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Ask Aunty Hilda

Submit questions, topics of discussion and issues to your supportive team of Aunties and keep an eye on this column for a response :)

Please remember this is not a helpline. We only answer questions once per week. Not all questions will be published. If you need more urgent support, please contact:

Youthline on 234,  

1737 Need to talk?  

lifeline Aotearoa 4357

or contact Marcelle, for a school appointment

I think i might have depression, is there any way I can get tested or get help

Whats on your mind?

Remember your submissions are anonymous.

My friend thinks she's better than us now that she's done stuff with a guy, but she was drunk, so I'm not sure it counts. What do I do, because I want to stay friends.

Thank you for your great question! It can be really difficult when our friends find a new exciting thing that they then talk about a lot. Especially if they make it seem like they are better than us somehow. You obviously want to stay friends with her which means you need to have a brave conversation about how you're feeling. You could start it with "I'm feeling a little bit undervalued in our friendship at the moment. I'm excited for you about your new boy experiences, but it's making me feel like I'm not as good as you because I haven't done those things"....... or something like that...Conversations are your best tool! Best of luck to you, lots of love, Aunty Hilda xoxox

One of our friends changes her voice into a really high pitched childish voice when she's around adults. What's going on?

Thanks for this interesting question. It is actually quite a common thing (but as you have alluded to, can be quite annoying at times) and is often used in interactions with authority figures. This behavior may serve to reduce perceived threats or seek sympathy or leniency by appearing less threatening and more submissive. When we do this infront of adults, then we are potentially trying to win their favour and get our own way... Your friend obviously feels like she needs to appeal to their kindness and avoid an angry or negative response. It's very common, but understandably can be an annoying thing to be around at times! It's also more common amongst women and girls, trying to make themselves seem childish, when as women, we should really be standing strong in our bodies, sharing our opinions and thoughts from a place of equity and validity. There should be no reason to make ourselves less than.....Lots of luck to you with being able to continue these conversations with your friend :) Lots of love, Aunty Hilda xoxox

My friends often forget I'm in the same class as them and that I have been to the same events WITH them. I'm not quiet or reserved, so I don't know why this is happening. How can I make myself more memorable?

Thanks for your question. We are so sorry that you are having this experience. We really want you to know that there is nothing MORE that is needed from you in order to be memorable. You are enough and you are valued. The question here, is are these the right people for you? You should feel valued and embraced and accepted and welcomed and a full part of the group - this is what good friends and your actual "people" will make you feel. Find your people and feel good about the amazing person you already are!!!! Lots of love to you, Aunty Hilda xoxox

I'm the only gay person in my friendgroup and now they are all talking about the boys they like or are with. I feel awkward talking about girls I like and some of them don't quite know what to say. Should my love life be something I keep to LGBTQIA+ groups or am I able to talk about girls in all-girl friend groups too?

Thank you for your really important question. You are absolutely allowed to talk about your love interests and crushes. They are no different to what your friends are also discussing. While this may feel a little uncomfortable, it would be a great idea to talk about how you are feeling with your friends. let them know what it's like for you and together you can come up with a way that makes everyone feel included and respected and welcome. You have definitely got nothing to hide from anyone. Lots of love to you, Aunty Hilda xoxox

What is scissoring?

Thanks for your question. Scissoring is a colloquial term for a sexual position where two people with vulvas rub their genitals together and this is usually by positioning their legs like scissors. This can be a pleasurable thing to do, but like everything, is different for different people and should be part of a consensual, negotiated conversation, where you respect each others boundaries. Best of luck, and lots of love, Aunty Hilda xox

How do I become friends with an international student?

What a great question! So many international students will be so pleased to see it! Like with anyone we don't know very well, we have to make a special effort to get to know them better. Ask them to have lunch with you, or go to town after school, or invite them to do a fun activity with you in the weekend. It means we have to be brave sometimes and put ourselves out there, but when we do, people are so grateful and pleased that we have taken the time. You sound like a very thoughtful, kind and inclusive person. Getting to know someone from another culture is such a great experience. Good luck with your new friendship :) Lots of love, Aunty Hilda xox

How much time is too much time for self-pleasuring/masturbating?

Thanks for your great question. There is no amount that is too much, as it varies from person to person. Masturbation is a normal and healthy part of human sexuality and as long as it's not causing physical or emotional distress or interfering with your daily life, then there is no problem. Lots of love to you, Aunty Hilda xox

I want to have sex but I'm too young and it's illegal and wrong, but I feel ready and lots of people my age have done it. What's your advice?

Thank you for your really important question. Making decisions for ourselves can be so difficult when we see what other people around us are doing - and all of those people come from a different place, with different experiences and views of the world. Having a sexual relationship with someone is a big thing to consider. Sex involves a lot of emotion and sometimes, if you are not in a relationship, it can feel like you have been used. Having sex is not a race, so make sure you have given it plenty of thought - especially what it is you feel comfortable to do. There's no rush to 'get it out of the way'. Get to know your own body and have a think about why you want to have sex now. There's nothing wrong with wanting to - just make sure you have thought through what is right for you. Best of luck to you, lots of love, Aunty Hilda xox

A lot of guys talk about anal sex, but me and my friends think this is an awful idea - what are we supposed to think or do??

Thank you so much for your really important question. Anal sex gets a lot of attention in pornography and this has made this idea 'normal' for many young men. Like anything to do with sex, no one should ever make you feel pressured into doing something you don't want to do. The issue with anal sex, is that it is often very uncomfortable and painful for women. That part of a womans body is actually really different to a mans. The skin in a womans anus is much thinner and more prone to damage and unlike men who have a prostate, which makes anal sex pleasurable, women do not. Anal sex has become a common request in heterosexual relationships, by young men who think (because of pornography) that it is what should be done. Pornography isn't real and anal sex is definitely not a requirement! It certainly isn't focussing on what feels good for a woman. Always talk to your partner about what you feel comfortable with. If you're being pressured to do something you don't want to do - they are not the one for you! Best of luck and lots of love, Aunty Hilda xox

I think one of my friends is depressed - How can I help her?

Thank you for being a caring friend. It can be really worrying for us to see a friend not acting themselves, looking sad, or being down. It can be really helpful to let them know you can see that they aren't themselves - often people feel alone when they are down or depressed, like no one notices. So to say "hey are you ok, I've noticed you haven't been yourself lately and I'd like to help" can be a great way to start. You could encourage them to see the counsellor - this is a great idea , because then you know that they are getting the help they need and you can be their friend and do the fun things that friends should do. It's also really important to look after yourself at this time - are you ok managing your worry about your friend? If you need some support for yourself, then make sure you reach out to the counsellor or someone you trust. Take care, lots of love, Aunty Hilda xox

My friend is amazing but she always acts so mean and tries to show off around  boys. It feels like she's trying to embarrass me every time a boy is around. What should I do?

Thank you for reaching out about this. Sadly this can be a common issue, where friendships can be competitive and rather than uplifting each other, one or both people try and diminish or put down the other. This would be a great time for a brave and honest conversation - face to face and heart to heart. It's important to express how you are feeling and this could really enhance your friendship. Not talking about this could be detrimental to your great relationship. All the best with this!! You deserve your friends respect too. Lots of love, Aunty Hilda xoxox

I like one of my teachers. He gives me butterflies every time he walks past me. I have never felt this way before with anyone. Is this normal? I know it's wrong but the feelings are getting stronger. Should I pursue it?

It's really normal to grow feelings for people you spend a lot of time with. People in authority are often people we look up to, because they may be attractive or wise and kind. BUT this is definitely not something you should pursue. Nothing about this will be good. You will only feel dissapointed and rejected and any kind of questionable conduct from a teacher in that regard means they lose their job and their teacher registration. You will definitely find a young man at some stage who you can have an appropriate and real reciprocal relationship with. It's fine and normal to have a crush - but anything else is totally out of the question. Best of luck moving on from this :) Lots of love, Aunty Hilda xoxox

I have two friends who seem really into each other - lots of intense eye contact and flirting and blushing and spending time together with inside jokes etc. But it's annoying because neither of them are doing anything about it and it's been going on for ages! The rest of the friend group has decided we are going to wait a few months and then start intervening more - are we doing the right thing?

Thank you for your question. It sounds like it's difficult to watch them when the obvious signals are there for everyone to see, but no one is naming it. I do wonder if this is something that is between them and shouldn't be cause for intervention from the group. If this is bothering you, then maybe talk to them about how it's maing you feel - that their "special" friendship maybe makes some of you feel excluded? And that they have your blessing as a whole group to be real about their feelings and get on with things. (Not that your permission is something they need - but maybe they are not acting on things because they are worried about what you'll all think??) Best of luck with this - sometimes people need time to work things out for themselves and as always, a brave and kind conversation goes a long way. Best of luck to you, Love Aunty Hilda xoxox

Sometime in the last two months my partner and I have gone from talking like partners to feeling like we are acquaintances. We don't talk for more than two minutes and we have no idea what's happening in each others lives. I feel guilty for maybe holding them back from living their life  - Our messages look normal at a glance, but they message me first and the messages fall away really quickly. Is it all my fault?

Thanks for reaching out. This sounds hard because you have had a really good relationship and you're now grieving because you feel like it may be coming to an end...? This is a time to be really brave and have a courageous conversation about how you're both feeling and what is coming up next. Sometimes this can mean a freindship can continue, but communication about this is key. You have nothing to feel bad about - this is your relationship and you are doing what feels right for you. Best of luck to you xoxox Aunty Hilda

I may, or may not have a crush on someone who is aromantic

Thank you for question about your tricky situation. Aromantic is when a person does not experience romantic feelings for others, this can make it difficult when someone is attracted to them - like you - it's important to respect their boundaries and recognise for yourself that this is not something that is going to go anywhere other than friendship. Best of luck, lots of love, Aunty Hilda xoxox

How do I become better friends with a good friend whose personality is very different to mine?

This is a really great question. We can be friends with all types of people, but often it can take a bit longer to become friends with someone a bit different to us because of our interests or ways of communicating may not be the same. Since you are already good friends, I would suggest asking them to hang out more, do more activities together and this will naturally strengthen your bond. Spending time together talking and doing something fun, is always the very best way to deepen a friendship. Since you are already friends, this shouldn't be too hard. Good luck! It's great having friends who bring different perspectives and ways of being. All the best! Lots of love, Aunty Hilda xoxox

I told a guy I didn't want to have sex with him. Now he's saying he's going to tell everyone I had sex with him and his friend if I don't say yes. I don't know what to do. Everyone likes him and he's got heaps of mates. I feel like I've got no options that work for me. Please help.

Thank you for your question. We are so very sorry to hear that you are in this awful situation. What he is doing is entirely wrong, immature, manipulative and he is actually blackmailing you. You have a few options that we can think of - tell him to get a life and walk away. Deal with the rumours, they'll pass soon enough - especially if enough people know they are not true. We know this is a really scary and horrible thought though. You could seek help from adults who could intervene - maybe your friends could help with this too? Maybe you could take control of this whole situation - tell everyone what the rumour is and take the wind out of it yourself. Let them all know what he was going to do. he sounds like a truly awful person - Please don't ever do anything you don't want to do. Coercion is extremely uncool!!!!! Best of luck to you - and lots of love, Aunty Hilda xoxoxox

I was talking to a boy for a few months and I decided I didn't need that in my life at the moment and called it quits. Then he told me he still liked his ex. His mates told me they thought he still liked me but I just feel used. We spent so much time at each others places

Thanks for your question - that's a horrible place to be in for you. It sounds like the "I don't want to do this anymore" from you, really affected his ego... saying he still liked his ex is a great way to hurt you back. It's totally fair that you might feel used. That's not how you treat someone you supposedly care about. You have the right to choose what you want for yourself no matter what he says! Chin up girlfriend! Kia Kaha xoxox

What can I do to help my friend if I see that they have been hurting themselves?

Thank you for being a good friend. This is a really tough spot for you to be in. I would recommend telling your friend that you have seen the self harm and that you are worried about how they are. It's important to make sure they know your friendship hasn't changed and you don't view them any differently. You could also encourage them to seek help - especially if you think this is a recurring problem. This is not your problem to fix, but you can be a very positive influence via your support. Good luck - sometime people need help to ask for help. Lots of love to you, Aunty Hilda xoxox

What do you do when you know your friend's boyfriend is bad for them but they don't listen. I do respect her but I don't know what to do because I don't want her to get hurt

Thank you for being a good friend. It can be really difficult watching a situation that you feel is harmful for someone you care about. Have you tried explaining to your friend why you are concerned? Rather than critiquing her boyfriend, talk about what you observe and how it makes you feel. It can be hard for people to listen when they feel like they are being criticised, - and even though you have a problem with him - she may still feel like you are criticising her choices and relationship abilities. Be there for her so that when/if it ends, you can be supportive rather than her feeling like she's lost you to "I told you so". Lots of love to you, Aunty Hilda xoxox

What does it feel like to have an orgasm and how do I know if I've had one?

An orgasm is a very intense feeling of pleasure, after a person is sexually aroused and (usually) the clitoris has been stimulated. It can vary for everyone, but can often include pelvic muscle contractions, heightened sensitivity and a feeling of euphoria and relaxation following an orgasm. It's not something that a person wouldn't notice. Good luck and thanks for asking! Lots of love, Aunty Hilda xox

I consented to something I didn't want to do and feel really awful about it. Do you have any advice?

Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I'm sorry you are feeling like this - feeling regret can be a really hard thing to manage. It's really important to remember that what ever you did in the moment, was the best option you had at that time. We make choices for a variety of reasons and they are not always what we would choose if we could create the perfect scenario. Be kind to yourself about what you felt you had to do. Time is a great friend also. And please reach out to Marcelle if you'd like to talk about ways to manage this more. Lots of love to you always, Aunty hilda xoxox

I often feel like guys don't understand consent - what should I say to them? 

I'm pleased you asked this question. The ideas around consent should really just about two people who really want to do something together - from a place of being equal. This requires respect and trust and communication. If you respect someone, then you want them to feel comfortable and you respect their boundaries. Consent should be completely enthusiastically, excitedly a "YES LET"S!!! That's completely different to consenting to something you're not really sure about..... You might have consented, but did you really want to? Or did you like it? Consent doesn't mean it's necessarily good. Consent is NOT being talked into it or pressured - that's coercion. COnsent is required for each new activity, not just at the beginning. You can withdraw your consent at any time, you can change your mind! And consent can't be given if the person is drunk or drugged. Both people should feel safe, valued and respected and heard. It's just basic human rights to not do something to someone they don't want you to do.... Best of luck! Share your knowledge far and wide!! lots of love xoxox

Is it normal to crush on someone and hope they don't like you back because then it would be easier?

Thanks for your question! It's completely normal to think that.... many people much prefer to have the freedom to imagine all the wonderful things about what that person could be and not have it ruined by the reality. Sometimes it's fun to crush on someone from a distance... Lots of love to you, Aunty Hilda xox

How do you know you're in love?

That's such a great question! And a bit of a tricky one too.... there are three main things - Lust, Attraction and Attachment. Lust is the sexual attraction we have and the desire to have sex with that person. Attraction, is our desire to be close to them, to spend time with them and have the feelings of butterflies and warm fuzzy unicorn glitter! Then attachment is about the loving bond we create and the support and dependence we feel for each other. Sometimes we can mistake lust or attraction for real love - but it always starts somewhere smaller and grows. Best of luck with this!!! lots of love, Aunty Hilda. xoxox

I'm worried that even though I've been dating this guy (A) long distance for three years, I might be into this other guy (B), who I see almost daily. B is gay and not into girls, and I don't want my relationship with A to end. How do I stop being into B and get into A again?

Thanks for your question - that is a really tricky situation for you! It's really important to acknowledge how difficult a long distance realtionship can be, as well as validate that it's normal to be attracted to more than one person at the same time - regardless of whether they are gay/straight/single or in a relationship. Perhaps think about the kind of relationship you're having with B - try and limit your more intimate conversations and keep those for A. Make more time for A, online and facetime etc and create a clear boundary for yourself with B. Best of luck - it's hard!! Lots of love, Aunty Hilda xox

I was sexually assaulted last year by a guy who is friends with a lot of my friends. They don't know what happened and I am not comfortable with telling them but I feel really uncomfortable when they talk about him or hang out with him.

I am so very sorry to hear that happened to you. No one ever deserves or asks for that kind of treatment. It is not ok. We send you a big hug. Maybe you could tell one or two close, trusted friends so that if his name comes up in conversation they know to quickly change the subject. That way you also know that they know and you feel some support in that moment. Maybe you might feel comfortable to talk to one of the guy friends. It can be helpful to have some support from that space too - Just be careful about looking after yourself first! Also, you could talk to Marcelle because I know she can help with managing these things better. We send you lots of love and hugs, Aunty Hilda xoxox

My boyfriend said he'll break up with me if I don't have sex with him, but I'm not ready. What should I do?

Thank you for this dissapointingly common question :( You deserve so much better than that in a relationship. There is no sign of respect here! You have obviously got some great boundaries and understand what it is that you want - don't give up on those values for yourself. An honest conversation with him about how much you like him, but also about how important it is for you to feel heard and respected. If you feel comfortable, there are all sorts of other physically intimate and pleasurable things you can do together that do not involve intercourse. Maybe that is something to consider together. It's clear you know what it right for you - that is awesome!!! Never stray from doing what's best for you. Knowing yourself and what is right is so so great! We are proud of you xox All the best lots of love, xoxox

How do I tell my Mum that I'm self harming?

Thank you for your really important question. I'm really sorry to hear that you are struggling with some things at the moment. This must be a tricky situation for you to be dealing with. It's great that you are thinking about wanting to tell your Mum - Mums and Dads are often really great places for support. Maybe you could start with talking to your Mum about how you've been feeling and the feeling that you have been struggling with. Then you could explain that in order to try and manage, you have been doing xyz. You might then tell her that you would like some support with this and maybe you could also let her know that you have reached out for help. Could you maybe see the school counsellor about this? They will have some great starategies for how to manage overwhelming feelings in a more positive way. Good on you for reaching out - there are lots of people who understand how you are feeling. Take care, lots of love, Aunty Hilda xox

Some of my friends are avoiding me - what should I do?

Thank you for your question. It's such an uncomfortable situation to be dealing with. If you haven't already, then asking them directly from a place of equality can be helpful. For example, "I've noticed our friendship has changed recently, is there something we can do about that? If the friendships are really important to you and you really value them, then having a brave conversation is good. But maybe, they are not the right people for you and finding friends who do want to spend time with you and treat you well, would be the best scenario. Best of luck with this. Lots of love to you, Aunty Hilda xox

I think I have depression, how can I find out and get help?

Thank you for your question. I'm sorry you are not feeling good at the moment. There are some things you can do to find out more about your situation - ie is a great website and has some good advice and questions. It would also be a good idea to reach out to Marcelle, or your GP, and see what strategies they can give you. Sometimes talking things through is a really great first step and can help shrink some of these feelings down into a more manageable size. All the best with reaching out, lots of love, Aunty Hilda xoxoxox

It seems every time I like a boy, he has a girlfriend. What should I do?

Thanks for your question. This is a really hard feeling to manage, but when someone is not available, because they are already with someone else, this is a very important boundary to respect and a fairly clear indicator that he is not the one. Even though it's hard when we like someone, it's important to value yourself in this too. Lots of love to you, Aunty Hilda xoxox

I tell my parents things, but then they hold it against me. How can I prevent oversharing when I don't have anyone my own age to talk to?

Thanks for your question. It's so important to talk with someone about how you're feeling and share your thoughts, without that being held against you. Sometimes it can be really helpful to talk with a person who is nonjudgemental and is used to hearing those kinds of things. Maybe you could talk to Marcelle? Another option is to find your own way to express yourself - writing, like journalling can be incredibly helpful. If you like the digital option, then the notes app on your phone is an idea, or there are also some nice journalling apps you can get. Friends can be all different ages - and someone older can be a great support if they have had some similar experiences. Best of luck with shareing your feelings safely xoxox Aunty Hilda

I am going to be away from school for a big chunk of time and I am really worried my friends are going to do stuff without me, but mostly that they will forget about me. What can I do?

Thanks for reaching out with your concern. This is a totally understandable worry, we all suffer from FOMO from time to time. There's a lot you can do to help keep these friendships alive - messaging, facetime etc, but also inviting your friends over for a movie night etc etc. Asking them to keep you up to date with what's going on and sharing your concern with them can also be helpful. All the best with managing this situation. I'm sure your friends will really miss you. Lots of love, Aunty Hilda xoxox

I like a guy but I think I like his brother too, what should I do to figure out who I actually like?

Thanks for this really tricky question. It's not unusual to like more than one person at the same time. Maybe you can think about what it is that you like about them - is it their looks, or their personality, or your shared interests? Maybe you need to spend a bit more time deciding what's important to you and not be blinded by what you like. All the very best to you with this! Aunty Hilda xoxox

My bf watches heaps of porn and I'm not feeling comfortable about it

Thanks for your really important question. You are uncomfortable for a really good reason. There are lots of problems with porn, like violence and degrading acts against women and sometimes boys think that is what they are supposed to do and girls think they have to say yes. It might be a really good idea to talk to your bf about how this is making you feel. You deserve to feel special in your relationship and that you are the only one who has a sexual connection with your bf and that you are special in that way to him. If you don't want him to be watching pornography, then you have every right to say that. It is normal for people to be aroused outside of the relationship, but it's important that you decide together what your boundaries are with this. It's normal to be curious and to want to have a look at those kinds of things, but if it becomes something that happens frequently, and something that's relied on, then it is a problem for the individual as well as the relationship. Unfortunately porn has become very accessible and very normalised in our society - that doesn't mean it's ok though. Have a discussion and see how you get on. Best of luck to you, Aunty Hilda xoxox

Do you know who sends in what question?

Hi there - great question! There is absolutely no way we can see who sends the question in. The only thing we see is the time it was sent. Please be reassured this is completely confidential. Lots of love Aunty Hilda xoxox

I'm being excluded from my friend group - what should I do?

Thank you for your question. That's such a very hard thing to be experiencing - one of the most horrible feelings. It's really important that you try and include yourself. It's common to step back and be more quiet in this situation, and that just makes you less visible. By not including yourself, people see you as not being included and they won't include you..... It's a vicious cirlce. You have to be brave and step into the social space. Invite them to do something, and act the way you would if you were feeling included and feeling good. It's amazing how much people pick up on our confidence (or lack of) and our body language, as to whether we are socially available. Best of luck with this, these things never last forever. Lots of love, Aunty Hilda xoxox

I sometimes feel left out with my friends because I don't have snapchat or tiktok or any social media. What should I do?

Hello :) thanks for your question. Feeling like you're missing out, or being left out, is a really hard and sometimes horrible feeling. Maybe this is a good opportunity to be really present with your communication and put your efforts into real life talking and hanging out. Maybe you could have a conversation with your parents about negotiating some ways that you could try social media, in order to show them that you can manage it appropriately? However, it can also be good to know that after year 10 there is a lot less focus on social media and more focus on rl. It is also a great opportunity for you to talk to your friends about your situation so that they can take this into account and ensure that they include you via texting or facetime. Good luck with this, I know it propbably feels really unfair, but you're not the only one dealing with this. I promise. Lots of love to you, Aunty HIlda xoxox

Where do I go if I think I may have depression.

I am so sorry to hear that you are not feeling good. It is a horrible way to be feeling and I hope that you can find some ways to get some support. You could see your school counsellor, Marcelle, or you could go to your GP, or you could look up or contact a helpline like 1737 or 4357 for lifeline. You can feel better, so please check out one of those options. Thinking of you, lots of love always, Aunty Hilda xoxo

I really like this guy, but he likes my best friend. I don't know what to do.

Thank you for sharing your really tricky situation. This is a really hard situation for you and really painful. This might be a good timie to step away from those feelings, even though it's incredibly hard. Your best friend will always be more important than any boy and you don't want to risk the friendship. There's no easy way around this. Be kind to yourself and gentle with your heart, this feeling won't last forever. Lots of love to you, Aunty Hilda xox

Why do so many people send dick pics?

That is a really great question..... sending a dick pic when it has not been asked for, is aggressive, a violation of your personal space, and unnecessary. Like other things on social media, if you can't say it to their face, you shouldn't say it. And here, if you wouldn't show your body parts to the actual person, then it definitely shouldn't be sent! There is an assumption by many young men that their penis holds power and represents their macho mascullinity, but girls are called sluts if they do the same thing.... there is a definite imbalance here! Be careful about who you add on social media. It's not ok to get dick pics if you haven't asked for one. Best of luck, Aunty Hilda xox

A boy made a comment about how I look and now I feel really insecure and he didn't care

Hello petal, I am so very sorry to hear this has happened to you. Firstly, that boy had no right to comment on your body. That is something that no one should ever do. Some very immature and unkind boys think that they can bring you down by making you feel bad about your body or your appearance. The hard part here is to completely disregard his comments as anything at all to do with you - those comments say a lot about him, and nothing about you. You might want to think about if you want this person in your life. You ARE beautiful and you ARE worthy. His words only have meaning if you give them space in your life. Lots of love to you, Aunty Hilda xoxox

Why is it a bad thing to send nudes?

Thank you for your very important question. Nudity and being nude, can be a great thing, celebrating your body and enjoying the freedom! Sending nudes however, can get very complicated - you no longer have any control about what happens to that image (even if you trust the person) and boys can sometimes be very disrespectful. Even if you're a in a relationship with someone doesn't mean there is an expectation on you to have to send nudes. Also thinking about what happens to those images should you break up, is an important consideration. Sometime there can be threats and pressure to send nudes - that is never, ever ok. Also receiving images (dick pics) without your consent, is not ok either. There are important legal issues to consider: it is actually illegal to send 'objectionalble' images if you are under the age of 18. check out the link to the harmful digital communications act below. Best of luck to you :) Lots of love, Aunty Hilda xoxox

I sometimes feel really lonely with my friends, and I don't know what they are talking about. What should I do?

Thank you for sharing your really tough situation. It is not uncommon for people to feel excluded within their friendgroup, however there might be some things you can do to feel better. if this has been going on for some time, then thinking about other people in your year who might be better friends could be worth thinking about. It requires you to be a bit brave and put yourself out there with some other people, but it 's worth being with people who value you and respect you. If it's only been happening for a short time - then maybe something happened that you weren't part of? Like a sports trip or something? It's ok to ask them what they are talking about. An option is that you can tell them how you are feeling - if they are good friends they will want to make an effort. All the best for this situation. Take care, love Aunty Hilda xoxox

Is 12 too young to have Sex?

Thank you for your question. That's an interesting thing to think about. When you start getting your period, then you are essentially, physically, a woman and your body is saying it is potentially able to carry a baby. However, at the age of 12, your emotional maturity is still developing. 12 is still considered a child and sex at this age can be more harmful. At this age, the question is also who would the partner be -If the boy is also 12, then he is also not mature enough to manage that kind of relationship. If the boy is much older than that can be a real cause for concern. Legally, the age where you can consent is 16. The reason for that, is so that you are in a better place to hopefully make good decisions about your body and what you do with it. If you have more questions about that, please talk to an adult you trust. Lots of love to you, Aunty Hilda xoxox

What are your opinions and advice on long distance relationships?

Thanks for a great question! Generally speaking, long distance realtionships can be hard work. It can depend on whether you know you will be together again and this is a short term issue, or if you are continuing a relationship knowing that you are not. Trust is a big factor here - is this a relationship that has lots of trust, or will you torture yourself wondering and worrying? Sometimes when we only talk on the phone or social media, then we run the risk of only seeing each other at good times and sharing good things and we can be fooled that things are better than they are. It can be better to say goodbye while you're on good terms rather than things becoming uncomfortable over time. Only you will know how important this person is and if the relationship is worth the extra emotional burden. Best of luck to you, love Aunty hilda xoxoxox

I'm so insecure about my skin and I feel like no one understands

Thank you for your really important question. It can be so hard to feel good about ourselves when there are flaws that we focus on and feel alone with. As young women, comparison and resulting low self worth can be a real challenge. Perfect skin is currently a big thing on social media and that can really add to peoples insecurities. It's normal to have bad skin at times, or for a long time during adolesence and focussing on your inner beauty, the other parts of your self that you do find positive and attractive is important for us all. You are worthy and loveable regardless of your skin. Please remember that. Lots of love to you, Aunty Hilda xoxo

I feel like I'm the last person to have sex. Will I be a virgin forever?

Thank you for sharing your question :) You can never guarantee anything, but don't put pressure on the when. It's not something to get out of the way and you don't need to rush it. The other thing to remember, is that there are HEAPS of other people your age, and older, who have not had sex. Sometimes we think we are the only ones going through things,- but that is never the case. When the time is right for you, it will happen. It's not a race :) Take care and look after your precious self. Lots of love, Aunty Hilda xoxox

I'm tired of people treating me differently because of what I have been through/going through. Is it better to keep things to myself or risk sharing it with people and be treated differently?

Hey, it sounds like you've been going through some really tough stuff. We're really sorry to hear that and sorry these experiences are weighing you down and taking up so much space in your life. It's really important that you do not bottle up your feelings, but it's also important to be careful who you share your personal experiences with. Be cautious that it doesn't become the focus of your friendships and ensure there is balance - do other things together and talk about interests and fun things. You are allowed to say you don't want to talk about things and you're allowed to change your mind about what you want people to do with what they know. Also, thinking about who can listen and hold space for your experiences, like a counsellor or safe adult, can be useful to help keep your other friendships more relaxed and open. Journalling is also a really great option for some people - maybe you could get yourself a really nice journal and try writing how you're feeling. Take care of your precious self, lots of love, Aunty Hilda xoxox

Is it possible to fall out of love? What does that feel like?

Hi there, - great question! I think the answer is probably yes. People change, through no fault of anyone in particular, you can grow to be quite different and find that what you once liked, loved and were attracted to, is no longer the same. The feeling, while different for everyone, might be that you no longer want to spend time with them, priorotise them or feel excited to see them. If these things are happening for you, then it can be good to talk to your partner about it and see if you can solve the things that might be getting in the way. Having an argument or a rough patch doesn't necessarily mean you no longer love someone. Feelings in relationships can be so very complicated! Best of luck to you, love Aunty Hilda xoxox

How do I stay motivated and happy when I am an introvert, depressed and live with a toxic family?

I am so sorry to hear you are feeling this and having this experience. Sometimes it can be helpful to try and explain how you are feeling to your family - if that is something you haven't tried already? Staying motivated and happy is a good question when other things are not going well - can you focus on the things you enjoy and find fulfilling, keep your friends close and maybe share with them how you are feeling. It's completely fine being an introvert, take the time you need to be alone and recharge. There were a lot of other things in your question and we want you to know that you are special, important and valued here at St hildas. I have a good friend, Marcelle, who might be a great person for you to talk this over with. You can email her for a time to meet. Big hugs to you, love Aunty Hilda xox

Will my first time having sex be painful?

Thank you for your wonderful question - everybody wonders that! It is common for first time sex for a woman to be a little uncomfortable, or slightly painful. It's not the same for everybody, however, all intercourse sex feels a lot better with lubrication. Natural lubrication happens when we are aroused - and this can take some time. So no rush! Also, having some lubrication on hand can be helpful (e.g. durex lubricants beside the condoms in the supermarket). This is a good idea when using condoms anyway. best of luck, lots of love, Aunty Hilda xoxo

Will I bleed the first time I have sex?

Hi, such a great question - You might bleed a little, which is completely normal. However, since many girls use tampons, the likelihood of bleeding is a little less, because the hymen (the small piece of skin covering the vagina inside the opening) has already been stretched. If bleeding during sex is a frequent thing, then visiting your Dr would be a good idea. All the best, lots of love to you, Aunty Hilda xoxo

If I have sex for the first time with a condom, will I need the morning after pill?

That's a great question. If you used the condom as per instructions (ie - not expired, checking for rips, opening it carefully and rolling it down the penis shaft all the way, and making sure there is enough lubrication) and removing it carefully after ejaculation, then there should be no reason to need additional contraception. If there was an issue with any of these things, then the morning after pill is a very good idea. You have a 72 hour window for this. The sooner, the better. It is free at Family Planning (lower Hanover St). Take care, lots of love to you, Aunty Hilda xox

How do I tell my best friend I hooked up with her boyfriend?

Well done for asking such a difficult question and wanting to take accountability for your actions. It's really important to make a time to see your friend, away from other distractions or people. Then, take a big breath and be honest. You will need to accept that she may be very angry with you and you will have to acknowledge her feelings and accept how she may react. She may want to know why this happened, so be prepared to share your intentions and why you did what you did. Her boyfriend is equally at fault here, but be careful to only talk about what you did wrong and take responsibility for that. This is not an easy thing for any of you, so good on you for being brave about wanting to be honest. This is a great idea. Best of luck to you, lots of love, Aunty Hilda xoxox

I went to a party where I got really drunk and was sexually assaulted in front of other people. No body did anything and now those guys think it's funny. I feel really disgusting and alone

What an awful thing to have happen. We are so sorry to hear this has happened to you. What they did to you is against the law. Nothing about your story is ok and you haven't done anything wrong. It's really important to talk to somebody you trust about how you are feeling. This was an assault and you have a number of options as to how you might deal with it. But first, it's really important that you feel safe and heard in telling your story. These boys who are making fun of what happened and minimising your experience are unworthy of your time. They have a lot of growing up and learning to do about what is right and wrong, consent, human rights, the law and basic respect. It is normal to feel disgusting after something like this and reaching out to find help and support is a really important part of the healing. You are not alone in this. Even though it is often not talked about, there are so many people in our community who share your experience. Thank you for sharing with us and helping others feel seen too. We send you much love xoxox Aunty Hilda

How do I fake an orgasm?

Hi there - What a great question! Why on earth would you want to fake it anyway?? A conversation around how you would like your partner to pleasure you, can only really come after you know what it is that you like. Being able to touch yourself and explore what it is that feels good for you, is really important, normal and helpful when it comes to being intimate with another person. It is really normal for boys to masturbate and they talk about it more often too. It is just as normal for girls to do this too, however it gets talked about less openly. Talk to your partner about what feels good - that's the sign of a good communicative relationship. You shouldn't have to make them feel better about themselves , by pretending. No one is winning there! All the very best! Lots of love to you, Aunty Hilda xoxox

What do I do if my partner does something I'm not comfortable with during sex?

Great question! It's really important to talk about things beforehand if possible, or think about the things that you are comfortable doing and what you are not comfortable doing. But if there is something that comes up that doesn't feel ok, then saying so at the time is really important! It can feel a bit uncomfortable sometimes to say what you really feel or really want, but honestly, it's one of the most important things to practise! Your partner should always respect your sexual boundaries and if they put pressure on you, or continue to try and convince you, or disrespect your wishes, then he just has to go! Best of luck to you. ots of love, Aunty Hilda xoxox

My boyfriend gets drunk every weekend, how do I tell him to stop?

Hi there, thanks for raising this really common issue. In Dunedin schools there is a really problematic drinking culture, closely linked to the problem drinking at Otago Uni. You are right to be concerned about how this will be affecting his brain and potential addiction issues. It is a real issue and one that is worth communicating to him about if it is impacting your relationship. It's really important that you look after yourself here - it is not your job to fix this in him. However, if you are worried and care about what is happening, then telling him how you feel is a good place to start. Telling him honestly about your thoughts and concerns is the only way here. Depending on the individual circumstances, then you may want to tell an adult in his life who can help further. Protect your own peace. Lots of love to you Aunty Hilda xoxo

I am transitioning and I was wondering when I fully transition, will I get kicked out of school because this is an all girls school?

This is a great question, thanks for asking. Our enrolment policy states that you must be female at the time of enrolment, however, once you are here, your position at this school is yours, no matter how you identify. lots of love to you, Aunty Hilda xox

If I had a baby would the school kick me out?

This is a common question! You can not be kicked out from school for having a baby. If you choose to have a baby, then continuing with education is a very important thing to do, however, this can be quite challenging to do with a baby. No school is allowed to kick out a pregnant student. Lots of love, Aunty Hilda xoxox

I like this boy but I don't know if he is too old for me, how many years older than me is too old?

This is an interesting question - Your age is important as the first part to this question. If you are under 16 and he is older than 16, then please refer to last weeks question about consent, as this will help answer some of that. I'm wondering if your question means that you are feeling uncomfortable about the age gap, or if it is others responses that you are worried about? Relationships always, for everyone, should be about two people respecting each other and being kind and considerate - no matter what their age. Having said that, being aware that there can be a power imbalance with an older partner and possible expectations of what will happen in the relationship is important. Do you have common interests, friends who would get along and that you share the same relationship values. Best of luck!!! Lots of love Aunty hilda xoxox

Plan B, how does it work, when should I take it, what does it do to your body?

Thanks for this question - Plan B is an emergency contraceptive pill that you can take after unprotected sex, up to 72 hours later. It is best to take it within the first 24 hours. It is a massive dose of hormones, which delays the release of an egg (ovulation) and thickens the mucus to prevent the sperm from accessing the egg. It can cause you to feel sick, tired, mood swings, can cause some break through bleeding and potentially mix up your cycle for a month or so. Remeber that if you vomit, you will need to take another (take it with food to reduce nausea).It is a responsible thing to look after your reproductive health, so there is never any need to feel ashamed. Check out our contraception and safe sex page for more info. All the best, lots of love, Aunty hilda xoxox

What do I do if I get ghosted and they never ended the relationship

I'm really sorry to hear that you are being disrespected like this. It could be helpful to clear up if there's been a misunderstanding, by messaging them and asking them directly. If you reach out and get no response or continue to be ghosted, then probably the best thing for you, is to look after your self and remove them from your contacts so that it helps to get them out of your mind as a possibility. All the best - you deserve someone who communicates with respect. Lots of love Aunty Hilda xoxox

How do I tell my guy best-friend that likes me that I like his best-friend? 

That sounds like a really tricky situation! There are a few things going on here.... communication is always your best bet, but also thinking about whether you value the friendship you have with your guy best friend more than you like his best friend - and if you are willing to risk your friendship for it. Having said that, your guy best friend has indicated that he would like to potentially risk the friendship in order to take it a bit further. Maybe talking it through with your guy friend is the first step? Also, how do you know if the guy you like, likes you back?? Ultimately, you have to make a decision based on what you think is most important to you. Best of luck with this situation!! Lots of love, Aunty Hilda xxx

Are abortions free in New Zealand?

Hi, thanks for your question :)Abortions are free for NZ citizens. For more information you can visit or the ministry of health All the very best to you, love Aunty Hilda xxx

I know the age of consent is 16, but I've got less than a year to go. Every time we kiss it's really intense and if feels like we can't get close enough! It's awkward afterwards, which means I know they feel it too. What should I do???

This is such a great question! It sounds like you haven't talked to your partner about this yet and that would definitely be the best place to start! Talking about how you're both feeling can be a really good way at then deciding what you can do about the issue. There are lots of other things you can do together to feel good about each other and bring each other pleasure, without having intercourse. The law says that you aren't able to give legal consent until the age of 16, so you have to be careful if your partner is over that age, because there can be issues for them. In any relationship the most important thing is that you both have decided on what you want together and feel comfortable with that decision for yourself. Safe and respectful is what it's all about :) Best of luck to you both, love Aunty Hilda xxx

A boy that I hooked up with pressured me to suck him off when I didn't want to, made me feel like sh*t afterwards when I didn't do it. I never did it but still feel bad.

We are so sorry to hear that you have had to experience this very horrible thing. But we are so proud of you for standing up for yourself and respecting your own boundaries! A lot of guys think that sex is just for them and that girls are there to please them - sadly they are mistaken. There is no such thing as being negatively affected by not ejaculating, although there is often pressure, like "oh you lead me on," or "now I've got blue balls, (which is not a real thing btw...!)look what you've done", or "you're such a tease", "I thought you wanted it" etc etc!!! You can hook up with someone and change your mind, or stop, or decide not to go any further, at any time. And that is O.K!! A lot of people feel really awkward and think they have to go through with it once they've started. BUT if everyone thinks that, then that means, you have a lot of support in one another. Aunty Hilda wishes you all the very best in your journey. You are a strong Wahine and you have been a great role model for others. Thank you. Lots of love to you xxxxx

My friend is in love with our other friend and it's really weird because I'm in love with her too!

That sounds like it could be complicated!! So it's really important to think about the possible consequences for your friendship and whether it's worth pursuing anything. You can still have a really good relationship with someone without it turning romantic. If you do think this is more than a passing crush, then communication with your friends is really important here. Gauging your friends level of interest here is worth considering. Does she like either of you in that way? I would recommend thinking carefully about the value of your friendships here. All the very best xxxx Aunty Hilda

How do I get over my first love when they just broke up with me?

We are really sorry to hear that. You must be feeling lots of big and painful emotions at times. it's really important to let yourself feel and express these emotions and is a really important part of the being able to move on process. Spending time with yourself, and people who really care about you, doing things that you love and talking to someone you trust, can be really helpful. Distraction is good - but don't use distraction to run away from how you are feeling! It can be useful to create special time each day to focus on those hard feelings and let yourself really be in that space - ie journalling, listening to music, or whatever works well for you. Take the time to be with you - learn to love yourself fully again and take lots of time before you think about another relationship. Lots of love to you xxx Aunty Hilda

How do I feel better about my appearance when the beauty standards are so high?

Thank you for bringing this really important and challenging issue to Aunty Hilda. Someone elses beauty doesn't detract from your own. You can be, and are beautiful, even if others are too, in a different way.  Beauty isn't a finite thing - it changes and develops as we grow and change. Positive self talk is so good - little tiny things that you can find about yourself to be kind about. It might be the colour of your eyes, or the way your nose crinkles when you smile - these are things you can take time to notice and appreciate about yourself. Because it will be so true that others see that in you. It's so easy to find fault in ourselves and be unkind, when we would never dream of saying those things to others. Try and treat yourself the way you would one of your closest friends. Social media is so fake  - and it messes with our brains - try to limit what you look at! And it's important not to use filters, because it will really mess with your sense of self. Genetically there are many things we can't change - ie thigh gaps, and where you store your body fat. That wee pooch on your tummy is there to protect your uterus - it's your body is trying to do the right thing and really caring about your wellbeing. . What you might think is beautiful doesn't necessarily mean everyone thinks that. Remember, this is the beauty industry which feeds off women's insecurity so they can make billions of dollars. You might like to check out this website for more support.   You are beautiful. Lots of love and hugs from Aunty Hilda xoxoxox

All my friends know how to use tampons but I'm too embarrassed to ask

Great question! It can take a bit of practise, so don't be put off. Some of the Aunties would suggest starting off with applicator tampons, because they can be easier to use. There is also a diagram in the tampon box, which shows you the angle in which to insert the tampon. It's important to relax and try when you are properly bleeding so there is enough lubrication. If you do not successfully insert a tampon, then don't try with the same one again. Get a new one! Also, make sure you put it in far enough!! It should be a tampon plus a finger deep - or the whole applicator. It is truly uncomfortable if you don't get it in far enough. if it's right, then you shouldn't even know it's there. All the best!! Aunty Hilda xoxoxox

I think I'm pregnant but I don't know how to get a test without my parents finding out - and what do I do if I am?!

Sorry to hear that you are going through a scary and confusing time, but we are so pleased you have come to ask us for some helpful advice. Firstly Family Planning is a great place to get free advice and free testing for pregnancy and STI's. It is completely confidential and non judgmental and you don't need your parents permission or supervision to go. (you can also go to your GP with parental consent, but that will cost). Their contact details are: (03) 4775850 and their address is 95 Hanover St central Dunedin. If you are pregnant they will help you with everything you need to know going forward. They are also a great place to talk about contraception. It's important to know that a pregnancy test can only be used once you have missed your period - or if you don't know when your period is due, then at least 21 days after you last had unprotected sex. You don't have to be alone in this situation, so please reach out to trusted adults and friends who can support you through this time. With lots of love, Aunty Hilda xox

How do I know I'm going to get my period soon?

Hi there, if this is about your very first period ever, then...... it's a bit of a guessing game! You will have had puberty changes take place, ie breast and pubic hair. Then closer to the time of your first period, you may notice an increase in vaginal discharge. You may also notice you get some cramping and some mood changes and more emotional. Your breasts may also get tender or very sore. Also check out our period page on the website!! If you are wondering about how to track your period, there are heaps of period trackers you can use, or jot it down on a calendar or in your diary. The predictors aren't always accurate and lots of girls have irregular periods, so sometimes it's  hard to know! We hope this helps! All the best for your approaching womanhood :) Lots of love Aunty Hilda xoxox

How can we be sure this is confidential?

This is such an important question - thank you for asking it!! Your email address isn't collected, so there is no way we can see who has sent it, because the only information we get is the question, on the form. All we know is the time the question was sent. We want to share your questions for everyones benefit. It's not important who asked it, but rather that everyone benefits from learning something new. Thank you! Lots of love Aunty Hilda xox

I really like this guy but I don't know if I like him in THAT way, how do I tell?

Hi there! There's absolutely no rush to do anything about this yet. Get to know each other better and see if you can figure out what romantic attraction feels like to you. It can be difficult sometimes to tell the difference between a great friendship and romantic or sexual feelings. In a romantic relationship it's important to know within yourself what level of romantic, sexual and friendship is important for you. It may take some time to figure this out - however you are the only one who can understand your emotions. All the best!! Don't get influenced by what others might think Lots of love Aunty Hilda xox

What is Sex?

This is such a great question!! Often we think everyone knows about sex, but actually there are a lot of questions. It's really hard to put sex into one category, but we will try and answer your questions as best we can. Sex has a strong emotional factor, which is just as important as what goes on physically. First of all, you will have decided that you are ready for a sexual experience and hopefully you will be clear about the consent process going forward (Check out our consent page). So, in a sexual encounter, things should move at a speed where both people are comfortable and checking in all the way through is really important. Sex is not just one main event ie. (a penis in a vagina) but it's the whole experience of getting to know each other, touching each other and exploring who you are and what you like together and alone. It's important not to rush into "having sex" because it can be disappointing and upsetting if you feel like the emotional parts of this interaction have been missed out. Also, remember that there are so many different types of sex, not just heterosexual penetrative sex, but also homosexual sex, with many other ways of enjoying each other. These are all valid and you should feel comfortable to express yourself as you wish. This is a big question, we hope we have helped a little :) Love from Aunty Hilda. (You may want to check out the website for more details)

What age do you think is a good age to have boyfriends? Because a lot of my friends do but i don't know if i should 

Thank you for your excellent question :) It sounds to me like you have already thought about this a lot and have a subconscious understanding of what you really want/think. If you are asking if you should be getting into a relationship because others are, then that is never a good reason. Have you met someone who you would like to get to know better? Or are you simply thinking about it like a box to tick. There is no age at which having a relationship is the right age - it's always about meeting the right person and deciding together that this is what you would like. Lots of love, Aunty Hilda xox

My boyfriend wants to do more than just making out but I’m not ready for that, how do I tell him?

Thanks for this valuable question! You are so right to feel uncomfortable about doing something you are not ready to do. In any relationship, the most important thing is to speak up, and use your voice about how you are really feeling. It's common to feel like you are the only one experiencing that - but this is a frequent issue. SO - it's really useful to know that most people  like knowing what their partner does and doesn't want to do.  More importantly, this conversation that you will have together, will make your relationship stronger. OR you'll find out that he's actually not worth your time and moving on from someone who isn't respectful is definitely your best option! Good luck with being your strong awesome self xox Aunty Hilda

What is an orgasm?

Such a great question! An orgasm is a physical and psychological sensation experienced during sexual arousal and climax. It is often described as a pleasurable release of sexual tension that is accompanied by intense feelings of pleasure and satisfaction. During an orgasm, there is a series of rhythmic contractions in the pelvic region, including the muscles of the vagina or penis, the uterus. These contractions are usually accompanied by a buildup of tension and followed by a sense of release and relaxation.  Variability: Women's experiences of orgasm can vary widely. Some women may consistently experience orgasm with ease, while others may have difficulty achieving orgasm or may require specific types of stimulation. It's important to recognize and respect individual differences. Clitoral stimulation: The clitoris is a highly sensitive organ located above the vaginal opening. For most women, clitoral stimulation plays a crucial role in achieving orgasm. Direct or indirect stimulation of the clitoris through manual stimulation, oral sex, or the use of sex toys can enhance sexual pleasure and increase the likelihood of orgasm. Multiple types of orgasm: Women can experience different types of orgasms, including clitoral, vaginal, or blended orgasms that combine clitoral and vaginal stimulation. It's important to explore and understand what types of stimulation work best for each individual. Emotional and mental factors: Emotional and mental factors, such as relaxation, trust, and a positive sexual mindset, can significantly influence a woman's ability to orgasm. Creating a comfortable and supportive environment can enhance the likelihood of experiencing orgasm. Communication: Open and honest communication with sexual partners is crucial for understanding each other's needs and desires. Women should feel comfortable discussing their preferences, boundaries, and any difficulties they may encounter in achieving orgasm. This can foster a more satisfying sexual experience for both partners. Practice and exploration: Understanding the female orgasm often requires self-exploration and experimentation. Learning about one's own body, preferences, and what feels pleasurable through self-stimulation (masturbation) can provide valuable insights to share with a partner. Orgasm and pleasure are not the sole goals: It's important to remember that sexual pleasure and intimacy are not solely focused on achieving orgasm. The journey and connection between partners are just as important as the destination. Focusing solely on orgasm as the measure of sexual success can create unnecessary pressure and potentially detract from the overall experience.  All the best! xox Aunty Hilda

What do I do if i don't know how to break up with someone?

Thanks for reaching out to Ask Aunty Hilda :) It sounds like you already know that this is not the right relationship for you and it's great that you are listening to your self about what feels best. Breaking up is never easy and  there are lots of good ways you can go about it. Telling them this isn't right for you, but you still care about them, is one option. Telling them in person is always best too :) Being respectful and expecting respect in return, is important.  We know that however you do it, it will possibly be confusing and painful for you or both of you and being kind to yourself during this process is important. Best of luck to you - lots of love from Aunty Hilda xox

How do I get out of the friendzone???

We are really sorry to hear that you're in this confusing spot. I hope we can give you some comfort here..... It's really hard when we can't control what other people feel about us, especially if we want more than they are giving. Maybe this is an opportunity for you to tell them how you really feel. You never know - maybe they feel the same way. Remember not to feel like you need to change yourself or be different in order to get out of the friendzone. If they don't like you in that way, that doesn't mean you are any less perfect than you already are. Be true to yourself and no one can make you feel less than or unworthy.  Maybe they really love having you as a friend, which is a special and lucky thing to have . Best of luck! Love Aunty Hilda xox

What would others say if i was trans/gay?

Aunty Hilda wants you to know that being who you are is all that matters! It's never easy wondering what others think about us, but if we are being true to ourselves, that is all we can possibly hope for. Being you means you will find your people and your tribe - if people aren't supportive of you, then they aren't your real friends anyway. It's a brave and courageous thing to do and please know that Aunty Hilda is behind you all the way! Much love xox Aunty Hilda

 How do I move forward when the past is dragging me down?

Great question..... always give yourself space to feel what you're feeling and giving yourself time to heal from whatever it is that is dragging you down. When we try and move on too quickly, we often find that we get pulled back because we haven't processed the thing we need to work on. Finding things that you enjoy is a great way to help yourself move forward, as well as finding new interests and ways to occupy yourself positively. If you find yourself dwelling in the past again, you can try giving yourself ten minutes (on the clock) to write down how you're feeling (which gets it out of your head and onto the paper) or allow yourself to drift in those memories. But then, shift your focus again to the present and what you have now that you can be grateful for. Remember that our past is always an important part of who we are and loving the challenging parts of our history helps make us a more colourful and strong person. Give your younger self, the one who experienced this hurt, a kind hug and a few loving words of encouragement. She will appreciate that you are there for her. Lots of love from your Aunty Hilda xox

How do I break up a friendship in a kind and gradual way when the other person doesn't seem to take the hint

This is a common and tricky situation! It's great that you know what it is that you want and need in this relationship. As always, communicating clearly is best, but we know this is easier said than done. Sometimes saying that you need a bit of space can be helpful, or distancing yourself without ignoring them, can be a gradual and gentle way. If you were in their shoes, what would you like them to do? You're obviously someone who cares about the feelings of others, so be kind to yourself in this also, by speaking up and standing up for yourself. You are strong, even in these difficult and challenging conversations. We all need to practise having them at times and they are always hard to do. Best of luck, xox Aunty Hilda

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