What are your opinions on online/internet relationships?

I think they’re great. I’m a fan of any connection. The internet is a fantastic way to cross paths with somebody who, not so long ago, you’d never have known existed. It’s a brilliant example of the way that our human progress is bringing us opportunities.

At the risk of sounding like your dad, it’s also something to appreciate within context. Why do you think we have five senses? They are what helps us identify what’s real. You can’t smell an online profile. You can’t hold and kiss a jpg. You can’t hear a kik chat say your name and feel the love in their voice.

So, as with all things, recognise the value within the context it comes to you. And, if you’re brave enough – because it can be a big ask to make this step – try to introduce more offline into your online relationships over time. You might be restricted by distance, but what’s real can be powerful, and what’s powerful finds ways to bridge seemingly insurmountable hurdles.

And sometimes it can’t, and that’s OK too. It’s good to know.

So yeah – enjoy it for what it is, because what it is, is fantastic. But guard your heart always, don’t be afraid to test what you’re afraid may be too good to be true, and know that your worth comes from your own innate amazingness and isn’t dependent on ‘Joe, 22, from Chicago’ liking that picture you always hoped somebody would appreciate.

You’ve always been as pretty as you secretly hope.

Do you think sex is important in a relationship?

To put it clinically, sex is the physical expression of an attraction between two (or more) people. It’s the manifestation of a connection, whether that connection exists for one night, one year, one decade or a lifetime. When we focus on sexual activity as the defining characteristic of our relationship with others, we risk merging the way in which we express attraction with the object of our attraction themselves, which is to confuse two different elements. The primary in any relationship is the one you love, or desire to be with. The method by which you express that desire is important, but it’s also secondary.

Sex is one way to naturally express a desire towards another. There are many others: listening; giving of our time and resources; being committed; consistency; being sacrificial; being accepting; forgiveness; kindness; thoughtfulness; being communicative, and many more. In my opinion, sex has become almost a benchmark that must be hit in order for a relationship to reach the point of importance and value, but I reject that notion.

Many struggle with sex, for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes people struggle physically, to give or particularly to receive pleasure. Other times somebody’s negative self image can cripple them with questions about how anybody else can possibly find them attractive. Others still may wish to reserve sex until much later in a relationship and find that tough to deal with in an age where sexuality is quite open and promiscuity often actively encouraged.

I would say this: try to focus on the object of your affection. Few of us want to be with somebody just for sex and nothing else. Knowing that sex is a wonderful tool that you can both use and enjoy to express your desires, but that it is one tool among many, can help to stop sex from becoming a priority in itself, and that allows us to relax and enjoy each other for who we are.

One final word on this: nobody should feel fixated or pressured about sex, and nobody worth your time would ever make you feel bad for taking things at your own pace, when you’re good and ready. Sex is fun, it’s natural and it can be wonderful, but whether you indulge regularly, occasionally or not at all, it’s not there to be used as a criteria by which to judge your own worth or value. You’re just as sexy with or without it, so embrace that and be happy.

What type of person are you looking for in a relationship?

In my ideal relationship, there’d be a synergy; a coming together of energies that would combine in the most perfectly wonderful and compatible way. That’s to say, I’m not looking for somebody in order to tick a box, or for personal gain. I’m hoping to give as much as get, knowing that my partner will be of like mind, and that together we match through an implicit understanding, and a spilling over of self-interest. Me becomes we, and our affection manifests in a merger of identity, not via co-dependency, but through a deep and profound sense of love, and a spirit of giving, caring and protection.

Would you like specifics?

My love and I would leave each other treats, to be found through riddles in post-it notes placed randomly around our home. We’d wake to find the other’s fingers softly running through the other’s hair, waking them with a smile that says ‘I love you more today than I ever have’. When one of us needs space that’s totally cool – the other understands and respects our time alone, but they rarely leave our thoughts.

We’ll marathon through Orange Is The New Black, stopping only to order more pizza. We’ll pour over maps of the world and plan adventures or simply dream together of a life out of reach. We communicate through a squeeze of a hand or a kiss on the forehead, and we both know exactly what that means.

We’ll dance together, to our favourite music, turned up to maximum. We’ll drink, knowing no matter how much we embarrass ourselves, we’re loved. We’ll fuck for hours, and often, giving and receiving in ways in which we lose ourselves to orgasm after orgasm, whether it’s sweet and tender or rough and primal.

When life deals us blows, we’ll be there for each other unconditionally. When life deals us triumphs, we’ll revel in each other’s success. We’ll talk about cats, and babies; about raising a family together, and inside we’ll both hope for our unborn that they have a parent as amazing as this.

There’s no point at which things get so difficult we’re no longer prepared to sacrifice for each other; this is it for us – pure commitment. And if the time should come that our paths go in different directions, we’ll kiss through our tears and always be thankful for what we’ve meant to each other.

I’m a single man. I haven’t yet found my love, and I’ve not spent a great deal of time trying. But as I write these words, there’s a certain ache in my heart, and my bed looks empty. Who knows what the future might bring, for us all.