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The Public Affairs Forum Takes on Intimacies

I was invited to speak this Sunday at the Public Affairs Forum at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin   – 4700 Grover Avenue  Austin, TX 78756, (512) 452-6168. Forums start at 11:30 and last for one hour.

I expect to have fun and hope you will join me.

Here’s the program announcement:

Karen Kreps is Austin’s own version of Carrie Bradshaw, Ann Landers and Dr. Ruth. She is the author of Intimacies: Secrets of Love, Sex & Romance. She’ll share recollections and anecdotes from her seven years writing candid explorations of personal relationships, which appeared in a popular column published by The Good Life magazine (until the publication folded last year), and hosting public discussions about lovers and lust at BookPeople. She will address people’s Number One questions about relationships and encouraging audience questions and comments. No charge, just bring an open mind and a sense of humor.

June 13, 2010
11:30 am to 12:30 pm
4700 Grover Avenue
Austin, TX

Submit your Number One question and learn more about her book at

Karen has a Master of Arts Degree in Cinema Studies from New York University and works as an independent producer of creative web content, blogging about technology and social media at

Twitter: For those who would like to Tweet about this event, the hash tag is #intimacies

The talk  will be broadcast on ChannelAustin, channel 10.  (Public Access TV), The times are TBA. I expect to get a copy of the recording and will post it on the web for remote viewing.


Why can’t we just be friends?–Q&A Intimacies


If you know that the person you’ve been dating for a year doesn’t want a serious relationship with you, but you still like her or him, does it make sense to keep her or him as a friend? — JP


Breaking up is hard to do, especially after a whole year. But if you would prefer that your relationship with that particular person be serious–get the hell out of Dodge. It’s better to break it off right away, feel the sting of separation and recover your perspective–so you can find a new relationship with someone who can relate to you seriously.  You aren’t going to change your friend’s feelings and you may only delude yourself into thinking you can, postponing or prolonging the eventual disappoint.

Some people, especially men, I think, will propose, ‘Can’t we can still be friends?’ as a way to soften the blow of an ended. It’s just the polite thing to say. Usually, after a couple agrees to split up yet remain friends, in time, priorities shift and they choose not to spend as much time with each other, they aren’t as open as before and the calls stop coming.

If, on the other hand, the lack of romantic interest is pretty mutual—if neither of you want to have a serious relationship with each other and won’t be subject to fits of jealousy or unrequited longing, you need not cut off a working friendship just because you aren’t ever going to exchange wedding vows with each other. If neither of you want more from each other than each is willing to offer, if you both agree that the match isn’t serious,  you need not lose all the stability and familiarity you’ve developed together.

A key consideration is what you mean by “keep her or him as a friend.” Usually, that means eliminating the romantic or sexual component of a relationship, if it ever existed. A  relationship can shift from sexual to platonic only if there is no longer a sexual attraction between you, mutual or one-sided. And an absence of mutual attraction would validate the choice to not get serious about the relationship.

A less-common option is to remain a sexual friend. You may find a sexually compatibility with someone, but not have enough going  on in the other departments that you can share. Some people maintain “Friends With Benefits” as a fall back and insurance against lonely nights. But to have a sexual relationship that doesn’t restrict either party from seeking new partners, an open, polyamorous relationship, is not for the faint of heart. In order to succeed and still be real friends,  you each must truly be able to see the other one get into a new relationship, you must watch your ex fall in love and you must not be jealous. If you could truly dance for joy at the marriage  of your friend (to someone else), by all means maintain that friendship. But, as a real friend, you will respect the need for space and no contact, for at least half a year, if It is requested.

Be careful that you don’t use your loyalty to your friend as an excuse for not getting out, meeting new people and starting to foster fresh relationships. After a year spent dating someone, the relationship has made you a bigger person. You no longer need to feed on that former relationship to support or validate who you are. You bring yourself and all that that you’ve learned to this point to the nourish the relationships that will manifest through the years that remain stretched  ahead of you.

Enjoy the Intimacies.


Attracting Love with the Law of Attraction, Oct 16 at BookPeople

The “Intimacies” Discussion Group
Attracting Love
Join The Good Life columnist Karen Kreps and special guest, Frank Butterfield, for a conversation about how to attract your perfect mate and create the union you want together. Frank is a channel and intuitive who coaches clients and groups on harnessing the power of the Law of Attraction.

Meet THURSDAY (not our normal night), October 16, 2008, 7 pm-8:30 pm on the third floor of BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar.  Audience members will be encouraged to share their personal experiences.  No charge, just   bring your sense of humor and an open mind.

To join the email announcement list for this group, send email to

This event is co-sponsored by The Good Life magazine and BookPeople.  For more information, see

What Risks Do You Take in Love?

In anticipation of the Sept 17th event at BookPeople, please send me questions for Annette del Canto, LMSW and Kelly Ann Burnett. The two therapists will be talking with the “Intimacies” Discussion Group about risks we take in romantic love.

Please share with us what you feel are some of the risks you encounter in your relationships. Are they things you avoid or are you drawn toward the risky behavior? Do many of the risks you face involve communicating some truth about yourself (such as how you feel about your partner or yourself, positive or negative)? What’s happened when you’ve taken a risk? Did you live to regret it, or was it a freeing experience?

The “Intimacies” Discussion Group–In the Mood for Love?

Join The Good Life columnist Karen Kreps and special guest, Neil Stegall, LCSW, for a conversation about how to keep moodiness from mucking up your love life. Learn how to deal with the emotional fluctuations that affect all relationships. Neil practices psychotherapy to help individuals and couples find practical solutions to improve communication and relationships.

Meet Wednesday, May 21, 2008, 7 pm-8:30 pm on the third floor of BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar. Audience members will be encouraged to share their personal experiences. No charge, just bring your sense of humor and an open mind.

To join the email announcement list of this group, send email to
This event is co-sponsored by The Good Life magazine and BookPeople.

Romance during the holidays

How you experience life during this time of year is, as always, a matter of personal choosing. What emotion do you want to feel for the holidays? The answer is one you may
make up.

To learn how to manage your inlaws as well as your libido during the coming weeks, read the column I’ve written for the December issue of The Good Life magazine. Just click on Intimacies to open the column titled, “Trade in holiday heartburn for heartfelt happiness”

Are the holidays a time you look forward to or fret over? Please reply to this post to share how you feel about the holiday season. What affect does it has on your social outlook? How do you manage your time and energy? Is it a romantic time for you or is it especially challenging to feel connected during this time?