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Struggling with Overwhelm

Struggling with Overwhelm

Struggling with Overwhelm

Dear Lucretia I feel so overwhelmed

Dear Lucretia,

I feel sad, tired and overwhelmed most of the time. It’s been going on for about a year and I just can’t seem to change things. What can I do?

Talita, 16 years old

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Dear Talita, 
The last 12 months have been really hard for a lot of people and world events have taken a heavy toll on mental health generally.

It sounds like it’s time you got some support to help you work through what is happening for you. We all need support sometimes and it’s important to reach out and ask for it because people don’t always notice what we’re going through. This isn’t because they don’t care. Instead, we can get so wrapped up in our own lives that we don’t see what is happening right in front of us. 

If you’re still at school, please talk to a teacher you can trust or a school counsellor to let them know you are struggling. They will be able to give you support and help you access other resources. 

I’m also wondering if you have a trusted friend you can talk to. Knowing there is another person out there who is in your corner and willing to listen, can make all the difference. 

We all feel down sometimes and that’s when we need strategies to help us get through to a place where we feel happier and more able to cope with things. 

I know you feel alone right now, but I can assure you there are people around you who care a lot about your wellbeing. You just need to ask for their help and they will give it willingly and eagerly.

Lots of love,

Lucretia’s guidance should be regarded as personal opinion only and does not constitute qualified, professional advice regarding psychological situations. If you require this type of advice, please seek the services of a professional in that field.

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Lucretia gives honest and practical advice to help you choose the best path for you. It’s all about taking the filters off and helping young women value themselves more. Click the button to ask your question today!

Can Men and Women Just Be Friends?

Can Men and Women Just Be Friends?

Can Men and Women Just Be Friends?

dearlucretia.com can men and women be friends

Dear Lucretia,

I find it difficult to be friends with males. There’s always some awkwardness because either one could develop feelings for the other. This leads to one party getting disappointed.

I don’t have many guy friends and I would really like to try but how do I be friends with men when it seems to always lead to sex? 

Meg, 26 years old

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Dear Meg,

This is a common question many of us have asked over the years – can men and women ever just be friends without sex getting in the way?

Fundamentally, I feel the answer is: boundaries. When we connect with another human being, we choose what boundaries we put in place around how we interact. These can include whether we allow people to touch us in certain ways (e.g. you might be a hugger or not) and whether we are comfortable discussing certain topics, or not.

There is an old saying that if you’re talking to a man about sex then he is thinking about having sex, with you. I suspect this may be true in some cases. But does that mean you shouldn’t discuss certain topics, like sex, when you are with male friends? I think the answer once again, is boundaries.

Unfortunately, many women are not taught how to identify their own boundaries or communicate them to other people. This leads to miscommunication when we think they should just know what is okay and what is not. But how can they know unless they are mind readers? [Note, this perspective does NOT accommodate violent or harassing behaviour by men. If they believe that type of behaviour is acceptable, no amount of boundary-setting by you will change that.]

I feel that women and men can be friends as long as the boundaries are clearly communicated and respected on both sides. So, if you want be just friends with a guy, then I would make that clear through your words and actions from the outset.


And if you feel he over-steps a boundary then you need to kindly but firmly let him know immediately. Remember, you are not responsible for his hurt feelings if you reject his advances. If he is a grown-up with some level of emotional maturity, he will accept your “No, thank you” and understand it’s not meant to be.

Of course, it is possible that a friendship may lead to sex – there are lots of romantic relationships that start this way. But the key, as always, is to be clear about what you want from the start. If you only want friendship and he doesn’t respect that boundary, then it would be a good idea to step back from that connection.

Lots of love,

Got a question?

Lucretia gives honest and practical advice to help you choose the best path for you. It’s all about taking the filters off and helping young women value themselves more. Click the button to ask your question today!

He Slept With Her But Says He Wants Me

He Slept With Her But Says He Wants Me

He Slept With Her But Says He Wants Me

dearlucretia.com he likes me but slept with her

Dear Lucretia,

How do I know if a boy really likes me? He told me he did at a house party then slept with someone else.

Now he’s saying it was a mistake and will never happen again.

Rosie, 17 years old

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Dear Rosie,

Run, run, run away from this boy and don’t look back. If he was serious about you, he would not have slept with someone else. That’s not how it works.

Yes, I understand you weren’t going out at the time but I think you need to ask yourself, what kind of guy do you want to be with? This is the time when you choose. 

Do you want to be with someone who says he likes you and makes it clear he is not interested in anyone else? Or do you want to waste your time with someone who says he likes you until he gets a better offer, then comes back to you?

Rosie, you deserve better than this.

Don’t wait for him to choose you when it’s convenient for him and don’t accept second best. If a guy really likes you, he will show you consistently and won’t leave you in any doubt about how he feels.

Lots of love,

Got a question?

Lucretia gives honest and practical advice to help you choose the best path for you. It’s all about taking the filters off and helping young women value themselves more. Click the button to ask your question today!

My Boyfriend Chooses Porn Over Me

My Boyfriend Chooses Porn Over Me

My Boyfriend Chooses Porn Over Me

Dear Lucretia,

My boyfriend would rather watch porn than have sex with me. I’ve tried talking to him about it, but he says it’s normal and I should just get over it. But it’s really affecting my confidence.

Is it normal or am I just not sexy or pretty enough?

Lucy, 23 years old

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Dear Lucy,

Porn is a common topic of conversation online these days. Everyone knows about it and most people have watched some of it. 

I want to make a couple of points upfront relating to porn. Masturbation is a healthy thing and many men and women, as individuals and in relationships, use porn in healthy ways to augment their sexual lives. But, the porn industry with its influence on sexuality and how men and women relate to each other, has also created negative impacts.

Lucy, what you’re experiencing in your relationship is definitely not healthy. I want to be clear about using that word ‘healthy’ because words like normal or not normal are very subjective. It’s very clear from your letter that you and your intimate partner are not connecting to each other in a healthy way when it comes to sex. I also want to make it really clear, Lucy, there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. You are sexy and beautiful. What is going on in your relationship has nothing to do with how you look or how you are showing up. Instead, this is about how your partner is thinking about sex and not connecting to you in a sexual, intimate way.

There is no doubt that porn has negative impacts on how some people, particularly young people, view sexual activities and relationships. Some early studies show boys, who are exposed to porn from an early age and then consistently exposed to it over the years, experience challenges when they begin connecting with women sexually, as young men. These issues include erectile dysfunction.

One reason this may be occurring is because boys and young men believe what they see depicted in porn is real. But it’s not, it is only acting. However, when your mind has become accustomed to viewing things a certain way, you may experience cognitive dissonance when you are confronted by a real-life woman. That is, your mind may struggle with what you think should be happening versus reality.

Porn also commodifies sex and female bodies while displaying women in ways that are unrealistic regarding how we respond to sexual advances. Let’s face it, porn can show women enjoying some activities but as a woman you might think, “Hell no! That is not enjoyable for me.” In fact, if a guy attempted it, you would run a mile. But in the porn video, it looks like women are turned on by that activity. Then a young guy watches it and thinks it’s real.

Porn also shows women who physically look a certain way and this is often not based in reality either. Many porn stars have plastic surgery and body modifications to look a certain way. Once again, when a guy is later confronted with a real-life female who doesn’t look like that, his mind thinks, “What’s going on? Is this normal?”

Another unfortunate impact is that young women watching porn believe they should physically look like the porn stars and when they don’t, they develop body image and self-esteem issues. Some then seek out plastic surgery to fix something that was never broken in the first place.

We’re not supposed to look the same and we don’t all like the same things when it comes to sex. We are all unique and we all respond differently. And everyone looks different when we take our clothes off. This is reality. But unfortunately, with overexposure to porn from a young age, there can be a discord between what young men believe is normal and the reality of connecting with a woman sexually. This creates problems.

Lucy, if your partner would prefer to engage with porn instead of having sex with a live, breathing human who loves him, is horny and is standing in front of him, there is a problem.

But the problem is not you.

However, there is clearly a problem with how you connect intimately and it’s not healthy. Until he is ready to understand and accept this is an issue, and agrees to work on it, nothing will change. This isn’t a good sign for your relationship.

Sex in a relationship is more than just the physical act – it is about connection. Porn in your situation is creating and facilitating disconnection. When your partners chooses to sit alone, in front of a screen and get himself off versus connecting sexually with you, he is not making a healthy choice for your intimate relationship.

Lucy, spend some time alone and get clear about how you would like to connect intimately with your partner. What feels good and healthy for you? Then sit down and have an honest conversation with him about how you feel and how you want to connect.

If he’s not willing to connect with you intimately in the way you need, then you have your answer about where your relationship is going (i.e. not in a positive direction). Please don’t accept it when he tells you it’s normal because you know it’s not healthy and that’s why you’re questioning it.

Lots of love,

Got a question?

Lucretia gives honest and practical advice to help you choose the best path for you. It’s all about taking the filters off and helping young women value themselves more. Click the button to ask your question today!

Worried About my Mum

Worried About my Mum

Worried About my Mum

dearlucretia.com new relationship guilts

Dear Lucretia,

I’ve had a boyfriend now for about two months and have stopped spending all my free time with my Mum. I feel really guilty about it.

I keep thinking that she might be at home all by herself while I’m out having a good time. I have been at home with her for most of my life as I don’t have many friends and now, all of a sudden, I spend a lot of my time away from her. How can I make myself feel less guilty? 

Izzie, 22 years old

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Dear Izzie,

It is lovely that you care about your Mum’s well-being and want to ensure she is happy and content. But, it is also very natural and healthy for you to explore romantic relationships at your age. Staying at home all the time, just in case your Mum feels lonely, is not an ideal approach.

Don’t forget, your Mum had her own life before you were born. As you begin to spread your wings out in the world, she is possibly using this time to reconnect with herself and the things she loves to do. 

Sometimes children believe they are responsible for their parents’ happiness but this is not true. Your Mum is responsible for herself and has her own life to lead, just as you have yours. This doesn’t mean you love each other any less. But it does mean you may spend more time apart. 

Make sure you encourage your Mum to explore and develop her own interests and friendships as she may find this period a little challenging. And of course, keep spending time with her regularly and tell her that you love her. This is an exciting new life stage for you both – embrace it.

Lots of love,

Got a question?

Lucretia gives honest and practical advice to help you choose the best path for you. It’s all about taking the filters off and helping young women value themselves more. Click the button to ask your question today!

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