about attitudes to porn which you might find helpful.

James: We've got an article which talks about finding porn on your boyfriend's computer for example:

Ashley: How do you start a friendship with people face-to-face? It's something I've really struggled with as I'm not sure where to start.

Tamsin: It can be daunting making new friends, especially if you have had a tough time of this in the past. What you could do is have a look at this amazing article about how to make new friends. You could also have a look at these top tips for making friends by Childline. If you come over as friendly and chatty and ask the other person a few questions, that can be a great starting point.

Frankie: My partner and I often talk about difficult things in ways which don't feel healthy. She gets stressed about not being able to support me, and I feel stressed because of the impact I'm having on her. We're both really stubborn and it feels like a bit of a downward spiral, but we're still very close. It feels like we're stuck but we really don't want to lose each other.

Tamsin: It sounds like you often talk about things which are serious and intense and it's putting a strain on the relationship. It can be a good thing to talk about serious issues together but it's also important to keep things balanced. It might be a good idea to chat more about lighthearted topics or things which the other person might find funny. It's a good mood elevator and can help lighten your conversations a little.

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Tags:

anxiety| dating| love

Updated on 29-Sep-2015