Q: I've met someone I like, who is already in a relationship and says they're "polyamorous". I'm curious, but is it just an excuse to cheat?
A: Polyamory literally means "multiple love" - and is best defined as "consensual non-monogamy".
It can be hard to be more specific, because different people may have different ways they conduct their relationships.
For instance, it can be the case that people may have one "primary" partner - even be married - and then agree to both have other relationships that respect the primary relationship, or on the other hand, people may choose to have multiple partners in a non-hierarchical structure.
Many people also make the distinction between polyamory and so-called "open relationships" as polyamory is primarily about love and intimacy, open relationships are often defined as just having sex with other people.
But like any relationship - it depends. And, also like any relationship - traditional or not - it requires consent, communication, trust and honesty.
Estimates are around 4-5 per cent of people identify as polyamorous, but it's hard to tell if that's on the rise or if we're just more comfortable talking about such things.
Certainly "non-consensual non-monogamy" (sorry for the mouthful) otherwise known as "affairs" are hardly rare - or a new thing - and for me, this supports the idea that perhaps having just one partner for life isn't for everyone. If so, why not at least be open and honest about it.
But like anything, there's pros and cons. It can be hard work, you have to be sure that everyone is clear about the "contract" or ground rules, and that you challenge yourself to keep open and keep talking about your feelings and needs. Sharing can be hard, but having more love in your life may not be a bad thing?
Either way - it may or may not be for you, perhaps only experience will tell. Call me boring but, personally, I don't understand how people find the time.
Q: I'm dating someone for the first time in a while, and when we're together I'm fine, but when they're not around I freak out and get anxious and worried about what they're up to - but I don't want to be too needy. What's wrong with me?
A: Some psycho-babble: Object Constancy. This refers to our ability to "internalise" (more psycho-babble) a relationship: to feel secure and loved even when the person isn't around.
Parents, remember when you couldn't even go to the toilet without your toddler coming to find you? That's because they were still growing their ability to use the security of the relationship when they couldn't see you.
As adults, we can similarly struggle to hold on to the connection when our partners aren't around. There are lots of reasons for this, some can be temperamental, some to do with how we were parented, or it can be related to trauma and separation as a child.
Either way, a good, secure, trusting intimate relationship helps. Even better if we can talk to our partner about our feeling, and use the relationship to soothe ourselves. After all, needing someone to make us feel better, isn't the same as being needy.
Q: I have a childhood friend who always calls me when they're in trouble or upset, but isn't that interested when I need support from them. I'm fed up, what should I do?
A: The emotional health of friendships is like a bank account. We top it up when we feel supported, make withdrawals when we support the other person. We can go into withdrawal, or it can have a healthy balance. But it's important not to live in debt - because there's a cost.
Relationships that are lop-sided like this eventually burn us out - we can tolerate it for a while but it sounds like things have been unbalanced for too long.
Sorry to be predictable, but you can try talking to them about it. You may have already done that, or have a sense - given how long you've known them - of whether or not that will help.
The problem when we're fed up with a friendship is that it's not as socially acceptable to break up, unlike intimate relationships. But sadly sometimes we need to step back, take a break or even close the account.