How honest should you be on a first meeting?
Signed, Mystery Man
Dear Mystery Man,
A first meeting is a good opportunity to introduce yourself. In that spirit, try to keep it short, perhaps under two hours. Keep the conversation light, but not shallow. Maintain a positive attitude, stay open, and have fun. If it goes well, set up a second meeting that lasts longer.
The impulse to "spill the beans" can be hard to resist if we find someone who's interested enough to listen, especially if we're "starving" for relationship. But try to keep a little reserved for yourself until you've established he's a quality person. This will limit getting disappointed, spark excitement, and keep him coming back for more.
If you invited someone over to your place and let him take everything he wanted on the first visit, he'd have little reason to return. He'd already have everything! A little mystery can keep the momentum of a budding relationship alive. While I don't advocate people misrepresent themselves, be disingenuous, or withholding, I do think self-disclosure works best if given in small doses. I think it's wise to reveal bits of yourself over time as you get to know, grow comfortable with, and trust someone.
So, without being shady or playing games, take your time. A relationship isn't formed like instant oatmeal. It's works more like a vineyard. After planting the seeds, it takes awhile before you get to enjoy the fine wine.
All the Best, Angelo.
I'm a promiscuous person wondering if it's healthier for me to find a monogamous relationship. What is the difference between sex, intimacy, and love?
Signed, Sticky Situation
Dear Sticky Situation,
Sex, intimacy, and love are different.
Intimacy is when you're fully yourself and when you allow someone else to be fully themselves with you. It's the absence of facades, the space of vulnerability that unfolds between two "real" people. In the spirit of authenticity, unless you have unexamined intimacy issues, if you're not a monogamous kind of guy, then respect that without judgment. Be yourself.
As long as you recognize that you certainly can't get your love and intimacy needs met by sex alone. Doing so is like looking to buy hardware at the bakery. Sex can be a part of love, but it isn't always. Two people (like "friends with benefits") can have sex without love, or two people (like long-term partners) can have love without sex. Sex can also be a part of intimacy, but it isn't always. Two people (like in an anonymous encounter ) can have sex and not be intimate, or two people (like roommates) can be intimate and not have sex. So love and intimacy are related to sex, but they're not the same. Furthermore, love and intimacy aren't the same. Love can be part of intimacy, but it doesn't have to be. Two people (like a doctor and a patient) can be intimate and not love one another, or two people (like a couple) can love one another, and not be intimate.
It's definitely possible to be single and satisfied. Just be sure you're meeting all your individual needs for sex, intimacy, and love. So, what's the right relational balance for you?
All the Best, Angelo.
By Angelo Pezzote
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Angelo Pezzote, M.A., N.C.C., L.M.H.C.
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