Ask Agony Uncle Eli

Rainbow Counsellor Elijah Michel is here to help you. Today Eli examines jumping into a relationship head first and trying to stay focused while working from home.

I have been bitten by the love bug but am about getting swept up in my new romance too quickly. I am in my forties and met the most wonderful woman at a recent Pride celebration. She has made me feel 25 again. We live on different islands, but since our first meeting have been messaging every day. After being single for fifteen years and dating girls who I wasn’t that into or weren’t that into me, I think I’ve lost sight of what real love was, and feel I’ve found it again. How do I make sure we move at a rational pace and not use the L-word too quickly?

Well done for questioning the time it takes to love someone truly and deeply. Getting to know someone means spending time with them, whether online (ideally video-messaging as 97% of human communication is via body language and vocal intonation) or in person, and learning how they respond to stress and life’s adversities. Experiencing someone when they are frustrated or angry and not just on their best date behaviour can give you an idea of their temperament moving forward. Similarities in values is vital! So find out what they prioritise in life, their ethics and goals, to see if they align with your own. Are you both open to a long-distance relationship? Are either of you prepared to relocate if things look positive in future? Enjoy the feeling of youthfulness and the love bug bites, but remain mindful you are in the early stages and wary of giving your heart away too soon.

Following Lockdown, my job requested everyone to remain working from home. I am grateful to still have work, but I have felt my motivation depleting. I live alone. My alarm goes off, I hit snooze and go back to sleep. Conversely, I go to bed later and my efficiency has hit rock bottom. The only time I really get things done is when something is due urgently and I end up working all night. The rest of the time I am easily distracted and masturbate a lot. How can I improve this?

You’re doing the right thing and you’re not alone in finding the self-isolating a culture shock. Humans are social creatures so it’s important to stay connected. One idea is to keep each other accountable around work habits, including getting up to your alarm. Set up a work-only area, and plan your day as you would at work – assign solid work hours, breaks for lunch, morning and afternoon teas (and if that includes self-pleasure then go for it) and an official end-of-day when you can sit back and relax. While working to a deadline can motivate us, too much too often will eventually deplete adrenal glands. Eat well, exercise, and stay off social media during work hours. You’ve got this!