Welcome to "Ask Joe," our RealJock advice column, written by our regular contributor, Joe Weston. Joe is a life coach, workshop facilitator, lecturer and peace advocate with a deep commitment to the possibility of individual personal fulfillment. Looking for some clarity on tricky issues in your life? Share what's on your mind with Joe—concerning work, personal awareness, love and romance, meditation and spiritual exploration, or just about anything else that's getting between you and your life goals.
Write to Joe:
Reaching Joe couldn't be simpler: just email your question to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your identity will be kept anonymous, but do note that questions may be edited for length and clarity.
I am a member of a local gym in a suburb of Boston, MA. Several months ago I noticed a new member noticing me. Well, I noticed him staring at me immediately. As the weeks went by this continued then it escalated to him following me around the gym. I would notice that every time I moved to a different area for another machine he would just suddenly appear. So, I conducted a little experiment by moving around the gym. There he was, over and over again. One day I was in my workout routine and happened to walk by him. I looked over and he gave me the very intense "bedroom eyes" look. I was stunned. At this point I knew what was up, so to speak.
As if this wasn't enough, this man has a gorgeous girlfriend. He is very handsome—looks like he could be a former college/pro football player. This man is beautiful!! Two days ago we were walking toward each other in the gym and as we were about to pass one another he made an abrupt turn toward me, grazing my side. We were so close that he could have whispered in my ear. This was a very sexual moment which intimidated the hell out of me. And all of this while his girlfriend is in the gym! So after all of these months of ignoring him, I'm starting to get weak. I have imagined having sex with him and I know I can. I'm not a promiscuous man, and I know this guy is closeted, which means nothing good will come of this. Therefore, I'm weak and conflicted. Advice, please!
—Weak and conflicted
What a great story. Wow, you should be writing erotic short stories—I'm on the edge of my seat—what happens next? Seriously, though. What should you do? You should check in with your own values and ask yourself which scenario best fits with what feels right to you. It is clear which choice would be the hottest! But which choice aligns with what your viewpoints are on fidelity and relationships?
If it bothers you that he has a girlfriend and you don't want to disrespect what he has with her, then maybe you should just go home and be happy with writing out how it would go in your fantasies, and leave it at that.
Or, you could approach him and get to know him a bit first. Find out what his story is. Find out what kind of arrangement he has with his girlfriend. Maybe he is open with her. Maybe he just gets into the flirting and is not planning to follow through. The fact is, you don't really know what there is between them—and to take things further, you would need to find out.
But there is another solution as well. You could just be satisfied with the game you both are playing. It may never go any further then the light brushes as you pick up a set of weights. That would certainly help you look forward to getting to the gym for your workouts! And that might be enough. It sounds like you are a pretty attractive guy yourself. I'm sure you can connect with other guys who might not have such a complicated story to go with them. Be playful with this guy, but keep perspective on what goes along with engaging intimately with someone like your flirty workout stud.
I’m 21 years old, a student in law school. I always get good marks in my studies but I have another problem: I don’t have a close friend and, moreover, it is hard for me to form relationships. I feel I only bore people, or that I am useless and have a dull personality. I always ask myself what is wrong with me, but I cannot find the answer. I feel alone in the world, and afraid for my future. I have no confidence in myself, or even the world, at all. I really need your help and direction. Can you please help me?
—Hidden in My Books
I'm sorry to hear you are not connecting with others. I think it is great that you are doing well in school. Keep it up! Law school is not easy, and I know that you need to study a lot. But don't forget these could be fun times for you, too. And being in school makes it easier to connect with others—you have so many students your age around you, so many clubs and gatherings and meetings. So many ways to meet others that share similar interests.
I'm sure you are a sweet man, and probably very caring. You must be intelligent and have enough things to talk about with others. There is likely nothing wrong with you. The only thing wrong with you is that you think that there is something wrong with you! You say that you are boring, useless and don't have a good personality. Well, that may be what you think, but how about letting others get to know you first and let them decide what they think of you before you decide that for them without giving them a chance to connect?
I'm sure there are ways for you to get out and meet new people. Take small steps. You don't have to find someone to be your best friend or someone who you end up dating. Start with first finding out where people hang out who have interests similar to yours. Talk to fellow classmates before and after class. Push yourself to say hello to people you see repeatedly. Not all will become your friends—but then, it only takes one.
Where do the law students have lunch? Which libraries do they go to? Maybe you can get some information on services or opportunities that the school provides for students who are shy or don't feel they fit in or feel culturally or emotionally out of place. Do you have any hobbies? See if you can find a club that fits with the things you enjoy to do.
Once you start finding yourself around new people, see what would happen if you approached someone and started a conversation. No matter how confident you are or not, no matter how popular you are, sometimes the person you approach will want to talk to you and sometimes they won't. Be bold. Take a chance. You have nothing to lose.
About Joe Weston: Joe Weston is an international workshop facilitator and personal life coach. Born and educated in New York, Joe lived in Amsterdam for 17 years and now lives in California. He is committed to helping others embody spirituality and supports others on their journey towards personal fulfillment and empowerment. Joe brings a wealth of insight to his work based on many teachings, including Tai Chi Chuan and various spiritual traditions—plus his experience in theater and various organizational trainings. He also volunteers for the Liberation Prison Project, teaching Buddhism to inmates. To find out more about his workshops and his personal coaching, visit www.joeweston.com.
Joe will be offering a monthly class in Oakland, CA: Full Body Meditation, combining different physical disciplines as a preparation for a successful mediation. Check here for details. He also leads Respectful Confrontation Weekend Trainings in Oakland and offers a 25 dollar discount to RealJock readers. For more info, click here. Joe is also co-leading a retreat in Costa Rica called Sacred Elixir for Men: learning the healing power of yoga and intimate touch. For details, please go here.