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!

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When Someone Isn’t Over Their Ex, They’ll Probably Show These 5 Behaviors

I used to know someone who couldn’t let go… he’s probably still stuck.

Imagine this all-too-real scenario for a minute: You’ve been dating someone for a few weeks and everything’s going well. You really like them and think this could lead to a great relationship. The downside? They bring up their ex’s name way too often, or you catch them creeping on their social media. It’s uncomfortable, and you aren’t sure what to do about it. When someone isn’t over their ex, you’ll probably be able to pick up on certain behaviors that’ll feel like dead giveaways. Knowing what to look out for might be able to help you decide whether or not this is a topic you want to bring up.

First of all, does it really matter if your partner isn’t over their ex before they start dating you? Sex and intimacy coach Irene Fehr tells Elite Daily that it does. “From the wondering, dreaming, thinking about ‘what ifs’ or ‘what should have beens’ with an ex, still being connected with them takes emotional energy — and that is energy that cannot go to a current partner.”

She also points out the importance of emotional availability, saying, “if you want to be involved fully with this person, it’s important that they are available to be emotionally involved and in love with you. Still being involved or hung up with an ex creates a dynamic where there is a ‘third,’ which can be defined as anyone or anything that intrudes on the couple, or makes it difficult to connect deeply and get to know each other.”

If you notice any of the following signs in your bae’s behavior, it might be because they’re still healing from their last breakup and probably aren’t ready to move on.

1. It’s clear they can’t let things go.

Unhappy young couple of friends, teenagers, students at city street, relationship difficulties concept

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If someone isn’t over their ex, then they might still be pretty upset about the way things ended. “They still complain about their ex and what they did or didn’t do, and that carries charge: bitterness, resentment, anger or sadness,” Fehr explains. “They are stuck wishing that things were different and they can’t let it go.”

When the person you’re seeing can’t make like Elsa and just let it go, they probably aren’t over their ex, which means it might be time to have a conversation.

2. They’re still very good friends with a recent ex.

Everyone has a different opinion about whether or not staying friends with an ex is a good idea. To each their own, but according to Fehr, someone who maintains regular contact with an ex might be doing so because they’re not ready to fully part ways. “They still stay in touch with the ex, in person or via social media, and discuss what they’re doing in and with their lives,” she says. “They are a presence in their mind and thoughts.”

That’s not to say that someone who’s still friends with an ex will never be able to give you the kind of relationship you deserve. That’s very much not the case. You can absolutely still be friends with an ex and be emotionally available to have a relationship with someone else. Nevertheless, you will know when that relationship is a little too close for comfort, especially if the breakup is still very fresh and the exes are regularly communicating and meeting up without you.

3. They constantly check their ex’s social media accounts.

If your eyes have ever wandered onto your bae’s phone screen, only to find that they’re scrolling through their ex’s Insta, they might still be hung up, behavioral scientist and clinician Clarissa Silva, tells Elite Daily. In fact, stalking an ex on social media at any point isn’t particularly healthy. “This only stagnates their growth because it occupies their brain with thoughts about their exes’ activities and whereabouts.”

4. Their memories haunt them.

Shot of sad young woman thinking about her problems while sitting next to the river in the city.

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This one might be hard to pick up on if you’ve only recently started dating this person, but if they’re not over their ex, they might become distracted by thoughts of them. “Especially if someone recently ended a relationship, the person might be constantly reminded of good times together — or bad,” Fehr says. “It might feel like everything is a trigger to some memory. They might bring it up or you might feel them drifting away and getting lost in the memory.” Sometimes you only have your intuition to go on, but if you notice that they’re becoming more distant, they could be thinking about their ex.

5. They regularly bring their ex up in casual conversations.

Last, but certainly not least, someone who doesn’t stop talking about their ex probably isn’t over them. “Their number one topic is their ex,” Silva explains. “When someone is struggling to get over an ex, they often reminisce about the relationship.” But, there is a difference between reminiscing fondly and reminiscing obsessively to the point where everyone needs to know every detail about their former relationship. That is never fun to sit through.

Host of the breakup BOOST podcast, Trina Leckie agrees, telling Elite Daily that someone isn’t over their ex “if they talk about their ex often, bring up their ex in conversation, or get emotional about their ex.” Additionally, if they compare you to their ex — whether it be bedroom tactics, hobbies, or life details (i.e: “Oh! My ex went to that college too,” or “My ex used to love it when I did [insert sexual act] to them.”) — they probably aren’t over it, Leckie adds.

If you’ve come to the conclusion that person you’re dating isn’t over the ex, Leckie recommends taking a step back, and “let them know that you aren’t interested in dating someone who hasn’t moved on from their past relationship. Wish them well and look to meet others who are in the right headspace and looking for the same things you are.”

You don’t necessarily have to break things off with someone if they aren’t over their ex, but it’s important to at least talk about it. “Remind them that when they do [bring up their ex], they are only extracting the moments of the relationship they want to remember that where about companionship,” Silva advises. “This is also not allowing them to form a relationship with anyone new.”

It’s not easy to get over an ex, but if someone hasn’t moved on from their previous relationship, and wants to start something new with you, it might be a good idea to talk things out first. After all, you deserve to be with someone who is as invested in you as you are in them, and that can’t happen if they’re still thinking about their ex all the time.

 

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.

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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

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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

11 Marriage Truths From Divorce Attorneys

The best source for marriage advice? Divorce attorneys. Before you protest, just think about it: Every day at work they see the types of marital problems that lead otherwise happy couples to split up.

With that in mind, we recently asked 11 family law attorneys to volunteer their best love and relationship advice. See what they had to say below.

1. A sustainable marriage is not about love, it’s about tolerance.

“Can you tolerate all your partner’s quirks? Even the ones that you don’t like, are they tolerable? Don’t marry your partner thinking that any of his or her quirks are going to change, improve or wane. As we get older, your partner’s quirks will only magnify. So if you can’t tolerate it now, you for sure are not going to be able to tolerate it in the future. Tolerance may not be romantic, but it is the key to a long lasting marriage.” — Melissa B. Buchman, an attorney in Beverly Hills, California 

2. Give your spouse the benefit of the doubt. 

“Unfortunately, many couples I see going through a divorce ascribe bad — or sometimes terrible — motives to everything their spouses do. What is the harm in assuming or presuming the best? Even if you’re wrong, it hurts no one. And it may be the start of a better relationship.”  — Randall M. Kessler, an attorney based in Atlanta, Georgia

3. Don’t be afraid to feed your spouse’s ego now and then.

“Silly as it may sound, your spouse wants to feel strong, sexy and attractive. I have seen spouses cheat because someone else showed them attention and made them feel good.” — Christian Denmon, an attorney in Florida 

4. Put your spouse before your kids. 

“This may not be the most popular piece of advice, especially for parents, but after watching countless people get divorced because they allowed themselves to slowly drift apart over the years, I honestly believe it’s true. We are all busy these days. It’s far too easy to put your job, your house, your activities and your kids before your spouse. Don’t do it! While many people believe that their kids have to come first, if they don’t put their spouse first and their marriage eventually sours, it’s not going to be doing the kids any favors. If you value your marriage, choose to put it first.” — Karen Covy, an attorney and divorce coach based in Chicago, Illinois 

5. Don’t wait until it’s too late to work on your marriage.

“Work on your marriage while it’s still a good marriage, don’t wait until there’s a problem. ‘Work’ does not have to mean counseling, it can simply be having a set date night once a month.” — Carla Schiff Donnelly, an attorney based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

6. When you need to discuss something important, timing is everything.

“When making a request, decision, criticism or apology, it’s crucial to do it when and where your spouse is at their best: after working out, perhaps, or on Friday night, or after a glass of wine or early in the morning before the kids are up. Ask yourself: Is this really the most constructive setting for my partner to hear what I need to bring up? I marvel at stories from clients about how they tried accomplishing something regardless of their spouse’s readiness to receive it and how shocked and dismayed they were when they got rebuffed or ignored. Bringing stuff up on a Sunday night, for instance, when you know he or she gets the back-to-work blues — or right after work, when you’re both exhausted? Bad idea.”  — James Sexton, an attorney based in New York City

7. Know that you can’t change your partner.

“My piece of advice mirrors a quote from Maya Angelou: ‘When people show you who they are, believe them.’ In other words, many of us have this deep-seated desire to change our partners, especially women. This can manifest itself in actions like trying to get them to wear neutral colors instead of bold plaid shirts or attempting to change them from boring in bed to hot in the sheets. The bottom line is, we are who we are and either we accept it or go back on Match.com.” — Lisa Helfend Meyer, an attorney in Los Angeles, California

8. Love is about the little things.

“Marriage is work but worth the effort. Go on dates, speak one another’s love language and cherish the little things. Remember that love looks and feels very different as your relationship changes and evolves.” — Natalie Gregg, an attorney in Allen, Texas  

 

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

Breaking Up With Your Partner While Social Distancing Might Be Your Only Option

Adversity has a way of making or breaking relationships, highlighting problems, and pushing couples to their limits. Now, imagine adding the pressure of being unable to walk away from someone while your relationship is under duress, or taking the space you need to think through your conflict. If you’re considering breaking up with your partner while social distancing, isolation may have lead to the realization that you and your SO are not in it for the long-haul. And you’d rather end the relationship than spend one more second listening to each other chew, even if you’re currently stuck together.

Karla, 26, tells Bustle that social distancing took her relationship from casual to serious overnight, and it ended up being a dealbreaker. “Everything was great — we were going on day trips and playing board games and meeting each other’s friends,” she says. “Then, all of a sudden, coronavirus anxiety began, and we went from getting to know each other to date.”

After a couple days of cohabitation, I couldn’t stand him.

While self-isolating as a unit sounded like a good idea at first, Karla quickly realized she wasn’t ready for a live-in partner. Instead of enjoying their company, she felt overwhelmed and annoyed, craving privacy. “It was so much so fast,” she says, “and after a couple days of cohabitation, I couldn’t stand him.”

Eventually, she decided to call things off, and the two parted ways. “Had this not happened, we would’ve still been getting to know each other and having our distance while still enjoying each other’s company,” Karla says. “There’s a time and place for everything, and this just came far too soon for such a young relationship.”

Outside of a global pandemic, any number of drastic changes to your everyday routine has the potential to become a relationship stressor — starting a new job, moving to a new place, adjusting to a new schedule. When you’re already negotiating the chaos of an overwhelming shift in your day-to-day life, small problems can feel like big ones.

“As people #flattenthecurve, we may be forced to spend considerably more time with each other,” Danni Zhang, psychologist and managing director of New Vision Psychology, previously told Bustle. “It’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to start thinking of getting out of said relationship.” Zhang emphasizes the importance of weighing whether you’re experiencing a dead-end or weathering temporary stress.

“Coronavirus has run the gamut of emotions in our relationship over the last couple of weeks,” Danielle, 33, tells Bustle. She and her husband of five years made it halfway through the second week of social distancing together, before they needed to establish a few quarantine rules in order to keep the peace.

The two made an agreement that, at least once a week, they’d part ways and enjoy a little alone time — relaxing in separate rooms, going for solo walks, and cooking alone for a much-needed respite. “Communicating how we are feeling without judgment has also been very important,” Danielle says. “Even though we are together, having time and space of our own is necessary, and allows that time together to be more valued.”

For couples on edge, Zhang suggests listing out the reasons why you love your partner in order to shift attention away from their habits that have got you on edge. But not all couples feel the investment is worth digging in their heels. Once they got a glimpse into their future together, they were ready to jump ship — even if that only meant moving from the bedroom to the couch.

“I’m fairly certain living together too soon was what pushed us to break up,” Karla says.

 

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How To Keep Your Breakup From Making You Literally Sick

One from a female reader!

The first time I ever smoked a cigarette was the night my fiancé broke up with me over the phone. After he told me he didn’t love me anymore and that I could keep my engagement ring, I hung up, went into the kitchen, and grabbed a cigarette from an open pack that belonged to my dad. I didn’t think twice — I just needed to burn something.

The end of that relationship was so sudden and unexpected that I didn’t know how to process it. So, I smoked cigarettes and started drinking alcohol excessively. Hanging out in bars and getting wasted had never appealed to me, but I had just turned 21, so I figured, why not? For a few brief hours every Friday and Saturday night, three or four Long Island iced teas could help me forget how devastated I felt the rest of the week.

“Breakups are painful — literally,” says Rosie Shrout, a postdoctoral researcher at Ohio State University who studies the intersection between health and romantic relationships. “Just like any other stressful experience, breakups can cause a psychological and physiological stress response, meaning our bodies produce stress hormones that wear and tear on our mental and physical health.”

Too often, we turn to behaviors that affect our physical health — such as binge drinking, smoking, using drugs, or exercising too much — to help cope with the aftermath of a relationship ending. We may view these behaviors as a way to get back at our ex, or we may turn to them because our inhibitions are lowered or our self-esteem has been damaged, Shrout says.

That was Penny’s* experience. The 31-year-old says she started drinking heavily, getting high, and hooking up with people who didn’t make her happy after she discovered her boyfriend had cheated on her. “Drinking and getting high numbed me, and sleeping around gave me validation,” she says.

Shrout says that while these types of responses are not uncommon, they’re also not great coping strategies. You might feel better in the moment, but these behaviors “don’t treat the emotional distress from the breakup and can even contribute to long-term health problems.”

Research shows that romantic relationships play a role in a person’s overall health — and not always for the better. One study found that people who said their closest relationships (including those involving an S.O.) were filled with conflict had a 34% higher risk of developing heart problems, even after adjusting for things like age and overall health. Another study found that people who were married and unhappy had higher blood pressure than those who were single. Researchers have also found that women who’ve dealt with multiple breakups have worse mental health than women who’ve managed to avoid heartache by staying single or sticking with their very first romantic partner.

But let’s be real: The chances of that happening in 2019 are pretty slim. We will all likely experience a bad breakup at some point. Knowing that, here are a few ways to stay healthy during those tough times.

Unfollow your ex.

To preserve your well-being, Joy Harden Bradford, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist in Georgia, recommends disconnecting from your former partner on social media — at least for now. “A lot of times when we’re trying to stay connected with the ex, we’re trying to answer questions that social media will not give us the full answers to,” she says. “We’re trying to see if they’re hurting as much as we’re hurting or if there’s somebody new that they’re dating.”

This can create more emotional distress than forcing yourself to let go. And, as Bradford explains, that distress can manifest in physical symptoms, such as headaches, stomachaches, random pain or tension. Thanks, but no thanks.

Stay active.

Working out might be the last thing you want to do after getting dumped, but exercise has been proven to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety and increase self-esteem. “It doesn’t have to be full-blown Orange Theory every day,” Bradford says. Even a walk around campus or a few yoga poses while you binge on “Stranger Things” can be beneficial. The endorphins you get from exercise can help stabilize your mood — and yes, that’s true even when you’re convinced you’d rather spend the next six hours with your face in a tub of popcorn.

Get nutrition.

It’s not uncommon to lose your appetite post-breakup, especially if you’re really sad. The stress of a broken heart can unleash a swell of hormones and put your body in survival mode. As a result, the urge to eat becomes secondary — even a plate of authentic savory tacos from your favorite Mexican restaurant can look unappetizing. (The horror!) If that’s the case, Bradford recommends a smoothie or meal replacement shake. “Sometimes it can feel really hard to eat,” she says. “I typically will recommend people drink because that’s a little easier.”

Find a voice box.

Showing up to a party without your ex will likely raise questions, especially if you’ve been joined at the hip since day one. If it hurts too much to talk about the breakup, ask someone you trust to give people the heads up on why you’re riding solo. “When you are telling the story over and over again, sometimes you get stuck there,” Bradford says. “You can’t move on to the healing place if you are stuck in the reporting place.” Ask a friend to simply tell it like it is so everyone can move on: “Yes, they broke up, and no she doesn’t want to talk about it. How was your week?”

Allow yourself to feel all the feelings.

Everyone deals with painful events differently. Avoidance, however, is not an effective coping mechanism. “Those feelings don’t go away because we’re distracting ourselves,” says Bradford. “[It’s important to] really allow yourself to sit in the depth of those feelings, even though it sounds really miserable. There is no way for them to go away unless you actually allow yourself to experience them and then come to realize you can come out on the other side of this.”

 

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

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How to Avoid the Friend Zone and Make Her Desire You

Afraid you’ll end up being just a friend with the girl you like? Use these tips on how to avoid the friend zone if you want to get into her pants.

The friend zone is a tricky place to fall in.

You may be trying hard to get close to a girl, close enough to tell her that you like her, but one fine day she turns around and tells you that you’re such a great friend, or worse, you’re just like a brother to her.

Ever been there?

I hope you haven’t.

Guys find themselves falling into the friend zone almost all the time.

It’s frustrating and demeaning, and at times, inevitable.

You may get really close to a girl with all the hopes of getting into her pants, but somewhere along the way, you may have taken a few detours that led you right into the friend zone.

What is a friend zone?

A friend zone is a happy place for a girl. It’s a place where she and a guy can sit together and talk about anything and get real friendly with each other.

For a guy, a friend zone is the worst place to be in, especially when he likes the girl who behaves like a friend.

In a friend zone, the two involved friends of the opposite sex are just friends and nothing more. They project no sexual interest towards each other and behave in a completely platonic manner.

But can any guy ever be friends with a girl he finds sexually attractive? Or course not. He can try to be a friend with the hope of getting an occasional cuddle or a warm boob pressing hug now and then, but he’s always going to be just be a friend while she dates every other guy in the yearbook.

How do guys end up falling into the friend zone?

A guy falls into a friend zone for very obvious reasons. He behaves like a friend. And he never lets the girl know that he has more than friendly intentions on his mind.

And soon enough, the girl loses all realization of the fact that this guy has a package down there. And he just becomes another sexless thing she hangs out with all the time as a platonic friend.

So why do some guys end up as friends instead of boyfriends or sex buddies? Here’s why.

#1 They get too close. Getting too close to a girl on platonic grounds will never help you. You may assume that it’s the easiest way to get a girl to know you better. She’ll definitely get to know you better, but only as a friend.

#2 No sexual chemistry. If a guy likes a girl, he has to make it subtly obvious that he’s sexually interested in her. If a guy behaves like a pushover and a doormat, no girl will feel even a tingle of sexual chemistry.

#3 The girl’s not attracted to the guy. This sucks, but this is the most common scenario. The guy’s probably creepy, annoying or just not good enough to be her boyfriend.

#4 The guy thinks she’s too good for him. At times, a guy may genuinely believe that the girl he likes is way too good for him. And instead of hitting on her, he secretly lusts for her, but gives up on pursuing her. Could you ever live with yourself by just being the friend of a sexy girl who dates every other guy but you?

#5 He plays the true friend card. It works in the movies all the time. The girl has a best friend who’s always there for her. She goes ahead and dates every single guy in the world, and finally, at the end of the movie she sees her true love in the form of her best friend. How touching! And that’s why they call it the movies. In real life, you can’t become a girl’s boyfriend just by behaving like a best friend.

How to avoid getting into the friend zone

It’s really easy to avoid the friend zone. All you need to do is drop a few hints now and then to let her know that you’re really into her. Use these easy tips to get the message across and get her to desire you while you’re at it.

#1 Be a friend without behaving like her other friends. Don’t talk nonsense for hours or spend time talking about her problems in life. Talk about places she visits, movies she’s watched, and her plans for the weekend. Talk date talk and she’ll sense the chemistry in the air.

#2 Try to talk to her when she’s alone. If her other friends are around, talk to her if you must or just avoid her. You can’t really hit on a girl when she’s surrounded by a bevy of friends.

But when you find her alone, make sure you turn on your charm and impress her. See her alone? Chat her up. And if one of her friends come by, grumble audibly in a funny manner and say something like “just when I thought I was going to get some alone time with you, this guy pops up out of nowhere!” and just laugh. She’ll be confused and wonder if you’re being serious or just joking.

But she’ll get the hint that you like spending time with her alone. Make it obvious that you like spending time with her in whatever way possible, but don’t ask her out or tell her you like her just yet.

#3 Compliment her when she deserves it. Flatter her pants off. If she looks good, tell her she looks hot. If you see a hint of cleavage and she catches you staring, just laugh, apologize and tell it you couldn’t resist it. Add a few funny sexual remarks and you’ll never get into the friend zone.

#4 Touch her and treat her like your girlfriend. But do it respectfully though. Clasp her hand while crossing the street and open doors for her when it’s just the both of you. Make her feel like a queen, and she’ll love the attention. But when her friends are around, don’t give her any preferential treatment. Let her realize that you’re special to her only when it’s just the two of you.

#5 Make her feel special and exclusive. Gift her something small and personal, but tell her to keep it a secret. When you create secrets, you build sexual chemistry and suspense which leads to romance.

#6 Ask her out and change the topic. When you’re talking to her for a while, ask her out for lunch or coffee. See how she responds. But within a second, change the topic. Don’t wait for her to answer. It’ll seem like a joke, but it’ll still make her wonder if you really do want to date her. Don’t make things awkward by waiting a while before saying something else. Keep it simple, keep it funny and yet reveal all the dirty thoughts in your mind, and change the topic immediately.

Wondering how to avoid the friend zone? Just understand these pointers and use these tips. You’ll never fall into the friend zone with any girl ever again.

 

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 Relationship Red Flags You Should Never Ignore

“I’ve met enough Red Flags I could paper my walls with them…”

Keep an eye out. 

Dating can feel like an endless game.

Whether you spot each other across a crowded bar or take a chance and swipe right, we all begin by flying blind into the unknown. At first, it’s a game of first impressions. You take an inventory of their outfit, make a note of their drink order and use every piece of information to paint a picture of who they are.

After a couple of dates, the walls start to crumble and we begin to really learn about our new crush. Dubbed the ‘honeymoon phase’, these early weeks of dating are all about testing the waters and seeing if you both are truly compatible. Exhausting, right!

Once you’ve landed yourself a new partner, the real work begins. It means getting creative with date night, actively listening to your other half and maintaining a thriving network of besties and friends to keep your social life balanced. But, what if things don’t feel quite right? If you’re unsure about your new relationship, read on to discover the seven relationship red flags you should never sweep under the rug.

1. Lack of communication

After a hard day at work, we all need to let off some steam. And sharing our concerns with our partner is a healthy way of processing stress and building connections. When it comes to communication, we all want to share our thoughts without reservation.

If your partner seems absent, dismissive or unresponsive, this is an important red flag to take notice of. Lack of communication can mean important conversations go unspoken. When we aren’t able to speak openly and honestly about how we feel, we can feel ignored and, ultimately, resentful of the other person. In fact, these small annoyances can grow and spell disaster for your relationships in the long term.

2. Dislike for your friends or family

This next red flag can be very subtle, but it’s an important one to be aware of. How does your partner speak about your loved ones? Do they resent coming along to family get togethers? Maybe they don’t take the time to get to know your besties? Or perhaps they avoid socializing with your friends and family all together?

If you feel a disconnect between your partner and your social network, it can be difficult to sustain a healthy romantic relationship. Why? Because sharing time with our friends, family and partner shouldn’t happen in isolation. In some cases, this can also be an early warning sign of controlling behaviour. If you notice your partner withdrawing from your network, start a conversation to understand their reservations and what you can both do to address them.

3. Innocently pushing physical boundaries

Respect is the foundation of every successful relationship. When we feel valued by our partners, we’re able to build stronger and more meaningful connections. However, when the opposite is true, this can spell disaster for our relationship.

How does your partner react when you tell them to stop tickling you? Do they invade your personal space or jokingly poke you like a sibling, even when you’ve told them no? Respect begins at acknowledging and honoring each other’s boundaries. If you notice your partner doesn’t listen to your requests, this could be an essential red flag to watch out for.

4. Describing their exes as ‘crazy’

We’ve all had terrible partners and relationships that were destined to fail. It could have been your first high school fling or that crush you had when you started uni. Whatever the case, we all encounter people that just aren’t the right fit for us.

However, if you notice your new partner speaking badly about their past relationships this is something to take notice of. When terms like ‘crazy’ start to be attributed to multiple previous partners, it could be time to consider whether your partner is representing their dating past accurately. In many cases, they could lack the self-awareness to realize they were, in fact, part of the problem.

5. Refusing to make your relationship public 

PDA (or public displays of affection) can be a divisive topic. For some, walking hand in hand comes as second nature. For others, they avoid displays of physical intimacy at all costs. Whatever camp your relationship falls into, it’s a wise idea to consider what is motivating this decision.

Do you notice your partner’s behaviour change when you’re around his mates? Does his social media presence appear as if you’re not together? Has he avoided ‘putting a label’ on your relationship? If your partner is keen to keep things a secret, this could be a warning sign that your relationship might not be as open and honest as it first seems.

6. Difference in values 

We all have our own unique priorities. The stuff that matters most to us. It could be things like honesty or compassion, or more specific values like savings habits and big-picture parenting goals. Although we might not always see eye to eye, sharing core values are key to long term relationship success.

Does your partner play off dishonesty as ‘little white lies’? Do they make decisions without factoring in your plans or point of view? What is their relationship like with their parents and siblings? If you are noticing clear patterns of conflicting values, this could be a good indication that you might struggle to remain compatible over time.

7. Incapable of apologizing 

Arrogant, entitled and patronizing behavior should never be ignored. However, when we’re falling hard for a new fling it can be difficult to see situations clearly. But, learning how to identify negative behaviors early in a relationship can prevent you from getting stuck in a toxic dynamic.

If your partner constantly refuses to apologize or admit they’ve messed up, it’s important not to ignore this. Although this might seem like an insignificant personality trait, it can indicate your partner may have an inflated sense of self-importance. Because let’s be honest, no one wants to date someone who can’t say sorry.

 

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

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3 Things All Driven Men Look For In A Partner

Driven Men – smart, entrepreneurial, curious, open-minded, ambitious achievers – shape our world and set trends for others to follow. They are the innovators, the creators, the influencers and the leaders.

Hence, it is crucial these driven find the perfect partner who would support and compliment them the way they need to. However, it is often very challenging for driven men to find emotionally fulfilling relationships. This is why ambitious men need to know exactly what they are looking for when seeking a romantic partner.

“AMBITION IS LIKE LOVE, IMPATIENT BOTH OF DELAYS AND RIVALS.” – SIR JOHN DENHAM

Driven men, successful men, and entrepreneurial men all have something in common…

They all yearn for an emotionally fulfilling relationship.

Sure, all people crave a highly functioning and fulfilling relationship. But in my career as a relationship coach, I have consistently seen driven, high-achieving men, to be the most love-starved.

But why would that be?

Why Driven Men Have Messy Love Lives

“A MAN WITHOUT AMBITION IS LIKE A BEAUTIFUL WORM–IT CAN CREEP, BUT IT CANNOT FLY.” – HENRY WARD BEECHER

The more time and energy that driven men put into their careers and self-optimization (fitness, education, nutrition, spiritual practice, etc.) the more they tend to delay being in intimate relationships.

Since driven men are risk-tolerant in business yet risk-averse in emotional intimacy, they tend to subscribe to the “I’ll just keep getting more and more perfect until one day I’ll just fall into the perfect relationship that’s meant for me.”

But this is akin to standing next to a golf ball and taking 400 practice swings before you actually take a shot. You can prepare all you want, but the real learning comes from the experience of breaking through your emotional barriers within a committed relationship.

Unless of course, the relationships you keep falling into are just as safe as taking your practice swings because you end up in relationships with people that aren’t a compatible match with you.

So how do you, as a driven man, know what sort of things to look for in a partner?

The 3 Things That All Driven Men Need In A Partner

“Love is not about finding the right person, but creating a right relationship. It’s not about how much love you have in the beginning but how much love you build till the end.” – Jumar

While this isn’t an exhaustive list, between all of the most highly functioning long-term relationships that I have been witness to over the past decade, these are by far the most common traits that I see embodied in the partners of driven men.

1. Someone Who Is Kind To You When You Are Wrong

In their business dealings, driven men are wizards at being stubborn and laser beaming to the core of the matter. And while this helps them in business negotiations, it doesn’t help them nearly as much in their love lives.

Having a partner that will be kind and patient with you in those moments when you forget that she isn’t your employee and you can’t make all the decisions will be invaluable to your love life’s long term success.

2. Someone Who Is A Cheerleader

Entrepreneurs have an overactive optimism bias – meaning that they assume that they have a lower risk of experiencing a negative outcome than others. As such, they need a partner who can support them in their near manic-like work sprint phases of productivity.

Not only do they need encouraging words when they are up, they especially need someone to help them with emotional support when they are down.

After great success with his first two businesses, my father (a brilliant and talented serial entrepreneur) sold them to open a third business that went bankrupt within a year. With three children under five years old, it was a tough time for my parents. My dad struggled with depression and lost confidence in his entrepreneurial abilities. Fortunately, he had the courage and strength of a strong woman behind him (my mom) to help him through those difficult years.

A less supportive partner would have looked at the current reality of “what is” and packed up and left. But his brave and loving partner was able to see “what was” and “what will be” in the future and knew that he would be able to pick himself back up again. My dad speaks positively about that early business failure. It taught him the value of having strong support in family, friends, partners, and mentors, and not hesitating to ask for help.

Driven men can’t go it alone 100% of the time. Sometimes they need someone to lean on for support. So choose a partner that will be your cheerleader through both the good times and the challenging ones.

3. Someone Who Sees Past Your Resume

If you’re used to being one of the most impressive people in the room, you likely get turned off by women that are overly impressed by you.

And it’s not your fault.

As people, we don’t value what we don’t work for.

But the moment a woman stands out for you is when they aren’t as impressed by your past accomplishments as they are impressed by your character and personal values.

Sure, maybe you had a best-selling book or smartphone app, or you flipped businesses for impressive amounts of cash, but that was never you. Those were just things that you did.

So when you meet a woman who hears your resume and listens patiently with a “What else ya got?” kind of attitude, your interest is piqued. And for good reason. We all want to be seen for who we truly are, not for the things that we’ve done or achieved.

So while having a partner that is encouraging and supportive is essential for a driven man, you also want to make sure that she isn’t fully buying into your PR/bio page/resume above who you truly are as a person.

Can Driven Men Be As Successful In Love As They Are In Life?

“DON’T WAIT FOR A PERFECT PERSON TO LOVE. LOVE A PERSON AND MAKE HIM OR HER PERFECT WITH YOUR POWER OF LOVE.” – DEBASISH MRIDHA

Absolutely.

If you spent years figuring out how to become a success in one area of your life, you can experience those same results in other areas.

If you’ve read more books about startups, investing, entrepreneurship, or business than you have about love or relationships by a ratio of more than 10:1, then you might want to reconsider your priorities.

Smart and driven men embrace and appreciate and aspirations, independence, and creativity in their women. They want their partners to stand their ground, speak their minds and do what she believes to be true. Although this can create a little bit of friction in the relationship from time to time, this will also build a fulfilling and deep connection between both partners.

Women who understand driven men will not only help their men take one bold step after another, these women will also walk their own paths and be valued as equal partners in the relationship.

 

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!

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If Your Ex Texts You Randomly, Here’s How To Stay Cool & Handle It

Nothing catches you off guard quite like an unexpected text from an ex. Whether you broke up three weeks ago or three years ago, seeing their name pop up on your phone screen out of the blue is sure to send you for a loop. Are you supposed to feel excited? Hopefully? Angry? An even better question: How the heck are you supposed to respond, if at all? Knowing how to react when your ex texts you randomly always depends on the situation, like the length of time that has passed since you last spoke or why exactly you two split in the first place. In any case, you’ll probably want to find a middle ground between, “I never stopped loving you,” and “New phone, who dis?”

“A text from an ex you still care about may send you into a serious session of overthinking and wondering what it means (i.e., do they want to get back together? Did they realize it was a mistake?),” licensed psychologist Dr. Joy Harden Bradford previously explained to Elite Daily. So before you fire back a response, think carefully about what it is you want from that ex, which is likely one of three things.

If You’re Open To The Idea Of Getting Back Together

Woman texting on the smart phone walking in the street

Shutterstock

Perhaps the breakup was amicable. You decided you were better off as friends, or that you wouldn’t work out in the long run, and you mutually decided to part ways. But now that ex is suddenly hitting up your phone, and you’re wondering whether you two may have made a mistake by calling it quits. First things first: Figure out if your ex is thinking that, too, or if they’re just looking to hook up.

As Bela Gandhi, president at Smart Dating Academy, previously told Elite Daily, “If they’re texting you that they want to hang out, that they miss you, that they’ve made a mistake… then they want to get back together. If someone is only texting you between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m., this is probably not a person who’s looking to be in anything serious with you.”

If your ex’s text seems to suggest the former, go ahead and reply, but be sure to manage your expectations and keep your response (somewhat) casual. By saying, “Hey, stranger. Long time no chat. I’ve missed talking to you,” or, “It’s great to hear from you. We should catch up over coffee,” you can express your interest without coming on too strong and facing potential disappointment.

If You’d Like To Be Friends Eventually And Nothing More Than That

If the first thing you feel after receiving an old-of-the-blue message from an ex is nostalgia rather than longing, it’s possible you miss them as a friend, but not a lover. As tricky as it is to stay friends with an ex, it can be done. Even if your old partner’s text seems to suggest they want something more than friendship, you are not obligated to return the sentiment. Remember what you want, and respond in a way that makes your intentions clear.

Samantha Burns, dating coach and author of Breaking Up & Bouncing Back, agreed that “it’s definitely possible to cultivate a friendship with an ex.” As she explained it, “You’ll know you’ve moved on when you can treat texts with your ex with the same expectations of any other friendship — without all of the amped up emotional reactions.”

If you feel confident that staying on good terms with you ex is not only possible, but desirable to you, respond in a way that is friendly and free from suggestiveness. Try, “It’s so weird that you just texted — something hilarious happened the other day and I almost texted to tell you about,” or, “I’m glad you texted. I’ve been dying to discuss the new season of our fave show with someone.” Make it known that you miss the friendship aspect of your relationship, but you don’t have any desire to rekindle the romantic aspect.

If You Want Nothing To Do With Them

It’s possible that a message from an old SO pops up on your phone and the only thought you have is, “Nope.” Whether you were hurt by that person, you’re still trying to get over that person, or you’re totally over that person for good, you’ll want to find a way to shut that convo down before it can begin. I’m always in favor of taking the high road — there really isn’t anything to gain from being nasty. Just keep your respond brief, detached, and straightforward, and they’ll likely back off.

To make it known you’re not open to starting up a relationship again, platonic or romantic, text back in a way that is short but not-so-sweet. Saying, “I’m not sure it’s such a great idea for us to keep talking,” or, “I need some space, and I would be grateful if you respected that,” lets your ex know you aren’t necessarily bitter, but you’re definitely not interested.

However, as Burns told Elite Daily, you may be better not responding at all. “A breakup impacts us on a neuropsychological level similar to drug withdrawal,” she pointed out, “so sometimes even sending a short text can be like showing up to the bar when you’re trying to get sober.” If ignoring that text message is what’s best for you, then just delete that text and move on.

 

In responding to an unexpected text from an ex, you’re opening a can of worms, and no matter your intentions, you should practice caution. “I think it’s important to be gentle with yourself and your feelings,” Bradford said, “so if the text brings up some stuff for you and then the day goes downhill after that, allow it to happen and then develop a plan for how you’ll try to have a better day tomorrow.”

If responding will bring more harm than good, it’s probably better not to respond at all. But if you think you might be ready to give your relationship another try, even just as friends, then choose your response carefully and see what happens.

 

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