Relationship problems, wanting to have a babyQ I had quite a good childhood – I was an only child who had plenty of stuff, nice holidays, pretty dresses and toys – but yet I still feel so sad inside.

I’ve been self-harming since my teens, have an eating disorder and I’ve even tried to kill myself in the past. My dad was a busy business man and we travelled around a lot and I went to several schools. My parents divorced and I lived with my mum from the age of 12. She was depressed and a heavy drinker.

I’m trying hard to make a go of my life, but I’m still single at 35. It’s becoming late for me to be a mother and I fear this will never happen now, but more than that I fear that I’d pass my own sadness and problems on to my child too. I hate my own company, and yet when I do get a man I change into this suspicious, scared and clingy little kid and I despise myself for being like that. It causes arguments and split-ups. I push people away because they can’t cope with me. I’m so sad underneath my smiley face. How can I find a happy relationship and have a baby with him?

A You’ve raise several points here – and my written response can’t cover them all fully – but I’ll share my main thoughts with you, and perhaps you can then decide if you’d like to get additional professional help to fill in the gaps.

The most important relationship you will ever have is the one you have with yourself.

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Q I have feelings for a co-worker who’s a lot older than me. I can’t tell if he feels the same way about me or is just being friendly. Maybe he just doesn’t know how to tell me to get lost and to leave him alone.

I’ve only had one boyfriend and he took all the self respect I had from me, so guys and me don’t mix well. But this guy would be perfect if only he felt the same way I do – and if only I knew how to approach him, and maybe build a connection, and possibly date him. But I just don’t know how to get to know guys like that or how to be close to someone.

My dad was never around and I find it hard to be close to anyone – so usually I’m lonely and my own best friend and company.
Really I am asking – how do you build some sort of relationship with a guy you like – even if it doesn’t end in you dating him (although ideally you’d like it to end up like that)?

I’m saddened to hear that in the past you weren’t robust enough to prevent someone from ‘taking all the self-respect you had’. You probably didn’t know any better back then, or didn’t have the personal skills necessary to stop that from happening to you.

In all relationships it’s vitally important that you remember to

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