Balance work and play! I say this as someone unable to take my own advice; the only thing I’ve balanced today is a glass of wine on the lip of my bathtub at 11am

Dear Bella,

I love speaking to boys on dating apps - and in the current climate it's basically all I do. However, I'm currently really struggling to make the transition from small talk to sext (st2s). Any tips for making the chats spicier? I've got time on my hands.

Best wishes,


Dear Anon,

Can relate dot org. Talking to boys on dating apps is fine until you’ve grown bored of hearing about their fishing trips or how much they like the Matrix or whatever. But you don’t want to seem brash and flesh out the chat with your literal flesh before everyone’s ready.

To transition from st2s, I would first suggest showing an ‘outfit’. Asking a man for his opinion on something is a great way to make them feel special, even if you’d rather watch 127 Hours than take their advice of ‘wear more tennis skirts’. If they do what you want (compliment you), show that you’ve noticed by giving them a little treat. Like you would a Labrador. (I mean a nude picture by the way, not a chicken foot. Unless they’re into that.)

And it goes without saying, if it doesn’t work out, who cares? More fool them. As Ru Paul once said (I’m paraphrasing), you’re born naked and the rest is dragging your exes to hell. That was the quote right?

Dear Bella,

I was wondering if you had any tips on remaining creative during the coronavirus crisis? I’ve been struggling to put pen on paper and focus on my work. I would love to know how you’ve kept your creative mind active.

Much love xxxx

Honey bean, I get you. We have more time than ever to reconnect with ourselves and curate the life we most want. But sometimes while I keep 6 ft away from everyone else I wonder… am I also 6 ft from my feelings?

I think it helps to set small goals for yourself throughout the day, take lots of breaks, and not fret when things don’t go to plan. Balance work and play! I say this as someone unable to take my own advice; the only thing I’ve balanced today is a glass of wine on the lip of my bathtub at 11am. Ah, the tedium of being Gen Z, I whisper to myself as the bubbles gloss over my limbs.

There’s so much you can do if you find yourself drowning in a swamp of ennui. Try reading Julia Cameron, or watching Eat Pray Love, or writing a letter to the child version of yourself. Personally though, I find my creative mind blossoms most when I’m thinking of insults to people who have wronged me. It doesn’t matter how “long ago” it was, or how “innocent” they technically were, writing down how you really feel is a great way to stimulate the creative mind. Here’s one I made earlier: 'despite the fact that I’m over my ex boyfriend and his new girlfriend seems fine, she’s still a techno groupie with no upper lip and shitty little boat shoes.' Wow, I feel better. See?

Apart from that, I guess I have no advice. Other than the main lesson I learnt from being a Permanently Hungover Scarlet Woman™ at university: sometimes pretending that you’ve read that book amounts to the same as reading it, no?

Dear Bella,

Like many people, I am quarantined with my family and I am struggling to live around my sibling. We haven’t been so close in the last few years and the only way we can get through this is by attempting to reconnect. However, I know that he won’t make the first move. How would you proceed to reconnect with a family member? Xo

As someone with enough estranged relatives to write an HBO pilot about, I understand how difficult this is. (By the way Mr HBO, if you’re reading this, my email is  Whether it was you who distanced, or them, or simply the fault of the haunted burial ground you unknowingly grew up on, you should know situations like this are perfectly normal. In fact, once I was watching a stand-up show where a woman talked about her ‘family curse’. I asked her afterwards about it, to which she responded ‘I won’t talk without a lawyer present’. Does that make you feel better?

Watching movies can be a great way to hang out without overtly interacting with one another. You could try doing a puzzle, or cooking them a meal, or any gentle activity that doesn’t risk spiralling into an argument.

Moreover, it should be noted that if you really, truly can’t handle someone, you don’t have to, even if they’re family. My gran once fell asleep in a chair in the window display of Hollister, and I walked out pretending I didn’t know who she was. We all have to follow our own path!

Bella Hull is a comedian and writer who lives in London. As a former ugly child, Bella performs her jokes all around the western world in the hopes that people will like her. She is the owner of a siamese cat and one million embarrassing memories.

Got an issue of your own? Ask Bella a question here.