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You have a right to be yourself and to make your own decisions and so do your friends.Learning to be assertive, to take responsibility for your life are useful skills for relationships and sexual health.As well as being supportive, some of your friends may be urging you to do things you are not comfortable with, such as smoking, drinking, taking drugs, having sexual intercourse.

During your teens you will probably become more involved with your friends and more independent of your parents.

Only since I’ve started writing the column have both women and a surprisingly large number of men approached me and told me the dilemmas and issues that they are facing when it comes to dating.

Before I began the column, even friends or acquaintances were very slow in expressing their emotions when it came to their true desire to meet somebody.

Being a female, I found myself obviously being able to relate to the issues being presented by the women but funnily enough I could empathise and understand the male complaints.

When I began to really listen and look at the issues that men were complaining about, I realised that maybe I ‘had given the cold shoulder’ when approached in a bar – and therefore, perhaps came across as ‘stuck up’.

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