Strip away the secrets

Joey enjoys gentle yoga.

I was really excited to come home from college and see my family for Christmas, but now I’m totally embarrassed. I went to a kickback with a bunch of old friends from high school, ran into my ex-boyfriend, drank too much and hooked up with him. It was fun, so I invited him to my parents’ house a few days later while they were out Christmas shopping. We had sex again, fell asleep, woke up, had food and went back to bed. At some point, my parents came home, and I think they heard us. My mom gave me weird looks the next day. My parents and I are close, but we never talk about anything really personal. I feel like I should admit what I did and apologize for sneaking someone into their home, but I know my mom will freak out. This is really bugging me. I would appreciate your insight.

For some people, the possibility of getting caught heightens sexual arousal. But that’s not your problem. You are struggling with letting your parents know who you are. Don’t blame yourself. You were raised that way. I know this because you claim that your family is close yet doesn’t talk about anything personal. If you are not sharing thoughts, feelings, hopes, dreams, expectations and experiences with each other, emotional intimacy doesn’t exist.

Yes, that means you are not close, honey. Don’t blame your parents. Instead, choose to be different. Be honest with your mom and dad about sneaking someone into their home and having sex. If your mom flips out, let her. She’s entitled to her opinion and to her feelings about your news. Tell the truth for your sake. Reveal your maturity by stripping away the secret. If your parents fail to treat you as an adult, respond as one anyway.

Let’s talk about sex. You got drunk and hooked up. Why? Being blitzed blots out worries, at least temporarily. If you’re stressed out and need to blow off steam, why not care enough about yourself to choose a positive release like exercise? No, sweating between the sheets doesn’t count. Recreational sex doesn’t have the power to recreate you and the refreshment is short-lived. Sex has a lot of strings attached, and for you, guilt is one of them.

One of my friends has invited me to spend nearly every significant holiday with him, including his birthday. I was by his side for everything last year, thinking that at some point, we would be together. I know he hates to be alone, so I came through for him. A female friend of mine got matched with him through an online dating site. She recognized him immediately and clued me in. He never told me that he was fishing for other women. I want to confront him but don’t want to lose him. Advice?

Befriend yourself. This man wants you to be his sidekick, not his significant other. Cherish what you have, but don’t expect anything more. Here’s how: Turn down the dial on your creative thinking. He is who he is, not who you want him to be. If you still yearn to partner with him, say so. This past year you have been trying to be good in the hope that he will gift you with himself. Don’t expect him to read your mind. Tell him what you want. Explain what you appreciate about him and what you like about being together. Tell him that you want a committed, exclusive relationship with him. If he stammers or balks, don’t grant him more time. After 12 months, trust that he has already considered, and opted against, sharing his life with you. You deserve someone who loves you completely.

Meditation of the Week

<p>“It’s not that some people have willpower and some don’t. It’s that some people are ready to change and others are not,” said psychiatrist James Gordon. Are you ready to embody the power of change?</p>