I just started dating someone a few weeks ago—and he asked me to go with him on a cruise next month. I like him, but it feels too soon to travel. What do you think? —Torn in Tequesta

Dear Torn: I could suggest you sail off into the sunset, sipping a Mai Tai on a free vacation, but that wouldn’t change the fact that your relationship is not ready for a destination sleep away. You said so yourself. Overnights with a new boyfriend are different than extended time away. It’s very easy to excuse yourself from a sleepover when you are feeling a bit smothered, but vacation is 24/7 togetherness. Unless you want to fight the urge to throw yourself over the balcony on day three, I say you postpone a trip until you both get to know each other better.

You seem to have a thing about people talking about their exes. What’s wrong with sharing a little dirt on a first date? Most of us in this town have been divorced. I’ve found that it’s an icebreaker. Hey, Angela: Lighten up. —Dan (divorced and loving it by the way)

Here’s how I envision a first date for you, Dan.

Dan: “I hate my ex wife. She’s evil, fat, and was lousy in bed. Not to mention she’s trying to turn the kids against me.”

Dan’s date: “Well my ex is an alcoholic that beat me and slept with my sister.”

Dan: “This conversation is turning me on.”

Dan’s date: “Me too. Let’s get out of this joint and head to my place. We can listen to angry Alanis Morissette music, and I’ll teach you how to make a voodoo doll of your ex. We can take turns sticking pins in her legs."

Dan: “You could be my soul mate.”

Dude, a first date is all about getting to know each other. Who you are should not be defined by a past relationship. By dragging up the past you prove you are not ready to move on yet (and that you still carry some major anger). Dirt on the first date is no icebreaker. Try deal breaker. I’m ecstatic to hear you are loving single life. You might be stuck there for a while.

Can you please explain “hooking up”? Is it sex? Is it something short of sex? What happened to second and third base? I’m so confused! —Mr. Curious

Mr. Curious: Yours is an excellent question. Hooking up is common 2012 lingo, but as I suspected, we all have a different explanation. I surveyed a diverse group to get answers for you.

What does the term “hooking up” mean to you?

My 12-year-old son: Making out at a bar mitzvah with a girl. If there’s no tongue, you just kissed. But if there’s tongue, it’s a “hook up.”

My 21-year-old babysitter: "Everything but sex. Usually with someone you want to keep a secret. As in, 'I’ve been hooking up with this dude from my English class but it’s nothing major. He’s an unmentionable.'”

Me: Hooking up is a casual sexual relationship with no agenda other than sex. Generally these hook ups occur at some ridiculous hour when one person drunk texts the other something eloquent along the lines of, “What’s up?” The relationship continues until one or both find something better.

My 50-year-old male dry cleaner: "It means a night away from my wife spent with the guys. For example, I’ll call my buddy and say, 'Hey, want to hook up tonight and head over to Hooters? The game is on.'”

The 70-year-old man in line at the deli: "What the hell are you talking about?"

As you can see, the definition really depends on the person. As for second and third base, I think those are terms left in the 80s or on the baseball field.

About Angela Lutin

Angela Lutin has won the adoration and loyalty of her riders at Flywheel Sports in Boca, where she has emerged as the most sought-after indoor cycling instructor in South Florida. In her spare time, the divorced single mom has launched a popular dating blog—essentiallyangela.com—on which she dispenses musings on life, navigating the singles scene and much more. Angela will answer your dating questions every Thursday at bocamag.com on her “The Naked Truth” blog, which she is doing exclusively for Boca Raton magazine. “A chef is the expert on food, a stylist knows the right clothes,” she says. “And me? I'm the one you come to for questions about love, sex, and relationships. I’m certainly experimenting to find the right formula every day.”