Angela, I'm in my early 30s and struggling in the dating game. Here's my problem: I'm a successful woman. I'm a chef at a growing restaurant, I love reading history novels and swim almost daily. The kicker is when I'm dating, I'm not looking to find a mirror image of myself! I meet these handsome men who almost burn down a kitchen and prefer movies to literature and the closest they come to swimming is fishing. And I'm smitten! But I feel like they don't bite for me. Is that strange that I'm attracted to someone so opposite? I just want someone that can expand my horizons too. Morally we can match up, but interests and activities? Please give me something new! --What's Cooking?

Julia Child, why are you stressing over this? Opposites attract, similars attract, and “I would never under normal circumstances even consider this” attract as well. There is no magic formula. Wait, there is one. It’s called CHEMISTRY! You’re getting the attraction part correct, but then you overthinking it, (as the majority of women do) and sabotaging yourself with all this talk of morals, interest, activities...blah, blah, blah. Are you attracted to the guy are not?  That’s the first question you ask. If you feel that tingly sensation all over your body, proceed. If not, take a pass. Chemistry must be there from the beginning or it won’t work.

As far as the rest, I’m going to put it into terms you’ll understand, JC. Let it marinate. Put your checklist away and just have fun without getting so analytical about whether he’s expanding your horizons.

While we’re on the topic of horizon’s expanding, here’s and idea: Why not expand them yourself? Find an activity completely out of your norm. Meet new people. People who don’t have the same interests as you...people who aren’t your mirror image. How about that? We just solved two challenges in one.

Good Luck!

Angela, I want to break up with my boyfriend and keep our dog. I'm literally staying with him right now because I'm worried he'll fight me for our puppy. HELP! --In the Dog House

Dog House, since you didn’t elaborate on the circumstances surrounding your purchase of man’s best friend, here are several scenarios and the action plan for each:

You bought the dog. In this situation, you and your dog get to leave with as you please.  However, don’t be a jerk. Grant him visiting rights and the occasional sleep over. (With the dog, not you.)

He bought the dog. I’m sorry but it’s man’s best friend and you have to depart without him.  Try to keep it friendly so he’ll let you see Fido.

One of you bought the dog as a gift to the other. The gifter has to relinquish parental rights to the giftee.

The pup was a couples purchase. This is the trickiest situation of all. If you both can be mature about it, you have to look at who has the better living/work arrangement for the dog. If you can’t agree on which arrangement will be better for the pup, then an alternate idea is to suggest that you take turns, with each of you getting a week visitation at a time. Inevitably, because of circumstance changes or a new partner, one of you will voluntarily turn over the dog to the other. When this happens, be gracious about it and agree the party giving up the pup has first right of refusal when you need a dog sitter.

If you can document your arrangement in a written agreement, do so. Tempers can flare and there’s a chance your poor pup will be put in the middle. This won’t be an official binding agreement, but at least you can refer to the terms you both accepted if he ever holds Fido hostage.

Do you have a question for Angela? E-mail NakedTruth@bocamag.com!

About Angela Lutin:

Angela Lutin is Essentially Angela. Blogger, Advice Columnist and Dating Guru for the social media age—decoding modern love one tweet, text, and like at a time. Angela’s weekly dating advice column, The Naked Truth, appears exclusively in Boca Raton magazine. Her work appears regularly on the Huffington Post. She can been seen on MTV’s "Made" and Bravo’s hit show, "Millionaire Matchmaker." Crafting personal dating makeovers for her clients, Angela also maintains a private practice, which turns the romantically challenged into the relationship-inclined. Follow Angela on Facebook, facebook.com/EssentiallyAngela or Twitter, @essentiallyang.