My boyfriend and I recently started having sex and we’re having a little “problem” in the bedroom.  I like to get frisky sex with the lights on or at a low glow (um candles, anyone?) but my boyfriend manages to flick the lights off every time.  No candles. No lights.  Just darkness.  Feeling your way through the dark is fun at first, but I like to see what’s going on.  That’s what makes me feel sexy.  The lights certainly don’t need to be on all the time, but I have a feeling this is more about his insecurities than the brightness.  Isn’t this problem usually reversed? How do I (gently) address this? -- Aimee

Men are visual, Aimee, so it is surprising your guy wants a complete blackout. This type of request is almost always associated with body image. We’ve all been there, right?  I’ve certainly asked my guy to lower the lighting when I’m not feeling confident. Ironically, women focus on our flaws while men are completely focused on anything but…

In your case, the roles are reversed. Make him feel like the sexiest man alive. That process starts before you get to the bedroom. 

Tell him how great he smells, you love the way his skin feels, run your hands through his hair.  Give him his confidence back. And then when it’s time for bed, light a single candle (baby steps), have him sit on the bed fully clothed, and stand before him and slowly undress.  This is about him seeing you naked.  If the sight of you doesn’t make him rip his clothes off and immediately curb the insecurities he’s feeling about his body, then you may have a bigger issue.  And that will require a serious conversation if you are going have the type of sex life you want.  Remember, lots of praise and compliments are needed to make him feel sexy.

Angela, I recently went on an interesting first date with a friend-of-a-friend. Everything went well and I was surprised at how much fun I had, but I was taken aback when my date coolly leaned over during dinner and asked how I felt about marriage and if I wanted to have children.  Talk about a loaded question! He was definitely sincere and even now I can’t tell how he felt on either issue.  For the record, I’m 27 and caught up in an exciting career.  Marriage and babies are not on my radar, but it got me thinking, how early do these topics need to be addressed? -- Rikki

Rikki,I agree that giving up your thoughts on marriage and family within the first few hours of meeting someone is a bit invasive. 

However, we live in a time of an instant gratification. You can Google a potential date and find out everything from his mortgage payment to whether you have mutual friends.  Every dating site asks the question, “Want children?”  Information such as astrological sign, likes and dislikes on hair color, ethnicity, and music taste are standard before even viewing the first picture. We are a society of information overload.  So, it’s not surprising or even out of the ordinary that this man wants to know your feelings on the most important dating question of them all upfront.

What troubles me though is that you don’t know his stance.  After asking you such a personal question, it is dating etiquette to reveal the same.  I’m always cognizant of “Information pumpers.”  These people want to know everything about you but never want to reveal anything personal. Very manipulative, they tend to file away your weaknesses to use against you later.
It sounds as if you’ve told him that for now, career and experiencing life are the current priorities. It is appropriate to ask him the direct question as well.  If he wants someone that is ready to settle down and push a Bugaboo baby stroller in 2013, you are not the right woman for him.  Better to know that now.

My last relationship, a serious three-year romance, ended abruptly and painfully last April.  It took me almost a full year to recover emotionally.  I wasn’t at home in bed crying everyday, but I did eat a lot of ice cream. I just had no interest in starting something new, with someone new.  Angela, how do you comfort yourself when your heart falls apart? -- Anonymous

Vodka. Lots of it.  (Just kidding…sort of.) I think that everyone grieves the loss of anything, including a love, in his or her own way and timeframe.  Most of my life, I have been the one breaking someone else’s heart.  But when my 12-year relationship ended, I needed time to heal too.  I’ve taken time off from dating, just as you did, because I know best when I need to do some mental house cleaning.  When my insides are ransacked, I can’t possibly be in a position to be a partner to anyone.

How do I do it? How do I comfort myself?  I am the ever optimist.  I know that as devastating as something may seem today, it is minuscule in the big picture. Any relationship, even the one that ends badly, brings some type of lesson or value to your life.  I focus on the take away.

But, that doesn’t mean I haven’t had times where I fell apart.  Even a tough one like me has moments of weakness.  And that’s when a best friend is more valuable than a bottle of Grey Goose. I’ll never forget the day I was dealing with a slight heart stomping (It wasn’t full blown heartbreak but I did cry) and my friend wouldn’t let me be alone.  She drug me to Costco, to the mall, back to her house…anything to keep me occupied while I was dealing with my temporary insanity.  And you know what? It worked. After 48 hours, I forgot what he even looked like.

So there you go. Heartbreak: Cured by vodka, a positive outlook, and of course, having the best friends a girl could ever ask for.

Have a question for our dating guru? Share your dating woes with Angela at kevin@bocamag.com.

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.