auntie ag & uncle ony

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Is it bad form to continue wearing your wedding ring after you are divorced? I have been happily wearing my wedding and engagement rings since my divorce came through three years ago, but when I saw the press coverage of Princess Diana wearing hers on divorce day, I started to feel worried.

Susan, Shropshire.

Uncle Ony: It is not "form" that should be concerning you here, Susan, but your own emotional development. The wearing of your wedding ring is a clear signal that you are "holding on" to your old relationship and inevitably to old pain. None of us can be psychologically healthy without developing the ability to let go and move on. My video Emptying the Relationship Bucket (pounds 17.99 from major High Street chains) should prove helpful here.

Auntie Ag: Darling, if you want to wear the rings, you wear them. What about popping them on a different finger, though, and seeing if you can find somebody nice to buy you some more?

My friend and I both really fancy this guy who goes to our health club. Last night I went to the gym without my friend and got chatting to him. He asked me to go for a drink in the bar afterwards which was great except he asked me where my friend was, confided that he really fancied her and asked if he was in with a chance. I was so upset and jealous I said she'd told me he wasn't her type and she had a boyfriend. He's asked me out again next week but now I feel terrible about it, and don't know what to tell my friend.

Tabetha, Surrey.

Uncle Ony: You are right to look into your conscience. How can a relationship based on falsehood and manipulation be healthy? What sort of friend are you if you cannot stand back and let a mutual attraction flourish? The decent thing to do is call him, tell him you made a mistake about your friend and send her along instead.

Auntie Ag: (Oh don't be absurd, Ony. Every woman has to be a tiny bit ruthless at some time in her life in order to find happiness.) Don't feel terrible, darling. See yourself as a sort of noble guinea pig. Bodybuilders can be awfully vain and dull, you know, and men who hang round picking up girls in gyms can turn out to be fearsome cads. Go on the date as a sort of exploratory recce. If he turns out to be awful you've saved both you and your friend a lot of wasted time and trouble! If he's great... concentrate on keeping your girlfriend and new boyfriend apart till your sure that it's taken: the best way might be to put some time into finding someone nice for her. Then you'll all be happy.

I'm 37 and single and am fed up of everyone assuming I'm gay. I've always been quite pretty looking and hang around with my best mate, Steve, most of the time. But why should people assume that means I'm a homosexual. It doesn't happen with girls, does it?

Simon, Brighton

Uncle Ony: Hmm. Interesting question and the very fact that you have felt moved to write about it makes me wonder if you are, in fact, suppressing homosexual feelings. Why are you single at 37? Why are you spending so much time with a male friend? It may be time to confront feelings which you fear.

Auntie Ag: (Oh for God's sakes Ony, you're as bad as everyone else.) Simon, darling don't worry about it - take it as a positive compliment. In my experience, gay men are far more sensitive and amusing than straight ones anyway. It's just as bad for single women - beyond a certain age everyone assumes they must have some dark secret which is putting everyone off. Next time someone asks why you're single ask them how their marriage is going and whether they're still having sex. That should shut them up.

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