auntie ag & uncle ony

A friend of mine has bought a new house. She asked if she could stay with me for a couple of weeks while the builders were in and I said yes. She has now been here for six weeks and the builders are showing no sign of finishing. In fact they are doing a huge reconstruction job. She's fine to have around the house but I am getting more and more annoyed at her just staying on without explanation or apology and not paying any rent. The difficulty is, she's obviously going to make pots of money on this house when she comes to sell it, but at the moment she is broke because of the building costs and I feel mean asking her for rent.

Georgia, lslington

Uncle Ony: You need to clarify the root of the problem. Is it anger at being "taken advantage of" and manipulated? Envy at your friend's canny property deal? Or is it - and this is my hunch - a fear of intimacy? You may need the help of a therapist to untangle the messy undergrowth. Lack of self knowledge and inability to assert will indubitably prove to be, as it were, the rot beneath the root.

Auntie Ag: Tell her you invited her for a couple of weeks for free and now it's six and it's a different deal. If she can't afford to pay rent then she'll just have to up her mortgage, darling.

There's a girl who's a friend of one of my friends and recently started hanging round with us all. Everyone thought she was great including me and I flirted with her quite a lot. She's now completely part of the gang and I still really like her but I think she's taken my flirting seriously. The other night we all went to a party together and she asked me to drop her off home. When we got there I realised - I think - that she was expecting a snog. I got all embarrassed and just gave her a blustery peck on the cheek and said goodbye. Now I don't know what to do because I would like to snog and indeed sleep with her but it all seems a bit much if she's a friend because what if it goes wrong?

Ben, Kensington

Uncle Ony: It sounds to me as though your interest in this girl is more of a competitive sport than genuine desire: new girl on the block, all the guys want to win her attention, and once you've won it, it loses its appeal. You're right. Sow your wild oats outside the circle.

Auntie Ag: You know, there's a very silly tendency amongst today's urban singles to treat their friendships with all the commitment, openness, sharing and devotion which used to be reserved for lovers and treating their love-life as a sort of game choosing people to sleep with they wouldn't even want to be friends with. Don't be silly. Next time, take a big breath and sweep her off her feet. Remember, darling, the more you fear to lose the more you stand to gain.

I have been on three dates (full snogging on the last two) with a man who seems to be keen on me. The trouble is the time seems to be right to sleep together soon but his ex-girlfriend, who still wants him back, is an unbelievable sex goddess with a figure like Cindy Crawford and terrifying lip-glossed pout. There is no way my body or my lips can compete with hers and I am terrified the whole experience will be a horrible disappointment to him.

Deborah, Bristol

Uncle Ony: We seem to have heard an awful lot about what this man may or may not think of you and very little about what you think of him. If the whole question of whether or not to sleep with him is making you anxious, if you feel threatened before the affair has even begun, then perhaps it might be better not to expose your ego in this way, and to work instead on developing and strengthening your self-esteem.

Auntie Ag: Darling, he's not with the pouting silicone mountain for a reason and that could just be because she's a pain in the arse. You'll be surprised how many men don't want to be with the kind of women they like to watch on Baywatch. If he's asking you out and not her, it's because it's you he wanted to be with. So just think gorgeous and go for it.

My girlfriend cleans her ears out with the tops of biros, matches - anything which comes to hand - in front of me. I know this is not as bad as picking one's nose - but is it really socially acceptable?

Nigel, Salisbury

Uncle Ony: You need to look at what your girlfriend is saying here. Have you put her on a pedestal? Is she crying out to be taken off - begging you to accept that she is human, animal, earthy - that her ears too have wax? Why don't you ask her? You may find a whole new, honest, relationship vista opening up to you.

Auntie Ag: Ugh, how disgusting. Over-react, darling - always so much less insulting than some tortured overly-preambled "little chat". Next time she does it shriek: "That's the most repulsive personal habit I've ever seen in my life. lf you ever do that again, I'm going to tear off my own head and eat it, and see how you like it." I'm sure she'll get the message.

You are invited to send your problems to: Aunty Ag and Uncle Ony, Real Life, Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL. However, Aunty Ag and Uncle Ony regret that they are both unable to enter into any personal correspondence

peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
New Articles
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Cover Supervisor

    £75 - £90 per day + negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Are you a cover supe...

    Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

    Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

    £22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

    SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

    £1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

    Day In a Page

    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam