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.

 

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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!

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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.

 

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

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If You Feel These 5 Things, You Don’t Love Him – You Love The Idea Of Him

“Am I in love with him or the idea of him?” is such a common phrase you probably hear people say all the time.

Until we are in the situation with someone we’re dating where we have to truly ask ourselves the question, we never really think much about what it means. And when we do, it’s usually hard to tell the difference between loving someone or loving the idea of them.

If you’re confused about how to know if you love someone, here are 5 signs you’re really in love with the idea of being in a relationship with him instead.

1. You’re trying to fill a void.

This requires a lot of thinking and a lot of soul searching so it may be emotionally draining.

Are you trying to find companionship or intimacy with someone because you miss having a body to be next to? Are you seeking validation from someone else? And are you just looking to fill up your time?

Regardless, if you think you are trying to fill an empty space, you probably are, which means you probably only like the idea of them to fill a void and that’s it.

2. The more time you spend together the less you enjoy it.

When you genuinely are romantically interested in someone you will quickly notice how much they enhance your life and how experiences become so much more special even if they are simple.

Love helps us learn to be humans and bring out or emotions the most. You can’t substitute that feeling with anyone else.

By seeing this person a lot and either feeling bored or not that excited about life, it’s a good sign that you are just interested in the idea of them. You should be thrilled to go shopping with your interest simply because you just get to spend more time with them.

3. You can’t seem to get over their imperfections.

Obviously, when you spend a lot of time with your partner you learn a lot about their quirks. If you truly love someone you can fairly easily accept them for who they are. Otherwise, those annoying traits, such as; angry, stubborn, negative, controlling, and selfish, will drive you up the wall.

If you sort of tolerate them but notice they are there all the time, you are probably interested in the idea of them.

4. You don’t feel like the complete you.

If you don’t feel like your partner is fulfilling your expectations of satisfaction and completion, there’s a good chance you aren’t interested in them.

When you’re with someone you should be complete on a deeper emotional level. But if there are roadblocks that keep preventing you from diving that deep together, then something is holding you back.

Yes, you need to feel complete as an individual, but you should also feel complete as a couple too.

5. You unknowingly expect them to do all of the work.

Relying on a relationship to fix your emotions basically means that your relationship is doomed from the start. Using someone else as an adjustment during a specific period in your life won’t work. On the flip side, you also shouldn’t rely on your partner for bringing everything into the relationship. While you just sit back and make them work.

Relationships are about balance and if this sounds like you, you might just want someone to fulfill you specifically in any given way rather than being in a deep-rooted commitment to them.

It’s super hard to determine if you are interested in the person or just the idea of them, but these tips should help you dig a little deeper to figure out your situation a little easier.

Obviously, if you find yourself mentally making excuses or having to deflect any of these points I think the answer is obvious you’re in love with the idea of them, not the person.

 

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

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Every Man Needs These Two Things

And sex is not one of them.

There are certain things you need in life – food, shelter, clothing, sleep. There are certain things you may want — a new car, a better body, more hair. But there are 2 things that you must have, if you are ever going to live your best life.

We all want to live our best lives right?! If you do, these 2 things will go along way to getting you there.

  1. A life worth living
  2. A love to die for (it’s not necessarily what you think)

A life worth living

Living a life of purpose and meaning would seem to be intrinsic to us all. Why else would there be thousands of books, seminars, conferences, programs and events you can go to, that promise to help you discover these things.

But do you need to spend thousands of dollars to do so? I’m sure the zen monks of 300 years ago didn’t. Not saying those things are a waste of time or money. I’ve done some myself. But what can we simplify it down to?

Meaning and purpose comes down to this — what lights you up from the inside? What do you love to do, where time seems to pass so quickly that 3 hours feels like 3 minutes?

What gives you a reason to get up in the morning? And by that, I don’t mean, because you have to go to a job you hate and pay the bloody bills, though that may feel like your reality at the moment. What really makes you want to have another day so you can keep doing what you love?

Show me a man who has ‘something to live for’ and I’ll show you a man who is alive with meaning and purpose.

The inner man

To have a life worth living, you must first and always cultivate your inner man. So who is he?

Your inner man is the you that only you know. Others may feel him, see him, hear him or experience him, but only you truly know him. He is the voice inside of you. He is you. Sound like hippy bs?

Your inner man is the essence of who you are, and the reason you do what you do, good, bad or ugly. He is your operating system. He is made up of a combination of your innate humanness, your beliefs, your values, your spirit, the very core of who you are.

Your inner man is the man who stands up for what he believes in. He is the strength to your inner boy, when that boy wants to kick, scream, sulk, punch a wall, run or hide.

When you get your inner man on, you allow him to stand and be present. The boy inside of you no longer needs the attention, and no longer has anything to prove.

Imagine if you showed up as that man in your personal relationships, in your work, in your day to day living – no longer scared to move, no longer seeking attention, with nothing to prove. In other words, a calm, confident man.

That’s your inner man. You’ll find him when you’re still. You’ll find him when you meditate. You’ll find him in nature. You’ll find him when you seek him.

A love to die for

From Shakespeare to The Bachelor (love it or hate it), the notion of unrequited love has always been a powerful force throughout history.

From lovers to kings, movies, songs, books and poetry, humans seem to forever be in the pursuit of ‘love and romance’ – to ‘love’ and ’be loved’.

But let me take this on a slightly different tangent for today. A love to die for typically conjures up the stuff between lovers. But what if we viewed it through a different lens.

Lets not dumb this down to Hollywood style illusions about love, sex and romance. It’s not about ‘You Got Mail’ or ‘Sleepless in Seattle’.

Let’s put a real spin on this, and look at it through the portal of something deeper – personal sacrifice, dying to the self, renunciation of the ego, and detachment from ‘wanting’. Woah, that’s getting heavy right?

Buddha says that “attachment’ is the root of all suffering”. I tend to agree. Let’s think about this for a minute.

If you are so attached to something that you can’t let it go, or are so worried about losing it, what is that going to do to you? It might be a person or a thing or a job or an opportunity or anything really.

To detach doesn’t mean that you become numb and stop caring or trying. It just means that your self worth is not wrapped up in that thing.

In some circles it’s called dying to the self (the ego). All that simply means is, not being ‘attached’ to other people, or trivial pursuits like riches, sex, material possessions, power, lust and greed. You get where I’m going?

But if you’re busting your gut to get and have these things, can’t live without them, can’t stop thinking about them, then they have a grip on you that’s not healthy.

A wise man knows what he lives for and he knows what he needs to die for.

So when I say “a love to die for” — what I mean is, a love that you will not let yourself become so attached to, and dependent upon, that you lose yourself in the process. But when you let go, then you have everything.

Whether that means you literally lay down your life for someone else, or whether that means that you lay down what you think you want – to focus on the first thing in this blog – the inner man – doesn’t really matter.

The most important thing is, removing the obstacles within you, that then create the space and the capacity to be the best version of you, you can be.

So go ahead. Get your inner man on, put your ego aside, and live your best life.

 

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

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5 Changes To Expect In The Workplace After COVID-19

As a result of the coronavirus, the workplace will never be the same. Even the word “workplace” suddenly seems obsolete, as the physical location in which we now work has merged with the places in which we eat, sleep, learn, exercise, and play.

The COVID-19 crisis has created the ultimate “burning platform”—an unexpected, overnight opportunity for people to see the impact of swift and meaningful change, and to witness the negative consequences of trying to ignore this aberration from everyday life. Within organizations, the virus has been driving significant change in how their employees operate with each other, as well as with clients, customers, and vendors. Now that companies are shifting past their immediate response to the crisis, we’ve entered into a temporary “new normal.”

However, what will the long-term impacts of our new normal be on the world of work?

Winning organizations will be those that integrate and master digital work, community, and collaboration. To succeed, companies need to begin planning now for five key shifts:

1. Full digital transformation, supported by a truly virtual workforce

Companies have quickly figured out how to serve their customers and clients remotely, and there’s no going back. From telemedicine in hospitals to remote learning for public schools and streaming fitness classes, every industry has accelerated its own digital transformation. As a result, the demand for highly skilled remote workers will continue to increase.

With a surge of candidates in the market, organizations should be preparing to recruit and integrate these key individuals into the organization quickly and seamlessly, so they can capitalize on the cost savings and broader access to rockstar talent.

2. Focus on outputs versus face time

Being the first one in the office and the last one to leave is no longer a measure of commitment and performance. In a post-COVID-19 world, employees will be measured on what gets done and the value of their work rather than on the individual tasks and the time it takes to get the work done.

Leaders must provide crisp, outcome-driven expectations so that their people can deliver on goals successfully. Motivating employees to perform will require modeling and measurement of their outputs and being clear on those metrics. Companies must level-set expectations for what drives organizational priorities and goals, rather than discrete tasks.

3. Respect for work-life blend

More than ever before, companies are recognizing that working “nine to five” is unsuited to the demands of a modern workforce. If leaders can place greater emphasis on flexibility for people to accomplish their best work—when and how it meets their personal needs (as well as the needs of the company)—they can reinforce the cultural shift of measuring staff based on performance, which can result in exponential benefits for the organization.

Organizations must remove stigma and support employees’ needs to make time for self-care–including exercise, meals, and family time. Policies and procedures need to reflect these shifts, and leaders must model a true work-life blend so that it becomes part of the company culture.

4. Stronger communications

Now that companies have gone fully virtual, individuals are communicating more efficiently and more frequently across a networked environment. To do this well, everyone, at every level, must make opportunities for dialogue by employing numerous channels.

Leaders can make communication easier for their people. They can remove roadblocks, create a governance structure that pushes decision-making out and down, and provide employees with the tools and training they need to empower them for ongoing communication and local decision-making. With traditional hierarchies gone, true leaders must step up to facilitate information flow across the organization.

5. Increased trust, transparency, and empathy

We are witnessing a revolution in leadership. In a recent leadership study of Fortune 500 executives and entrepreneurs, respondents cited behaviors such as humility and listening skills as essential qualities of great change leaders. And leadership experts such as Kim Scott and Brené Brown have long proselytized about the importance of candor and vulnerability. Now, leaders and employees must understand and support each other like never before. People are sharing more about their personal situations with colleagues, and as a result, they are creating an expectation of humanity, active listening, support, and connection.

Leaders that demonstrate these qualities and publicly recognize excellence in their people will earn greater trust and loyalty from their employees. Leaders who seize this mindset now will be better prepared to engage employees for the long term, regardless of the external environment.

If there’s one thing everyone can agree on, it’s that COVID-19 is driving change in our behaviors, and the workplace is no exception. To begin shifting our idea of what’s possible in the workforce after the curve flattens, leaders must take hold of what’s working today and integrate it quickly into the everyday. Rather than waiting for reentry and being reactive, leaders need to prepare, setting expectations for the ways of working that will benefit the organization down the road, so employees can focus on the strategic business priorities of the future.

 

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

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The Four Simple Rules for Dads Getting Divorced

A single dad life coach gives his most common and useful advice for men heading into divorce involving kids. Hope all you guys had a good Fathers Day.

As the man in the divorce, you have an opportunity to lead the process with grace and empathy. You cannot control how your ex behaves, the only thing you can control is your own response to the challenges ahead.

I’m going to make this as simple as possible. It’s the conversation I have every week as I speak to dads about ready to enter in the process (voluntarily or otherwise) of divorce. Most of them are scared out of their wits. They were unprepared for the “filing.” And now they are scared and lacking an adequate support system to carry them through the coming storm.

It’s going to be hard, but you are going to make it. And here are the three top mantras for you to remember.

  1. You have to take care of yourself first. Your health and clear direction is necessary for you to lead your kids through the emotional trouble ahead for all of you
  2. Keep the fight of the divorce between the adults only. Deal with your soon-to-be-ex as civilly as you can, but never debate or degrade each other in front of the kids. Never speak poorly of your co-parent
  3. Let go of your ex completely. She no longer deserves your attention and energy
  4. Don’t go it alone, talk to others, build community, and please don’t isolate

Take Care of Yourself First

Do you know how they instruct you before takeoff on an airplane? “In the case of emergency, oxygen masks will come out of the ceiling. Put your mask on first. Then work on your kid’s masks.” Here’s why that matters. If you lose consciousness (or in the case of divorce, lose your mind) everyone will suffer. As the man in the divorce, you are going to be hit with a lot of unfair rulings and family law precedents. You may want to lawyer up and fight, or you may decide to make peace with the divorce and simply act in the best interest of yourself and your kids.

Also, as the man in the divorce, you have an opportunity to lead the process with grace and empathy. You cannot control how your ex behaves, the only thing you can control is your own response to the challenges ahead. If you can keep your kids in mind any time you are responding to some new request or modification in the divorce agreement, you can relax and make the right decision. Not being reactionary, not buying into potential drama, and simply stating what you need, and what your kids need. That’s the best past forward. Don’t buy into the drama. Don’t try to be detached and emotionless, but keep your kids at the heart of your response. Always think of the kids.

Your Health (Mentally, Physically, and Spiritually) Is Your Highest Priority

What can you do today to start taking better care of yourself? Are you sleeping okay? Are you drinking a bit too much? How is your diet and exercise? Are you getting together with others? Are you praying? What things about your life can you be grateful for today, even as things feel like chaos around you?

Here are the parts of your life you can control easily:

  1. Watch what you eat and drink
  2. Get enough sleep, make it a priority
  3. Get some exercise, anything is better than nothing, start small
  4. Talk to someone about what’s going on

Keep the Fight Contained Between the Adults

You are going to have disagreements with your ex. The idea of co-parenting sounds nice, but in practice, it takes a lot more than good intentions. There are going to be negotiations about holidays and birthdays, negotiations about school and who should stay home when one of your kids is sick. You are going to need the goodwill of your ex-spouse, and often their cooperation and coordination around home life and school life. Complaining about your ex in front of the kids is a lose-lose situation. Just don’t do it.

Work on getting your support team together. Who can you call when you really want to call and bitch at your ex-partner? Do you have a counselor or a friend who is willing to keep your struggles confidential? In all that is going on, your isolation will only make things harder. Make sure you get out of your house and get involved in some activities with others. Al-anon is a great program for emotional healing. Meetup groups can provide activities and new hobbies for your alone time. But most of all, keep the fighting between you and your ex. And when possible, let them win. If there’s no loss for you, just let them get their way. Just to reduce the conflict. If it’s not that important to you, let it go.

The Big Release of Your Ex

One of my last lessons in my divorce journey was to let all expectations about my ex-wife go. She is never going to be a cooperative co-parent with me. She may never get over being mad a me, even when the divorce was her idea. She’s not going to say “thank you” when I do something over and above the call of duty or outside of the divorce decree. She’s not going to celebrate your victories with you. She may be able to celebrate the victories of your kids with you, but more than likely, she’s going to keep most of those to herself. You’ve got to let go of all expectations. The “relationship” with her is over. There is no closure. There is nothing to get from your ex-wife.

As I began to understand my ex-wife’s inability to be cordial, I began to communicate with her only around the logistics of getting the kids where they needed to be. It’s as if they are a convenience store clerk, you go into the store to get milk, you don’t need to know about the clerk’s life troubles. In the same way, you don’t need to know everything that’s going on with your ex. As you can let go of their approval and permissive involvement in your life, you can begin to let go of them emotionally too.

It’s taken me nine years to get clear of my optimistic expectations of my co-parenting ex-wife. I still think about calling her from time to time about something regarding our kids. But I don’t. And I’m not going to call her. She gave me my kids, initially. She can’t give me anything else. As you detach from them, the hope is that your resentment and anger at them will also dissipate. That’s the hope. I’m not sure I’m ever going to be okay with the time I lost with my kids as a result of the divorce my wife initiated.

I’m still releasing, daily. You can begin releasing your ex right now, too.

Return to the basics.

Your health.

The energy and health of your kids.

Moving on to what’s next in your life.

Don’t Go It Alone

Men don’t do all that well at supporting one another when things get hard or emotional. But you can find other men, and even women, who are willing to support you just as you are. In my experience, Al-anon meetings are the best self-help programs in the world. They are in your town, and there are probably 3 or 4 meetings you could attend over the next week or so. Find a place you can go and talk about what’s going on.

 

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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