Ask Kathy B!

Relationship guru Kathy B is on a mission to solve all your relationship dilemmas!

Question: “I’ve been seeing this guy for a couple of weeks and it’s all going well. Great sex, we have fun and no commitment. At this point, I would usually move into relationship mode but the reality is, this time I don’t want a full-blown relationship. I want more than just a bonk buddy, but also the freedom to see other people. Does that kind of relationship even exist? If so, what do I tell him?”

Kathy B: First of all you need to work out why you aren?t interested when you?d normally be keen to move into blissful monogamy. Is there something different about him or you? If you know you?d never settle down with him then gently let him know, before he gets too serious. If you want him to be more than just a ?booty call? then things tend to get sticky if you also want the freedom to date (and presumably sleep with) other guys. This kind of relationship can exist but only if both partners are fully aware of the rules and you each have a ?get-out as soon as I spot someone I could truly love? clause in your casual relationship. You also need to set the rules now i.e.: make sure its clear that you?ll always use protection and that you both must also do so with any other partners. If you can take seeing him with another girl and not fly into a fit of jealousy and he can do the same with you, then you are really just friends who sleep together. Don?t see it as anything more now or in the future or you will get hurt. If you?re both protecting yourselves physically and emotionally, that?s fine as long as you aren?t using it as an excuse to hide away from a real relationship. As far as what to say to him, say that you love spending time together but that you also want the freedom to go out with and sleep with, other guys. You?ll very quickly get the picture about whether he?s happy with the situation or not.

Question: “My friend goes on and on about problems with her relationship and asks what she should do, says I’m right but never follows through. As a friend, I want to be there for her but how do I tell her that she seems to be shooting herself in the foot by continuing in the relationship?”

Kathy B: Everyone has had an energy-draining friend who rants for hours about her problems but never does anything about it. Meanwhile you?re stuck feeling like a very bored, broken record and probably like you are about to explode after every supportive session. If her partner is emotionally or physically abusing her then you must step in and help give her the courage to break away, quickly. If however, she?s enjoying selfishly going on and on about the same problems (while she never listens to yours!) then do something to save your sanity. The next time she launches into a complaining session say, ?I really care about you and want to help but we?ve gone over this issue dozens of times. You know what I think you should do and I can?t offer any more advice. Perhaps its time you thought about speaking to a counselor about these relationship issues.? She?ll either get the message or will speak to a professional, if she needs to. She may be just being selfish or she may have bigger problems than she?s willing to admit to you. Another option is to say to her that you don?t want to speak about that particular issues until she?s done something positive to resolve it or bring in ?complaining hour? ? one hour a week when you can both complain about relationship issues. It is better than listening to it all week long, right?

Question: “My older brother has the bedroom next to mine. On a few occasions I’ve been woken to the sounds of him having sex with his girlfriend. Do I mention it, or just let it be to avoid any potential embarrassment for all parties?”

Kathy B: Eeek! Poor you sweetie. Remember that if you hear his amorous encounters then your parents most likely have to and they?re probably not happy either! If it bothers you then definitely say something. Perhaps you could give him a ?CD for Lovers? gift for his next birthday and say jokingly, ?Use this next time you?re in the mood so I can finally get some sleep!? Unless they?re reenacting a porno version of Tarzan and Jane in the jungle, it should muffle out most of the sounds (and its better to listen to Marvin Gaye singing, ?Lets Get it On? than your brother yelling out ?Yeah baby!?) If you?re close then just be straight up with him. Say, ?I love you but I don?t love hearing you bonking big bro. How about going to your girlfriends place every now and then, going on a camping holiday and when you are here throwing on some music to muffle out your sex sounds out before you scar my innocent mind forever!??

Kathy Buchanan is the author of Charm School: The Modern Girl’s Complete Handbook of Etiquette and Quit for Chicks. Charm School offers fun but helpful advice on why manners are sexy and how to use them to create the life you?ve always dreamed of. It deals with difficult love, social and work situations like how to ace an interview, help a friend through a difficult break-up, handle cheating flat mates, keep your hairdresser faithful and how to not fall in love with gorgeous gay men. Charm School: The Modern Girl’s Complete Handbook of Etiquette Penguin. RRP $24.95 but only $22.46 if you buy from the SheSaid Bookshop

Quit for Chicks is a how to quit smoking support guide for women, with a foreword from supermodel Sarah O?Hare, Penguin, RRP $9.95 but only $8.96 if you buy from the SheSaid Bookshop

If you want Kathy B to answer your relationship dilemmas, email feedback@shesaid.com with your question.