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Dear Lira

I AM a 22-year-old woman who is in a relationship with an HIV-positive man.

We used to shower each other with affection, but since he revealed his status a lot of things changed for me.

I am scared to use the same utensils as him and kissing has become a challenge. Can HIV be transmitted through kissing?

]Dear Miss

Fight your fear with knowledge.

Saliva doesn’t transmit HIV!

HIV lives in blood, as well as in vaginal and seminal fluid.

This is why it is important to use a dental dam or condom when you have oral sex.

Send a Please Call Me to 083 323 1023 or an email to to speak to a counsellor.

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Why are we so bothered about making our relationships ‘Facebook official’?



But sadly, it’s also normal nowadays for people to feel as though their relationship is not valid unless it’s ‘official’ online.

I can’t be the only one who, when starting out a new relationship, has been asked: ‘Is it Facebook official yet?’, as if allowing your partner to make the cut onto your profile information makes the relationship any more serious than it already is.

In fact, in a recent Facebook group I spotted a post from a girl seeking advice from others, asking whether it was okay that her relationship wasn’t ‘Facebook official’ and whether it meant her boyfriend wasn’t into her. They’d been together six months. Their relationship wasn’t a secret – they just hadn’t confirmed it on their Facebook profiles.

I was confused – they’d been together half a year already, who cares whether people online know about it or not?

But I understood her dilemma. Because we’re so often made to feel as though the relationship can’t possibly be real without social media confirmation, we start to doubt it. And that’s incredibly sad.

Why are we so bothered about making our relationships 'Facebook official'?

I can’t pinpoint a time when it started becoming important that relationships were made official on Facebook. Perhaps it was when Facebook first started, or maybe it was when the younger generation who began using the site in their teens started chopping and changing their status each time they started dating someone new – as let’s face it, it isn’t too common for relationships to be truly serious when you’re under the age of sixteen.

Regardless of where it started, it’s still raising cause for concern still – and I just don’t understand it.

When you’re confirming a relationship on Facebook, you’re not confirming that the relationship is perfect or that you’re really happy. All you’re confirming is that yes, you’re together. It’s proof to your friends online that you are both that invested into the relationship that you’ll happily announce it publicly.

For others, who are a little bit more insecure, it’s proof to other attractive people that your partner is very much taken. Come on, you know it’s true.

But you don’t need to notify other people with your relationship to prove it’s legitimate. Social media really should be the last of your worries in terms of being part of a happy relationship.

A happy relationship should be about you and your partner. Spending time together, making each other laugh, and being intimate with one another. These are three of the most important factors in a relationship – social media doesn’t even come close.

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But still, despite having this in a relationship, we get upset when our partner doesn’t accept our ‘relationship request’ or simply doesn’t see the point in putting it on the internet.

While some may see this as their partner being ashamed of them or wanting to hide the relationship from their friends and family, often this is not the case.

For instance, my partner and I decided against the whole ‘Facebook official’ thing simply because we wanted our relationship to be private, and solely about us. We all know that there’s always the chance somebody could attempt to come between you – be that an ex or a friend who isn’t keen on your other half, and we didn’t want that.

And others should understand that this is a common feeling among people in relationships who would just prefer to keep things in reality.

To them, the first thing that goes through their heads isn’t ‘I need to put my relationship on Facebook’. In fact, the thought of it can be really off-putting, at least for a little while until things are really serious – because what’s the point in making it public if your relationship is still fragile? If you’re happy to confirm you’re in love online so soon, are you happy to have a public breakup too?

Why are we so bothered about making our relationships 'Facebook official'?

Ultimately, I feel our need to make our relationships public online stems from a need to overshare with the world. We’re so used to it. We use Instagram to share updates of our day-to-day life – often over-exaggerating photos to make our lives seem more perfect. Vacations, work trips, fancy food, fitness posts, you name it. What we don’t see is the lazy mornings, the days you just want to spend eating all your favourite junk food. The bad day at the office.

And it’s the same with Facebook. We dedicated our statuses to positivity – wanting to prove to our ever-growing friends list that we’ve got our lives in order, because god forbid some old school friend knowing we’re still not completely content with life.

And for me, that’s what being ‘Facebook official’ is. It’s to prove to others that you’re in a relationship and it’s genuine enough to make it public. There is, other than that, no actual other point in clicking the ‘accept’ button when receiving a request from your other half.

And that’s absolutely fine. For some, it’s just a natural first-thought. They don’t even think about why they’re posting it, it’s just the norm.

But it’s an issue when one half of the relationship isn’t keen on putting their private relationship online and the other can’t handle it. It shows insecurity and that perhaps keeping their friends online in the know is more important than their partner’s wishes.

metro illustrations

The bottom line is, making your relationship ‘Facebook official’ really shouldn’t be a big deal – or even an important aspect in your relationship. It should be kept as it is, if anything – just something you do to add a little bit more information to your page or just because you both fancied doing so.

But it should not be a dividing factor in your relationship, or one that leaves you feeling insecure or frustrated that you can’t prove to people you likely don’t even talk to that you’re not single.

I understand that for some people, it can be nice to show off their partner to the world – if not just to have digital memories to look back on.

But posting your relationship status isn’t a memory. It shouldn’t be routine in a relationship, and it shouldn’t be something that leaves you questioning the seriousness of the relationship.

If it does, you certainly aren’t secure in it.

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11 Types of Hugs a Woman Gives and What They Really Mean



Can you decipher what a woman feels about you by the way she hugs you? Well, here are 11 types of hugs women commonly use, and what that hug really means.

types of hugs

Hugging is a common greeting and expression of warmth, and a meaningful sign showing you care about a person. There’s a thin line between platonic hugs of greeting and something more.

As if life and relationships cannot be more complicated, consider the hug. What’s with that? Just a little more *or less* pressure and it means something else. When you hug and touch the other person in a particular place, it can mean something different than when you hug and just avoid touching the other person anywhere. It can be confusing, especially on the part of the receiver.

The 11 types of hugs women commonly use

When it comes to women’s hugs, the deed takes on a whole new level of complication, leaving men confused, flabbergasted, and pleased, more or less all at the same time.

This is because women can play mean mind games, and they can use their charms—and arms—to get what they want or tell you they don’t want you. We dish out the different kinds of hugs women give to help you figure out just what the hell they’re up to. [Read: 10 clear signs you should back off when you’re pursuing a girl]

#1 The proper and polite hug. This is a hug for hug’s sake only. In other words, for the sake of social etiquette. It’s the kind of hug in which she may act like she’s hugging you but without touching you—like you have some kind of disease. This can be offensive if not for the accompanying “polite smile.” If you’re out on a date with her, and she gives you this hug, it means she’s not into you and perhaps will not want to go out with you again.

#2 The quickie, gotta go hug. This hug happens when you catch each other in the street or somewhere public, and she’s in a hurry. Acknowledging you with a hug, no matter how quick can mean one thing—they are happy to see you but are truly in a hurry to head somewhere else.

It can also mean something else, especially in a situation where she’s not really in a hurry but just wants to get the hug over with. She may come close to you, touch shoulders, avoid eye contact, and just head on her way, pretending to be in a hurry. She may have been avoiding you, but you came up to her. So instead of being rude, she gives you a quickie hug.

#3 The buddy hug. This is one warm hug you don’t mind getting from her, just like all the other crumbs of attention she throws your way. It’s when they wrap their arms around you and pat you on the back. It’s warm, friendly, and nice—except you would rather hug her in a different, more romantic way. Well, tough luck, chap. If she gives you this, then you’re just in the friend zone. [Read: 18 signs you’re clearly in a girl’s friend zone]

# 4 The bear hug. You know when you’re so close and comfortable with each other you can do just about anything without being self-conscious? This is that, in hug form. She doesn’t care if the hug messes her outfit or her hair, she’ll run to you with arms wide open and then hug you tightly. Good news: she missed you and is happy to see you. Bad news: she most likely just sees you as a dear friend. *But I’m sure it’s better than nothing, right?* [Read: 13 naughty ways to get out of a girl’s friend zone in no time]

#5 The sleepy shoulder hug. This is not a hug a lot of girls would give you if she doesn’t feel safe around you. This sweet hug is when she wraps her arms around you and rests her head on your shoulder for a while. If you just met her, you’re in luck because she feels comfortable around you already. If you’ve been seeing her for a while, you’re in luck too.

There really is nothing wrong with this kind of hug—unless this is all the hug she gives, then it just means she sees you only as a shoulder to lean on, literally, and nothing more.

Also, watch out if she pushes back when you try to pull her closer. It really just puts you back into that all-too-familiar friend zone.

#6 The one-sided hug. Perhaps the most awkward of all hugs, the one-sided, unreciprocated hug is when you hug her, and she lets you, but her arms are limp on her sides with her body becoming stiff.

If she gives you this at the end of the first date, don’t expect a second one. If you already know her and she gives you this, then you better think about what you may have done to upset her or turn her off. [Read: 12 telltale signs she just isn’t into you]

#7 The squeezing hug. This is a simple-to-decode kind of hug. If she hugs you with one or both arms with that extra squeeze and lovely smile, you know she had fun and whatever it is she had with you, you can expect she’d want to do it again. It’s not much of a passionate or romantic kind of hug, but at least it’s a good sign.

#8 The snuggly hug. This kind of hug is more like a cuddle. You can expect this from a girl who likes you and feels comfortable and safe around you. This often happens when the two of you are sitting side to side, whether in the movies, on the couch, or just about anywhere.

This means she likes being around you. At this point, especially if the two of you are alone, you better watch out for other signs telling you you’re going to get some nookie tonight. [Read: 7 subtle signs a girl gives away if she wants to sleep with you]

#9 The lingering hug. Now this is a very subtle hug that only the most highly aware can detect. This hug is when she wraps one or two arms around you and she has her hand on your back, pulling you in.

She’ll hold that hug for just a few extra milliseconds—just a tad bit longer than the standard three-second hugging rule. Usually, this is her way of letting you know she has a thing for you. Just watch for her facial expression afterward to know for sure.

#10 The side-by-side hug. This is perhaps one of the sweetest hugs she can give. It’s like the snuggly hug, except you are usually walking side by side. She will wrap her arms around your waist or an arm around your arm. This means she likes you or she’s comfortable around you. In fact, so much that she wants to stay close to you wherever you guys go. It’s also a way for her to tell the world, “This guy is mine.”

#11 The boob hug. While the lingering hug is subtle, this one is not. It’s the somewhat more daring cousin of the lingering hug, and it only means one thing: I want you! [Read: 13 lusty signs of sexual attraction you need to keep an eye on]

Here, she will hug you with one or both arms, but what you should watch out for how she intentionally presses her breasts against you to make sure you feel them. She may even follow it up with a lazy, sexy smile and a wink. If that’s the case, you’re one lucky lad!

A hug can tell you a lot about what a woman thinks about you, and whether she wants to take your relationship to another level. Hugs can be the most wonderful ways to get physically close to her, whether you are just friends or are dating. A hug can provide you with clues about your relationship with her.

[Read: 28 turn ons for girls that’ll make them melt in your arms]

Reading these types of hugs women give can help you decode those signals and take out all the guesswork about their body language. By knowing what they really mean with their hugs, you can know when you really have your game on or if it’s really game over for you.

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How to Make a Man Chase You: 15 Ways to Get Him to Fall Hard



Ladies, take a step back and let them do the chasing. You know exactly what I’m talking about, it’s time to understand how to make a man chase you.

Oh god, did I ever chase. I still do, it’s like I’m a dog looking at a piece of steak. But this is the problem, nowadays, men assume we’re going to chase them, and the funny thing is we do! We stalk them on Facebook and Instagram, we show up at their favorite club, we befriend his friends, we do it all. So here is how to change it and learn how to make a man chase you instead.

But now, you have to shake up the pattern, they’ve become too comfortable. Stop chasing them. I know, it’s going to be boring without the drama, but why don’t you let someone work to get to know you?

How to make a man chase you – 15 ways that really work

Let them put in some elbow grease for a change. It’s time for you to kick back and let them do the internet stalking instead. Well, I mean, you still can do that, just keep that on the down-low.

#1 You’re busy. I mean, you could be sitting on the couch watching The Vampire Diaries all day, but the point is, you need to show him you’re busy.

You can’t always answer his messages right away or hang out with him at the drop of a hat. If he needs a 24-hour companion, he should get a dog. He needs to see that you have your own thing going on.

#2 Let him think he’s in charge. They need to feel like they’re in charge. They’re men, so, they want to feel like they’re the ones making the decisions. But that doesn’t mean you’re not the one making the decisions, you just have to be stealthy about it. Let him think he’s the boss. Keyword being think.

#3 Show confidence. If you want to know how to make a man chase you, you need to understand that men love women who exude confidence.

No matter your gender or sexual preference, when a confident person walks into a room, you look at them. That’s what you want and that’s the reaction you want him to have. Look confident in your skin and it looks like you don’t need a man, which makes them want you even more.

#4 Don’t let him think he’s the only one. ‘Cause he’s not. Listen, there are a couple guys, at least, that are trying to get their opportunity to date you. But you must show him that he’s not the only one.

Show pictures of you on Instagram with other people or tag them in statuses. Point is, he needs to see you’re in demand.

#5 You don’t have to give him everything right away. You don’t have to sleep with him or make out with him right away. He’s not your boyfriend, so don’t feel inclined that you owe him something. You don’t owe him anything. You’re not holding him down, telling him to chase you.

#6 Show that you have a life. You have friends, you have a job, you’re going to school. You need to show you have a healthy life that isn’t influenced by a guy. You need to show him that you’re content without a man. And honestly, you should be happy without a guy.

#7 Have some mystery. I know you can burp the ABCs, but he doesn’t have to know that right now, leave that for the fifth date. You also don’t have to open up and tell him about your family drama or past relationships. Save that for later and leave a little mystery.

#8 Flirt. Just because you’re trying to make him chase you, you don’t have to be the ice queen. Have fun and flirt with him. If you want him to chase you, show that you’re interested in him. You have to give him a reason to chase you.

#9 Less is more. If you are texting each other, don’t send him an essay. Honestly, no one likes to read pages of text on a smartphone. Keep your messages short and sweet, leave your words for when you two go on a date.

#10 Don’t woo over him. If you want to know how to make a man chase you, and do it right, the worst thing to do is sit, holding his arm as you look lovingly into his eyes. He’s not god and if you want him to chase you, you can’t let him think that anyway. Sure, compliment him but don’t go all googly-eyed over him. It looks needy and clingy.

#11 Be sexy. Now, you don’t have to dress like someone you’re not. But you can amp up your sexiness by enhancing features that you naturally have. No, I don’t mean get your lips filled, but you can wear a plumping lipstick or show off your curves. Men are visual, so it’ll drive him crazy.

#12 Be easy on the drama. I learned this the hard way. Men don’t like drama. Actually, they literally run if they hint an ounce of drama on you. They can’t be bothered with it nor can they emotionally handle it. So, leave the drama at home or on the group message with your girls.

#13 Don’t focus on him. This is the weird law of the universe. When you don’t pay attention to the guy you like, which is hard, he comes to you. When you pay attention, he’s nowhere to be seen. So, what you need to do, is kinda ignore the guy you like. I know, but I didn’t make this rule, the universe did.

#14 Be ready to drop him if he loses it. If he’s not meeting your standards, you should be prepared to let him go. I know you like being chased, but listen, if he’s everything a girl wants but never replies to your texts until days later, drop him.

He’s not really chasing you, he’s just waiting for an opportunity to slide in. You don’t want that.

#15 Know when to give a little. You can play hard to get, but if you’re always like this, at some point he’s going to throw the towel in. So, you need to weigh when it’s the right time to give him a little more. I mean, reward the guy at some point. It doesn’t have to be sex, but it has to be something, a kiss, something!

Now that you know all the secrets behind knowing how to make a man chase you, it’s time to kick back and relax. It’s your turn to take it easy.

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