Dear Janice, I am only 38 but my mum is constantly putting me under so much pressure to start a family that I am now avoiding her calls. I’ve told her I’ve got plenty of time to start a family and to let things be. I think she is being selfish as she has always wanted a grandchild and I think she fears if I don’t produce one soon, she will be too old to enjoy spending time with him/her. How can I get her to drop the subject? Emily.

Dear Emily, your mum may well want a grandchild, but I don’t think she is being selfish. In fact, I think she is putting pressure on you because she is older and wiser and knows that your chances of conceiving a baby as you get older drops dramatically, so she is right to bring this up.

If you’ve made it clear you don’t want children then fine, tell her and leave it at that. However, if you do, then I would seriously listen to your mum because female fertility cycles start and stop at a certain age for a reason. However, these days many women are influenced by celebrities who, in later life decide to have another child, but these people have limitless resources to make it possible. They can afford to freeze embryos, pay for expensive IVF treatment, or even a surrogate. Could you?

I’m not saying this would be the case for you, in fact I have a good friend who had her first child naturally at 45, but unfortunately for many this doesn’t happen, so you need to consider every possibility. Also, be aware that the risk of pregnancy complications increases for your baby as you get older.

Chat to your GP who will discuss this factually rather than feeling the pressure and emotions from your mum.

Dear Janice, I recently confessed to my best friend of 5 years that I had developed feelings for her which were greater than friendship. After suppressing my feelings which had become insufferable, mentally draining, and giving me major anxiety, I crumbled and told her via txt and hoped she'd feel the same.

Since then, she's asked for time and space to digest and come to terms with what I've told her and admitted she had been chatting to another man online. We have had very little contact in just over two weeks now, but I'm extremely worried we won't recover our friendship and that I may not hear from her again. We have a mutual friend who is aware of the situation but has also received no reply from her.

What should I do next to show my best friend I miss her so much and want our friendship back? This is all my fault and I wish I’d never confessed. Adam.

Dear Adam, sorry, but you seem to be taking all the blame for this situation, which seems unfair.

You confessed and now regret it, but I think you would have regretted it if you hadn’t been honest, and you may well have gone through life believing you had missed your chance with her. At least now you know.

The fact that she had been chatting to another man online says that she wants a relationship with someone other than you. Unrequited love is soul destroying and damaging for you, so please have a chat with your mutual friend who I think will agree that it’s time to let go of this friendship. For now, anyway.

She says she needs time and space and that is exactly what you must give her. It will be difficult, but how could it not be after such a tense and close five-year relationship?

The boundaries of your friendship have changed forever I’m afraid, and I don’t see how you can have the same close friendship again now she knows how you feel about her. Given time, if you both find partners of your own then I’m sure you can be in each other’s lives again. But will your partners accept a close relationship between you?

Take a few steps back, no calls, texts, or cards, (I’m sure you’ve said everything already anyway), and if she contacts you great, if not, well Adam from what you say in your email you seem to have shown her love, kindness and caring and there are people out there who would queue up to be treated this way.

Things are opening up now, so keep yourself busy and get a new focus. Check out Six years ago I joined four different groups and have friends for life now, and there are groups for every taste and age, so worthy of a look.

Dear Janice, my friend asked me for a substantial loan, but I really don’t have a lot of money myself, plus I don’t trust her to pay it back. What do I say? Natalie.

Dear Natalie, I’m sure you would do anything to help, but if you don’t have much cash yourself or faith she’ll pay it back then tell her you’re struggling financially and that giving her a loan is not an option. More practical help would be to sit with her and see how she manages her finances. Help her budget and clear credit cards and unnecessary fees. For free advice contact Citizens Advice and This advice will help you both.