5 Things Not To Do On Tinder If You Want To Get More Matches & Have Better Conversations

There’s no doubt that there are plenty of people on Tinder swiping all the time. In fact, 26 million Tinder matches are made every day. If you are looking for something to transition from online to IRL, there are plenty of ways to optimize your chances of those matches happening for you, too. And there are definitely things not to do on Tinder to make sure you’re getting the matches, conversations, and IRL dates that you want.

I myself have made plenty of Tinder “mistakes” before. For one, I don’t like having push notifications on too many apps, so sometimes days pass before I remember to check dating apps for messages or new matches. Sometimes that earns sassy messages from other people about my drawn-out response time. Fair enough, I guess, but sometimes this is a good way to weed out nagging people, as well. The same can be said for the following: these are all suggestions on increasing your matches, having better conversations, and advice to lead to real-life dates. But, as always, go with what feels right for you. Here are some of the things you shouldn’t do on Tinder, based on statistics from a representative at the dating app.

Have only one or two profile photos.

A whopping 81 percent of Tinder users have a minimum of four photos in their profile, so if you have fewer than that, you may want to add another picture or two. Users may be used to swiping through a good amount of pictures to get a feel for someone before they swipe, so you want to ensure you’re giving that person a fuller … picture of who you are.

Wait too long to meet in person.

That initial excitement from matching with someone and having a playful banter can really settle down quickly if you don’t meet IRL soon. There’s only one way to find out if that chemistry exists in person and that’s by meeting up. An overwhelming 95 percent of Tinder users who do meet up with their matches do it before a week has passed after matching.

Post photos of you looking sad or expressionless.

Just by posting photos of you smiling in your profile, you up your chances of being right-swiped by 14 percent. More matches equals more potential opportunities of finding someone you actually like. So yes, show off those pearly whites, y’all.

Hide your face.

You’re not being mysterious or intriguing — you’re just earning yourself fewer swipes. Even if you want to show off your back in a pic or two (whoops, guilty of this), have the majority of your pictures show your face. You are 20 percent more likely to get a match when the other person can see your face in all photos.

Send a generic first message.

You know when someone sends you a “Hey” on a dating app that they’ve put absolutely no thought into what to say to you, and could just be sending off a bunch of messages to maximize their chances in receiving a response. Showing you’ve actually read that person’s profile from your initial message proves that you’re interested in them beyond simply getting an answer back. Itcan definitely improve your chances of developing an actual bond down the line. Plus, the numbers speak for themselves: Around17 percent of men and 25 percent of women want an opening line from someone that shows you’ve actually observed who they are as a person.

So give it a try – spruce up that profile, express interest, and have compelling photos. Should do the trick.

 

 

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Center City Sips 2020 Season Canceled Due to COVID-19 Pandemic – 6abc Philadelphia

Like anybody even gives a shit about this drunken waste of time anymore… – Every Bartender and Server in the City

The popular happy hour in Center City known as SIPS will not be returning this summer.
— Read on 6abc.com/community-events/center-city-sips-cancels-2020-season/6159463/

 

 

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7 Reasons Some People Actually Feel Better and Happier During the Pandemic

As most folks struggle and stress to get through this messy mishmash we call “pandemic,” there is a certain group of people who are living a whole different sort of life.

These folks are actually doing the opposite of struggling and stressing. There is, in fact, something about the current situation that makes them feel better in some deep and important way.

Some feel more grounded, some feel more focused, and some more valid than they always have. Some feel less alone, less lost, or less insecure than they have throughout their adult lives.

I know what you may be thinking: How could this be? Are these people selfish or self-centered or taking delight in other people’s struggle and worry and pain?

Absolutely, positively not.

In fact, most of the folks who are feeling better right now are genuinely caring people who, if anything, tend to over-focus on other people’s needs at the expense of their own.

Let’s take a look at the variables that explain all this.

7 Reasons Some People Feel Better and Happier During the Epidemic

  1. Folks with Chronic FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) — These are the people who walk through their lives feeling like they are somehow on the outside of things. They look around and see other people laughing and enjoying life. To these folks, it always seems that other people are living more exciting and happy lives. So finally, now, with almost the entire population trapped at home, it’s easier to relax in the knowledge that they aren’t missing anything.
  2. Those Who Have Always Felt Alone in the World — If, as a child, you did not receive enough emotional support from your parents, you are likely to go through your adult life feeling somewhat alone in the world. Perhaps you have felt alone for so long that it has become comfortably uncomfortable. Perhaps, in this global crisis, you really are alone. Perhaps you are able to tolerate being alone far better than others. Perhaps, finally, your real life on the outside mirrors what you’ve always felt on the inside and it is, on some level, validating.
  3. People Whose Specific Childhood Challenges Prepared Them — If your childhood was unpredictable, was filled with uncertainty, or required you to make decisions you weren’t prepared for or act beyond your years, then perhaps your childhood prepared you for this very moment. When you grow up this way you develop some special skills out of necessity. You learn how to hyper-focus in ambiguous situations and how to act decisively and trust yourself. Since you have a solid foundation of the exact skills needed for the pandemic, you may be feeling more focused and confident right now than you have in years.
  4. People Who Feel Numb Unless Something Extreme is Happening — If you wouldn’t describe yourself as an emotional person, or if you find yourself feeling nothing when you know you should be feeling something, you may find yourself having some real emotions as this COVID-19 pandemic unfolds. Scores of people need a novel or extreme situation to feel something. Some engage in dangerous, unpredictable, or thrill-seeking activities in order to feel. Today, the danger, unpredictability, and thrills have come to them. Finally, they are having feelings, and any feelings, even negative ones, are better than numbness.
  5. Extreme Introverts — If you’re a severe homebody who gets tired of being required to go out into the world and mix with people more than is comfortable for you, this may be your respite. Finally, instead of having to adjust to everyone else, everyone else is adjusting to you. There’s a new normal afoot, and it is you! What a nice feeling, at last.
  6. Those Already Struggling With Significant Life Challenges Before the Pandemic — Some people were already dealing with some major life crises or challenges before this epidemic hit. For them, this situation may feel like somewhat of a relief. Suddenly, with the world shut down, it’s not possible to struggle or solve. As a result, this situation may offer you a bit of a rest. And you’re also seeing everyone else struggling, which may feel comforting in a certain way. It’s not that you want other people to have problems; it just feels soothing that you are no longer alone. Everyone else is having problems too.
  7. Anxious Worriers Who Have Spent Years Anticipating Disaster — Anxiety can drive people to have a grave fear of being blindsided by an unexpected, painful experience. So some people constantly anticipate what might go wrong as a way to prevent themselves from any sudden, negative shock. Now, here we are. That long-anticipated, long-prepared-for event has happened. These folks are feeling relieved that what they’ve been vigilantly watching out for their entire lives is finally here. Instead of feeling shocked, they feel relieved.

What This All Means

If any single one of the above applies to you, even in some small way, it’s possible that you may have some feelings of guilt about it. You may be concerned that it’s wrong to feel better at a time like this.

I want to assure you that it is not! Since we cannot choose our feelings, you should never judge yourself for having a feeling. But it is your responsibility to use your emotions in a healthy way. More about that in a moment. But first…

If any of the first four apply to you, if you are prone to FOMO, a feeling of aloneness, were prepared for this pandemic by your childhood, or live with a numb or empty feeling, you may want to consider the possibility that you grew up with some amount of Childhood Emotional Neglect or CEN. CEN can be quite difficult to see or remember, yet it leaves you with these very specific burdens to carry through your adult life. And one very good thing about CEN is that once you know about it, you can heal it!

Now, about how you can use your preparedness and your positive feelings in a good way right now. You likely have more time, and you may be feeling some relief. This is your opportunity to work on understanding yourself better, owning your childhood challenges — which perhaps also made you stronger — and accepting your feelings instead of judging yourself for having them.

It’s a tough time and, in ways we never imagined, we are all in this together. But, in another way, we are also each in it alone. What a marvelous twist it can be if you use this terrible time to heal yourself.

 

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9 People Share Their Wildest Zoom Dates

Shelter-in-place doesn’t have to mean celibacy-in-place. Though you can’t literally meet up for drinks, it’s totally possible to turn up the heat with someone, all from the comfort of your own quarantine. While some may stick to a FaceTime Frappuccino (the internet version of, “Wanna get coffee?”), hanging out over video chat can enable your camera and your imagination. From naked crafting to green screen-backed dinners, the wildest Zoom dates truly know no limits.

As coronavirus continues to spread, more and more people are staying in their homes. While self-distancing may change the structure of a traditional first date, it certainly isn’t stopping people from finding love (or, you know, someone hot to hook up with.) According to a recent report from OKCupid, 93% of global respondents are still digitally dating right now, with video chatting, playing video games, and joint-watching movies or TV shows as some of the most popular long-distance date activities. While Animal Crossing and Netflix Party can surely provide a virtual space for a fun and flirty e-hang, there’s no shortage of ways to try to woo your internet boo.

Bustle asked nine people about their wildest Zoom dates to date, and what they said will make you red in the Face(Time).

1. Hit It & “Command + Option + Esc” It

The other night I had video chat sex with this total hottie I met through an online queer chat room. We edged, and dirty talked with each other for, like, 30 minutes, and when we both finished, we called in a night. Honestly, it was incredible to be able to focus on my own pleasure rather than attending to someone else’s or worrying about how they perceived me or if they were comfortable. Shout out to Zoom sex.

— Cooper, 26

2. Arts & (Naked) Crafting

We’re both artists, a little kinky, and we’ve been doing ‘naked crafting’ dates where we do our projects naked. I’ve been working on a painting, and he’s making friendship bracelets. If I can find a way to sanitize a canvas, I want to send him something.

— Julia, 25

3. Gin, Tonic, & Reaganomics

Toward the end of the date, he turned, and I could see that the only decorations in his room were a Shepard Fairey-style portrait of Reagan and a poster that literally said: ‘I Heart Capitalism.’

— Mallory, 24

4. Green(screen) In The Face

He kept using green screens and filters. At first, it was fun to pretend that we’re talking on the beach or in a restaurant, but then he started using a Memoji face sticker, and I spent 20 minutes talking to an animated mouse. It was like I was in a bad children’s movie.

— Sarah, 23

5. Group Hang

He was in his living room, and he didn’t have headphones in. His roommates were all around and watching a movie. I was initially a little offended, but his roommates were pretty funny. I ended up asking them what they were watching and watched it on my computer along with them.

— Rebecca, 30

6. A Work In Progress

At first, I thought he was shy, and video chatting can be a little distant, but then I realized he was completely consumed with other things on his computer and typing a lot. It looked like he was answering emails as I was trying to talk. I asked if there was a better time we could call, but he kept saying he was almost done and just needed five more minutes. I watched him work for about two minutes and then closed my computer.

— Heather, 26

7. Family Matters

The guy I’ve been seeing didn’t tell me that he had gone to quarantine at his parents’ house. When we video chatted the other night, and I was like, “Where are you?” and he was like, “My parents’ house! Mom, say hi!” and turned the camera so his mother could meet me. I was, thankfully, fully clothed, but you’d think he could have given me a warning or something!

— Alyssa, 25

8. Frozen In Time

His screen froze while we had cyber sexy time, but I was in too deep to stop, so I just finished on my own, but then I pretended I hadn’t already finished and was still ‘so close’ when his WiFi connection got better. And then just finished again.

— Mara, 24

9. In The Dog House

Their camera was pointed at their dog the entire date. I know they really love their dog, and, yes, it’s a really cute dog. But we’d been texting for a week, and I was excited to have a face to face conversation, even just over video chat.

— Dena, 28

 

If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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9 Signs You’re Drinking Too Much Alcohol During The Coronavirus Pandemic

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Americans have been panic-buying more than just toilet paper and eggs. U.S. alcohol sales spiked 55% in the week ending March 21, according to data from market research firm Nielsen. Online alcohol sales were up 243%.

Much of that can probably be attributed to stocking up on booze for several weeks’ worth of self-isolation. According to a survey by Alcohol.org, 1 in 5 respondents said they stockpiled alcohol for just that reason. However, many people are also drinking more in general: 1 in 3 respondents said they are likely to increase alcohol consumption in isolation.

While a few extra drinks to get you through the stress and boredom of being stuck at home might not be a big deal, it can become a slippery slope.

How much drinking is considered normal?

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, moderate alcohol consumption is defined as up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men. Keep in mind that these guidelines refer to the amount you drink on any single day ― it’s not meant to be an average of drinks consumed over several days.

However, these are just guidelines; what’s considered “normal” drinking is somewhat subjective and based on your own body and behaviors. “If you don’t have a problem with alcohol, an extra glass of wine here and there isn’t something to be worried about,” said Brian Wind, chief clinical officer at alcohol and drug treatment center JourneyPure. “People are bored, stuck in their homes and really stressed out. For some, kicking back with a drink is perfectly normal.”

It’s when your habits and thoughts surrounding alcohol begin to change for the worse that you should be concerned. Unhealthy alcohol use exists on a spectrum, which can range from alcohol misuse to abuse to dependency, according to Sari Eitches, an integrative internist who practices in Los Angeles.

“During the challenges of the looming threat of the pandemic, plus the stresses of lockdown, we are naturally turning to any coping skills we have available,” she said. “Many of us are shut off from our best coping mechanisms, including social interactions, yoga class, time with extended family and friends and even time in nature.”

That means some people turn to coping methods that are available at home, including alcohol. Maybe that includes you. If so, keep an eye out for these signs that you might be drinking too much.

1. You drink because you’re stressed.

In general, it’s considered problematic when alcohol intake increases during stressful situations, “even during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Amanda Brown, a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and an associate at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. “It means that we are using alcohol to cope with the negative emotions caused by stress.”

Brown explained that when you’re stressed, you experience new or uncontrolled emotions that you’re not used to dealing with and your emotional equilibrium falls off balance. To adapt to these changes, you turn to coping mechanisms that help regulate emotions.

“But not all coping mechanisms are adaptive,” she said. “Alcohol use, for example, is a maladaptive coping mechanism that can ultimately cause more harm for an individual.”

2. You drink because you’re bored.

The thought of spending another Saturday night at home in front of the TV might seem unbearable. That is, unless you also have a glass (OK, bottle) of wine at your side.

Similar to drinking due to stress, drinking to cope with boredom is a red flag, according to Andrew Mendonsa, a clinical psychologist with addiction treatment center Sprout Health Group. “When you say, ‘I’m bored at home, I’m going to turn to the bottle,’ that’s when you start to cross the line,” he said.

When you feel bored or restless, Mendonsa recommends going for a walk outside (as long as it’s safe to do so) or calling friends and family. If you feel like you can’t rely on these healthy coping methods alone and must drink, you likely have a problematic relationship with alcohol.

3. You drink on the job.

Transitioning to a fully remote job can be tough if you’re not used to working from home. It may be stressful learning new tools and communication methods. Plus, you might struggle with productivity. With no office to drive to and no boss looking over your shoulder, there may be more temptation to Irish up your morning coffee or crack open a beer at 3 p.m.

“If you’re working from home and have justified that it’s okay to drink while working, you are mistaken,” Wind said. “While working from home, you should conduct yourself just as you would being on the job. If you’re drinking to get through the workday, it’s a sign that you have a problem.”

4. You’re constantly worried about having enough alcohol.

Another way to know that you’re drinking too much during isolation is if you worry about having enough alcohol and find yourself making extra trips to the store or gas station just to buy it. “We should be minimizing trips that aren’t essential right now, so if getting alcohol feels like an essential to you and you’re going out often to stock up on it, you’re probably drinking too much,” Wind said.

5. Your responsibilities are falling to the wayside.

Balancing your job, your child’s education and relationships with family and friends is hard enough without a pandemic adding to the chaos. It’s understandable if you drop the ball on your obligations sometimes. However, Eitches said that if alcohol use interferes with your priorities and obligations in any realm of your life ― including work, social connections and self-care ― it’s a sign that there’s a problem.

6. You’ve been making poor decisions while drunk.

Many of us have let a secret slip or gone overboard online shopping after a few drinks. Hey, mistakes happen ― we’re not here to judge. But those alcohol-induced slip-ups should be few and far between. If you regularly make decisions when intoxicated that you wouldn’t make or would regret when you are sober, there’s a larger issue at hand, Eitches said.

7. You don’t feel good physically.

Hangovers are a reminder that overindulging on alcohol isn’t great for your body. So if you regularly wake up with headaches, sensitivity to light, dehydration and other hangover symptoms, it’s a sign you’re going overboard.

Eitches added that generally feeling crappy due to drinking, due to disrupted sleep and eating patterns or less motivation to exercise, are also warning signs.

8. You experience withdrawal symptoms.

When you drink often enough, your body becomes reliant on alcohol to function. Stopping alcohol intake when your body is dependent on it results in withdrawal symptoms, which range from mild to severe and can include shaky hands, anxiety, sweating, racing heartbeat, hallucinations and even seizures. You may begin to experience certain withdrawal symptoms within six hours of your last drink.

If mild hangovers have progressed to more serious signs of withdrawal when you stop drinking, it’s definitely time to reevaluate your relationship with alcohol.

9. You want to stop drinking but can’t.

Finally, if you recognize that drinking alcohol affects your life negatively but can’t seem to slow down, it’s time to get help. Fortunately, there are many resources available.

If you’re experiencing difficulty coping or having problems with drug or alcohol use, you should immediately call your doctor or the Substance Abuse and Mental Services Administration (SAMHSA) hotline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). They can refer you to local treatment facilities, support groups and community-based organizations.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism also has an online treatment navigator to help you find and evaluate the right type of care for you.

Remember that we’re all experiencing an unprecedented situation that is scary and challenging for many people. We all use different coping strategies, some healthier than others. If you become dependent on alcohol during this time, it’s not a reflection of your character, intelligence or strength. We all need help sometimes, so don’t be afraid to seek it out.

 

 

How To Trick Your Brain Into Releasing Chemicals That Make You Happy

Finding happiness is within your grasp.

There’s a link between the human brain and emotions, which you can take advantage of to learn how to be happy.

The limbic system is the part of the brain that controls our emotions, motivation, and behavior. The brain acts as a survival mechanism that produces chemicals that let our bodies know what’s good and bad for us, and that includes finding happiness.

Our brain is always on alert and tends to focus on negativity to protect us from harm. But, no one wants their brain to be on alert and focused on negativity all the time.

Did you know you can actually boost “feel-good” brain chemicals that can make you feel happy? You just need to learn how to tap into these four main chemicals: dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins (DOSE).

While daily events and situations trigger these neurotransmitters automatically, there are ways to encourage the brain to produce them — allowing us to create and repeat feelings of happiness.

Truly happy people know what makes them happier, which releases those chemicals. And when those chemicals are released, we become more motivated, productive, and experience greater well-being.

To start off on being happy, here are the 4 brain chemicals connected to your emotions that will boost your happiness.

1. Dopamine

Often referred to as the “happiness drug”, it’s responsible for motivating us to take action, make decisions, and feel pleasure when we reach our goals.

Dopamine is the brain’s way of patting us on the back for a job well done when we score a goal, get an ‘A’, or cross the finish line, for example. Experiencing procrastination, self-doubt, or lethargy? Low dopamine levels could be to blame. Time to manufacture a few wins for ‘team you’.

Here are ways to increase your dopamine levels:

  • Creating mini finish lines to cross instead of just a final, big one when a goal is achieved helps us feel good over a longer period of time.
  • Initiating acts of kindness towards others gives the brain a hit of dopamine.
  • Quit smoking. A recent study showed smokers had 15-20% lower capacity for producing dopamine than non-smokers – but it’s reversible if you stop smoking.

2. Oxytocin

Affectionately referred to as the “cuddle hormone”, it’s released through social interactions like giving (or receiving) gifts, making eye contact, giving or receiving affection (like a handshake, hug, or pat on the shoulder), giving birth, or having sexual intercourse.

Here are ways to increase your oxytocin levels:

  • Make eye contact during your conversations.
  • Get a massage.
  • Hug a friend, pet your pet, or share a more intimate moment with a loved one.
  • Meditation and prayer.

3. Serotonin

Are you in a good mood? You can thank serotonin. Serotonin is the brain’s antidepressant drug of choice. It surges when you feel like your life and your efforts matter.

Feeling ‘hangry’ (hungry and angry)? Since 80 percent of serotonin exists in the stomach skipping meals reduces serotonin, which can lead to grumpiness.

Here are ways to increase your serotonin levels:

  • Express gratitude.
  • Increase your exposure to sunlight. This produces Vitamin D, which, in turn, triggers serotonin.
  • Think happy thoughts. Serotonin doesn’t distinguish between reality and imagination so when the imagination or memory is active, it produces serotonin as if the event is real.
  • Exercise. Even low-key exercise stimulates serotonin so gardening, dog walking, or playing with your children counts.

4. Endorphins

If you’ve ever hit your thumb with a hammer, stubbed your toe, or experienced a “runner’s high”, then you know what endorphins feel like. They work like morphine to alleviate pain and stress.

Here are ways to increase your endorphin levels:

  • Eat chocolate. Chocolate contains phenethylamine which boosts endorphins.
  • Exercise releases endorphins. As little as 30 minutes can do the trick.
  • Find opportunities to laugh. Laughter has been shown to release endorphins.
  • Use aromatherapy. Certain aromas influence the production of endorphins – try diffusing vanilla, lavender, or peppermint into the air, your bath, or your next cup of tea or coffee.

When you design your daily experiences and habits around this knowledge, you can activate these chemicals, increase your productivity and, most importantly, proactively increase your happiness.

 

If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

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