Love is like Cocaine: The Remarkable, Terrifying Neuroscience of Romance – Part 1

Yes, you really are addicted to love.

On popular websites, we read headlines such as “Scientists are finding that love really is a chemical addiction between people.” Love, of course, is not literally a chemical addiction. It’s a drive perhaps, or a feeling or an emotion, but not a chemical addiction or even a chemical state. Nonetheless, romantic love, no doubt, often has a distinct physiological, bodily, and chemical profile. When you fall in love, your body chemicals go haywire. The exciting, scary, almost paranormal and unpredictable elements of love stem, in part, from hyper-stimulation of the limbic brain’s fear center known as the amygdala. It’s a tiny, almond-shaped brain region in the temporal lobe on the side of your head. In terms of evolutionary history, this brain region is old. It developed millions of years before the neocortex, the part of the brain responsible for logical thought and reasoning.

While it has numerous biological functions, the prime role of the amagdala is to process negative emotional stimuli. Significant changes to normal amygdala activation are associated with serious psychological disorders. For example, human schizophrenics have significantly less activation in the amygdala and the memory system (the hippocampus), which is due to a substantial reduction in the size of these areas. People with depression, anxiety, and attachment insecurity, on the other hand, have significantly increased blood flow in the amygdala and memory system.

Neuroscientist Justin Feinstein and his colleagues (2010) studied a woman whose amygdala was destroyed after a rare brain condition. They exposed her to pictures of spiders and snakes, took her on a tour of the world’s scariest haunted house, and had her take notes about her emotional state when she heard a beep from a random beeper that had been attached to her. After three months of investigation, the researchers concluded that the woman could not experience fear. This is very good evidence for the idea that the amygdala is the main center for fear processing. (The chief competing hypothesis is that fear is processed in a brain region that receives its main information from the amygdala.)

Despite its tiny size, the amygdala is amazingly powerful. When its neurons fire intensely, this triggers a physical stress response in your body. Hans Selye, a Canadian endocrinologist, was the first to apply the word “stress” to physical and emotional strain. Before that, “stress” was just an engineering term. Selye, who did the bulk of his research in the 1930s, discovered that the stress hormone cortisol had detrimental health effects in rats.

Together with other adrenal gland hormones, such as epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine (noradrenaline), cortisol prepares the body for a “fight or flight” response. Stress hormones are secreted in situations of perceived danger. They can be aggressively rushing through the bloodstream, even when the danger isn’t real. For example, they run rampant in people with a fear of public speaking. They make your heart breakdance, your skeleton turn to gelatin, and your new Mickey Mouse voice make little squeaks the first time you stand in front of a hundred-person audience.

Falling in love then goes like this. Unpredictability, mystery, and sexual attraction make the amygdala go into a hyper-activation mode. Via neurotransmitters, this signals to the adrenal glands that something exciting, scary, mysterious, and unpredictable is going on. This, in turn, results in the adrenal glands pumping a surge of adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol into the bloodstream. Via the bloodstream, adrenaline increases heart and breathing rates; noradrenaline produces body heat, making you sweat; and cortisol provides extra energ y for muscles to use.

Though falling in love is associated with anxiety and stress, this state—in combination with the belief that there may be reciprocation—is also at times accompanied by intensely pleasant emotions. These emotions arise from an underlying brain chemistry that resembles those triggered by cocaine use.

Your Brain on Crack

Cocaine is a serotonin/norepinephrine/dopamine reuptake inhibitor, like the most frequently prescribed antidepressants. Serotonin reuptake inhibitors block the transporter that normally carries the “feel good” neurotransmitter serotonin into the neurons. When serotonin is inside the neurons, it does not function as a neurotransmitter. To have an impact on the brain, it must be extracellular, or outside the neurons. When the transporter is blocked, less serotonin is carried back into the cell. So, the extracellular levels of serotonin increase, which stabilizes the brain’s chemistry and alleviates anxiety and depression.

Cocaine increases the brain levels of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. But unlike the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, doctors normally prescribe for depression (for example, Zoloft, Celexa, or Lexapro), cocaine works instantly. This is because cocaine is a much more potent drug. Whereas standard antidepressants only partially block neurotransporters, cocaine completely blocks them, giving rise to a steep peak in the levels of norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin.

Increased levels of norepinephrine make you alert and energetic, suitable levels of serotonin make you feel satiated and self-confident, and increased levels of dopamine make you go into a pleasurable manic state. Dopamine also motivates us to continue to perform certain activities by causing a feeling of profound enjoyment in response to those activities, such as sex.

Because dopamine is associated with pleasure and memory associations between certain actions and pleasure, stimulants and narcotic drugs that increase the brain’s levels of dopamine can cause addiction. The brain remembers the intense pleasure and wants it repeated. This, however, is probably not the whole story behind addiction. Though pleasurable or satisfying activities normally are necessary to initiate an addiction, it may be an overall less efficient pleasure response to ordinary events that causes addiction. It’s the pleasurable or satisfying feeling created by dopamine that entices us to try a drug a second time. But it is likely a dopamine deficiency, a smaller number of dopamine receptors, or an impairment of the function of dopamine that causes addiction. For people with an addictive personality, normal everyday activities, such as working, reading, or watching a movie, don’t lead to sufficiently intense pleasure, so they seek the drug to give them a more profound experience.

Over time, cocaine and other drug use desensitizes the brain to the drug. Desensitization happens as a result of an increased reuptake of the drug or a reduction in or desensitization of receptors. As a result, a larger amount of the drug is required to achieve the same stimulating effect.

New love can have similar effects on the brain as cocaine. Helen Fisher, an anthropologist and relationship researcher, conducted a series of fascinating brain imaging studies of the brain chemistry and brain structure underlying new love. She found that serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine are crucially involved in the initial stages of romantic love in much the same way as they are in cocaine use.

When you fall in love with someone, norepinephrine fills you with raucous energy, serotonin boosts your self-confidence, and dopamine generates a feeling of pleasure. New love is a kind of love addiction but not yet a kind of pathological love addiction. In falling in love, however, the brain is on crack—a dangerous state of mind.

 

 

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Tales of Rock – The Best Band You Never Heard – Solace

I love this band!

 

 

Solace is a heavy metal band hailing from the Jersey ShoreUnited States.

Formed in 1996 by the remaining members of Atlantic Records artist Godspeed, Solace is most well known in the stoner rock genre, but as guitarist and founding member Tommy Southard has said “We’re not a stoner band, we’re a rock ‘n’ roll band—a hard rock band, a metal band.”[1] This idea was reaffirmed by iTunes.com in 2010 when they voted the band’s third studio album A.D. “2010 Metal Album of the Year”.[2] However, their live performances at Stoner Rock festivals such as America’s Emissions from the Monolith and Europe’s Roadburn Festival, have rooted them just as deeply in that genre.

 

Godspeed years[edit]

In 1994, east coast rockers Godspeed went to Electric Lady Studios to record their Atlantic Records debut album Ride. Featuring future Solace members Tommy Southard and Rob Hultz, Godspeed’s major label run included a cover of “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” for Nativity in Black: A Tribute to Black Sabbath with Iron Maiden‘s Bruce Dickinson, tours of the United States and Europe with Black SabbathDioCathedral, and Sugartooth, as well as a music video for their single “Houston Street” featured on MTV‘s Headbanger’s Ball and Beavis and Butt-head.

The birth of Solace[edit]

Godspeed dissolved after just one album, but following stints as lead guitarist for both Sugartooth and Slap Rocket, Southard reformed the band in 1996 with Hultz and former Glueneck singer Jason, naming the revamped outfit Solace. After a 1997 demo, Solace released their self-titled 7″ debut in 1998, followed by 1999’s Distanced from Reality EP, a split with fellow New Jerseyans Solarized.

Soon afterwards, the band released its debut LP, 2000’s Further. A cover by metal art veteran Wes Benscoter (Slayer‘s Divine Intervention) hinted at darkness within the album, which was quickly considered a departure from the stoner rock pigeon-hole the band had already been put into.

13 and beyond[edit]

In 2003, the band released the follow-up to Further, its second full-length album 13. Artist, fan, and friend of Solace Paul Vismara created the album’s cover. Considered by some to be musically superior to its predecessor,[3] 13 helped Solace further define themselves as more than simply stoner rock, assisted by the vocals and guitar work of doom metal legend Scott Weinrich (also known as Wino, formerly of The ObsessedSaint Vitus, and Spirit Caravan) on the track “Common Cause”.

Soon after the release of 13, the song “Indolence” was used on the soundtrack of the popular video game Tony Hawk’s Underground. 2003 also saw the band tweak their line-up with former Lethal Aggression drummer Kenny Lund and the addition of second guitarist Justin Daniels. With this new line-up, they entered the studio once again in 2004 to record Black Market/Hammerhead, a split EP with Albany, New York‘s Greatdayforup.

Solace’s half of this split EP was re-released on vinyl in 2006. In April of that year, Solace headed to Europe for Holland’s Roadburn Festival. Upon their return, they strengthened their resolve further toward a new release. The band went into the studio to finish their third album A.D. in time for their Summer 2007 European tour with British doomsters Orange Goblin, only to realize that their creation was simply too vast for a single album. Four tracks were selected for release as The Black Black, which was completed and pressed to coincide with the European tour.

On the heels of that successful tour, they were signed to independent label Small Stone Records, after which they were asked by friends Orange Goblin to play their annual Christmas show in London. Solace’s set was capped by band friend and fellow New Jerseyan Ed Mundell of Monster Magnet joining them onstage for their infamous cover of Pentagram‘s Forever My Queen.

2008 saw an interesting turn of events for Solace – drummer Kenny Lund took his leave to follow business pursuits and other projects. This, while being a seemingly negative turn of events, had in actuality quite a positive effect – it opened the door for Solace’s original drummer[4] Keith Ackerman to rejoin the band. Guitarist Daniels has stated: “This is the band’s most dynamic lineup to date”.[5]

The band used this momentum to continue their upswing throughout 2009, completing their third studio LP A.D.. The long-awaited album was released to critical acclaim in Spring 2010 and received such honors as “Album of the Year” at The Obelisk,[6] and was voted by iTunes “Best Metal Album of 2010”.[7] The band finished out the year touring Europe with Orange Goblin and once again playing their annual Christmas show.

Bad luck[edit]

From early in their career, Solace has been faced with almost mysterious problems. The band had an estimated 8 different drummers between 1996 and 2003[8] and suffered through supposed splits with vocalist Jason. Even seemingly random accidents—one resulting in the destruction of the original master tapes to their second album 13—vexed the band.[9]

This curse seemed to be lifted at least somewhat in 2003, but returned only a year later when drummer Kenny Lund was diagnosed with cancer. All of the band’s plans were halted, including a new recording contract with independent label Century Media. This setback did not stop them from returning to the studio once Lund recovered in 2005 to begin work on tracks for A.D. Later that year, the band faced yet another hurdle—this time in the form of undisclosed personal problems and were forced to cancel a coast-to-coast US tour.

Solace continued sporadic work on A.D. up to its critically acclaimed release in 2010, only to announce in June 2011 via their official Facebook page that they were “closed for business” and that they “may or may not re-open”.[10] However, as soon as 2012, the band cited they were active again.

Solace today[edit]

2015:, Solace reorganized and solidified their lineup once again, most shockingly with the official replacement of reclusive and eccentric vocalist Jason by Justin Goins of The Brimstones. Solace entered the recording studio for the first time in over 5 years with this new lineup, recording a cover of Black Sabbath‘s Electric Funeral for Deadline Music’s Sweet Leaf: A Tribute to Black Sabbath. Shortly thereafter, they released a cassette single featuring this cover as well as a new original song, Bird of Ill Omen, which was described as having “characteristic intensity, volume, and unbridled rhythmic force”.[11]

2018: has seen Solace back in the studio working on their first full-length album since 2010’s A.D., tentatively titled Broken Bodies & Suffering Spirits.[12]

2019: Solace has finished the recording of the new record and has changed the title from Broken Bodies & Suffering Spirits.[12] to The Brink. They are currently waiting for studio time to finish the mixing of the record and the album will be released later this year on Blues Funeral Recordings. The Brink was released in December of 2019, featuring healthy doses of Heavy 70’s Riff Rock, NWOBHM Riffing, Drunken Sea Shanties, and plenty of Weighty DOOM.

 

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

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7 Reasons Why the Women Men Date Aren’t the Ones They Marry

Everyone can probably recall a situation when a couple broke up after a long relationship and then the man proposed to the “next girl he met.” This behavior is really surprising and it raises a legit question: why does one woman not get the diamond ring after many years spent together while the next one becomes a bride almost immediately after they meet?

We at Bright Side decided to try and understand men’s logic and find out the answer to this burning question that has been bothering several generations of women across the world.

1. There’s no such thing as “the right woman.” The most important thing is to be with the man at the right time.

In social media, someone posted the opinion that men get married not when they meet “the love of their life” but when they are ready to start a family. A Twitter user got really interested in this theory and asked men to comment on it. And almost unanimously, men admitted that they had a relationship they regretted ending but it didn’t stop them from getting married when they had a fitting woman to become their wife.

There’s another popular thing that triggers men to get married: if a woman they’ve wanted to get with for a long time gets married, they want to get married as well. In this case, they feel that there’s no chance with that other women and if the loneliness becomes unbearable, the unlucky guy chooses among his available options. So, it seems that men don’t wait for the “right woman” and whatever girl that is ready for marriage at a certain time will get the proposal.

Scientists say that the best age for starting a family is from 28 to 32. After this time, the chances that a man will want to get married will drop and after the age of 42, the chance is almost 0.

2. There’s no way to build a family based on physical attraction.

Studies show that couples with a woman that is more attractive than the man are the happiest. But as John T. Molloy (the author of the book Why Men Marry Some Woman and Not Others) said, the appearance of the woman shouldn’t be vulgar. John asked more than 3,500 men to describe their brides and only 20% of the fiances used adjectives that had to do with their appearance (like gorgeous, attractive, or sexy). And the other 80% mentioned the woman’s character traits. Men said that being clean and presentable is very important but didn’t want them to look over-the-top. The most popular opinion was this: a woman should look so that it’s not a shame to appear with her in public.

3. The opinion of friends and parents can affect the decision.

Even if a man looks very independent, who he chooses as a wife will be influenced by those close to him. That’s why friends play a huge role in the beginning stage of a relationship and their opinion may speed up the process of falling in love. Additionally, a man’s parents’ approval may also be a decisive factor in the proposal. You probably have seen cases where a parent’s expectations are different from the girl their son brings home.

4. Men are sure that women are totally satisfied.

To be more specific, women may just pretend that everything is okay when really, they don’t want to get married. However, if a woman never voices her opinion about wanting to get married, her boyfriend will never know that she is expecting some kind of gesture from him because men are bad at reading between the lines. But men are good at making conclusions. So, when this girl loses her patience, packs her stuff and leaves, the man will analyze the situation and when he meets the next woman, he will be quicker in his decisions and will propose to her before she leaves him.

Psychologists claim that couples that have few conflicts in the very beginning don’t have a future so people shouldn’t be afraid of expressing their opinions. The women that prefer to be silent about their wishes never actually get the wedding ring. 73% of future wives admit that they pressed their significant others and insisted on getting married instead of just waiting for their boyfriend to propose to them on their own.

5. Living together decreases the chances of getting married by 50%.

© depositphotos

Psychologists warn women that they should be very careful about the idea of living together before marriage. Most men make a proposal 22 months after the beginning of the relationship and after this period, the chance decreases by 20% and 3 years later, this number is only 50%. And after 7 years, the chances of getting married are at 0%.

But don’t forget about the difference in perception: women think that living together is the first step to marriage and men, on the contrary, “forget” about the necessity to register the relationship and already think that they have a family.

6. A woman is convenient for this period of time but not for the future.

Sometimes, men want to get married but only when they achieve certain things in their lives like a promotion, an apartment, a house, and so on. They don’t want to stay alone during this difficult life period while he’s pursuing his goals, so he looks for a woman to support him — but only temporarily.

“A convenient” woman who doesn’t require much and that will always meet him halfway is not enough for the life he wants. She doesn’t challenge him or encourage an addiction. And if a man becomes successful, they want to stay in shape and in this situation, he needs a woman that will challenge him all the time, helping him to achieve more and more.

7. Not all relationships are supposed to end with a wedding.

From early childhood, girls are taught that any boys that pay attention to them automatically become their “one and only.” Very often, relatives joke about this and ask girls when the wedding is going to happen. But year after year, this question becomes more and more serious. And girls grow up with the stereotype that if the relationship is long, it can only have one end: the forming of a family. But men rarely have the same stereotype, so there’s a big misunderstanding between the sexes.

Of course, people regret any time they wasted dating and often try to hold on to significant others. But then they have to live with the notion that this person is only with them because they feel they need to be, not because they want to be. Also, men rarely give up on their wishes and if they’re certain in their choice, they won’t wait too long or avoid having the conversation. There’s no such thing as a true bachelor (right, George Clooney?), there are just women that men don’t want to marry but are too afraid to say it.

Maybe, you have your own thoughts and experience on this topic and the men you know proposed or (didn’t) for other reasons. Share your ideas in the comment section below.

 

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

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Avoid This Guy! 14 Warning Signs That He’s Not What You Want

A guy who’s not relationship material always lets you know; you just have to know what to look for.

When I look back at all the relationships that didn’t work out (that I so wanted to at the time), I realize that in every case, there were early warning signs that each guy gave me that could have given me some idea of the heartbreak I was about to experience if I had only been aware of what to look for.

To spare you from being played for a fool by a man, here’s the inside scoop on what you can be on the lookout for so you can break up with him before he breaks your heart..

Here’s the ultimate list of warning signs that clearly tell you that he’s a guy to avoid if you’re looking for a real relationship.

1.  He doesn’t call you when he says he’s going to.

Granted, I know that sometimes life can get it the way, and if he’s working late on that big project with the looming deadline it’s possible that time might get away from him once in a while. But if this happens more than once or twice, it’s a sure sign that you’re just not a priority for him right now.

If a guy is really interested in starting (or continuing) a real relationship with you, you will be on his mind, and he won’t forget to call.

2.  He’s often late and doesn’t call to let you know.

I know there are lots of reasons people can run late that are beyond their control (traffic jam, car problems, being stuck at the office), but a quick call from his cell phone will put your mind at ease, and let you know that you have a few more minutes to try on that one other outfit you were still considering.

The point here is about being respectful of your time – we can forgive lateness, even chronic lateness (some people just aren’t good at judging how much time something will take), but not calling to let you know he’ll be a little late?

That’s inexcusable and a sure sign that he’s not too concerned about you.

3.  He doesn’t show up at all (and doesn’t call) when you have plans to see him.

OK ladies, unless he was (verifiably) unconscious in a hospital somewhere, getting stood up is a “one strike and you’re out” offense. There is absolutely no good reason for this (except the one above), and if you stay with him after a maneuver like that, you’ll be in for a very bumpy emotional ride that’s almost guaranteed to end badly.

Cell phone reception is excellent these days (unless he’s a lumberjack working in the great North Woods), so this one is unforgivable.

4.  He has rules about how often he can see you.
It’s one thing to have the boys’ “Wednesday Poker Night”, or something along those lines.

But if he’s only willing to get together say, every other weekend (with the exception being a child custody situation), then that’s a sure sign he’s keeping his options open and still scouring the market for something better (at least in his mind – he just doesn’t realize that you’re the best thing going!).

5.  He knows way more about you than you know about him.

If you find yourself doing all the talking during your conversations, and when you ask him something about himself he doesn’t say much, it may be because he’s hiding something or doesn’t want to get too close to you.

Many guys just aren’t big talkers, but if he hasn’t told you the details of where he works, where he grew up, went to school, etc., and if he gives you vague answers when you ask him about these specifics, then that means he’s keeping you at a distance.

6.  You know way more about him than he knows about you.

This one is the flip side to the last warning sign – if he’s so busy talking all about himself, and shows no interest in who you are, what you like to do, or what your idea of the future looks like, this should be a real red flag.

The good news about this one is that there’s no danger of taking it personally – it’s all about him. It has nothing to do with you – this kind of guy isn’t interested in anyone – but himself. Steer clear (way clear).

7.  He doesn’t tell anyone about you. 

If he doesn’t introduce you to his friends, or ask you to hang out with them once in a while, go to a party or get together with them – that’s a sure sign that he’s not sure about the whole thing. Of course you may not want to hang out with his friends much, particularly if they’re a group of partying bachelors, but they should at least know about you, and it should be your decision.

How they treat you when you’re around can also be a big tell-tale sign of how things are going or will go – if they kind of treat you like “yeah, you’re the girlfriend of the month, I’ll talk to you if you can make it past week 4”, then that’s a sign of what’s likely to be coming next.

8.  He doesn’t invite you to meet his family – ever.
Of course inviting you to meet the family is a big deal, as it should be, and it doesn’t happen until he feels like this thing is going somewhere. So that’s just it – if time is starting to drag on, and he still hasn’t invited you to meet his family, the likelihood is that he’s having doubts about the relationship. There is the outside chance that he’s embarrassed by his family. I have a good friend whose husband’s family (which consists of his elderly mother and Aunt, who raised him together and still both live together) are essentially, well, mildly deranged.

They look like the stereotypical “bag ladies”, and even showed up for my friends nuptials wearing multiple layers of ragged clothing and carrying some of their belongings in what were essentially re-useable shopping bags. But he had told her about them fairly early on in their relationship, and she did finally meet them. And let me say, as far as mildly deranged people go, they’re very sweet (I met them at the wedding), and they did a great job at raising their son/nephew.

So, the bottom line is that if the relationship has been going on for some time – just to put a number on it, let’s say over 6 months – and he hasn’t invited you to meet his family yet, it’s certainly time to question him about it. If he still doesn’t introduce you? Time to start planning your exit strategy.

9.  He doesn’t spend the holidays with you.

I know there are situations, such as when a divorced man wants to spend time with his children at the family holiday get together, but even then he can make time for you either before or after his family time. Everyone knows how special holidays are to us women, and if he doesn’t, then that’s a sign of other issues (for example, not being considerate and thoughtful regarding your feelings).

If he’s just taking off on a surf vacation to Bali with his buddies over the holidays because that’s when it’s less crowded, and you’re not invited, then you’re clearly a low priority to him.

10.  He’s got lots of female friends – and makes sure you know this.
In my experience, “platonic” friendships are rarely, if ever, that – there are almost always some feelings in one direction.

Either the guy is secretly harboring feelings for the girl, or vice versa. And when a guy is in a relationship, he has so much less time to spend with his buddies – why on earth would he ever choose to spend that precious time with another woman? Well, there are a number of reasons he might, and they all involve one deep seated issue or another, and none of them are good.

And making sure you know about it? That’s just playing games, and just another reason to get out and find yourself an emotionally healthy man to be in a relationship with.

11.  He doesn’t tell you what he’s doing, where he’s going, or when he’ll be back.

If your guy likes to keep you guessing, there’s a reason. This is another sure sign that he’s keeping his options open. In a healthy relationship there’s no hiding or secrets. If he’s not being open and upfront about his whereabouts, then stop worrying about it – just move on.

12.  He doesn’t talk about his plans for the future with you.
I’m all for living in the moment and enjoying the “now”. But eventually in a relationship a discussion of future plans has got to come up – otherwise you’ll never know if the two of you are sailing together or heading towards different continents.

If he’s not at least occasionally talking about the future with you then chances are, in his mind, you’re not in it.

13.  He lets you know he had a life without you and he still has a life without you.

I mean, sure, when you’re first dating, it’s interesting to hear about the places your guy has been and all of the fun times he’s had with his friends.

But if he’s still reminiscing about his single life escapades after your relationship has moved to the next level, or worse, making plans to have more of those escapades (without you), then the truth is he still wants to be single. Let him.

14.  You feel like if you could just change yourself and not be so needy, this would all work out.
This is by far the biggest warning sign of all. If you start to feel that there’s something wrong with you, or you’re doing something wrong that’s causing him to pull away, and maybe if you just gave him more of the freedom he wants, and wait for him quietly, and…well, you get it.

Don’t fall into this trap. If you want a real relationship, equipped with real feelings, real caring, real consideration, and real romance, and he doesn’t, then he’s not the right guy for you and let him (and yourself) go.

If you see any of these warning signs, and especially if you see several of them, chances are that this is not a guy that’s looking for a real relationship right now – or at least not the kind you’re looking for.

Your best bet is to walk away gracefully, with your self-esteem intact, and not look back (even if he then starts calling you and chasing you – that’s just a sign of a game-player with deeper issues). Rather than trying to get him to change or waiting for him to come around, try focusing on you and why you’re in a relationship with someone like this.

If you find yourself in this type of relationship often, which many of us do, it’s time for some real soul searching to get to the root of it.

If you have access to good counseling, take advantage of it, as many times this is the only way to true healing. And it will be worth it in the long run, to get you past the cycle of toxic relationships so you can move on to the kind of true, sustainable love that you want to attract into your life.

Sometimes it’s hard to see when we’re in it, but know that if you’re settling for less than you deserve, there truly is someone out there ready and waiting to give you what you’re looking for – and to treat you the way you deserve to be treated.

It’s in believing in ourselves, trusting our gut instincts and discovering who we really are and what we’re really looking for, that all the other pieces of the puzzle fall into place and we find ourselves finally getting it right and discovering the love of our lives – the one who doesn’t come with any red flags.

And you deserve nothing less than that, no matter where you’ve been or what you’ve been through.

It’s all out there waiting for you!

 

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

Buy my new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

7 Ways To Catch A Woman’s Attention (And Keep It!)

It takes more than flirting.

As a man, there’s a harsh truth that I have to admit: most men are terrible at flirting.

Are there exceptions to that rule? Of course.

Whenever a man is struggling to flirt with a girl, there always seems to be a suave Brazilian helicopter pilot nearby who can swoop in and talk about anything.

However, that doesn’t mean all hope is lost, dudes. If you really want to know how to get a girl to like you, flirting isn’t the answer.

That sounds counter-productive, but there’s only so far you can get with a woman by tenaciously pursuing her. If she wasn’t interested in the first place, she’s going to put an end to that really fast.

The key is making her do an equal share of the work. You need to make a girl want you as much as you want her.

But how do you do accomplish that? How you do convince a woman that she should be attracted to you? If you’re struggling to figure out how to attract women, here are 7 techniques that will show her that will make a girl like you.

1. Be curious.

Ask her about herself. Be genuinely interested in learning about her life and the things that are important to her.

Don’t be a creepy stalker about it, but show her that you actually care enough to ask follow-up questions.

2. Have a life of your own.

The flip-side of being curious is being prepared to answer questions about yourself. And the last thing you want to do if a woman wants to know more about you is to act bored about your own life.

Don’t respond with shrugs or say “I don’t have much going on.”

Have stuff going on. Have passions, interests, things you’re excited to talk about. Give her a reason to want to know more about you.

3. Take care of yourself.

Presentation matters. You don’t have to be the most attractive guy in the world.

Women, bless them, have a long history of being okay with dating beneath their own level of hotness. But if they’re willing to overlook your love handles and thinning hair, you need to show some effort.

Keep the hygiene on point. Get a haircut. And don’t always wear the same hoodie. Show her that you actually know how to take care of yourself.

4. Pay attention to her.

This doesn’t mean that you should stare at her until she gets uncomfortable. But you do want to show her that you’re listening.

If she’s telling a story, listen to it — and chime in with questions when appropriate. If you’re out with friends and she mentions a favorite drink, grab her one the next time you’re at the bar.

Let her know that she’s interesting enough to command your attention.

5. Let her see the best of you.

Think about this: what is your best self? Or when do you act like your favorite version of yourself? Is it when you’re out with friends? Is it playing a sport? Is it hiking, doing charity, or just hanging out watching movies?

When possible, you want the woman you’re interested to see you at your best. So invite her out with your best friends. Or suggest going to a concert of your favorite band. Find opportunities to show her your most confident and happy self.

6. Make her laugh… in the right way.

“Women love a sense of humor” is an old cliché, but it’s true. Being funny can be a really attractive quality if you do it right.

You definitely don’t want to be funny in a mean way.

Remember, show her your best. So, no making fun of people or making raw rude jokes. If you’re going to mock someone, mock yourself.

Make sure that she knows that your humor comes with a side of empathy and self-awareness, but, you know… be really funny too.

7. Flirt a little bit.

I know I said flirting wasn’t the answer, but what I meant was, it’s not the answer. When the moment presents itself, it’s not a bad thing to let a woman know that you see her as an attractive person.

Keep things casual. Maybe just compliment her. Or tell her, “Wow, you look great tonight.” But leave it there — don’t overdo it.

Just offer enough that she can tell that you think she’s awesome, but don’t actively hit on her to the point where she’s going to be uncomfortable hanging out with you anymore.

If she picks up on the small openings you’re giving her, she’ll find a way to let you know that she’s interested too.

And if she doesn’t, well… it wasn’t meant to be.

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

Buy my new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

How To Break Up With Someone You’re Still In Love With, Because Sometimes, It Just Doesn’t Work

One from a female reader…

My last breakup was with someone whom I still cared about, and it sucked. I loved my boyfriend very much, but the relationship started to feel stagnant, and it was time to move on. We were moving forward, but not as a couple. We were growing in separate directions that had caused us to feel more like friends than lovers. It’s hard to know how to break up with someone when you still love and care about them very much. The moment never exactly feels right, because you don’t want to hurt someone you care about, and you don’t want to stop hanging out with each other either.

When my ex and I broke up, he came over, and we had a long discussion about how we weren’t compatible for one another at this point in our lives. He was struggling in his career and felt the need to concentrate on it in order to feel happy and stable in his life and, thus, couldn’t give his full attention to me. I cared about his happiness and couldn’t continue to feel neglected in a relationship. We broke up, cried a little, watched a movie, and then, he slept over (bad decision). Yes, we hooked up. Then, the next morning, I left for work, and I never saw him again.

Winter depressed sad girl lonely by home window looking at cold weather upset unhappy. Bad feelings stress, anxiety, grief, emotions. Asian woman portrait.

Shutterstock

When I got home that night, he had left love notes all over my apartment, telling me he would miss me and how much he cared about me. He also stuck a note on the fridge saying, “Remember when you cooked that horrible dinner,” and one on the toilet that said, “Remember how embarrassed you were when you clogged this on our third date,” which made me smile… but also miss him. It’s easy to break up with someone you hate or to move on from a relationship that’s broken. That’s why they’re called breakups after all, right? But breaking up with someone you still care about is hard. You don’t want to do it, even though it’s the right decision.

Phicklephilly spoke to two experts about how to break up with someone you’re still in love with, even when it hurts. Because you deserve to have it be as painless as possible.

1. Do It In Person

So many of my relationships have ended over text or on the phone, and I think that’s why it took so long to get over them. The book felt unfinished. I never got closure, and things felt unresolved with those partners. I wanted to ask my exes questions or see their expression when things were ending, but all I was left with was the crying emoji instead. Every time I’ve ever broken up with someone over the phone, text, or email, the subsequent months are filled with plans to finally meet up in person and discuss what happened. But if you do it in person the very first time, you can have a clean break from the very beginning.

“The most important thing you can do for them to show compassion is to explain why,” Dr. Joshua Klapow, clinical psychologist and host of The Kurre and Klapow Show, previously told Elite Daily. “If you can answer the question for yourself then you should offer that to them.” If you and your partner are still in love but it’s time for your relationship to end for other reasons, then you at least want to give your significant other the respect of breaking up in person. It will help to give both of you closure and allow for an honest and thorough conversation that can help both of you move on.

2. Be Strong (And Also Don’t Hook Up)

If you’re still in love with the person you’re breaking up with, then you might be unsure about your actions. Should we really end things, or can we work this out? Maybe we’re just having a bad day, week, or month. Can we get over this? Is moving on a mistake? But if you’ve thought about this thoroughly and you’re sure the relationship is not right for you, then be strong and resolute in your decision, and don’t get swayed into staying together.

“Ask yourself this: ‘Why do I not want this and what would make things different?'” Dr. Klapow said. “Ask yourself: ‘Have I had the conversations clearly and specifically about what is not working and what is working?’ If you love the person, then you need to be very sure that you are very clear about why you don’t think it is going to work.” Be firm that things are ending, and, no matter how tempted you are, do not have breakup sex. It’ll only end up leading both of you on and keep you wondering if you’re making the right decision. Overall, it’s just bad news.

3. Set Boundaries

After a breakup, it’s important to set boundaries and clarify breakup behaviors. It’ll make the transition to friends (or strangers) easier, and boundaries can help you from getting hurt even more after a breakup. I remember after I broke up with one of my exes, I was really hurt when I found out he had hooked up with someone else. The reason I felt hurt was because he and I were still talking every day, and it felt like we were still very much together, even though we weren’t.

“There is not an easy way to break up with someone you love,” Dr. Klapow said. “Recognize that there is a decent chance you are going to hurt feelings.” Establishing boundaries between you and your ex can save you a lot of heartache and help to clarify the role you play in each other’s lives. Are you going to stay friends on social media? Are you still going to talk, and if so, how often? Are you going to see one another in real life? What’s the rule about hooking up with each other? Are there certain things you don’t want to talk about with one another?

Sad disappointed european man can not forgive his african girlfriend infidelity, the girl is sitting next to man having apologetic guilty look, trying to make peace with man. Relationships problems

Shutterstock

4. Take Time Apart

If you’re still in love with your significant other, that’s not going to end right when you break up with them. You’re still going to miss them. You’ll want to call, text, and talk with the same frequency as you always do. You’ll still want to hang out. In my last relationship, after we broke up, I remember how badly I missed my boyfriend on the couch every night, sitting next to me, watching our favorite shows. I knew we weren’t right together, but couldn’t we still hang?

The answer is no, not so soon. Right after a breakup, you need to take some much-needed space to heal and actually get over one another. You can’t go from lovers to friends immediately just because you’ve said the words “we’re done.”

“It’s useful to initiate the breakup conversation at a time when you all have space during/afterward to respond to your subsequent feelings and reactions,” James Guay, a therapist who specializes in high-conflict couples, previously told Elite Daily. “In other words, don’t start the conversation right before you each have to go to work or to an important event.”

You need time to actually get over one another, or you might just end up back together again — or back in bed at least. And if you prolong the breakup, you’re only prolonging the time it takes for you to finally start moving on and feeling better.

Breaking up is hard to do, especially when you’re doing it with someone you still care about. But if it’s the right decision for you, then you have to make it. Be firm and direct, and make sure you establish proper boundaries after you’ve decided to part ways.

 

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

Buy my new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

Phicklephilly Has Gotten 50,000 Page Views In 2020!

History is written by winners, baby…

Wow! Thanks so much folks!

2020 has had it’s challenges, but we continue to march forward here at Phicklephilly. When I look back on how the site has grown over the last four years I’m pretty amazed.

Back in 2016, I started the blog in May, but really didn’t start writing anything until late August of the year. I got a total of 963 page views for that year.

In 2017, I increased my content and added some new subjects and features. My page views for that year came in at 17,000. An incredible increase!

In 2018, we hit 33,000 page views, nearly doubling the previous year’s views!

By 2019, we closed out the year at 43,000 page views. We added another 10,000 pages views that year.

Here we are in 2020… 6 months into the year, and we’ve already hit 50,000 page views for the year so far! Crushing last year’s number! I love it!

So that brings us to over 143,000 pages views since inception!

I couldn’t be more pleased! Thanks to everybody for visiting my little blog here in Philly. I look at the stats. It’s nice to see what people from all over the world like to read.

Okay, stay safe and healthy everybody. Wear your masks, wash your hands, and practice safe social distancing.

It’s been hard writing a dating blog and not being allowed to go out and date! I feel like I’m grounded!

 

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

Buy my new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

8 Things Guys Worry About – But Shouldn’t Tips

Guys aren’t immune to entertaining silly, irrational thoughts on occasion. Unlike women, we’re just generally better at hiding the things that we needlessly worry about.

From the size of our package to our perfectly-adequate incomes, guys regularly stress over things that would probably make women laugh. So, if you’re a guy reading this, start taking notes: Here are eight things that you probably worry about, but shouldn’t.

Finding a Solution to Everything

Generally speaking, guys are known for being problem solvers. We see a problem and we naturally want to fix it. Because why else would you complain if you don’t seek a solution?

Though it sounds logical enough, this practical approach may not be what your girlfriend is looking for when she unleashes her problems on you. Sometimes, she just wants to let her frustrations out—that’s it.

Don’t stress so much about finding a solution anytime she comes to you with a problem. Instead, ask her whether she wants advice or not. If she doesn’t, then you can sit back and not worry about coming up with a solution she clearly doesn’t want to hear.

Showing Emotion

It’s not unmanly to show emotion and talk about your feelings. In fact, showing emotion and being vulnerable may be more important for men than it is for women.

Studies have shown that guys who regularly suppress their emotions and don’t seek out help when they need it may turn to harmful coping strategies instead, such as substance abuse and risk-taking behaviors. In a 2008 study published in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, men were more likely to crave alcohol when they experienced negative emotions compared to women.

So, go ahead: Let it all out. If anyone calls you a sissy for crying or admitting that you’re depressed, feel free to show them the door.

Having Perfect Skin All the Time

Some guys are lucky enough to never experience adult acne, while others just aren’t so fortunate. If your face is breaking out all of a sudden, it’s truly not the end of the world.

If you’re seriously stressing over the pimple in your nose, then you might just be making the problem worse. In a 2017 study published in Acta Dermato-Venereologica, researchers found a strong association between stress levels and the severity of acne in subjects with mild to moderate acne.

Bottom line? Try to relax! Get some exercise, practice meditation and listen to soothing music. It will do both you and your skin some good.

And Having the Perfect Body

We won’t lie to you: Many women do enjoy rippling abs and bulging biceps on a guy. However, women might be more attracted to your body flaws than you might think.

Your dad bod in particular could be a hit with some women. Several surveys have indicated that the popularity of the dad bod is on the rise, with many women reportedly finding it more attractive than washboard abs.

You don’t need to look like you just got done with a Men’s Health photoshoot to land the girl of your dreams. Just focus on treating your body with kindness and improving the things that are in your power to change.

Other Guys Stealing Your Girl

If you’re seriously worried that some handsome guy is going to swoop in and steal your girl out of the blue, then there are two possible reasons for your concern. You either have serious relationship anxiety and need to work out your deep-rooted insecurities or your relationship is already on shaky ground to begin with.

In both cases, it probably wouldn’t hurt to try therapy. There’s no shame in seeking professional help. It could potentially save a perfectly good relationship and make you much happier in the long-term.

The Size of Your Male Member

Admit it, you’ve probably worried about your penis size at some point in your life. But once you take a good, hard look (pun intended) at the research, you’ll quickly see that you have nothing to worry about at all.

A 2007 study published in BJU International surveyed more than 50,000 heterosexual men and women. In the survey, a whopping 85 percent of women were satisfied with their partner’s penis size, while only 55 percent of men were satisfied. Two of the studies found that women preferred wider penises to longer ones.

Furthermore, studies have shown that few women can orgasm from vaginal penetration alone. Rather than mope about your completely average penis size, you should instead be focusing on giving her the best clitoral orgasm of her life.

Impressing Everyone Around You

Who doesn’t want to be liked? It’s common for younger guys to go out of their way to impress their girlfriend, coworkers, boss and even random people on the street.

But let’s face it, trying to impress everyone is absolutely exhausting. Life is much too short to constantly be worrying about what everyone and their mother thinks about you.

The only thoughts that should matter to you are from the people who love you no matter what. Once you realize that and finally let go of your constant need to impress, you’ll likely feel a huge weight lifted off your shoulders.

Your Income

No matter what your current income, you probably wish it was higher. How do we know? Because apart from perhaps Bill Gates, there is no guy on the planet who doesn’t want more money.

By all means, ask for a raise at work and climb the career ladder. Just don’t fall into the trap of believing that a higher income will magically solve your problems or land you a girlfriend.

Besides, think about how many guys are living happy lives and have super-hot girlfriends, despite living on salary that’s barely above minimum wage. The only difference between these guys and you is your gratitude—or lack thereof.

Worry Less, Live More

We all have anxieties that get the best of us at times. The key is to not allow them to steal your happiness. None of the things on this list are worth the space they potentially take up in your brain. So, kick them to the curb, focus on the things that truly matter and you’ll likely be much happier for it.

 

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

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

ANGEL WITH A BROKEN WING: Inspiration and Behind the Scenes – Part 1

The truth behind the story!

This is a 4 part mini series I wrote over the weekend as a companion to my recently published book. It will run over the next 4 weeks, every Monday morning at 8am!

Thank you!

Angel with a Broken Wing is my first work of fiction. It’s got all of my favorite elements in it. But where do these ideas come from? Well, I’m going to tell you.

I’m going to think back and try to remember some of the inspiration for this story.

I am obviously Christian Blackmore. Not anymore, but I was back in the 90’s. I was miserable in my marriage and my job, and I wished  I could just run away from the life I had created.

The Cover: I was an art major all through school. When I think about that now, it feels like a million miles away. I liked comic books growing up, and my first exposure to art was in comics. I always made art throughout my childhood, so art class was a natural progression for me in school. It was the only class that was effortless.

I loved to work in pen and ink. I liked its stark simplicity. I have several works from high school that I still retain in my collection. This one, The Angel is my favorite.

It was an incredibly cold day in February of 1980. I was in my double period, art major class. There were only two of us in the class that were any good. Me and Bill Polini.

I looked out the window as the snow came flying. I took pen in hand, and imagined a beautiful girl. In a warm place. She’s with me. We’re maybe riding horses…or camels. She turns to look at me, and the reflection of the oasis behind me reflects in her sunglasses. I long to kiss her.

“Yea. I should try to draw that.”

Uncle John: I had an uncle John on my mother’s side of the family. I share many of the same characteristics of my mom’s side of the family more than my dad. My mother had four brothers; Roland, Robert, Norman, and John. All of her brothers kept their hair and all died in their late 70’s and 80’s so maybe if my liver holds up, I’ll meet the same fate. John never left me any inheritance, but my uncle Rob left all of us kids some loot and it was substantial. He lived in Florida.

The Pinto: My grandmother, (My dad’s mom) We called her Grammy. I loved her. When everybody thought I was a piece of garbage in my early teens, she was the only one that had faith in me. So She will always have a special place in my heart. She was a cool lady, who liked a cold glass of beer and some good neighborhood gossip. Just an adorable lady. When she died, the last car she owned was a gold Ford Pinto. That car is my last memory of her. So I used it in the story. The car’s fate is based on stories I heard back in the 70’s about an engineering flaw in the vehicle.

Woodbury, New Jersey: I lived in Woodbury from 1992 to 2001. My wife and I owned a house on Barber Street. I modeled Christian Blackmore’s residence after my own house there. So when I wrote about him in his house in Woodbury, I could picture my own life there.

The Phoenix: I remember first hearing about the story of the Phoenix on an old record album. It was a collection of stories about superheroes. It was like an old radio show type collection of plays on one LP. I remember hearing about the Phoenix in one of those stories, probably back as far as 1973. When one of the characters describes the Phoenix, it is a verbatim rendition of what I heard on that record, nearly 50 years ago. I always felt like I could relate to the Phoenix in my own life. I always felt that no matter how many times I got destroyed in my life, I always came back better than what I was before. I think that’s why I have the characters make a stop over in Phoenix, Arizona on their journey to LA. There are some transforming moments for a few of them in that chapter.

Gloucester County College: When I was married back in the 90’s my then wife came from a very collegiate family. I never went to college, but had several college credits from the American Institute of Banking through courses I had taken through the bank I worked for. My wife thought I should go back to college at night and take courses to get my college degree. So I did. I took those classes at night after work, at Gloucester County Community College. I don’t feel that it was a waste of time, because it led to some interesting things. I’ll be getting to them shortly.

The Gun: Everything you read in Angel about the Bulldog .44 revolver is true. I never owned a gun, and like Christian Blackmore, I hate guns. But all of the info about that weapon is from real events. The story Christian tells Sheryl about the girl at the shore is all true. That happened to me in the summer of 1977. Funny thing is, I recently reconnected with that girl from New York on Facebook. (At 57, she’s still hot!) Oh, one last thing, I had to make a slight change in the action sequence involving that gun. During the final edits of the book I discovered that the bulldog .44 only holds 5, not 6 bullets like most revolvers! I guess because those bullets are so big!

Sheryl Stanton: Sheryl was inspired by a girl I met in one of the banking courses I took at Gloucester County College. I pretty much describe Sheryl as how this girl was in real life. We had a good friendship for a brief period and even had some romantic dalliances. She did break it off with me when she moved to California for a period of time. The real Sheryl never worked in a mental health facility. That’s completely made up for the story.

Karl Itzky: The first kid I met when I went to Frankford High School in 1978, was a guy named Karl Itzky. He was the only person I knew other than my older sister. I just liked his name. He is nothing like the Karl Itzky in the book. He was a nice guy, who I sadly lost touch with when I moved up the social ladder in high school.

Honest Files: The name of the bar/restaurant where Christian and Sheryl hang out is taken from a song by the band, Urge Overkill. There are many references in the book about music I was listening to back in the 90’s where this story takes place. It’s from their album, Exit the Dragon. Here are some of the lyrics from the song:

Hey, hey I’m dead on arrival
Hey, hey I’m distant
Crawling right back
Yes, I’m crawling right back
‘Cause I’m honesty, don’t break my heart
Honesty won’t break it
Honesty won’t break you heart
Honest it won’t
It won’t, it won’t, it won’t, it won’t, it won’t…

I thought it was a cool song, and that bar is where I hung out with the real Sheryl back then. It’s where we would spill our guts to each other about everything in our lives. I used to say we were opening the ‘Honesty Files’ about what we were experiencing at that time.

The real place is exactly the way I describe it in the book. The animal trophies on the walls, all of the real bookcases all around the room, and the fireplace. We spent many a night there pounding martinis and smoking tons of cigarettes. (Yea, you could smoke in restaurants and bars back then!) It was a welcome repose from our chaotic lives.

Exterior - Picture of Charlie Brown's Steakhouse, Woodbury ...

Here’s the real Honesty Files… It’s a place called Charlie Brown’s at 111 Broad Street, in Woodbury, NJ

 

More next week!

 

You can buy Angel with a Broken Wing on kindle and paperback right here:

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_2

 

 

 

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

Buy my new book, Angel with a Broken Wing on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

Guy Talk: The Real Reason Women Shouldn’t Make The First Move

Maybe you catch him standing at the other end of the bar, slyly checking you out. Maybe you met him before and flirted with him, but he never asked for your phone number. Or, maybe you’ve already hung out with him a few times, but a casual arm flung over your shoulders is about the extent of the physical contact he’s made so far.

So, you saunter over to him and say hi.

Or, the next time you see him, you say, “So, are you ever going to ask for my phone number?”

Or, as you’re sitting on the couch next to him, streaming yet another movie on Netflix, you turn to look him in the eyes, and you decide to just go for it and kiss him.

Like that daydreaming moron you’re stuck behind at the busy intersection, these are the guys who make you throw your arms up in the air and yell, “You’ve got the green light! Just go already!”

Yes, there are a lot of timid guys out there.

But now, I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Timid guys aren’t as numerous as you may think. In fact, that cute guy who flirts with you and acts interested, but never actually does anything about it, can turn out to be a totally different breed of guy. He’s not timid, or awkward, or nervous. He’s manipulating you.

This is the guy who’s not looking for anything serious (or, more specifically, not looking for anything serious with you), but wouldn’t be opposed to a casual fling. This may also be the guy who prides himself on being a “good guy.” And true to his self-professed nature, he doesn’t want to play you. That’s why he never comes right out and makes any overt moves on you.

On the other hand, if you initiate all the moves, he’s certainly not going to stop you. And whether consciously or subconsciously, that’s the trap he has set for you.

How do I know so much about this guy, you ask? Because I used to be him.

You see, if I let the girl make the first move, then I don’t have to be the douchebag who acts interested, gets the girl into bed, then dumps her immediately after.

If she makes the first move, then I’m the one being chased. And if I’m the one being chased, then I’m the one who was never sure about hooking up. And if I’m the one who was never sure about hooking up, then I have a perfectly valid reason to pull back at any time.

Let me repeat that last part: at any time.

Yes, some guys are douchebags to the core. They sleep on king-sized douchebag beds lined with satin douchebag sheets lathered with the essence of douchebag body spray. They’ll say whatever it takes to get you into bed, and they’ll feel no shame pulling the fade-out after they get what they want.

But, most guys aren’t assholes of such cartoonish proportions. I think most guys actually try to do “the right thing.” And on a conscious level, they know it’s not cool to feign interest in a girl just to get her naked, especially if it seems like she wants more than just a fling.

And that’s when the subconscious rationalizing begins:

“Well, I’d sleep with her. And I’m pretty sure she’s interested. But, I’d never want to date her….”

“Alright, be cool then. Just talk to her and be friendly….”

“Oh, look at that. She just kissed me. Hmm….”

“Alright, Conscience. Look, dude, she freaking just kissed me! You can’t possibly expect me to turn her away, right? As long as she kisses me first, then I can totally hook up with her, and you won’t lay all that guilt on me afterwards, right? Right?”

“You won’t? Game on!”

And once that rationalization train gets going, the excuses just keep on chugging along:

“I had fun with you, but I just don’t want anything serious right now.”

“I’m sorry, I should’ve been more clear what I was looking for before we hooked up.”

“I’m just not ready to commit to anyone at this point in my life.”

Any of these lines can be spoken by the guiltless douchebag as he’s in the process of dumping you. And you’ll hate him.

But, if you’re the one who made all the moves, if you’re the one who pursued him, do you see how the self-professed good guy can say these same exact lines and still come across as the innocent victim while he’s dumping you

In his arsenal, the self-professed good guy even has lines the supersized douchebag could never use. Like this one:

“I’m actually kind of old-fashioned and like to take things slow. Don’t get me wrong—last night was amazing. But, I was caught up in the moment, and I think we definitely moved too fast.”

See? It’s your fault you jumped into bed too soon, because you put the moves on him. And now, he gets to walk away with nary a scratch on his shiny armor.

I admit, I did all this subconscious rationalizing for years before I realized what I was actually doing. Once my conscience made that shady back room deal with my lust, my hypocrisy became all too easy to ignore.

Yup, all my life, I prided myself on being a decent guy. But, it turns out I was a douchebag all along. And unfortunately, I think every guy has some amount of douchiness in him (if, by “douchiness,” we mean the desire for easy sex).

Here’s the bottom line:

If I really like a girl, I’m going to make the first move.

So, go ahead. Make the first move on that cute, coy guy if you want. Just remember the Get Out Of Guilt Free card you may be handing him if you do.

 

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