Is It Normal To Constantly Need To Text Your Partner? The Experts Weigh In

I’m definitely guilty of texting my partner too often. Even when they are at work, if a few hours of silence have gone by, I reach out just to say “Hi!” It’s become a bit of a habit, one that, as it turns out, may not be totally healthy. After all, is it normal to constantly need to text? Or is it a sign that there may be a problem in the relationship? Or maybe (as I hope) it just means you and your partner just like to stay in contact and all that texting is just the pattern and rhythm of your relationship. How can you tell the difference between what is a healthy amount of communication and what’s a sign of a deeper problem?

To help understand which texting behaviors are typical and which are a sign of something amiss, I reached out to Diana Dorell, an intuitive dating coach and author of The Dating Mirror: Trust Again, Love Again, and Erica Gordon, a millennial dating expert, founder of The Babe Report, and author of Aren’t You Glad You Read This?. I asked for their expert opinions on if it’s normal to want to text your partner all the time, and when your need for communication becomes too much. Here is what they had to say.

When the need to text your partner all day is not healthy.

For a relationship to be a healthy one, there have to be clear and open lines of communication. So, of course wanting to talk to and text with your partner in general is fine. In fact, Dorell says it’s good to text with your SO — in moderation. “It can be really healthy for the relationship to actually text sparingly throughout the day and then anticipate seeing your SO later to share things and connect face-to-face,” she tells Elite Daily. The time to become concerned, she says, is when a lack of frequent texts negatively impacts your emotional well-being. “When you can’t function day to day if you don’t constantly text or receive texts, or need those texts for reassurance or self-esteem, that is unhealthy,” says Dorell.

Gordon says another sign that the need to text is something to be concerned about is when it causes anxiety. “[It’s] a red flag if you are anxious all the time when you’re not hearing from your partner, and constantly needing that continuous texting.” she tells Elite Daily. “This type of neediness is a red flag that your partner is your whole world. It’s not healthy if your world revolves around them,” warns Gordon.

What the desire to text all day could actually mean.

There are several reasons you may want to talk to your partner all day — and not all are unhealthy. Dorell says it could simply be a sign that affirmation is your love language. “If your love language is words of affirmation, then you may see it as a sign that you are cared for and loved more than average if your partner texts you sweet things regularly,” she says.

If your partner understands that and is happy with the frequency of texts, then great! However, if they aren’t able to keep up with your preferred pace, and you find yourself getting anxious or upset, then Gordon warns that you’ve crossed the line into unhealthy territory. “This could mean that you lack the ability to find that sense of happiness and validation within yourself,” says Gordon. “Self-validation is extremely important, as it’s very unhealthy to rely on external validation from your partner. Let attention from others enhance your mood, but don’t let it control your mood.”

She also cautions that a need for communication may be a sign of something else lacking in the relationship. “This could be a sign of distrust in the relationship,” she warns. “If you’re insecure, and you need constant texts to trust your partner, that could be a sign you should be working on yourself right now, instead of being in a relationship.”

Here’s what the experts say to do about it.

If you feel like you are texting too often and would like to slow down, both experts agree that you need to focus your energy on yourself and find ways to fill that need for validation and affirmation from within. “Instead of leaning on your partner to validate you [sic: is important] — do the things that brought you and bring you joy even when you are alone,” Dorell advises.

“Work on self-love, self-confidence and self-validation,” adds Gordon. “Discover your gift, discover hobbies that you love, and focus on your passions. Start a passion project that you truly enjoy devoting your time to, and suddenly, you simply won’t be looking at your phone or waiting on text replies as much,” she says.

Last but not least — and this may sound counter-intuitive — you should talk to your partner about what you are feeling. “Have a conversation with your partner about how it makes you feel. Let them be a part of this shift to more healthy texting,” says Dorell. After all, there is a reason you call them your partner, right? You can and should be able to lean on them when you need a little support while making a positive change.

Ultimately, the amount you text with your partner will depend on what works best for the two of you. It may be a little more or a little less than average, so long as you both are happy. If you are not, then like the experts say, it’s time to focus on you. Engage in the self-care you need to find the happiness from within that you deserve. After all, you’re amazing! You just need to put down your phone for a bit and remind yourself of that from time to time.

 

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

My new book, Phicklephilly 2 is now for sale on Amazon!

 

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PHICKLEPHILLY 2 is Now for Sale on Amazon and Kindle!

“He found love… but can he keep it?”

“Love is a many splintered thing” – Andrew Eldritch

Here it is! The long awaited sequel to the best selling Phicklephilly! Thanks to everyone who bought the first book, and to all of my readers and subscribers on this blog!

Without all of you, none of this would be possible!

You can get it here!

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

When I started writing Phicklephilly back in May of 2016, I never realized how much it would grow and flourish as I went forward. It began as an earnest effort to start writing again. After a few false starts through the summer, I finally decided that if I was going to start writing again, I should stop talking about it and just do it. 

It began like most creative works. Slowly. Once I published my first post, I thought; how am I going to do this every Monday? I had no followers and no exposure anywhere. Instead of worrying about that, I decided to dig in and start to tell stories from my recent past. But since then it’s grown exponentially. It’s a dot com now and has hundreds of thousands of page views. I’ve monetized the site and secured advertisers that generate revenue to support my work. It’s been a lot of fun!

In the beginning, my inspiration was a server named Maria who worked at a local restaurant. I sort of had a crush on her but it never became anything. But it was enough to get me writing again. When I met her I had already been in Philly for almost ten years.

 My first relationship with Michelle had only lasted about three years before she left me. She was approaching age thirty and the alarms were going off in her head to get married and make babies. I had already been married and divorced years before that and had a daughter. I wasn’t going down that painful and expensive road again. The odd thing about my relationship with Michelle was, it was the first time I had a girlfriend that after we broke up, stayed friends with me. We were best friends. Isn’t that the key to all successful and loving relationships? 

Michelle reconnected with her former high school boyfriend. Normally that never works but I think this time it might. I think Michelle broke up with him, left Delaware and came to Philly because the guy wasn’t on the road to success. I think Michelle needed to explore the world a bit. She did that for a while and then met me. I was new and different and we had the time of our lives together in the city. But what neither of us realized was that was all we really were. A couple of people who loved the city and it’s nightlife. The drinks flowed and the laughter ensued. But once we got an apartment and moved in together it was the beginning of the end. We didn’t know it at the time, but domestic life never suited our relationship. We were best friends who liked the social excitement of going out, and being a deadly couple in the city. Once the adventure ended it was over. 

We tried it for a while, and did all of the things that couples do. Celebrate the holidays, birthdays, family stuff, and all of the other grinding aspects of domestic life. But we just got to a point where Michelle realized I wasn’t going to marry her and give her kids. We remained friends for several years after that until she moved to California in 2013 to be with her former boyfriend. He had become the man she had hoped he’d be many years ago. She married him, and at the time of this writing has a baby daughter. So it all worked out for her. She achieved the American dream.

I on the other hand started dating Annabelle in 2013. Annabelle is a failed actress and photographer. She makes her living shooting head shots and weddings. The reason things failed with Annabelle was our obvious age difference, and absolute opposite lifestyles. I was the corporate sales guy, and she lived in a world surrounded by theater people. It was like oil and water, and the only thing we shared was our mutual attraction to each other. Annabelle served as a temporary stand-in for my friend Michelle. The relationship lasted a tumultuous nine months and ended. It was fun in the beginning, but all romantic endeavors are. Once the reality sets in that you’re not a match, normally the relationship dissolves. Both of these relationships are well documented in the first Phicklephilly book.

Michelle is long gone, but her memory continues to haunt me of what could have been.

Near the end of the book I met Cherie. When I started writing the blog I realized I had to get back in the dating game. So I did what most people do. I went on Tinder, Bumble, OkCupid, and whatever else was available. I went on a bunch of crazy dates, but things clicked pretty early on with Cherie. 

I realized I had an ending to my first book. I had burned through a couple of relationships, and then met my love, Cherie. Everything was right in the world. She made me happy and we shared some wonderful times. Over the first couple of months we became close and Phicklephilly had a happy conclusion. It seemed like the perfect ending to a great story. I had reached my destination, and had found love in Philly!

Also, when I was with Michelle and Annabelle, I wasn’t writing. Their stories were told from memory, so it’s basically our greatest hits. But phicklephilly the blog was alive and well when I met Cherie. A rich history indeed!

But what happened after the end of the first book? We’re both in love with each other and things are going great. The story has to continue. I can’t just let the tale end there. There’s so much more to reveal. 

Please join me on my continuing journey.

 

You can get it 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.

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Why Is Getting Over Someone Who Cheated So Hard? Here’s What Experts Say

Most of us have been, or will go, through a breakup (or, you know, a few) in our lives. None of them are especially fun, but there is something exquisitely painful about having your relationship implode because a partner cheated. The confusion, the pain, and — let’s be honest — the anger in this situation can be really intense. None of this is made any easier when you’re faced with actually having to get over someone who cheated and move on for good, which can feel like it’s even more impossible.

Here’s the silver lining: If it feels like moving on from a cheating partner is harder than the other breakups and heartbreaks you’ve endured, it’s definitely not just you. “It’s really challenging to move forward when you’ve been cheated on,” life coach Nina Rubin confirms to Elite Daily. But why is it so much more difficult? It turns out that not all forms of heartbreak are the same, and the effects of infidelity can last much longer. Here’s what the experts have to say on why the pain of cheating lingers, plus how to move forward and put that hurt in the rearview mirror.

Cheating Undermines Your Ability To Trust

When a relationship ends due to a partner’s infidelity, there is another layer of betrayal, and that, Rubin explains, is what destroys the faith you had in them. “Physical and emotional affairs cut the main artery of a relationship: Trust. When you’ve been cheated on, you can no longer trust your partner,” and that, she explains, can be incredibly painful.

vitapix/E+/Getty Images

“Affairs bring with them extremely complex emotions and thoughts of anger, hurt, shame, embarrassment, self-doubt, humiliation, confusion, and fear,” explains Dr. Gary Brown, a prominent couples’ therapist in Los Angeles. But it’s not just the pain that makes moving on from a partner who cheats difficult. There are also feelings of anger to heal from, as Cherlyn Chong, a dating and breakup recovery coach for professional women, tells Elite Daily. “It hurts to know that your ex has broken their promises to you and wasted your time and energy,” she explains.

Infidelity Can Undermine Your Self-Confidence

Perhaps the most insidious part of breaking up with someone who was unfaithful is the way that their betrayal can undermine your self confidence. Chong warns against falling into the trap of comparing yourself to the person your SO cheated with. “Not only do you have the loss of the relationship to get over, you also have the shame of feeling replaced by someone ‘better.’ You’re constantly wondering if they were better-looking, taller, funnier or even better at sex than you,” says Chong. Not only will these kinds of comparisons increase your own pain, but they aren’t even the reality of the situation, Chong explains. “It’s never because you weren’t good enough,” says Chong. “Nor was it something you did that caused them to cheat. Cheating is their decision, and their decision alone. Cheating is multifaceted, and sometimes the reason for cheating can be deeper and more complex.”

How To Get Over Someone Who Cheated

Understanding why getting over someone who cheated is so difficult is one thing, but knowing how to actually do it is another. The first step is to make a conscious decision to move forward, says Chong. “If you have determined that the relationship is broken beyond repair, the most important thing is to simply decide that you will move on,” she explains. That also means sticking to this decision even if the cheating partner decides they want to keep trying. “If the person has broken up with you due to the other person, you must ‘reject the rejector’,” Chong says. “If you have broken up with the person, you must decide that you will not accept that person back, because they have broken your trust and that can never be replaced again.” By staying firm in your choice, Chong says you can actually speed up the healing process. “Set a goal, figure out how you will get there, and then push yourself to get there. Take time to grieve, but don’t stay there too long,” she advises.

Slavica/E+/Getty Images

How long is too long to grieve a breakup? “It takes as long as it takes,” says Rubin, although she adds that the time you take needs to be constructive. “The best thing you can do for yourself is process the pain and learn more about your triggers. Keep holding your head high.” It’s also important to note that, as you continue to heal, the feelings of betrayal left by cheating can create lasting emotional scars. “You may have triggers in your next relationship,” says Rubin. “This is normal. If you start feeling anxious or paranoid that your partner is going to cheat on you, this is a cue to get help and talk to them about your concerns.”

While there is no way to entirely avoid the pain that follows infidelity, the most important thing to remember is that healing is possible. “You can move forward. You can have a great life post-infidelity,” assures Dr. Brown. So hang in there and make your focus about self-care and self-love. You’ve got this.

 

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

My new book, Phicklephilly 2 is coming soon on Amazon!

 

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

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

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COMING SOON… PHICKLEPHILLY 2

“He found love… but can he keep it?”

Love at First Swipe! 

Phicklephilly 2 is the sequel to the best selling book, Phicklephilly: One man’s journey to find love in Philadelphia. In the first book, our hero returned to the city in search of the perfect girlfriend. It was a funny, and sometimes heart wrenching tale of a man trying to navigate the pitfalls of the modern dating world. 

After two failed relationships, he turns to online dating. He goes on several crazy dates, but finally finds a woman he really likes. She’s a bright, unique beauty, but like all relationships, they face several challenges.

Phicklephilly 2 continues his journey and shows you what it’s like being in a relationship, and the dynamics that play out living in the city. But several factors work against them both at every step. Will the couple survive the pitfalls and demands of being in an exclusive committed relationship?

He doesn’t always do what’s right, but neither does she. This is his intimate story of what that’s been like for him. Join him to see if he wins… or loses again. 

There’s always three sides to every story. His side, her side… and the truth. 

 

PHICKLEPHILLY 2 will publish on September 14th!

 

 

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

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

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

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5 Signs Your Partner Is Falling Out of Love With You (& May Ask for a Divorce)

Notice these signs and start re-thinking your relationship.

If you’re worried that your spouse is falling out of love with you, and may want a divorce, you need to know the signs that your marriage is over.

If your happy marriage has slowly evolved into an unhappy marriage, you will know because of the way your spouse acts around you.

We all hope for everlasting love. That’s why we said “I do” in the first place.

But, often, we outlast our relationships, evolving beyond their life expectancy.

Think of your relationship as a garden with you and your husband or wife as the gardeners or caretakers.

The life of the garden depends upon what you put into it. It needs attention, water, sunlight, pruning, weeding, replanting, sowing of seeds, tending, nurturing, and enjoyment.

Left alone, a garden will wither. The elements will ravage it, causing destruction and deterioration.

Your relationship is like that. Untended, it dissolves.

If you’re wondering, “Is my marriage over?”, you need to look at the state of your relationship. Just like the state of your yard, you can see it. The signs are telltale and evident.

If you know what to look for, you can recognize if your spouse is over you so you can do something about it and figure out how to save your marriage.

“Is marriage worth it?” you might be asking.

And, why do people fall out of love?

If you notice the warning signs your marriage is over because your spouse is no longer in love with you, please know that divorce is not your only option.

Just because you let your garden become overgrown and infested with weeds, doesn’t mean you have to move. The same is true of your relationship.

With a lot of care, attention, and hours spent, it can be possible to resuscitate your loveless marriage.

But it will require both you and your spouse putting in the time and effort.

It would be so much easier to be in a relationship if we all knew how to communicate with each other.

Unless you’re a mind reader, it’s impossible to know how your spouse is feeling without them telling you.

Some people leave a relationship when the going gets difficult because they just don’t know how to handle conflict.

And with every serious relationship conflict is inevitable and, even sometimes, healthy. Being able to air our differences and have room for each other’s perspectives are incredible gifts to give each other.

Handling conflict lovingly and skillfully is a behavior that can be taught and learned. But most of us have never had the right relationship advice and lessons, choosing instead to learn in the school of hard knocks.

Since we don’t always communicate effectively, our feelings come out in our actions instead. Actions are often much louder than words.

With that said, here are 5 tell-tale warning signs your spouse is falling out of love with you and may even ask for a divorce.

1. Partner detachment

In a healthy relationship, we talk to each other, ask questions about each other’s thoughts, feelings, and day.

As expert marriage researcher John Gottman says, we make bids for each other’s attention and the health of that relationship depends on how often we respond to those bids.

When you try and share something with your partner, do they turn toward you and express interest? Or do they blow you off?

The detachment can show up in many different ways. Perhaps you used to fight all the time, you were passionate about your communication and exchanges.

Now your partner can’t be bothered to fight. They respond with one-word sentences.

What are some other signs your wife or husband doesn’t love you anymore?

Your partner could be distant emotionally and/or physically. Even if you ask, your partner won’t open up and share how they’re feeling.

And rather than spending time together, your spouse is making plans with other people or spending more and more time out of the house. They are physically and emotionally pulling away.

Your partner might show zero interest in making any plans. They are so distant and detached that they are not willing to plan anything together — no holidays, no date nights, and no home repairs or remodels.

They are not thinking about a future together, they are busy making plans for themselves.

Nobel Laureate, Elie Weisel said that “the opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.” Rather than checking in with you, your partner is checking out.

2. Everything is a fight

Sometimes the sign is apathy and indifference, and other times, it’s frustration, annoyance, and even anger. Your spouse’s temper is hot and their fuse is short.

They blow up at the slightest provocation. They snap at you for every little thing, and you’re the one they blame. You’re at fault for all of the problems.

You feel like you can never do anything right, and you’re walking on eggshells in your own home.

3. Lack of intimacy

There are many types of intimacy in a relationship. It could be physical like holding hands, massage, hugs, kisses, and sexual connection. It could also be emotional like being vulnerable, sharing feelings, and deep conversations.

Marriages thrive on intimacy and connection. When the intimacy changes you need to pay attention. Are you and your spouse more like roommates than lovers? Or worse yet, total strangers?

So, what to do when your husband doesn’t want you? Or, when your wife won’t get intimate?

Take a moment to consider your intimacy habits.

Intimacy is a very strong indicator of how healthy a relationship is. There isn’t a prescribed number of times you should be having sex per week (despite many articles and statistics on the subject), but if your frequency changes, or the type of sex changes (where did my spouse learn those new moves?!), that may be a sign.

4. Secrets

Another strong sign is when your spouse suddenly becomes secretive about their phone calls, texts, emails, and/or mail.

There could be another person involved — they could be having an affair. Or your spouse could be doing research about getting divorced, and reaching out to professionals, such as family law attorneys, or financial advisors, etc.

When you question your spouse, they act evasive or even tell you lies.

5. Financial changes

Be on the lookout for any changes in the financial arena of your marriage. Has your spouse changed the passwords to your accounts without telling you?

Have there been any major changes in your assets? Has your spouse opened an equity line of credit on your house or a new bank account or are even applying for additional credit cards?

Or maybe your spouse was previously not interested in the family finances and now they are starting to ask questions or requesting copies of statements and tax returns.

The above are some of the major signs to look out for but there are others that may be more subtle.

Maybe your spouse has started focusing on their appearance when they never did before. Or takes a sudden interest in the kids. Or there’s a new insistence to move closer to family.

The interest in appearance could mean they’re hoping to attract someone else. The interest in the kids could be so that they look good in the eyes of the court if there’s a custody battle. The request to move closer to home may be to provide some support during and after the divorce.

These signs are meant to get you noticing and thinking about your relationship.

Are there signs that your spouse is unhappy, and longing to move on? Or is your spouse unhappy and wanting to make changes to make the relationship healthier and stronger?

It will be up to you and your spouse to explore this situation and determine if there’s a way back to each other and a healthier, happier life together.

Or if you need to part ways, you can rebuild a life that is more authentic to each of you.

It’s time to take steps to move forward. So, talk to your spouse.

A healthy relationship is based on strong communication. Share with them what you’re observing and how it’s making you feel.

If you need help communicating, reach out to a professional such as a therapist or a divorce coach, either on your own or together.

Try to find a way back to each other. Maybe by learning each other’s love language. For example, if your spouse’s love language is Quality Time, try spending more time together doing activities you both enjoy.

Focus on your own wellbeing. Sometimes healing yourself will go a long way toward healing your relationship.

Seek counseling. Getting outside help might be a helpful way to work through and process your issues as a couple. Either alone or together.

Build your support network: friends, family, a support group, therapist or divorce coach, religious community. You need people around you who are positive and supportive.

Learn about divorce. If you think you may be headed toward divorce you will want to learn something about the process, and the professionals who can support you. Meet with a family law attorney or mediator. Many divorce professionals offer free phone consultations.

 

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!

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12 Things to Do When You’re Feeling Lonely, According to Experts

You could say this world is more connected than it’s ever been.

Friends, family, and strangers who live miles apart can communicate instantly thanks to social media and email. Anyone can hop on a plane from New York City and reach Los Angeles in just hours. In large metropolitan melting pots across the globe, thousands of people from different countries and cultures mingle and break bread. It’s as if time and space is collapsing, bringing all sorts of people closer to one another.

Yet so many of us feel lonely and can’t seem to shake it.

Researchers claim that the U.S. is experiencing a “loneliness epidemic.” In a 2018 survey, conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), experts discovered that about 22% of Americans say they constantly feel alone. Such prolonged feelings of isolation can come with serious health problems, both mental and physical. Feelings of isolation are often associated with depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. Doctors have also found that people who are lonely tend to have increased blood pressure, weaker immune systems, and more inflammation throughout the body.

Turns out, connectedness not only makes our lives more interesting, it’s vital for our own survival.

So what should you do when you’re feeling blue without anyone to lean on? Here’s what therapists, doctors, and researches say are some of the best strategies to cope with loneliness:

1. Name it. Validate it.

Telling other people you’re lonely can feel scary, shameful, and self-defeating. But expressing that feeling can be the beginning of releasing it.

“We tend to stigmatize loneliness in the U.S., equating it with being a loner or a loser,” says Kory Floyd, Professor of Communication and Psychology at the University of Arizona. “That stigma encourages us to avoid admitting when we’re lonely. Denying our loneliness only perpetuates it, so before we can recover, we have to be honest — at least with ourselves — about what we are experiencing.”

2. Take stock of connections you already have.

Sometimes when we are feeling lonely, we can’t see what’s right in front of us.

“Many of us get tunnel vision when it comes to affection and intimacy, in that we ‘count’ only certain behaviors while discounting others,” says Professor Floyd. “I might notice that my friends don’t tell me they love me, or don’t ‘like’ my social media posts, but I overlook the fact that they always volunteer to help when I have a home project to do. When people expand their definitions of affection and love to include a wider range of behaviors, they often discover that they aren’t as deprived as they originally thought.”

3. Recognize you are not alone (in feeling lonely).

If 22% of Americans constantly feel lonely, know that if you’re feeling isolated that you’re sharing the same experience with millions of other people.

“[When I’m lonely] I remind myself just how pervasive loneliness is and I imagine being connected to ‘all of the lonely people out there’. Sometimes I listen to Eleanor Rigby [by the Beatles] to hammer that point home,” says Megan Bruneau, psychotherapist and executive coach. “Loneliness is a healthy emotion, revealing places we yearn for connection.”

4. Get curious. Ask questions.

Recognize that loneliness looks different for people at different times of their lives, and that there are those who have many relationships, but still feel like something is missing. Ask yourself what loneliness looks like for you.

“It’s important to differentiate between situational loneliness and chronic loneliness,” says Bruneau. “Most people feel lonely from time to time, especially in today’s individualistic, independence-valuing, more-single-than-ever-culture. However, if I’m feeling loneliness more frequently than usual, I get curious about the shift. Has something changed in my relationships leading me to feel more disconnected? Have I been nurturing my current connections and creating opportunities for new ones that make me feel ‘seen’? Am I intentionally or accidentally isolating [myself]?”

Whether our loneliness is brief or chronic, questions like these can help direct us to the best way to cope, she suggests.

5. Take the time to slow down.

If you’re frequently busy, running around with your to-do list or feel stressed by all the meetings at work, it might be time to hit the breaks.

“Sometimes when people’s schedules are back-to-back for too long, they start disconnecting from themselves and other people,” says Judith Orloff MD, psychiatrist and author of Thriving as an Empath. “They get overwhelmed from overworking and too much stimulation. So the practice [then] is just to relax and do what their body needs.”

Perhaps that relaxing for you could mean listening to music, taking a bath, or just sitting with nothing to do and nowhere to be.

6. Reconnect with self-love and appreciation.

You can use alone time to get back in touch with you.

“You have to be your own best friend,” says Dr. Orloff. “I go to my sacred space and I meditate. I take a few deep breaths, relax, and ask worry, fear, and loneliness to lift so I can just be with myself.”

She recommends that those who are new to meditation can try to sit for three minutes and focus on something they find pleasing — like the ocean or dolphins — or any simple things they are grateful for. “Focusing on what you’re grateful for rather than what you don’t have shifts the negative thinking,” she says.

Being alone and strolling through nature can be meditative, too.

7. Perform anonymous acts of kindness …

… and recognize the kindness in others.

Sometimes when you feel alone, you might feel like isolating yourself from the world, which only continues the cycle of loneliness. In that case, finding a group of friends to hang out with or dropping into a large social scene can feel like a lot. So why not consider starting small?

“Go out into the world and notice a smile from the store clerk,” says Dr. Orloff. “Hold a door for somebody or do something nice for a stranger and then you start to get the endorphins and the oxytocin going in your body. Oxytocin is the bonding hormone. It’s what mother’s have when they give birth. So oxytocin is important.”

If you are feeling a bit more extroverted, you might even try starting conversations.

“Get out every day and have a conversation, face-to-face, with your neighbor, a friend, your grocer, the librarian — in short, any one whom you might meet regularly,” says Susan Pinker, psychologist and author of The Village Effect. This doesn’t have to be a close relationship. Research tells us that even weak bonds strengthen our immunity and well-being.”

8. Join a club.

Perhaps you are looking to develop more of those deep meaningful relationships. In that case, you might want to explore hobbies with other people to form bonds over common interests.

“This could be a class, a committee, or a volunteer group,” says Pinker. “Any activity that puts you in a social environment on a regular basis.”

Vibe with someone over your love for pottery at a local art class. Find a Meetup group of people who are just as obsessed with Game of Thrones as you are. Or maybe try something completely new, like goat yoga. You can have fun with this.

9. Put your hand over your heart.

Lack of physical connection can be the cause of loneliness. When we were babies, our bodies were trained to respond to physical touch as a form of communication and connection with our caregivers — especially when “goo goo gaga” didn’t quite cut it.

So, even if you don’t consider yourself a touchy-feely person, physical contact has always been at the center of feeling safe, secure, and cared for. But know that you don’t need a lover, a friend, or a massage therapist to give you a reassuring caress. Placing your hand over your heart could do it.

“Our bodies registers the care we give ourselves in a similar way that it registers the care we get from others through physical touch,” says Dr. Kristin Neff, associate professor at the University of Texas and author of Self-Compassion. “‘Supportive’ touch works with the person’s parasympathetic nervous system, which actually helps calm us down and reduces cortisol and releases oxytocin.”

Everyone, however, is different, Dr. Neff says. Some people prefer a hand on the stomach. Others prefer holding their face. Some love hugging themselves. If you’re by your lonesome, this could be a chance to figure out how to be your own buddy.

10. Create something.

Sketch. Paint. Knit. Anything to get your creative juices flowing.

“Creative arts have an extraordinary capacity to elevate and transcend our negative emotional experiences through self-expression, as well as to connect us more deeply and authentically with each other,” says Dr. Jeremy Nobel, MPH and the founder of The UnLonely Project.

One of Dr. Nobel’s favorite strategies is expressive writing. Jotting down thoughts and feelings you recognize others may be experiencing has a similar affect as, say, going to the movies. At the theatre you share a room with a group of people — perhaps strangers — who are all witnessing the same journey with you. Even if you don’t talk to anyone, you and the entire audience are connected through shared experience, Dr. Nobel explains. Mentally, the same thing happens when you write, even if you never share it with a soul. Although, sharing could be a healthy way to find connection among others.

11. Check your social media usage.

While the jury is still out on whether or not the rise of social media is driving loneliness and depression, it doesn’t hurt to reevaluate the effect it has on your life.

Are you using it to make meaningful connections? Are you spending too much time on it? Is it causing you to withdraw in unhelpful ways?

“If we feel dissatisfied with our face-to-face relationships, we [often] retreat into the world of social media, which only exacerbates the problem,” says Professor Floyd of the University of Arizona. “On social media, it seems as though everyone else has better jobs, better houses, better vacations, and better relationships than we do. That isn’t actually true, of course.”

If Instagram and Facebook are dragging you down, it might be time for a temporary screen detox.

12. Work with a mental health professional

Sometimes we need professional help to escape the dark thoughts keeping us in isolation.

“One of the most destructive effects of long-term loneliness is that it distorts our cognitions about ourselves,” says Professor Floyd. “We come to believe that if we are lonely, we deserve to be lonely and that no one will ever love us the way we want. Those thoughts in turn guide our actions in ways that end up keeping us lonely. Cognitive behavioral therapy is designed to bring our thoughts and behavior better in line with reality.”

If you’re struggling with loneliness, anxiety, or depression and need professional help, the American Psychological Association‘s Psychologist Locator tool can help you find a licensed therapist in your area that takes your insurance.

 

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Dating experts offer tips for lovelorn singles over 50

Carol Greenfield, 68, has had her share of bad app dates. She misses meeting people in person: Chemistry, she says, is hard to capture on a screen.

Over 50, single and ready to mingle? Here are some online dating tips, profile pointers and meetup guidelines from experts who know how to get seniors back into the matchmaking game.

Don’t fudge your profile photos

“Authentic dating profiles get the best results, and in midlife, no one expects a six-pack or perfect body,” says Julie Spira, a relationship expert with senior dating app OurTime. So opt for pics taken in 2019 that capture how you’d actually show up for a first date: in nice clothing, at your current weight and without a filter erasing your crow’s feet. A full-length body shot is essential, Spira adds — people will pass if they think you’re hiding something. And limit yourself to one group shot.

Don’t play it coy

“It used to be that once you connected with someone, you waited three days to get in touch again because you didn’t want to seem overly interested,” says Spira. “Technology has made that obsolete. If you don’t respond in three hours, your hot lead for romance is going to go cold.”

Raise your age cutoff

Many 50-plus singles vainly reject the idea of dating older, severely limiting their potential mates. Psychologist Chloe Carmichael recommends that people be open to dating those who are as much as five years their senior. That way, she says, you can greatly expand your dating pool without creating major age gaps.

Keep it brief

Most older singles have had rich life experiences, but the “About Me” section isn’t the place for your long-winded memoir, says Spira. Aim for three to five sentences that focus on your present life, possibly with a funny quote or a few emojis to quickly convey hobbies and passions.

Steer clear of TMI

Your matches are sure to ask about your relationship history, but that’s not an invitation to divulge your ex’s five-year affair with the dog walker. Be ready with a simple, blame-free sentence. For example, “The marriage ended a few years ago because we ultimately developed some trust issues, and I’ll be happy to tell you more down the line.”

 

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If The Person You’re Dating Doesn’t Want A Relationship Right Now, Should You Move On? Here’s What To Do

So, you’ve started seeing someone new. You’re into it. You’re looking to lock this thing down. They… are not. Everyone has their own dating timeline, and even if someone likes spending time with you, they may not be ready for labels just yet. I once dated a guy who was OK posting pics of us together on his Insta Story, but not on his actual Instagram, because that was “too real.” Did I wait around for him to change his mind? You betcha. But if it’s pretty clear that the person you’re dating doesn’t want a relationship, should you wait? In my experience, probably not.

It’s easy to think, “If I wait long enough, this person will eventually see how cool and fun I am and won’t be able to imagine dating anyone else.” Unfortunately, a person who doesn’t want to commit right now may not ever be willing to commit — at least not to you. (Sorry, but — as the great Lizzo once said — truth hurts.) How can you tell the different between a person who doesn’t want a relationship now and a person who simply doesn’t want you? Here’s how to get to the truth, and then eventually get over it.

Figure Out Whether They Can’t Commit Now Or Can’t Commit Ever

Passionate romantic couple in sweaters are spending time together before New Year at home. Tender couple hugging on the background of shiny garland.

Shutterstock

There are plenty of reasons why a person may not want to be a relationship for the moment. They could have just had a bad breakup and need to spend some time casually dating. They could have trust issues. They could be overwhelmed with work or school or family drama and simply can’t take on another responsibility right now.

If the person you’re dating says they can’t begin a relationship now but may be able to begin a relationship down the road, they could be worth waiting for. But if the person you’re seeing gives you the impression that they won’t be ready to DTR anytime soon, or maybe ever, I wouldn’t hold your breath.

“Listen to their language to determine if they ever will commit,” Anita Chlipala, dating and relationships expert, previously told Elite Daily. “If they say things like, ‘Looking for the X factor,’ or, ‘I know there’s a right person out there,’ or, ‘I am looking for a unicorn,’ or, ‘I’ll know it when I feel it,’ they might be emotionally unavailable.” If someone suggests that you’re not the one, it may be time to cut that one loose.

Find Out Whether They’re Willing To Set A Timeline Together

Just because you feel the right time to DTR is after six dates doesn’t mean that person you’re seeing is on the same page. It’s as unfair to rush someone into a relationship as it is to keep someone wondering whether you’ll ever commit. Conversation is key to determining what both your needs are, and you can’t know what the person you’re dating wants (or doesn’t want) unless you’re totally open and honest with them yourself.

If someone resists the relationship conversation, try explaining to them why you desire commitment. Once your needs are made clear, they might be more willing to explain their hesitation and perhaps even set a time to revisit the conversation.

“People have different timelines, so your date might not want to commit at the same time that you want to,” Chlipala pointed out, and that’s understandable. But the most important thing is knowing what you want, and if you’re dating a person who refuses to open up or keep an open mind, don’t feel obligated to compromise just to stay with them.

Suggest The Idea Of Seeing Other People

As much as you’d like to, you can’t force an unwilling person into a relationship. That will only create resentment and, eventually, end in disappointment. Perhaps the only thing worse than dating a person who won’t commit is being with a person who half-heartedly agrees to commit and then regrets it.

If the person you’re seeing doesn’t want a relationship, and they can’t see themselves changing their mind anytime soon, it might be time to suggest dating around. A person resistant to commit may just like the idea of seeing other people but, in reality, would rather be exclusive than see you on a date with someone else.

“If they’re dating other people, you should be, too,” said Chlipala. “It can help prevent being hyper-focused on one person and analyzing what they’re doing.” By giving that person space, they may realize what they’ll lose if they refuse to DTR: you. If not, then hopefully you’ll meet someone new who’s deserving of your time and company.

Waiting for a person to commit can be a real risk, especially if the person you’re pursuing is a lost cause. “People who are ‘avoidant-attached’ avoid closeness,” Chlipala explained, “and depending on their level of avoidance, end up jumping from one person to another without a real relationship.” If you want to avoid being breadcrumbed, it’s important to know what kind of chance you actually have changing this person’s mind and — more importantly — when it’s time to give up the chase and move on.

 

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5 Coronavirus Questions To Ask Before Meeting Up With A Date In Person

Kaitlyn McQuin, a 28-year-old writer and actor living in New Orleans, said she’s been keeping her dating circle “very small” during the pandemic. She had one phone date in March and then went on her first in-person date (they hung out at a park where they could keep their distance) in early June. To feel safe meeting up with someone IRL these days, certain conversations need to happen that weren’t necessary in a pre-COVID-19 world.

“I’d like to know how many people they’ve been around, if they’ve been wearing masks when they’re out in public — pro tip: do this! — and if they’ve had symptoms or have been ill,” McQuin told Phicklephilly. “This is a freaking pandemic, so I don’t see anything wrong with declining a date if the person you’re talking to doesn’t respect your personal and health-related boundaries.”

“Also, wearing a mask and taking precautions means you care, and people who care are attractive,” she said. “If someone said they weren’t taking precautionary measures to protect the lives of other people, or that it wasn’t necessary, I’d bid them farewell real fast.”

So what sorts of health-related questions should you ask a suitor before you meet up in person? Experts offer their advice on what to inquire about and how.

Questions To Ask

When it comes to socializing IRL, there’s no such thing as a zero-risk interaction, said Jenna Macciochi, a UK-based immunologist and lecturer at the University of Sussex.

“Plus, if you don’t know the person, there is a risk that they won’t be truthful,” she said.

Still, you should do your due diligence by having these talks — preferably on video chat or a phone call — before you consider meeting up.

“It is a crucial conversation to have and if you aren’t comfortable doing so, you should not discuss plans to meet in person,” said Erin Sorrell, an assistant research professor in Georgetown University’s department of microbiology and immunology. “Your health and well-being need to be prioritized over your dating life right now.”

These conversations can, understandably, be intimidating or uncomfortable — especially when they’re with someone you’re just getting to know. Approach these discussions from a place of mindful curiosity so you can have an honest — but not hostile — dialogue with your date.

“Tactful conversations are about honesty,” said Janet Brito, a psychologist and sex therapist in Honolulu. “Being clear about your needs is not being mean. How you say it is key though. So be aware of your tone and body language to create a feeling of safety for your prospective date to be willing to be free with their thoughts and feelings on what seems to bring up divided feelings for some.”

How this person responds during the conversation may also shed light about your potential compatibility.

“I think it’s best to date someone who has similar views to you about how to manage this public health crisis,” Brito said.

Ask these questions to get a clearer picture of the risks involved:

1. What does a typical day look like for you during the pandemic?

“This will give you a good idea of what the person’s risk factors are — are they working at home? Or are they going to a space that puts them at risk for getting infected?” said Dr. Krutika Kuppalli, an infectious diseases physician and vice chair of the IDSA Global Health Committee. “You can also find out if you both have similar or different interests, which is important.”

If your date has a front-line job — like a health care worker, grocery clerk, law enforcement officer or delivery driver — this likely increases their exposure, Macciochi said.

2. Have you had any COVID-19 symptoms in the last few weeks?

Symptoms may include — but are not limited to — cough, fever, sore throat or new loss of taste or smell.

“If the prospective date has displayed symptoms, I’d recommend not going on the date in person until they have been tested and confirmed they do not have COVID-19,” said Dr. Vandana A. Patel, a pulmonologist and clinical advisor for the online pharmacy startup Cabinet. “Even then, it’s important to take normal precautions — like wearing a mask — when going on a date.”

3. Have you been in close contact with anyone who has COVID-19?

That could be a friend, family member or co-worker who either tested positive for the virus or has a presumed case. You can also ask if they’ve been in any situations recently that may have elevated their risk, like traveling or protesting, Patel said.

“Even if the prospective date is not displaying symptoms of COVID-19, they may still have it and be asymptomatic,” she added.

4. Who do you live with?

You’d want to know if your date lives with parents or grandparents, who could be in a high-risk group because of their age or underlying health conditions. Or perhaps they have a roommate who’s an essential worker, which could also increase your date’s exposure to the virus.

“This will give you an idea if they have an elderly family member with a potential risk factor for developing COVID and give you an indication about if you need to be more careful around them,” Kuppalli said. “It will also let you know if you need to be more careful being around them because they are around a lot of people.”

5. Have you been dating, hooking up or spending time with people other than those in your household lately?

And if so, this is good opportunity to ask what precautions they’ve been taking when socializing with others. See if these dates or get-togethers took place indoors or outdoors, if they were large or small, if they happened once or twice or a bunch of times and if people were wearing masks and/or staying 6 feet apart.

“The more people they are around — in particular, intimate with — will increase their risk for getting COVID-19,” Kuppalli said. “And if you are around them this will increase your risk.”

Safer Date Ideas

If you talk through these questions and decide you want to meet up, make plans that minimize the risks for both of you. All of our experts agreed that outdoor dates are the way to go. Think walking, hiking, riding bikes or enjoying a coffee or picnic outside (you can each pack your own food and utensils) — all while avoiding close contact. Bring a facial covering with you for when you cannot maintain a safe social distance.

“You are at the highest risk of exposure and infection when you are in a closed environment indoors, in close contact and without a face mask,” Sorrell said.

Skip indoor restaurants and bars or any gathering or party where you’ll be around other people, Kuppalli recommended.

“If you do go on a date, avoid physical contact as much as possible and take precautions such as wearing a mask, sanitizing your hands often before, during and after the date and keep at least 6 feet apart from the date,” Patel said.

If someone said they weren’t taking precautionary measures to protect the lives of other people, or that it wasn’t necessary, I’d bid them farewell real fast. Kaitlyn McQuin,, writer and actor

After the date, if either of you starts exhibiting symptoms, it’s important that you let the other know ASAP. That way you can quarantine yourself, inform other people you’ve been interacting with and get tested.

“This is why it is important to have honest conversations with anyone you consider spending time with,” Sorrell said. “There also has to be trust that the person you are dating will tell you if they feel ill. If you start showing symptoms you need to call your doctor, get tested and tell your social circle so that they can get tested and/or home isolate. You would need to do this for anyone you’ve interacted with and then they would need to for their circles as well.”

Risky Business: Love And Sex In A Germaphobic World is a HuffPost series exploring the way that coronavirus is changing the way we date, have sex and enjoy intimacy.

A Phicklephilly Guide To Coronavirus

  • Stay up to date with our live blog as we cover the COVID-19 pandemic
  • 7 essential pieces of relationship advice for couples in quarantine
  • What you need to know about face masks right now
  • How to tell if you need to start doing online therapy
  • Lost your job due to coronavirus? Here’s what you need to know.
  • Parenting during the coronavirus crisis?
  • What coronavirus questions are on your mind right now? We want to help you find answers.
  • Everyone deserves accurate information about COVID-19. Support journalism without a paywall — and keep it free for everyone — by becoming a phicklephilly member today.

Experts are still learning about the novel coronavirus. The information in this story is what was known or available as of press time, but it’s possible guidance around COVID-19 could change as scientists discover more about the virus. Please check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the most updated recommendations.

 

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Tobacco Road – 1977-1996 and 2008-2018

I started smoking cigarettes when I was around 14 years old. I was going on 15 but it was just something kids did back in the 70’s. Everybody smoked cigarettes. It was so widely accepted despite the health warnings. Everybody I knew smoked cigarettes. Back then you could buy a pack of smokes for $0.51 a pack at Rite Aid. That’s super cheap! A whole pack of cigs for half a buck? Incredible!

The odd thing was, at our young age, my friends and I always had a story ready if we were ever questioned by any of the shopkeepers in any of the stores where we bought them. The story was always, “Oh, these are for my mom.”

But no one ever asked us who the cigarettes were for. Ever. We had no problem buying cigarettes anywhere we ever went.

I remember my ‘straight A’ student sister Janice taught me how to inhale.

When you start fooling around with smoking, your young lungs aren’t accustomed to breathing in toxic smoke. So you just puff them to look cool. But to get the full benefits, taste, and rush of smoking, you have to inhale the smoke. So one night my sister Janice showed me and my friend Anthony how to do it. We were standing down by the bulkhead at 8th and JFK blvd. in North Wildwood. She said, “take a small puff and then suck the smoke into your lungs like you’re being startled.” You suck it in really fast and in it goes. You get the full taste and then blow it out.

What I didn’t know is that once you do that, the nicotine enters your bloodstream and gives you that little rush that smoking cigarettes brings.

That is also the first day of your addiction to cigarettes.

I smoked and enjoyed cigarettes for the next 20 years.

Then my daughter Lorelei was born and I decided to quit smoking for health reasons. I didn’t want to sniff her baby head and have the smell of cigarettes present. But I was in my 30’s then and firmly addicted to smoking with a 20 year habit. So I bought the nicoderm patch. The patch is a sticker you place on your arm and it releases nicotine into your system without smoking.

Dosage & Steps | NicoDerm CQ

It was tough but I slowly got myself off cigarettes. It probably cost me $600 in patches but it eventually worked. I was free of smoking but as one ex-smoker once said to me, my blood was hungry for cigarettes for over 2 years after quitting.

But like anything else, if you stop doing it, it eventually fades from your life and you no longer want it.

 

Jump forward 10 years, and I was divorced for over 8 years and I started dating Michelle.   https://phicklephilly.com/2016/10/31/my-michelle-2007-present-part-1/

I loved Michelle. Probably more than I’ve ever loved anyone else in my life. We would be out at night touring the city and pounding cocktails.

Michelle smoked cigarettes and sometimes she’d have problems lighting them in the evening breeze. Having been a long time smoker, I could get a cigarette lit in a sandstorm with one match left on the beaches of Wildwood. I’d help her.

Me getting her Parliament lit and handing it off to her went from that to me taking one sweet puff.

Michelle worried I’d get re-addicted to cigarettes doing that. I assured her I wouldn’t. I told her, “I’ll only get hooked if I start buying them again, and that’s not going to happen.”

But back in 2008 I was madly in love with her and my life in general with her. It wasn’t long before I was picking up a pack of Marlboro lights on a regular basis.

I didn’t care. I felt alive with her and really loved the taste of cigarettes again. There’s nothing better than a cold cocktail and a delicious cigarette. It’s like sex.

But like everything awesome, if you do it often enough you begin to tire of it.

 

Jump to 2018.

Michelle was long gone and all that remained was my addiction to tobacco.

But things had changed. Cigarettes were now $10 a pack and I found myself growing tired of smoking in general.

I was older. Better in touch with who I was and what I wanted. I found that I really don’t have an addictive personality. I have more of a compulsive personality.

I would buy a pack of cigarettes and only enjoy maybe 2 of them. My favorite was the one after work. The celebratory smoke of finishing the day. An addict craves their drug of choice all the time. I was sick of smoking but still doing it. My mind wanted to give it up I was sure, but I needed to bring the body over with my thought process. And in that lies the true challenge.

I was tired of the smell, the dirt, the ashes, the health risks, and most of all taking it on the chin for $10 bucks a pack!

The only part of smoking I liked was the actual act of smoking. Holding it in my hand, puffing on it, watching the smoke blow from my lips. Not the actual need to smoke. I no longer had that. No addiction, just an annoying holdover from my past life. Something I no longer enjoyed, but just did out of ritual and habit.

(This factor will play out in another vice I would soon address.)

But what to do? I knew this chapter in my life had to end as I continued to evolve through my 50s.

I was moonlighting at the tanning salon one night and was cleaning one of the rooms. People are always leaving things behind in the rooms. I’ve found all kinds of things. Money, jewelry, drugs, underwear, etc. But this time I found a small, grey colored metal stick with a tiny light on it sitting on the table. I had no idea what it was and just figured it was some sort of wifi gadget for a computer.

But I was wrong.

The girl who had left the object behind came back asking for it. I gave it to her.

“What is that?”

“It’s called a Juul. You smoke it. Like a vape pen.”

I had heard of people vapeing but it all seemed weird to me.

“You can smoke that like a cigarette and nothing’s burning or making ashes?”

“Yea. You can charge it on your laptop, and you have these little pods you stick into it. They have different flavors and there’s nothing burning, no ashes, no smell, no real smoke, no carbon monoxide. It’s awesome. I love it.”

“Is there nicotine in that thing?”

Image result for juul

“Yea, but only 5%. Which isn’t much, but it’s so much better for you than smoking dirty cigarettes.”

I was sold. The next day, I went to my local 7-Eleven and bought the starter pack of Juul. The unit, a charger, and 4 pods with different flavors. Virginia Tobacco, Cool Mint, Creme Brulee’, and Berry.

I charged the unit up at work that night and liked the results. I’ve been smoke free since May 2018 and have never looked back. I don’t smoke my Juul that much, and have zero desire to have a cigarette. When I see someone smoking a cig now, it looks dirty to me and wonder how someone could enjoy such a primitive filthy habit.

Ahh, the reformed smokers are the worst!

I’m so happy cigarettes are gone from my life for good.

I know what you’re all thinking… Oh, you’re still getting nicotine from that thing.

They make nicotine free pods now, so you can simulate smoking with no ill effects.

Image result for cyclone pods

 

So now I can still enjoy the celebratory smoke after work with no addiction or health issues. I feel great and enjoy my Juul very much.

 

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

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