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Ask Joe: Advice on Closing Doors and Opening Avenues

By Joe Weston

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 Your identity will be kept anonymous, but do note that questions may be edited for length and clarity.

Hi Joe,
Please help me get out of this obsession I have over this straight guy. We have had sexual encounters and I feel strongly for him, whereas he couldn't care less. I keep thinking of him when I am at work, and I am upset that he is also seeing girls. I love him and he knows that, and he used me to his advantage; we are very intimate.

Your guidance to get over this obsession is urgently required!

—One-Way Street

Hello One-Way,
I’m glad you reached out and asked for guidance. I’ll tell you what my Tibetan Buddhist teacher said to a group of us when we were talking about the disadvantages of grasping and attachment. He said that the only way to let something go is to let it go! So, borrowing advice from my teacher—stop it! You must treat this like a substance addiction. You know it’s not good for you, you know it will never give you the satisfaction and happiness that you hope it will, and yet, despite all rational thought, you are still trying to get a fix. Do whatever you have to do to break the habit. Go to therapy. Try Sex Addicts Anonymous groups.

You said it yourself. He is using you. Who doesn’t want to have a fan, or someone adoring them? He is in total control. That is a turn-on for many. He will not do anything to let that go.

You could start with sitting down with him and telling him what you need from him in terms of a relationship with no compromises. If he is not willing to love you the way you want, say goodbye. Maybe after a long, long while you could just be friends. But right now, if he’s not going to give you what you want, you need distance to work on yourself, and “dry out.”

And don’t do this alone! You need loving support from others. Nobody goes through recovery on their own.

Get sober and stay sober,

Hi Joe,
I have been dating my boyfriend for almost three and a half years now. We have had our ups and downs, however currently we are facing some future uncertainty together. We both agree that we love each other, though neither of us can concisely articulate exactly what we like about each other (when we discuss it, we agree that it is a mixture of personality, sex appeal, intelligence and education level). I have specific goals for myself including having a family with my future husband, owning my own home and running my own business. He doesn't know what he wants to do but  has said he doesn't know if wants to get married or have kids. Recently he has suggested we be in an open relationship. He also expressed interest in recreational in more hardcore drug use like LSD and cocaine.

Both of these ideas I have adamantly opposed by threatening to end the relationship. I love him, but I feel maybe our difference in goals and ideas about monogamy and drug use are dividing us further. If these things are important to him, should I be more open to letting him experiment? I have a pretty strong value set against these things for myself, is it selfish of me to forbid such actions for him as well? I find myself apologizing for things I don't think I need to be sorry for and I am not sure where to go from here.

—Finding my Limits,

Dear Limits,
Sounds like you have some things to sort out. Sometimes it is good to let things be the way they are and not overanalyze them or try to label things. It sounds like things are going well at the moment. Maybe you should just enjoy what you have now and see how things develop. I have seen with many relationships that the need to figure it out actually kills a good thing. You can look at a beautiful rose bush in full bloom and enjoy it without having to know exactly what the class of rose it is and when it was planted and how often it needs to be watered. Right? Enjoy.

And don’t forget that the reason for being in relationship is to be challenged to grow and be your best. Relationships and intimacy are hard because they demand that we grow, transform and even slightly shift ours views. Clearly, you are asking your partner to consider certain values that are important to you and maybe not to him. He is doing the same. That is healthy. If you can get past the judgment you are having about the things he wants to explore, you may see that what he is offering you is an opportunity to experience bliss, freedom and creative expression in a way that you never have. What you have to offer him is the beauty and power of security and safety. Both kinds of values are important and nurturing for human beings. One is not “better” than the other. Both can be very beneficial and both can also be destructive.

I am not suggesting you go and do something that goes against your code of ethics or might be potentially dangerous. You need to use common sense and wisdom. But I am saying that you both have an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and explore more of who you are with someone who loves you. I think if you both get a chance to experience the desires and values of the other, you will find it easier to come up with a solution to what seems like completely opposite standpoints. You will be amazed at how simple it can be to create an ideal life for the two of you if you are truly willing to listen to and understand the needs of the other. And you will grow from the experience.

Take your time,

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 supporting them 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 a variety of spiritual traditions—plus his experience in theater and various organizational trainings. He is currently writing a book entitled “Respectful Confrontation: the Path to Compassionate Engagement, True Power and Personal Freedom.” He also volunteers for the Liberation Prison Project, teaching Buddhism to inmates. To find out more about his workshops and his personal coaching, visit

Joe leads lectures and workshops in Respectful Confrontation around the world. He regularly holds Respectful Confrontation Workshops in Oakland, Ca. and an erotic massage workshop for men in Vancouver for Body Electric on November 27 - 28. For more info, click here