Dear Rachel,

My boyfriend wants to have sex in public! The other night he suggested having sex in the alley next to the busy walkway of our favorite Italian restaurant. I consider myself fairly adventurous, but I’ve already pushed myself beyond my sexual comfort zone for him and now he wants more. He’s putting pressure on me to have sex in public, and I’m worried that if I don’t give in he’ll leave me for a less inhibited woman. Whether it’s my fear making itself known or plain old common sense, a little voice inside my head screams, “Don’t do it!” Should I disregard the little voice in my head and give in to my boyfriend’s public fantasy?

Signed, Peer-Pressured

Dear Peer-Pressured,

That “little voice” that you speak of is your intuition — and may I say that you’re intuition is right on target. I don’t recommend succumbing to peer pressure in adolescence, and even less so in adulthood. As an adult, you’re supposed to be more sensible and self-confident than a teenager, and giving in to a man’s fantasies against your better judgment is a mistake at any age. If you want to maintain your boyfriend’s respect, don’t sacrifice your mental/physical well being for him. Men often look to women to set the moral compass in a relationship. Instead of compromising your principles for your boyfriend, set healthy boundaries and give him the opportunity to raise his ideals to meet yours. Men are notorious for testing women’s morals, without even realizing they’re doing it at the time. Subconsciously they think, “Is this woman marriage material or not?” Most men won’t respect you if you lower your morals for them, and you’ll likely lose your self-respect if you disregard your conscience.

Consider this: If you have sex with your boyfriend in public, you may have to have public sex more than once, or he may want to do something even more outrageous the next time. Or, he may lose respect for you and break up with you for going through with his fantasy, or you may resent him for coercing you into it and break up with him. You’re contemplating unpleasant behavior to keep your boyfriend, yet the behavior in question actually increases the odds of the two of you breaking up. Why not skip the whole ordeal, maintain your dignity, and avoid a humiliating trip to jail for indecent exposure.

Some women think that they’ll gain a man’s love by catering to his every whim, when in reality, you’re more likely to gain his love and respect by sticking to your values. Although relationships require compromise, those compromises should never be counter-intuitive. Follow your intuition and the right guy will admire you for it.

Dear Rachel,

I want a boyfriend, but not just for the sake of having a boyfriend. I want the right guy. I’m willing to wait for him because I know that I don’t enjoy filler dates that feel like job interviews. I’m holding out for a deep, permanent connection and I’ll settle for nothing in the meantime. One of my greatest fears is getting stuck in a relationship with a so-so guy, then meeting the right guy and having to break up with Mr. So-So. Sometimes I feel impatient and tempted to go on random dates, but then I remember that filler doesn’t work for me. My question is this: What’s a single, no-filler girl like me to do until the right man comes along? And where is he?

Signed, No-Filler Girl

Dear No-Filler Girl,

It’s said that self-knowledge is the true sign of wisdom. You say that you know you’re not a “filler girl” when it comes to dating and you’ve made a conscious choice to be a selective dater. It’s up to each individual to choose the dating approach that suits him or her best. I can tell you’ve given your situation a lot of thought and you’re generally content with your decision. As for your occasional impatience, frustration and loneliness, I can only tell you that these feelings are common among single people, whether they date frequently or not. The path you’ve chosen, however, may be slightly harder than average because you don’t have the distraction of going on dates until the right guy comes along.

Speaking of “the right guy,” I can’t tell you when he’ll come, I can only advise you to stay open-minded enough to recognize him when he arrives, since Prince Charming may not be immediately recognizable. Many fulfilling relationships start with just a small spark of interest that builds into a steady blaze of compatibility, so don’t dismiss all contenders too quickly.

There are plenty of selective daters, like you, who have found the right person after long, dating dry spells. Honor your non-filler feelings, while finding ways to interact in a variety of social situations so that you may meet Mr. Charming more promptly.

Rachel Iverson is a freelance writer, dating coach and author, who lives with her husband in Venice Beach. Her book, “Don’t Help A Man Be A Man: How To Avoid 12 Dating Time Bombs,” has been endorsed by Dr. John Gray, author of “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus.” For more information on Rachel or her book, visit: www.rebelgirlpublishing.com. For dating advice, contact: rachel@rebelgirlpublishing.com.