What It Means When He Says ‘I Don’t Deserve You’

The signs might be clearer than you think.

One of the best/slightly gagging parts of being in a relationship is the baby talk — the days-upon-days of whispering sweet nothings and building each other’s egos with more compliments than you ever thought you’d be able to give.

But like all things, the lovey-dovey phase comes to an end and all that cute nonsense you’ve been saying is put to the test.

While some of it’s still sweet, some of the “cute” things your boyfriend says might actually be a clue that something is wrong — maybe even signs he doesn’t want a relationship with you.

For example, I’ve heard plenty of gentlemen I’ve dated (swear, I’m not bragging) say, “I don’t deserve you.”

The majority of the time I thought they were just being cute, but eventually I learned a few of them really meant it and the relationship ended.

What does it mean when he says I don’t deserve you?

Speaking from my own experience, when a guy has said he doesn’t deserve me, what he really means is that he doesn’t want to be with you.

Now if you’re constantly looking at the world through rose-colored glasses like I was, this hidden motive might be easy to miss. But if you’re boyfriend or the guy you’re seeing is consistently saying things like “you’re too good for me,” or “you don’t want to be with me,” than they’re probably speaking more truth than you realize.

I think our initial instinct is to argue back — in, like, a cute way — that they are enough for us.

We feel guilty that our awesomeness is making them feel bad about themselves, and we want to build them back up.

It’s sweet to think he really doesn’t think he deserves you, most of the time, it’s just not the case.

Now I haven’t actually asked any of the men who played that card what the real reasoning behind it was, but I can only assume that it’s just because I was feeling a relationship, and they were not.

Some even went a little farther down the road (like, a few months of actually, full-on dating) before they had this realization. When this happened, I would play the normal girl card and assume that it was my role to make them feel good enough for me.

As you can imagine, that didn’t work very well and the relationship still ended.

It was only when I finally started accepting that I didn’t ever want to force a relationship with anyone that it all became a lot clearer.

When guys have told me they didn’t deserve me, I started agreeing with them.

Sometimes it made them flip the script and want to date me, sometimes it didn’t. But either way, I felt stronger and better about myself because I wasn’t trying to convince somebody that they should be with me.

I figured out that I can be totally OK all on my own.

In my opinion, that is way more important than locking down some dude.

 

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Be Instantly Irresistible With These 10 Body Language Tips

For every occasion, there’s always this one individual who seems to captivate everyone. Her smile lights up the room, people gather to talk to her, and you can’t help but be drawn to her. She may not be the prettiest person at the event, but something about her feels exciting and inviting.

Who is she? How is she able to appear so likeable to both men and women?

The answer is not in her choice of clothing or her witty remarks (although those are important, too). Her allure comes from her body language. Want to capture the audience the next time you walk into a party? Practice these 10 tips and you’ll be on your way to becoming instantly irresistible.

1. Have an open and relaxed posture.

Whether you’re standing, sitting, or walking, having the right posture not only makes you look charming, it also helps you to appear taller. If you’ve been slouching for a long time, there are plenty of easy exercises to fix your stance. It also helps to observe yourself using a full-length mirror. Sit, walk, and stand in front of it for about 5-10 minutes each day until you have the correct posture. This means:

  • Head straight and relaxed
  • Shoulders back
  • Abdomen in
  • Knees slightly bent

Once you have mastered good posture, you’ll find that you feel more comfortable and confident when facing people.

2. Smile with your eyes.

Your smile is one of your most potent weapons to instantly make you likeable. A genuine smile is supposed to reach your eyes, creating tiny crinkles that light up your face. This suggests that you are truly happy, and nothing is more attractive than a person who smiles like they mean it. According to research, smiling also alleviates stress and can influence your level of success.

Believe it or not, you can enhance your smile simply by practicing it every day! Face a mirror, take a deep breath, hold it, and slowly exhale before smiling. You’ll notice that you feel more relaxed and your smile looks genuine. Try this a couple more times until you feel confident!

3. Subtly mirror tiny movements.

Mirroring is a body language technique that successful people use to gain rapport. When done right, it should make you more likeable without much effort. It’s part of our psychology to respond positively to individuals who are like us. In fact, a baby’s body functions (like its heartbeat) sync with the mother even before birth.

Good mirroring begins by first observing the other person’s movements. Is he leaning forward? Crossing his legs? Nodding? Reflect these actions with your own body to quickly develop a bond of trust. This method has been proven numerous times in different experiments. So at your next party, watch people closely. Mirror their movements to connect better with any person in the room.

4. Use a quick touch on the forearm or shoulder.

Don’t underestimate the power of a quick pat on the back or a friendly touch on the arm. Unlike words, these are universally understood and can convey more meaning. For example, if you really like a person, you may lightly touch their arm during a conversation. Similar to mirroring, this builds rapport with people you meet. Remember not to overdo this though! Just a light tap is enough — never linger!

5. Maintain good eye contact.

There’s no doubt that making eye contact is one of the most powerful body language arsenals in your book. However, doing it wrong will make you look creepy. Combine this with tip #2: smile while making eye contact to instantly make yourself irresistible. Ten seconds is a safe time limit before looking elsewhere. Otherwise, you will trigger a person’s defense mechanism and make them feel uncomfortable.

6. Turn your body towards the person.

Also known as the “big baby pivot,” this involves turning your entire body towards another person. This body language trick got its name from the way most folks turn their attention to a baby. When being introduced to someone, make sure to give your undivided attention by pivoting your body towards them. This delivers the message that they’re special and you’re interested in them. True interest in another person makes you super irresistible in return!

7. Use open hand gestures.

The handshake that we practice today was, in fact, an early custom to prove that you’re not hiding any weapons. That’s why we have suspicions when people don’t show their hands. With this in mind, use gestures to make you the most memorable person in the room.

When conversing or speaking to a crowd, use certain hand gestures to create an impact. Here are a few:

  • Use your fingers when listing points
  • A solid fist means you’re determined
  • Make a sweeping motion to mean “everything”
  • Bring hands to your chest when talking about a personal experience

Consider your audience when using hand gestures. Remember: one sign could mean a world of difference in another culture, so use with caution!

8. Pause for a few seconds.

This is a subtle yet very effective part of your body language. You can implement quick pauses during conversations or speeches when:

  • You’re asked a difficult or personal question (this gives you enough time to think of a good answer)
  • You want to build a dramatic effect (pausing between statements is a sign that you’re about to deliver big news)
  • You want to create an air of mystery (particularly when coupled with a small smile)

Pausing is also great when used just before you smile. It shows that you’re not someone who gives it away so easily.

9. Nod to show confidence in opinion.

According to one study, nodding doesn’t necessarily mean that you agree with something. Rather, this simple action strengthens an already existing opinion. In a gathering for instance, nodding your head to the speaker reinforces whatever he or she is saying. This creates a connection between you two — even if you don’t really agree with everything they say. It’s also a sign that shows you’re paying attention.

10. Avoid fidgeting.

Feeling nervous during an important event? Need to calm your nerves before meeting with clients? If you want to be instantly irresistible, one of the things you should avoid is looking restless. If you have the habit of fiddling with your fingers when worried, it could signal to others that you’re insecure. Project an appealing aura by standing tall yet relaxed.

If you’re still feeling anxious, be sure to bring something familiar with you, like your favorite pen or necklace. These are usually called “comfort objects.” According to experts, carrying something you associate with good memories will help reduce anxiety. Look at it or hold it in your hand for a few seconds to remind you that everything’s going to be okay. Then, proceed to be your best, irresistible self!

 

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

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8 Signs He’s Using You Because He Hates Being Alone

You deserve better.

Have you ever been deep in a relationship and still find yourself wondering if he’s into you? Sadly, it’s very common these days to be in a one-sided relationship.

As if that’s not already a sad enough truth, you must ask yourself how you went so long without even noticing the signs he’s using you!

Now, granted, you may have had your suspicions all along but didn’t want to believe it. This is what we call being in denial.

However, in your defense, we as humans often enter into a state of denial because our needs outnumber our desires by a landslide. In these situations, our judgment can be clouded — and I mean clouded to the point where the obvious is no longer obvious.

Here’s how to know for sure the guy you’re dating, unfortunately, isn’t all that into you — he just hates being alone and is using you for the company.

1. You chase after him like a celebrity.

First and foremost, men naturally love to pursue women. If any guy is interested in you, he will be the one doing the pursuing. When he’s truly interested in you, he will find a way to talk to you. It may take courage for him to make a move, but when he does you will know it.

When you like someone, it’s a joint effort between both parties. You wouldn’t have to fangirl him. If he lets you chase him, there’s a reason he’s running away. Remember: you have worth and any guy worth keeping will pursue you.

2. He doesn’t bother to text you back, engage in good conversation, or try to get to know you.

Sometimes, both men and women are a bit bashful when starting a conversation with the opposite sex.

It can be scary to send the first text message. You sit there and wait 20 minutes to respond because you don’t want to look desperate. However, when a guy is interested in getting to know you, he will be excited to text you and will find a way to keep the conversation going.

In the age of social media, if he liked you, he would probably creep on your Instagram, scroll through your pictures, and find a way to bring up your trip to Papa New Guinea. If the conversation feels dull, one-sided, and uninteresting,  you should move on.

This one is not worth your time. Anyone worth talking to would want to get to know you and learn every little detail about you.

3. He treats you like an option rather than a priority.

If you continuously try to make plans with him and he seems to always make an excuse, you’re probably just an option. No matter how busy any human being is, regardless of your gender, you would always make time for someone that matters to you.

If he wanted to see you even for five minutes, he would find a way to fit you in his schedule. You should never settle to be an option. Always strive to be someone’s number one priority.

4. He truly acts like he doesn’t care.

When he acts like he doesn’t care, you should believe him. It’s not an act or a game.

If someone truly liked you or genuinely cared about you, you wouldn’t need to convince yourself otherwise. You would just know; you would feel it in every fiber of your body. He would say that he likes you or show that he cares about you in some way, shape, or form.

5. He doesn’t express his emotions.

Sometimes, it’s difficult for guys to express their emotions because some of them have no idea how to do it. They were taught to hide their them because being emotional is considered a weakness. Men were programmed to maintain a tough mental and emotional exterior.

However, you must realize that they are human beings, too. Although they would rather not admit to it, they absolutely have feelings.

When a guy likes you, he would make it known to you. He wouldn’t leave you wondering and waiting by the phone. He would make you feel secure, comfortable, and let you know that he likes you. And he would want to know if you felt that way, too.

6. He doesn’t make you part of his life.

When you first start dating or speaking to him, he probably won’t introduce you to important people in his life just yet. However, if you’ve been talking to him for a while and you’re still being kept a secret, be a bit skeptical.

When a guy likes you, he wants you to be part of his life. He would talk about you to his friends and want their approval. Eventually, he would get the courage to introduce you to important people in his life, invite you to fun events, and want to spend more time with you.

7. He’s selfish inside and outside of the bedroom.

Selfish people tend to only be good to themselves. People truly reveal themselves through their actions.

Sex is a two-way street and it should be a fun experience for both of you. He should make you feel like the most beautiful, loved, and amazing girl in the world.

If your pleasure, excitement, and happiness don’t matter to him, question why you like him or want to date him. If he never asks you about your day, life, or what you want to do, you should make a life change.

You deserve someone who cares about you and is willing to do anything to see you happy.

8. He doesn’t put in an effort to take you out on dates.

If he only wants to Netflix and Chill, you’re probably just a hook-up with no strings attached. There’s nothing wrong with this lifestyle; however, if you’re looking for something more serious, guard your heart. Don’t catch feelings.

You should put your feelings aside and realize that he may not be interested in a relationship with you. It’s always an awkward talk to have with someone, but you’ll never know if you don’t ask.

It’s better to know his expectations from the start rather than setting yourself up for disappointment. Remember: if any guy makes you feel unsure of yourself, he’s unsure of you.

 

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 Most Common Reasons for Divorce, According to Marriage Counselors

And nope, it’s not the pandemic.

Falling in love is a thing of elation, and then there’s the wedding day. Two partners star in their own rom-com, vows are spoken, the audience claps, and the newlyweds ride off into the sunset together, with decades of marital bliss on the horizon. Their love will surely stand the test of time…or will it? In fact, what if there comes a day when the marriage simply becomes loveless?

In the honeymoon phase, the prospect of divorce may feel light years away. But the reality of making a marriage work is not as simple as a stroll down the aisle. While all relationships experience trials, and even the healthiest couples fluctuate in terms of mutual happiness, unfortunately, some differences prove to be irreconcilable—even toxic.

We linked up with some experts who enlightened us to the most common reasons couples seek divorce, as well as topics that show up in marital counseling sessions and in the courtroom. So if thoughts of divorce are blinking on your radar, ahead is a wealth of information to help you validate whether or not your “happily ever after” has become “better off apart.”

So what are the most common reasons marriages fall apart?

Divorce attorney, Kelly Frawley, partner at Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP, claims to have heard it all—from, “I can’t stand his family” to protests over a partner’s changing body. The two most common reasons echoing throughout her practice, however? Money battles and relational boredom. “Couples may disagree about spending habits as well as the bigger financial picture in terms of savings and retirement goals,” she says.

And then there is the boredom piece—when the sense of adventure and passion has lost its pulse. Frawley says this often happens when couples lose their ability to relate day to day. “People may find they do not share the same interests as they once did, or they’re not excited about being intimate with their spouse.”

Frawley’s observations are well-aligned with a recent divorce study, where roughly 40 percent of its participants cited financial issues and “getting married too young” as having been major players in their marriage’s demise. Infidelity and conflict were mentioned even more–with almost 60 percent of the participating divorcees admitting that extramarital affairs and excessive arguing were among their final straws. But the most shouted complaint of all? A lack of commitment—coming in at a whopping 75 percent.

There’s no one year of marriage that you’re most vulnerable to divorce.

Dr. Lori Whatley, clinical psychologist, licensed marriage and family therapist and author of Connected & Engaged says that there does seem to a popular time to get divorced, regardless of whether you’ve been together for two years or twenty: intense periods of adjustment.

“The first year is extremely hard and often comes with surprises, because it’s a merging of beliefs, separate family traditions and financial habits, in order to create a new family unit,” she says.

And for couples who decide to toss a child into the mix, the surprises don’t end there. “When children are introduced, it can be an absolute shock for a lot of couples,” says Dr. Whatley. Say, for example, when partners trade in their sexy, wine-drenched date nights and spontaneous weekend getaways for a sleep-deprived blur of feeding, burping and changing diapers. Or, there could be issues with an interfering in-law whose heightened presence as a grandparent negatively bleeds over into the way one views their spouse.

Regardless, Dr. Whatley has observed that if a couple is already struggling to harmonize their personalities and goals, the newfound responsibility of a child may put further strain on the marriage.

Finally, empty nesters are often struck with yet another challenging stretch. After years spent hauling kids to music lessons and sporting practices, many couples suddenly find themselves seated alone at a quiet dinner table—sometimes unable to organically lock eyes. “Some partners aren’t sure they can connect with each other privately anymore,” she says. “They may have neglected their intimacy for years, and then there is nothing left to salvage.”

Emily Pollock, partner at Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP, says that, while her firm represents individuals in all stages of marriage—she has noticed that the majority of cases “are closer to the middle of the spectrum—between 7 and 14 years.”

Unmet expectations is another top cause of divorce.

Sometimes spouses discover that they clash. From personality conflicts to glaring political differences, perhaps there has been no single eruptive event and there is no one person to blame. They just want to be shown the exit door.

Dr. Whatley explains that the first year or two of a romance is fueled by a cocktail of chemicals like dopamine and oxytocin—creating an intoxicating haze of blind distraction. But then the intoxication runs out, and any red flags that were once ignored have taken center stage. “When the body physiologically calms down, and you’re no longer crazy in love, you’re doing real life together. And you may realize that you and your spouse are fundamentally different people,” she says.

Dr. Whatley adds that, based upon her observation, the most common reason for irreconcilable differences is unmet expectations. “People often create all of these expectations that their spouse will eventually adjust certain behaviors or habits to better suit their own. But you can never change another person; you can only change yourself.”

Of course, infidelity is another leading reason.

However, Dr. Whatley says it doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker. “Infidelity is almost always a symptom of another problem. While some marriages never heal from it, I have seen many couples create even better marriages after working through the issues surrounding it,” she says.

Denna Babul, relationship expert and author of the upcoming book Love Strong: Change Your Narrative, Change Your Life and Take Your Power Back agrees. “If a marriage has a solid foundation that, over time, becomes compromised in some way, infidelity can happen in marriages that are ultimately worth saving–so long as the person who cheated is genuinely remorseful and committed to rebuilding the relationship’s trust,” she says.

But there’s a catch. In order to come back from infidelity, the person who was betrayed must still be able to see their spouse in a recognizably loving light. “If the person is so hurt that they are no longer able to see their spouse as the one they fell in love with, that may ultimately destroy the marriage,” says Babul.

In a 2019 survey, “lack of intimacy” was cited as one of the most prevalent factors.

In a 2019 study published by Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, the most common reason for divorce was found to be a lack of love and intimacy. Dr. Shannon Chavez, Los Angeles-based psychologist and sex therapist, says that sexless marriages are shockingly common, and that the majority of her divorced clients report having experienced its pain. “In sexless marriages, a person can go a long time without feeling desired and loved, and their self-esteem can take serious hits because of it,” she says.

So, in such a case, it’s understandable why a person might wish to leave a marriage that’s left them untouched for months or years. But Dr. Chavez urges her clients to consider that, while eroticism fades over time, a seemingly flat-lined sex life doesn’t necessarily mean that divorce papers should be filed. “If there is still a connection there, couples can work to check in with each other’s desires and find new ways to excite and indulge in each other. Unless there are other serious issues within the marriage, in the majority of cases, it’s definitely possible to revive the intimacy and sexual connection,” she says.

What if your spouse is emotionally or physically abusive?

In a recent study, nearly a quarter of divorcees cited domestic violence as a major contributor to the expiration of their marriage. Katie Hood, TED Speaker and CEO of One Love Foundation says that the evolution of an abusive marriage is quite sneaky—often disguised in the early days as healthy love. “It usually starts with the abusive spouse dominating all of your time and energy, then slowly isolating you from friends and family. Before long, you may have little to no support system outside of the marriage,” she says.

Other classic signs of abuse are control (i.e. your spouse micromanages your social media presence or freaks when you attempt to forge an identity outside of the marriage), a cycle of blaming, gaslighting and punishment, and high volatility. “The abused may feel like they are walking on eggshells—constantly framing their decisions in an effort to avoid a negative reaction from their spouse,” she says. Worst of all? The cycle of abusive behavior is so psychologically complex that it conditions the abused to lose faith in themselves. “The whole process of abuse breaks down a person’s conviction. If the abuser is constantly saying, ‘This isn’t my fault; it’s your fault,’ the abused loses confidence in their own judgment,” says Hood.

So if one has reached their capacity for tolerating abuse, and is mulling over plans to divorce, Hood emphasizes the necessity of putting safety protocols in place. “Abusive relationships are all about control. Filing for divorce is the ultimate break in that control, so this is why gathering a support system with safety planning is essential before leaving an abusive marriage,” she says.

But not all divorces are a result of “serious” issues.

Perhaps it’s not that there is anything horribly wrong in the marriage; there just isn’t enough left that feels right.

For example, let’s say your spouse married a junk food addict, and the two of you bonded over a mutual fondness for nachos and cookie dough ice cream, but, over time, your curiosity about fitness and clean eating accelerated into a passion, and you evolved into a wellness enthusiast. Or, perhaps you were agnostic when you married, but have since become aligned with a spiritual belief system that your spouse deems as woo-woo. Over time, you may feel like the two of you exist in separate universes.

Dr. Whatley says it’s not typically the changes that create the problems, but a spouse’s resistance to those changes that cause the breakdown of a marriage. “Is your spouse willing to let you grow and live in a way that is meaningful to you? Are they willing to learn about and support the activities you deeply love? If that doesn’t happen, it can cause a person to feel like they’ve outgrown a marriage, sometimes leading to divorce,” she says.

And the same goes for ones that happen in couples that have been together for decades.

While it’s often puzzling when couples, after many successful years together—perhaps spent building a life filled with gorgeous family photographs–decide to start over separately, Dr. Whatley says it’s not so mysterious. She explains it can be attributed to the small, daily ripples of change that eventually lead to monumental differences over time. “The period after 30 or 35 years of marriage can be strikingly tough. “People evolve and change slowly and steadily over the years, and sometimes they wake up and realize that they didn’t evolve and change as a couple,” she says.

Dr. Whatley adds that when women start to cross out of middle-age and approach their golden years, it’s not uncommon for them to reconsider a myriad of things about their life. “In recent years, there has been strong evidence of women in their late 50s and early 60s seeking divorce more and more. I’ve seen it in a few studies as well as in my practice,” she says. “I think it’s a time when one evaluates their worth, as well as how they want to make the most of the rest of their days.”

For a marriage to thrive, there has to be mutual respect, but not necessarily constant happiness.

Dr. Whatley believes the most essential ingredient in a healthy marriage is mutuality. “You need mutual respect and a mutual emotional connection.” She adds, “Reasonable behavior in a marriage does not have to do with acting or feeling happy all of the time. Happiness in a relationship is not a constant state; it wouldn’t be special if it was. It’s about the two parties who sometimes disagree and mess up, but always bounce back—because they each want to bounce back.”

Hood says we have to fight the narrative that there exists a marriage on high where two partners are perfectly in sync and fair with each other all of the time. The key is to be able to safely communicate when you aren’t in sync, and when you feel you’ve been wronged. That differentiates a worthwhile marriage from a toxic one. “When you feel disappointed, hurt or trapped, in any way, can you have that conversation and still be heard fairly?”

How is the coronavirus impacting marriages?

Dr. Whatley says that 2020 is an interesting year for marriages, and predicts there will be droves of relational paradigm shifts on the other side of the pandemic. “I have some clients who are quarantined with their spouse in small places. If they were on the fence about their marriage, this has brought immense clarity—some have grown closer, while many have realized that it’s simply not working,” she says.

Pollock says that the shelter-in-place orders are provoking individuals to take a microscope to their relationships. When the freedom to venture out of the house for a cocktail, or to a friend’s place to blow off steam is stripped away, having nowhere to run sort of serves as a magnifier—of both the good and the bad. “We have gotten calls from people who have been prompted to seek divorce counsel as a result of examining their relationships. We are encouraging people not to make any final decisions based on these very unusual circumstances during which everyone is under significant stress,” she says.

So while some individuals may be inspired to view their relationships in a light of heightened gratitude, Pollock says others “may have entered the crisis viewing their marriage as not great but ‘good enough,’ but will leave it with a new perspective that life is too short to settle for ‘good enough.’”

At the end of the day, divorce happens because a marriage has lost its glue.

Regardless of the reasons that provoke thoughts of divorce, how does one know when it’s really over? Dr. Whatley says it’s when the marriage has lost its glue. “You know that special thing you bond over, that has always held you together—in conflict, in tragedy, or after a huge mistake? Couples can come back from so many awful things, but only when the glue is still there. If it’s lost, if it starts to feel indifferent, that’s when the marriage falls apart.” She adds, “…and that is when it is nearly impossible to be put back together.”

 

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

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

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8 Reasons You’re Single

You’ve heard the old adage: you have to put yourself out there if you want to find someone! Well, if you’re sending out the wrong signals or you aren’t pursuing the right kind of people, it won’t matter how much you put yourself out there — you’re still going to wind up empty-handed in the relationship department. After the jump, eight things that may be keeping you single if you don’t want to be.

1. You’re jaded.

You can’t believe how long you’ve been on the single scene with no real success. Every person you’ve been out with in the last year or so has let you down in one way or another. You view each date as a new opportunity for disappointment. If thought directs energy, your energy sucks! And you better believe the energy you’re cultivating influences your dating experiences. Instead of focusing on the negative, think of all the lessons you’ve learned lately and the opportunities being single has afforded you (time to develop a career, cultivate great friendships, get to know yourself, etc). If you’ve been locked in a cycle of negative thinking you can’t get out of, take at least a three-month break from dating and recharge.

2. You’re too picky.

You’ve got a list a mile long of traits your next boyfriend must possess and you think anything less would just be “settling.” Well, guess what? People aren’t sofas and you can’t just order one in a specific size, shape, style and color that will perfectly fit your decor and space. Limit your must-haves to no more than five things and accept that the rest of your perfect-for-you someone may not come in the style you’ve always imagined.

3. You keep pursuing people who are “out of your league.”

If you’re a seven and you keep going for tens, you’re not only overlooking many potential matches, you’re wasting valuable time. Sure, it’s great to be confident, but it’s much more time-efficient to be honest with yourself and accept how you compare to your competitors, than to keep chasing people who are far better-looking, younger and/or accomplished than you.

4. You don’t know how to compromise.

You don’t have any problem meeting great matches, but when it comes to the “give” portion of “give-and-take” in a relationship, you’re clueless. Finding a great match is only half the battle! Actually, it’s not even half. It’s a fourth at best. The real work is accepting that things aren’t always going to go your way and you’ll have to make some sacrifices to accommodate a partner in your life.

5. You’re desperate.

If you’d do just about anything for a relationship and would go out with literally anyone who is willing, you reek so much of desperation, no quality person is going to want to get near you. People want to feel special, not like they’re just filling a void. It’s time to focus on what you’ve got going for you, and pursue activities, friendships, adventures and opportunities that enrich your life so you’re reminded that landing a relationship isn’t the only way to feel fulfilled.

Selfish Lover

6. You haven’t made room in your life for a partner.

Don’t wait until you meet someone you really like to quit working weekends and filling every night of the week with activities. Send a message to the universe that you’re ready for that special person by making room in your life now. This can be as literal as making room in a dresser drawer for a significant other and pulling your bed away from the wall so a potential partner can get in and out comfortably. These are action steps you can take to cultivating positive energy, too.

7. You’re too easy.

I don’t mean that in just the sexual sense, though that counts, too. If you’re so eager to jump into a relationship that you’re calling him your boyfriend by date #2, and making yourself available every single time he wants to hang out — even if he’s given you one hour’s notice — you’re gonna be turning people off. You might make an ideal booty call or FWB, but a real relationship will be hard to cultivate. Instead, get to know the other person before you decide you want to marry him, wait awhile before confessing all your feelings, and don’t reveal everything about yourself right away.

8. You aren’t over your ex.

If it’s been more than a few months and you can’t stop saying his name every chance you get, find a therapist to help you work through your emotions. And as long as you have unresolved sadness, anger or resentment over a past relationship, you’re dooming all potential relationships. No one wants to compete with an ex.

 

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29 Brilliant Responses For When Someone Asks You Why You’re Still Single

As we single ladies head into any social gathering, we know someone will inevitably ask that dreaded question, one most despised by all singletons:

Why are you still single?

While it’s amazing people still think it’s appropriate to even ask this question, there nonetheless will likely always be that one distant relative, coworker, friend, or acquaintance from high school who comes up to you at the holiday party and utters these cringeworthy words. They may follow it up with, “Because you’re just so great.” That doesn’t make the situation any less awkward or annoying, and you may find yourself thinking up brilliant responses for when someone asks why you’re still single. That’s where I come in to help.

Whether you’re single or you’re in a relationship, both statuses have their perks and you can live your best life. When you’re single, you’re free to book spontaneous trips with friends, dedicate your free time completely to your passions and your career, and take a dip in the dating pool (if that’s even what you want at this point in your life).

So the next time someone asks you why you’re still single, feel free to use any one of the following expert-approved responses:

1. “I’m focusing on my career.”

In an exclusive interview with Elite Daily, marriage and family therapist Nicole Richardson says she encourages “people to talk about the things in their lives that they are excited about.” If that’s your career, then kudos to you. And if the time comes when you do meet someone special, “[You] will choose partnership when [you] find someone who values [you] and is willing to put in the same amount of work [you] are.”

2. “I’m just not settling.”

This is a solid response because you’re explaining your needs and expectations from a future partner. For example, Richardson suggests saying something along the lines of, “I’m just not into settling. The person I’m looking forward [to meeting] is working on having the kind of life they are just as excited about as I am about mine.”

Richardson tells Elite Daily if your goal is to find someone who brings more happiness and positive vibes into your world, it’s tough work. It calls for you to be more “selective” and not settle for anything less, but the result can be well worth it.

3. “Weddings are expensive, and I have expensive taste in vacations, clothes, and footwear.”

You’re footing your own bankroll, duh. Weddings can be expensive AF — and who can blame you — you’re simply just not ready to dish out all of that cash quite yet.

4. “Yeah, it’s terrible dating any person I want.”

(Thanks for asking.) If you feel like it’s an appropriate time to throw a little bit of shade, this response is sassy and sarcastic. Mic drop.

5. “I don’t need a partner to prove that I’m worth something.”

You’re killing it in every aspect of your life. Why would you need a partner to show that? Richardson tells Elite Daily, “I love this [response] and I hope that anyone who says it means it. Truly believing in your own value sets you up for a much healthier relationship. When you rely on your romantic relationship for your self-esteem, it drains it and sets it on a really unhealthy path.”

6. “Why don’t we talk about my job promotion instead?”

Why is it that without a partner, nothing else seems to matter? Your single status shouldn’t take away from all of the other amazing things that are going on in your life. “The truth is, there are often people in our lives that don’t understand us and the life we are building,” says Richardson. “Especially if it is a family member, it can feel as though you can’t simply cut them out. When this happens, it’s important to take a deep breath and tell them about all the positive things you have made happen and that you’re proud of.”

7. “I’d rather have a significant income than a significant other.”

You can take care of your #girlboss self, thank you very much. A significant income? Yes, please.

8. “I’m fabulous, and I haven’t found anyone equally as fabulous, that’s why.”

You’re really just telling it like it is. Again, you’re not in a rush to be in a relationship and life is far too short to settle for anything you’re not completely happy with.

9. “I’m in a passionate love affair with myself.”

It’s a party of one, and that’s the only party you’re after. Thomas Edwards, Jr., Transformational Coach at thomasedwardsjr.com, tells Elite Daily he especially likes responses that focus on self-love. “If you’re being real and choosing not commit to anyone but yourself, that’s great,” he says.

10. As Cher Horowitz says, “You see how picky I am about my shoes, and they only go on my feet.”

You can always count on Cher Horowitz from Clueless to tell it like it is. You might be picky because you don’t want to be in a relationship simply for the sake of being in a relationship. It’s like finding the right pair of shoes; it may require a lot of searching, but once you do find them, you know it was all worth it.

11. “I’m not single. I’m married to food.”

No shame here. The hilariously witty “throw away the conversation” answers — as Edwards refers to them as — can go a long way. “The question [someone asks about why you’re still single] is so ridiculous, an even more ridiculous answer is needed sometimes,” he says.”

12. “I don’t know. Why are you still married?”

If they want to ask the hard questions, you go ahead and ask them right back.

13. “My dad didn’t have enough sheep and wheat for my dowry.”

“No man shall ever marry ye!” This response may even get a laugh out of the person who asks you why you’re single.

14. “So far, every person I’ve met has been unimpressive.”

This response is best delivered completely deadpan. If they’re not impressing you, why waste your time? You could be cuddling with your pup for a movie night instead.

15. “Well, it’s likely because I haven’t found the right person yet.”

For this particular response, Richardson says it can come across as a bit defensive. It’s all about presentation, and Richardson stresses to never settle. “Life is too short and the people we surround ourselves with are really important to our quality of life. Staying selective and not settling should be a source of pride not shame.”

16. “When I’m ready to be in a relationship, I have no doubt I will find my person when I’m meant to.”

This response suggested by Edwards is straight and to the point. “The main idea is to center your answer around why your life is great right now just the way it is and to not let anyone else’s pressure be your own,” he says.”

17. “I still haven’t met a person who is as good as prime rib tastes.”

And prime rib is expensive, too.

18. “Single is the new black.”

I mean, you’re just being trendy.

19. “Prince William is already taken.”

This response has worked since you were in high school. It’s tried and true.

20. “I can’t commit to a dinner reservation, let alone another human being.”

It’s all about priorities. Obviously.

21. “I’m enjoying this time in my life when I get to focus on myself and becoming whole as a person.”

This is another awesome response suggested by Edwards. It’s all about self-love, people. Loving yourself before you welcome someone else into your world is key.

22. “My arranged marriage is just around the corner.”

Again, a deadpan delivery here will go far.

23. “I’m very busy focusing on myself and do not have a single minute to devote to someone else.”

This one is straightforward and to the point. Being in a relationship might not even be on your radar right now, and that’s perfectly OK.

24. “Why settle for one partner when I can date?”

At this point in your life, you may be swimming in the dating pool and having a great time doing it. You’re learning what’s really important to you, your likes, and your dislikes when it comes to a future partner.

25. “My shows are far more interesting than any date I’ve been on.”

(I mean, have you seen Andrew DeLuca?) Dating can be a struggle, and you’ll likely deal with a lot of frogs before you find the one you’re meant to be with. But, hey, at least Netflix and HBO are always loyal companions.

26. “Honestly, being single is really fun.”

Richardson says if you’re perfectly content with this single stage in your life, embrace it to the fullest. “No one can make you happy but you. It is wonderful to be bold enough to create the life you want, not everyone is brave enough to do that,” she tells Elite Daily.

27. “I’m more into the title of CEO than partner.”

BURN. This is another career-focused response that deserves a mic drop. You’re focusing on reaching your goals, and that’s entirely your choice. Edwards does make it a point to say, though, “I have had plenty of clients who came to me saying they focused on their career and as a result, are having a hard time getting into a relationship. You don’t have to sacrifice one for the other. It is possible to have everything you want in your life without waiting for one domino to fall.”

28. “I’m dating myself — why would I need a partner?”

You are the best dinner date and Netflix and shopping companion, after all.

29. I’m pretty certain I’m “The One.” So, there’s that.

Now this response deserves a mic drop.

You don’t really owe anyone an explanation about your relationship status. But if you feel like using a clever rebuttal the next time someone makes an encounter awkward by asking you why you’re single “because you’re just so great,” refer to this list.

 

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

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Being Tired Because Of Coronavirus Stress Is A Common Reaction, Doctors Say

Without a commute, you’ve been able to get your eight hours of sleep a night for the first time since college, but you’re still a zombie during the day. Worse, knowing that one of the symptoms of coronavirus is fatigue is making you second-guess that you’re otherwise feeling fine. Doctors say that there’s another explanation — coronavirus-related sleep issues can actually be related to trauma.

“In these times of uncertainty, many people may be feeling fearful and anxious about things that are beyond their control,” Dr. Nicole Tang, D.Phil.Dr. Shilpa Patel, Ph.D.; and Dr. Harbinder Sandu, Ph.D., researchers at the University of Warwick, tell Bustle via email. “Stress, worry and anxiety can all contribute to fatigue, which may be exacerbated by the situation we find ourselves in.” Overthinking, fear, and grief, as well as the disruption of our usual routines, can affect the quality of your sleep and your energy the following day.

Exhaustion is a well-known response to traumatic events, whether they’re sudden shocks or long drawn-out changes like the ones we’re experiencing now. The Royal College of Psychiatrists notes that during and after a traumatic experience of any kind, you may experience sleep problems, poor concentration and memory, and brain fog.

“Our mood and sleep are responsive to our anxiety and stress levels,” the University of Warwick researchers say. “If we are not sleeping well at night, it’s understandable why we feel tired during the day.” People with post-traumatic stress disorder often experience exhaustion and sleep problems, but anybody coping with intense emotions can feel it too.

In people with coronavirus, fatigue is most often accompanied by several other symptoms. If you’re just feeling tired and no other symptoms ensue — like a cough or fever — there’s a strong chance that you’re psychologically stressed, not coming down with COVID-19. A roundup of research on hospitalized COVID-19 patients published in JAMA in February 2020 noted that 98% of patients had a fever, 82-79% had dry cough, and 11-44% had fatigue. The European Center for Disease Control & Prevention (ECDC) issued guidance on March 12 that named fatigue as the third most common symptom, occurring in 38% of laboratory-confirmed coronavirus cases; fever occurred in 88%, while dry cough occurred in 68%.

“If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, like a dry cough, sore throat, or fever, contact your medical health care practitioner,” Dr. Seema Sarin, M.D., an internal medicine physician, tells Bustle.

The best way to deal with this lack of energy, experts say, is to wait and see if you develop other coronavirus symptoms — and try to handle your psychological stress while you do. Isolation can contribute to this feeling, the University of Warwick researchers say, so it’s important to keep in touch with others using Facetime, Zoom, or Houseparty if you can. “Set small and achievable goals and pace yourself; both under-activity and over-activity can lead to fatigue,” they say. “Be kind to yourself and others.” Dr. Sarin also recommends staying away from social media if you can and limiting news intake to trusted sources like the CDC, to reduce constant exposure to stressful events.

 

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 Learn to Be Alone and Happy About It

Consider yourself lucky if you can balance being social and spending time by yourself. After all, your parents didn’t intentionally raise you to be a loner, learn to be alone, or take time for you.

If anything, you learned various social skills for your relationships. There may be days when you decide to not answer a text, respond to a phone call and snuggle with your dog on the couch to binge-watch Netflix.

Choosing to retreat gives your friends the impression that you are anti-social, which can bring pressures and difficulties.

In these moments, you learn to be alone.

However, it is harder to learn to be alone in the midst of people you’re supposed to interact with daily. In the mind’s of people, it is the norm for everyone to be socially active; seeking to reach out for various reasons.

When you learn to be alone and be happy about it, another layer of self-care and self-improvement evolves.

You open yourself to better understand new aspects of who you are, which in turn strengthens your relationships.

In reality, adulting comes with tons of responsibilities, constant break-up’s, friendship losses, and social misunderstandings–all of which can be draining.

You can begin to strategize how you will learn to be alone, be happy about it, and keep amazing relationships going without losing unnecessary energy.

Research shows that only fifteen percent of the 82 million Gen Xers in the U.S. have no friends. This doesn’t mean they are loners or uninterested in interacting. These individuals just enjoy time alone every once in a while.

To learn to be alone is a healthy choice. So, when you do find yourself without company at any time, you won’t view it as a terrible fate, but as moments worth spending time with yourself.

Is It Healthy To Be Alone?

Spending quality time with yourself helps you enhance your psychological development, and experience.

On the flip side, excessively spending time alone can negatively impact your mental and physical health.

It would keep you at the mercy of your inner critics, lead to depression, painful loneliness, and can ultimately lead to the deterioration of your health.

Consequently, you pretty much have to strike a balance between the two extremes. That said, these are the health benefits of being alone.

Spending Time Alone With Yourself Increases Productivity.

How quickly do you get a job done when you have family and friends chatting away around you?

Your goal may be to complete things around the house, run errands, finish a school assignment, or meet a deadline for work. Even a ping from your phone when a chat or mail comes in can make you lose concentration on a task.

The brain is naturally programmed to be more productive when there are little to no distractions. So, if you desire to be more productive, spend time alone.

It Fosters Better Relationships With Others.

Being an extrovert is amazing. However, sometimes being an introvert is good, too.

3-Step Guide to Overcome Hard Times in Life

Before you continue with the article, don’t miss this FREE guide, which can help you overcome any challenges you’re facing now:

Research has it that introverts are more in touch with themselves, better express self-awareness and empathy. This makes it possible for them to understand individuals around them and better manage relationships.

What’s more, studies show that relationships thrive when the individuals involved can take a step back and keep a level of independence. When they do reunite, the spark is incredibly amazing and refreshing.

It Allows You To Revitalize Your Mind.

Being the life of occasions and mingling with friends can be fun, and can help with some aspects of brain activity.

However, what happens when your brain begins to lose creativity or, starts to yearn for some break away from the hype and action of your social life?

In such times, being alone would be healthy. Spending some time alone with yourself helps your mind to process previous activities, unwind, and recharge.

Additionally, when your brain is relaxed, a lot of things would begin to make sense and come together beautifully.

It Boosts Your Creativity.

The mind comes up with the best ideas when it is left alone in perfect solitude. It generates amazing plans, weighs the pros against the cons, and just creates beautiful creative stories.

So, when you feel the pressure to be creative, and you can’t deal with the noise of brainstorming, you can simply separate yourself from the crowd, and give your mind some time to think and come up with a great idea.

10 Ways to Learn to Be Happy Being Alone

Here are some steps you can take to learn to be alone and be happy about it.

1. Be Your Primary Source of Validation

Having friends and family call and show you major attention sure feels great. However, what happens when they are caught up with other things and don’t have that much time to text or call?

In such times, getting disappointed about not being contacted won’t help you, and sure would tell that you are far from being your source of validation.

So, what you can do is to deliberately train yourself to get used to the absence of people.

Take some time off from the noise of social life, and indulge in your hobbies like reading, writing, or seeing some great movies on Netflix.

What’s more, you can try meditating or yoga. This would clear your mind, and keep you in tune with yourself.

2. Learn To Feel And Be Self-Aware

So, first off, you can take a person out of psychology, but you can’t take psychology out of a person.

This means that the person that can reach into your emotions, and channel those emotions so you can be happy, alone and single, is you.

Learn to spend time with yourself, practice self-awareness, and keep in touch with your feelings.

That way, you will truly be happy. Identify your goals, dreams, and setbacks. Know the things that make you tick, and do those things.

3. Spend Some Time with Nature

There’s nothing quite as soothing as bonding with nature. You can simply spend time in a garden, where you can watch the flowers bloom with your favorite book in hand.

Or you can listen to the chirping of the birds, lie under the skies, and watch the shapes of the clouds and the brightness of the stars, and fall in love with yourself all over again.

If you have some energy and stamina in you, and you are a lover of outdoor activities like hiking, then put on those hiking boots, grab your backpack, and head to the nearest mountain around you.

4. Work on Your Self-Improvement

Remember those amazing self-improvement things that you have on your bucket list, but have somehow managed to miss doing them?

Bring those goals into actualization. You can create some alone time and work on them.

Learn to play that musical equipment, author that book, strategize on how you will start that company, learn a new skill, or a new language.

Just improve yourself.

5. Deliberately Ease into the Pleasure of Relaxation

The moment you go for a massage, treat yourself to a bubble bath with red wine in hand or stay home to watch Netflix with popcorn.

Then you will begin to love spending time by yourself. The cares of the world would be non-existent for that duration.

6. Take a Trip to a Dream Location Alone

You might ask yourself where the fun is in traveling alone. Be that as it may if you can get beyond the feeling of weirdness that accompanies taking a trip by yourself, just do it.

Just pack up your bags, and visit that location that you heard is a tourist attraction, or simply go for a weekend getaway in an amazing resort.

Then in no time, you will begin to feel the hang of being alone and happy.

7. Step Out to Town Alone

Perhaps you thought that to learn to be alone means camping at home and shutting the world out. However, that’s not the case.

You can indeed have beautiful time with yourself by going out to town to do activities like reading in a park, grabbing a coffee, and going to the seaside where you can feel the wind on your face, watch the sea waves come and go, and just gather your thoughts.

Become Mentally Stronger!

8. Stay Away from Your Phone

If you’re going to learn to be alone, then you might as well go all the way. This would mean staying away from your phone and the distractions that come with it.

When the phone is out of the way, you can do whatever you desire, such as snack away on whatever you crave for, or jam to your best music.

9. Feel Free to Be Weird

Okay, you might think that you’re an adult, so you just can’t go about being weird.

In truth, who cares? Being grown does not stop you from playing your favorite song at home and dancing to it in your underwear, or bingeing on your favorite ice-cream or meal.

Nothing stops you from doing crazy activities like sky diving, that will send some adrenaline shooting through your body.

And nothing stops you from participating in karaoke, even when you don’t have a voice worthy of applause. The main thing is to be weird and to own your weirdness.

10. Guiltlessly Make Mistakes, And Own Them

At this point in your life, you should understand that making mistakes is part of the cycle of life.

I’m not saying that you should go about being the king or queen of errors. Rather, you should not beat up yourself when you unknowingly make a wrong move or a wrong decision.

In essence, own your mistakes, learn from them, and move on feeling better, and stronger.

Final Thoughts

Finally, the one thing you should convince yourself of is that, it is normal for you to live your life the way you have chosen.

There is no need trying to convince anyone that what you are doing is in the right interest of you. There is no need working yourself up to prove to anyone that choosing to learn to be alone is right for you.

You have decided to be happy and have found the best way to be healthy.

Instead of getting heartaches from your relationships, you have decided to sideline yourself and you are doing just fine.

Laugh. Live. Be happy alone. You’ll soon discover that this is the greatest decision ever.

 

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

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25 Questions to Ask If You Really Want to Get to Know Someone

Is there anything more exciting than meeting someone for the first time and getting to ask them for their life story? Whether it’s a first date, first hang—whatever—the door of possibilities is swung WIDE open and you get to spend the next few hours just learning about each other and what makes you tick. Of course, with great power comes great responsibility (aka anxiety over what to ask). Thankfully, we’ve assembled the experts to give you a handy dandy checklist of exactly what questions to ask when you want to get to know someone.

Generally speaking, the more open-ended a question, the more info you’ll learn about them, so try to word these as chill as possible. And if you’re stuck with someone who answers “What’s your most salient memory of childhood trauma?” with a one-word “Yes,” maybe roll the dice and try again.

1. Where do you see yourself in five years?

“This question is great because it gives you an idea of that person’s goals and life vision. You can determine if they’re compatible with yours,” says Jonathan Bennett, a relationship expert.

2. What are you excited about most in your life right now?

This question unpacks not only what the other person values, but also lets you glance into your potential compatibility, says Veronica Grant, a love and life coach. There’s no right or wrong answer, but depending on your personality (like you’re a go-getter and they’re happy just coasting through life), this question will take you straight to any potential personality clashes. You can either weed them out, or start a fun convo about what the two of your visions together would look like, says Grant.

3. Which TV or movie character do you identify with, and why?

“I love this question because it breaks the ice and helps paint a picture without anyone getting caught up in their own ego. We are taught to identify ourselves by our jobs, hobbies, and our education (boring!), and this question totally lightens things up a lot,” explains Nancy Ruth Deen, a relationship coach.

4. What did you wish for last, like at your birthday or when throwing a coin into a fountain?

Their answer will let you know what they think is unfulfilled in their life and what they hope for, says Diane Strachowski, PhD, a licensed psychologist and expert on attachment theory. Did they wish for love? Monetary things? A promotion?

5. What happened in your last relationship that led you two to break up?

“If they blame the other person and don’t take responsibility for their own part of it, watch out,” warns Margaret Paul, a relationship expert. Nothing says red flag like a dude with nothing but “crazy” exes. Smh.

6. What is your relationship like with your family?

Not everyone is super close with their family, but depending on how they view their relationship with them, this can tell you a lot. “Sometimes, what’s going on in the family can have a big effect on the relationship,” says Paul.

7. What is your biggest fear?

“This question allows you to see the vulnerable side of another person,” Bennett explains. “It also helps get past the usual superficial conversation that happens when people first meet.” Pay attention to what they say here.

8. Who did you turn to as a child when you were scared, lonely, hurt?

If they say “no one” and dealt with stressful situations alone, this is a good indicator that this is how they’ll handle current and future stressors now. On the other hand, if they went to their parents all the time for everything, they might need a lot of validation from a partner, explains Strachowski.

9. How do you deal with finances? Do you spend too much or too little?

Sure, combining finances is a step for WAY down the line, but still, it’s worth asking as finances can be a huge issue in relationships, according to Paul. It can also be a good indicator of how they deal with life, in general. Are spontaneous weekend trips to Paris going to be a thing? Or are you guys gonna cook dinner at home more often than not?

10. What are you most proud of and why?

This question lets you see what they value and how they spend their free time, explains Strachowski. Are they most proud of how their city soccer team went 10-0 last year, or do their eyes light up when they talk about the coffee table they built for their apartment last year?

11. What do you do need during periods of stress? Do you call someone to vent? Do you spend time alone to think it through?

How they answer will let you know what they expect from close ones during rough times, whether it be closeness and a shoulder to cry on, or space, explains Strachowski. If you wind up dating and you find that they withdraw from you when they’re lonely, remind yourself of this so you don’t take it personally.

12. Who is your biggest influence and why?

This question can give you insight into a person’s core values, according to Bennett. If they name their single mother for raising them, they value responsibility and family. If they rattle off someone like Woody Allen, you can run.

13. What are your favorite addictions?

By addictions, we mean anything from chocolate to working out or Netflix. “Everyone has some addictions,” says Paul. The question is, are they going to be honest?

14. Are you a neat person or a messy person? Are you an on time person or a late person?

Even if you’re not planning on moving in together or you’re just gonna be BFFs, someone’s baseline definition of “messy” can be super insightful. Are they gonna be pissed if you spread all your makeup out on the counter for a night out, or will you be annoyed if the laundry piles up on a chair for a week? “It’s much easier if you are both neat or both messy, or both on time or late,” Paul adds.

15. Use five words to describe your mother/father, giving examples to support each.

Depending on how they answer, you can gain a lot of info on what they did or didn’t get from their parents and what the admire or look for in a person of the opposite or same sex, according to Strachowski.

16. Do you believe in karma?

“This is a good question to get to know someone, because it shows whether they believe there are consequences to their actions,” says Laurie Berzack, MSW, a relationship expert and dating coach. If a coworker screws them over at work, are they going to stay up for days stewing about how to get revenge, or are they more the type to forgive and forget?

17. What was the scariest moment of your life, and how did you handle it?

This one is interesting because it can open the door to either emotional history or just life stories in general. Was it when they got laid off from their dream job, or was it when they got lost while hiking with friends? How they answer reveals their ability to overcome conflict and challenges, says Berzack.

18. Where is your happy place?

Another open-ended cutie that can segue into good follow-up questions, depending on how they answer. If it’s a physical place like the gym, or that one great hiking spot on their favorite trail, you can talk about those interests. If it’s a more abstract answer like “any time I finish a book that’s so good I immediately flip to the first page and start again,” that’s a good convo starter, too. “This question allows you to learn what the other person truly enjoys in life,” says Bennett. You can also use it to plan for future dates, gift ideas, etc.

19. What makes you cry and why?

“Knowing someone’s soft side is important to know what triggers them. If they don’t cry, they may not be sensitive,” says Strachowski. Again, if you’re sobbing on a movie date in the future and look over to see nothin’ but stoicism on their face, they’re not a heartless robot—they just have a higher cry threshold than you.

20. When is the last time you got really angry, and why?

This can be an unobtrusive way to find out the extent to which your date is trying to control the world around him or her, says Berzack. Plus, it opens the door for some lighthearted hate-bonding, whether it be over little or big things. Was the last time they got fired up because someone cut them off in traffic? Or, when they saw a bunch of people during rush hour refuse to give up their seat to an elderly person?

21. What is your best quality?

“It’s always interesting to see what a person thinks is their best quality. By asking this question, you get insight into how the person views themselves and what they think is an important aspect of who they are,” explains Christopher Ryan Jones, a sex therapist.

22. Which song or artist are you too embarrassed to say you absolutely love right now?

Not only does this give you a chance to potentially geek out over which Taylor Swift album is best (the only correct answer is “Lover,” obviously), but it also shows playfulness and vulnerability, especially if you’ve just met, says Deen.

23. Are you friends with any of your exes?

This question lets you know two important things in one, explains Jones. It gives you insight into their past relationships and how they ended (does everything seem to go up in a huge wreck, or do things end amicably?), and if they are friends, you’ll know now and won’t be surprised if/when they get a text from an ex they’re still close with.

24. Ask them to complete this sentence: “I most enjoy having someone to do ______ with.”

Sometimes, a person’s intentions can be clearly discussed by simply asking them. Strachowski recommends listening closely to see if what they’re seeking aligns with what you can give someone right now. Are they looking for a romantic partner, a best friend, or just a casual movie-buddy?

25. If money wasn’t a factor, what would you be doing with your life right now?

This is a fun one that can tell you a lot about a person and their passions without them feeling too self-conscious about it, explains Deen. Do they want to be directing movies? Working with animals? Traveling the world? Depending on their answer, you’ve also got great banter to go off of afterwards.

 

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8 Things to Say at the End of a Date if You Have Zero Intention of “Grabbing Drinks!” Ever Again

When I went to grab drinks with Josh* at an Irish pub near my work, we had decent chemistry. It wasn’t “Omg, I found my soul mate” chemistry, but it was the kind that I sometimes gaslight myself into believing could potentially develop over time. (Note: Dudes do not do this.) In this specific case, it was because we had a mutual love of Kacey Musgraves and he could hold a conversation without awkward pauses…yes, the bar is really that low, people.

But after one drink, I was ready to call it a night. We parted ways, said our goodbyes, no kiss (although, he did plant one on my cheek, which I guess in hindsight reads, “Hi, not interested”) and then I turned and started walking the other way. But before I was completely turned around, he hesitated in one of those awkward, first-date fidgety moves and said with a smile, “We should do this again sometime.” I nodded and started walking away à la my own Sex and the City moment. In my best Carrie Bradshaw voice, I thought: Damn, Tay, you still got it.

A week later. though, when I texted Josh: “Hey, Josh, how are we this week?” I was left on read. Now, I normally have a great gut instinct (weird flex, sorry), but I wasn’t getting ghosting vibes from Josh. He said he wanted to see me again? We had good conversation? What about Kacey?! I mean, I genuinely thought it was one of those one in a million chances that Josh had actually lost his phone or was out of service range or didn’t get my text for some reason (I know, I know: Insert my clown face here). But when he still didn’t text me back, I realized I was being ghosted. The worst.

So, in honor of my personal experience with the phrase: “Hey, yeah, we should do this again sometime,” (both me doing it and receiving it with no intent of following up), I want to make the bold plea: Can we *please* stop ending dates with this empty promise if we don’t, like, actually mean it?

I understand that closing out a bad date can be super awkward. What do you say? How do you finagle your way out of a kiss? How do you end the date pleasantly without being mean? Sometimes, if you’re like me, it really is just easier to blab out “Oh, I’ll text you!” or “Let’s do this again!” because as humans, we don’t know WTF else to say. In order to prevent this—and giving someone false hope for date number two—here are 7 other things you can end a date with instead:

  1. “Let me know when you get home safely!” Not only does this show interest in the person’s well-being (or, in my case, that they didn’t get pushed onto the subway tracks by someone), it’s also a pretty friendly way to get them to text you when they get home. That way, when they do, you’ll have the confidence to tell them through a text you weren’t feeling things because it’s *so* much easier behind a screen.
  2. “Good luck in that ______ this week!” You’ve just been talking for the last hour, maybe two, about the other person, so they’ve probably mentioned what they’re doing the following week. Wish them luck on whatever you can recall—whether it’s a work presentation or calling to make their own doctor’s appointment.
  3. “Thanks for the drinks!” or dinner, or coffee, or whatever. If you picked up the tab, “Thanks for the company!” works too. This type of statement is clutch because it doesn’t elicit any response other than “You’re welcome!” But if you really can’t think of anything to thank them for because they were a grade A douche, how about “Thank you for paying for the buzz I now have and will use to drunkenly swipe on other dating appers as soon as I get into my Uber after I unmatch you”?
  4. “Do you know how to get home?” It doesn’t have to be condescending (or it totally can be if your date asked if you knew how many carbs were in the bread basket you ate), but it’d be perfectly okay to end the convo with directions, a hug, and then a good ol’ pat on the back.
  5. “Give your pup a kiss for me!” …because you will, very unfortunately, never meet their cute pup to do it yourself, considering you despise anyone who chews with their mouth open.
  6. “Here, take my leftovers!” Let’s hope that your date isn’t awaiting your text for round two, but if they are (because you’re just that much of a catch), at least they’ll have some leftover Bolognese to snack on that can temporarily make them happy.
  7. “Gentleman (or ladies), if you are without a rose tonight, it’s time to say your goodbyes.” Hug them, kiss them on the cheek, and then offer to walk them down to their subway station.
  8. “Honestly, you’re kind of a shit date.” Hey, I’m always one for full-frontal honesty. How else do they learn?

In my case, I didn’t really know what was in store for Josh’s and my future, which is why I was fully ready to leave our date not expecting anything in return. But when I’m told, “Oh, we should do this again sometime!” that sends me—and I’m assuming other people too—into a spiral of “Oh, okay, I guess they had a great time and are into me.” Had Josh not said anything to me at all, I probably would’ve been more okay with the slow-fade from our date. But when someone gives me an unsolicited promise, I’m inclined to expect them to keep it.

*Name has been changed.

 

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