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Hi my name is Ivy and for a long time now, advice-giving has been my passion.

Listening to and helping others is what I love to do and if doing so could be my career right now I would jump at that chance. But I’ve only just started my university degree and am constantly learning, and so this cannot yet be a job. So for now, I’d simply like to listen to those who reach out. Everyone has a story and it's important to find an avenue through which to tell it.

I am happy to discuss many topics such as (and not limited to) gender/sexuality, self harm, mental illness, health/recovery, school/work, relationships and family, or just general conversation. I am not a professional in any way, so anything I say is from my personal experience or knowledge.

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Anonymous said: I'm an 18 y/o pansexual girl, I'm in a ldr with my girlfriend of 3 months. We haven't met in person & can't for a long time. Is it wrong of me to want to be able to have physical relations, not necessarily sex, with people but still want to be with her? Not behind her back, she would know & have the same option. How would I bring this up? I think it'd make things easier as there's no lack of physical contact then & still the emotional connection we have.

Hey, first of all it is definitely not wrong of you to want physical relations whilst in a LDR. People might judge you and tell you otherwise, but I think that open relationships are perfectly fine if both people agree on the “conditions” that are set. Emotional connection is super important as a basis of a relationship but physical intimacy is also a huge factor. It would be very frustrating as you are not physically close to her, so I can understand your standpoint. I think it would be a good idea to just talk to her, preferably via phone call or video call, and not via messages. Perhaps tell her that you feel completely dedicated to her emotionally, but that you are having a hard time without physical satisfaction. It is possible that she will think of this scenario as cheating. Depending on who she is as an individual, this might be tough news for her, or she could agree with you. Either way, explain to her that you won’t be constantly seeking out intimacy with other people, and suggest that you can both choose and agree on rules, and that you will not lie to her. Talking to her openly about this will further reinforce that you aren’t cheating and will be honest to her about it. I hope she feels the same and that things work out well x

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Anonymous said: I don't really know what to say, er I need help and I don't really now who to go to i really don't want to disappoint my parents. I think I have a drug problem and that sounds stupid because I pretty sure i have under control but then again i don't know and i feel like i am pushing all my friends away and my boyfriend hates it and i don't really know to do about

Hey, thanks for coming to me for help. Realising the issue is definitely the first step to change, so I’m really glad you are noticing what’s happening in your life. I can understand why you wouldn’t want your parents to know because drug dependence can be embarrassing and shameful to talk about. It’s really difficult for us as humans to realise and accept that we have a problem, but if you feel like you are beginning to distance yourself from others, this is a sign the drug use needs to change. Taking steps to changing now is going to be a lot easier than doing so in the future, so now is the best time. Don’t delay it any further.

Things aren’t going to change if I message you advice here because overcoming a drug problem, no matter how severe it is, requires active changes in your own life. I’m not sure what country you are in, so it would be a good idea to search on the Internet some services for guidance. Your situation doesn’t sound completely out of control to me, but I think you could really benefit with someone’s help! There are online chat rooms you can go on to talk to someone who would be able to help, or telephone helplines, or services you can physically go to. I hope you can be brave and choose to help yourself because you, your family, your friends, and your boyfriend would really benefit from it! Good luck x 

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Anonymous said: im in the so called "popular group" in my year but i wouldn't consider myself to be popular... i just happen to be apart of this group that i don't really fit into & where no one really considers me to be their good friend. anyways lately all my friends (girls & guys) have decided that drinking is cool & at every possible chance they like to drink. i promised myself i wouldnt drink until high school is finished but im having a hard time being myself and fitting in, please help me!!!!!

Hi there, sorry to hear that you aren’t feeling 100% comfortable in the friendship group you’ve found yourself in. Keep in mind that the friends you have now won’t necessarily always be your friends, and that one day you’ll find people who enjoy the things you enjoy, and accept you for who you are. You shouldn’t have to change who you are for them. Doing something outside of your comfort zone, or conforming to an expectation set by your peers is definitely not worth it: your values should matter the most to you and I think it would be smart to stick by them. If you made a promise to yourself, keeping the promise would feel super satisfying. I know that in high school, fitting in is a really big thing because friendships are really important. However, there is a difference between drinking because you feel pressured to in order to be accepted, and drinking because you are certain that you would like to do so. If you are hesitant about doing it, then don’t do it! If you aren’t ready to engage in that, then don’t because you might regret it. If you do choose to, do it responsibly and on your own terms: there are heaps of tips online for drinking responsibly so please stick by those ideas. It’s sad to hear that your friends need alcohol in order to have a good time, and I hope that you can find yourself people who you feel comfortable with and who can find other ways to have fun :)

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Anonymous said: 4 I'm not that type of person. Why the fuck would she be such a bitch about it. It's frustrating, does she think that I'm a fool or something!? Even if she does, I've spent time on it and i thing she should respect that, she was enjoying her life and i was making the fucking project. What do you think I should do? And sorry for the long asks ..

Hey there, I’m not going to post the other messages because you probably have an idea of the situation you just outlined to me. 

This definitely sounds like a very frustrating situation as it: 1 isn’t fair as she will get credit for something she didn’t create, 2 might feel like a betrayal of your trust as you were only being helpful, and 3 is like she is lying because she is pretending it is hers. Have you handed in the projects yet? This situation is a little complicated because going to a teacher and explaining what happened might not get anywhere as you willingly sent over your work. Also, pointing it out to a teacher would only anger your friend. Forgive and forget is really hard to do especially when the other person is definitely the one at fault. I think you should talk to her before you do anything else, and explain to her as calmly and respectfully as you can how you feel about what happened. Raging at her is only going to create more conflict, so try to be as put together as you can. If it gets heated and she gets emotional, try to be the bigger person and keep it cool. You didn’t mention that you said directly to her that you think she copied your model, so maybe you should let her know? After that, if you feel like she is being dishonest, even when you confront her about what she’s done, then maybe she isn’t worth your time? However, if you think your friendship is worth prolonging, it might just be a situation where you need to forgive her and move on. Ask for an apology perhaps, and leave it at that. Avoid holding grudges. Remember that you can now keep in mind not to send over your work to her any more. It was your choice to hand it over in the first place, and it was very generous and kind of you to do so, and her copying it definitely isn’t your fault. Just keep in mind that you decided to distribute your work, and doing so didn’t guarantee it wouldn’t be used.

Hope things turn out okay x

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Anonymous said: Hey. So I go to a girls school. And I have pretty bad social anxiety. But I would really like to meet a whole new range of people. Do you have any advice for me? And could you please answer this privately? Thanks xx

Hi there, I wish I could answer this privately as you requested but that’s not possible if you ask a question anonymously, sorry :( 

Anxiety is just one little aspect of you and I’m glad that you are moving beyond it and not letting it define you. I’m a little unsure whether you mean meeting new people in your school, or meeting new people, including boys, outside of your school. I’m going to assume you mean people outside of school, but if this isn’t the case, feel free to message me again.

Both of the high schools I attended were both all-girls schools too! It is definitely difficult to reach out beyond the immediate community you are in, and making new friends outside of your normal group doesn’t just happen automatically. Lots of the new people I met were through mutual friends: when I attended parties or events my friends would introduce me to people that they knew, and this was how my friendships branched out. We tend to stick to our comfort zones and stay close to those we know, but try to pluck up the courage, maybe bring a friend with you, and approach people and strike conversation. This isn’t as easy as it sounds, I know, but it doesn’t hurt to try. We can’t be automatic friends with every single person we introduce ourselves to, so don’t be down on yourself if you aren’t immediately successful.

You could join out-of-school sports teams if you enjoy sports, church youth groups if you are religious… Also you could get involved in things that are offered at school, such as musical/drama/sport/clubs or events with other schools, if you can. I hope you can find some new friends and have an enjoyable time at school x

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Anonymous said: Hi there. I really like this boy from my geometry class, and I feel like he likes me too. He and I worked on math after school the other day and we flirted a lot and listened to music together. Anyway next week is the last week of school and I will only see him once because of finals. I want to hangout with him this summer, how do I get to talking to him about that and actually hangout with him outside of school.

Hey there, this sounds like a promising situation and I hope things go your way :)

Do you have his phone number? I really prefer phone calls over texts and Facebook messages, but depending on your level of comfort talking over the phone, this could be different for you. You could suggest going out for food/coffee/ice-cream/anything straight after your last exam? It would be a nice way to relax after all that hard work, and is an opportunity to suggest doing something with him. Obviously exam time is a little difficult to maintain meaningful conversation as you are both busy, so just ask him simply if he has plans after the exam. If hanging out immediately after the exam isn’t an option, you could just ask if he’s going away on the holidays? An example could be “are you going away during the break? I heard about -insert place/event/attraction/restaurant here- and I’m looking for someone to check it out with me!” Be brave, be out there, don’t be nervous about asking him out because you definitely are in a position to! 

Good luck with this, and good luck with finals!!! x

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Anonymous said: I love my g/f on a really deep level, but she dresses much more modestly than most of our friends. When we're out, I often feel more attracted to other girls b/c they show off more of their bodies, and I feel uncomfortable, being more attracted to others than her. But I feel like a douche asking her to dress differently, like that's being superficial or objectifying, and she's told me she is not comfy dressing like that. Any idea what to do about this, how to talk about it respectfully w/ her?

Hi there, thanks for the message, it’s very mature of you to bring this up. I can definitely relate to your girlfriend in that I don’t enjoy wearing clothes that ‘show off’ my body, and prefer to go comfortable over dressy. I do often compare myself to other girls who display their bodies in flattering ways (I wonder if it’s unacceptable as a girl that I don’t dress likewise), but I know at the end of the day, my boyfriend still loves me for who I am and not how I look.

Everyone has their own style, and it’s important as a lover to respect that she has boundaries regarding how she would like to present herself to the general public. You might want to show her off when you’re in public, but it’s essential to realise that you already have her commitment and that she is yours and you are hers; she shouldn’t have to change the way she looks in order to fill up any insecurity that you might feel about the attraction you are feeling towards other girls. These other girls are definitely putting in a lot of time and effort before they go out to make themselves look the best they can. It’s only human that you might feel attracted to them physically, but the emotional love you have for your girlfriend should triumph over that and be stronger. To put it into perspective, if you saw a model, you would probably think “wow she is very good looking”. Would you then ask your girlfriend to dress like a model to meet that model’s standards? It’s about changing the way you are thinking about this situation, rather than trying to alter the way she likes to dress. She has already mentioned that she feels uncomfortable dressing like that, so it’s up to you to accept her as she is. I don’t think you are objectifying her, because you seem like a very respectful guy, but I hope you realise that your love for her doesn’t diminish because she is different from the norm.

I hope you carry on having a strong relationship with her, and that you can dedicate your love and attention to her the way that she hopefully does for you. Best of luck x

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Anonymous said: Hey, so i've been talking to this guy from my school online for about 6 months, the thing is, we've never properly spoken in real life. yesterday he asked to hang out this weekend, and i really want to. its just im a really shy person and im getting seriously anxious about this :// any help?

Hi there, wow this situation sounds so familiar to me because someone I know has been through basically the same thing! I can definitely see why you would be feeling anxious; even after getting to know someone for so long online, seeing them in real life feels like meeting them for the first time all over again. Obviously, he finds you interesting and is keen to be in your company, so don’t feel the need to be super careful about everything you do or say. Awkward moments are a common thing during the initial stages of hanging out with someone, so try not to worry too much when they happen. The more you think about it, the worse it becomes in your head. Just some tips to hopefully relieve your anxiety a little bit: 

You might be shy, but I’m sure you have lots of things to talk to him about. Perhaps, beforehand, think of some topics or questions to discuss whenever there is a lull in the conversation. Try to feel confident when you speak, and don’t get too wound up trying to rehearse exactly what you will say in your head. Just go for it! Avoid repeating things that don’t go too smoothly in your head, rather focus on the positives and the things that are going well. Find activities to do during your time together to reduce some conversation and give you time to relax a little. Food is always good, maybe a walk through the city or a shopping centre? Say you are grabbing lunch to eat, maybe suggest going for a walk afterwards to help you digest. This suggests you enjoy being with him and want to prolong your time together, and gives you things to look at and talk about. If there is stuff going on around you, you might feel a little more comfortable. Avoid going on your phone, even in the moments where you feel really awkward. It’s common politeness, and shows that you aren’t disinterested in the guy you are with. 

Just remember, it’ll feel awkward at the beginning but trust me, over time it won’t require a second thought to go see him. Relax yourself before the date/outing/whatever you want to label it. Treat the day like any other if you can. Don’t worry too much about what he thinks of you because I’m sure he is nervous too.

Smile, be happy, and ask questions. Good luck, I hope you enjoy yourself xxx

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"Being faithful in the smallest things is the way to gain, maintain, and demonstrate the strength needed to accomplish something great."
— ― Alex Harris (via psych-quotes)
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Anonymous said: Hey, I need some advice please? I'm bi, I have a girlfriend. We've never met, she lives on the other side of the world. We've been together for 3 months. I met this guy, online, he's a year younger. He's sweet, funny, nice & generally awesome. He's really good looking too. I sound horrible :( but I think I might like him, I feel guilty though. He told me he wanted to kiss me, I told him I have a girlfriend. I don't know what to do or how I feel :( help? - So confused.

Hi there fellow bi buddy :) Sorry to hear you are experiencing guilt and confusion. Long distance relationships are definitely a huge challenge, and things like these make them even more difficult. 3 months together shows to me a committed relationship, so it’s about questioning yourself about how serious you perceive your relationship with your girlfriend to be. Have you discussed plans to meet up? Have you talked to her about the future? Do you see yourself being with her in the long-term? 

Don’t feel awful for your feelings towards this guy you met. Many people think that being in a relationship means there is 0% chance of being attracted to any other person besides your boyfriend/girlfriend. Realistically, this isn’t the case, and it isn’t completely immoral of you to be captivated by another individual. However, you are in a relationship right now, and things become unfair once you act upon your feelings for this guy. The fact that you are long-distance with your girlfriend makes things even harder, because you can’t be with her physically and this can really suck. 

Obviously, this guy is hoping to pursue something further than friendship and I think you should ask him to pause and give you some time before you make a move, because you are still committed to your girlfriend. It is entirely up to you what to do, but please do not make the mistake of juggling 2 people at once because it is unfair on both of them. I’m sure you love your girlfriend a lot; are you willing to give up her love so that you can pursure a new guy you like? It might be that this guy is so kind and attractive to you, and because he is something new in your life, it makes the appeal ever more appealing. Situations like these are relatively common, don’t feel as if you are a bad person because you are only human. If you have fallen out of love, that is understandable and you should make choices for yourself. Don’t feel the need to stay with your girlfriend because you feel bad for breaking up with her. You have to think about your own happiness too.

Hopefully you manage to sort out your feelings and work things out. Best of luck x

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