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.”

 

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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.

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Most Couples You See Are Going to Break Up

Whenever I see people together on the subway, I assume that they have always been together, and that they will always remain together. That they emerged from the ether as one, and that they will sink back into it, eventually — also as one — and that it is only I who emerged and will likely be receding back into the ether in solitude.

But then, the other day, for whatever reason, when I was pretending not to watch a cute young couple bicker intimately on the train, I thought, You know what? They’re probably going to break up. Each of them was probably dating someone else pretty recently, and they’ll probably date other people again soon.

It’s hard to guess how many breakups happen in any given year, in the world, but if roughly 40 percent of American marriages end in divorce (per 2017 CDC data) and most of us date at least five people before getting married in the first place (a conservative guess), then that’s basically infinite breakups. Infinite!

This tiny mean thought — no one is forever as happy as they seem in any given moment — felt harmless and buoyant. Heartbreak is widespread. I mean I, too, have ridden the subway holding someone’s hand, leaning on their shoulder. It’s funny how performative public transportation can be, for relationships. Honestly, it’s basically like a wedding. The difference is that it costs only a couple dollars to be a guest on the subway.

 

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10 Signs You’re Finally Getting Over A Breakup & Are No Longer In Love With Your Ex

Breakups can be brutal. But you’re past that now. Here’s how to know you’re over your ex.

The worst part of a breakup is not knowing how long it takes to get over a broken heart. At first, it feels like you’ll never figure out how to move on.

While you’ll probably always feel some type of way for your ex and the relationship that you had, slowly but surely you’ll start seeing the signs you’re finally getting over your ex.

We sympathize with those of you who were still pining over an ex (we cyberstalk our exes sometimes, too), we’re hoping this article will help you in your process of getting over a breakup. It might just be the catalyst you need to move past that toxic purgatory.

1. You don’t feel homicidal when he starts dating someone else.

In fact, you’re thrilled for both of them. Especially since you’re the one who set them up in the first place. After all, just because the two of you didn’t work out doesn’t mean he shouldn’t find happiness with someone else.

On the flip side, if he happened to know someone who might just be your soulmate, you’re sure he’d do the same for you.

2. You feel no urgent need to return his phone calls, texts, and emails.

Because he no longer holds the number one spot in your heart. And it’s not as if he’s going to see the error of his ways simply because you’re prompt.

3. You are interested in other men.

When you and your ex first broke up, you hit the bar scene in earnest with your best gal pals, but your heart just wasn’t it, no matter how many jolly rancher shots they plied you with.

But just the other day, that sexy bartender smiled at you, and you experienced a moment of zing! And yesterday evening, you brushed shoulders with Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome as you were picking up your kids from school, and your stomach did flip-flops. It looks like you’re ready to date again!

4. You now realize that a lot of his personality “quirks” were annoying or lame.

Like the fact that he was a compulsive liar. Or the fact that he constantly preened in front of the full-length mirror, making it really difficult for you to get dressed in the morning.

If you’re done seeing him through rose-colored glasses, you’re over him.

5. You consider your relationship a learning experience.

When you think back on the happy memories the two of you created together, you can’t help but smile. Yes, there were serious problems, but now, thank your lucky stars you know what to look out for in the future.

And that awful angst you experienced during your breakup and subsequent mourning period? It only made you stronger.

6. You no longer blame him for everything.

In the past, the bitterness you experienced due to your breakup caused you to inject spiteful comments about him into every conversation. Thank God that’s over and done with.

7. When you meet a new guy, you don’t automatically compare him to your ex.

Not only that, but you’re not even tempted to bring him up on your first date. Instead, you’re truly interested in learning more about this new guy’s life and, when asked about your own, are able to present yourself as a woman with hobbies and interests separate from those you shared with your old partner.

8. You think of yourself as single, not as someone who’s just gotten out of a relationship.

You’ve wallowed in self-pity for long enough, and are again ready to embrace the fun, adventure and boundless possibilities inherent in singledom. If you’re excited to be single, you’ve put Mr. Past where he belongs.

9. You truly feel that the relationship wasn’t meant to be.

And that you’re that much closer to finding the one you are supposed to be with.

10. You try to think of his middle name or phone number and can’t recall it.

Congratulations! The unnecessary detritus from your time together has been officially flushed from your system. Now go out and find someone who doesn’t give you chronic migraines

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How To Find Love Again After Having Your Heart Broken

Never give up on finding love.

Unless you’re one of the lucky few, dating after a breakup makes you feel vulnerable in a way that you haven’t felt for years.

Until recently, you’ve enjoyed the stability within your previous romantic partnership. Now you’re experiencing the immense ambiguity of not knowing when, where or if you’ll meet someone worthwhile. Finding comfort in being single is first on your journey of figuring out how to find love again which, of course, is your ultimate goal.

The good news is that you’re presumably wiser than before. You’ve probably learned from your past relationship. You’ve got a fairly good idea about what worked well and what didn’t.

You’ve probably thought about what you want (and what you won’t tolerate) in your next relationship. It’s likely that you’re determined to do things differently in order to avoid repeating past mistakes.

If you’re like most people in your situation, you may wonder how you fit into the dating scene now that you’re older. You may want to know how to date more efficiently so that you’re not wasting your time in the wrong places with the wrong people.

This is what you need to know to lay the groundwork for effective, fun dating that’ll lead to a great, lasting relationship.

Here’s what to remember as you work to find love again:

1. Don’t tell yourself you’re too old for love

You’re definitely not too old to find love. You’re just older than you were last time.

Like you, single people in your age range tend to have the wisdom of experience. Men are more interested in a woman’s personality. Women are less prone to drama.

Many people are still attracted to youthful energy, passion, and optimism — which lives within all ages!

People of all ages date, fall in love and get into long-term, committed relationships. Wanting love is a primal, human desire and it doesn’t go away as you age.

2. Don’t be afraid to try online dating

Be friendly and outgoing toward everyone. Single people are everywhere, and you’re more likely to find them when you’re fostering connections and friendships.

Use technology to your advantage. Research effective ways to date online and learn how to best use those sites. Remember that no one was born knowing how to meet people via online dating sites, so just go with the flow!

3. Forgive the pains of the past

Dating behaviors have changed a great deal over the years, so forgive mistakes and misunderstandings. Some people have never dated — they met their exes through friends, work or school and got together in a less formal way.

4. Don’t mistake attraction for being a “sure thing”

Attraction is simply an opportunity to get to know someone better. It is not a sign that they’re “the one.”

5. Date more than just one person

You can’t tell how things will turn out after just one date. If you think you can, you’re telling yourself a story. Continue dating several people until you find someone who is equally excited about the prospect of forging a relationship.

Take time to get to know the person who most interests you (as well as several others) before committing to one person. Don’t waste your time by committing to someone who only sees you as one of several options.

6. Don’t let yourself get swept away in the “courtship” stages

Courtship requires different skills than growing and maintaining a relationship. Don’t assume that someone who is a great date will also be a great mate.

7. Don’t rush things

Dating isn’t efficient. It’s about getting to know people and discovering whether you care for each other and if your values, goals, and personalities are in alignment.

You can’t tell if someone is right for the long haul until you’ve known each other for an extended period of time.

8. Watch for emotional baggage

Everyone has baggage, and you’re accountable for yours. Wait until you’ve gone out several times before gradually revealing personal details about your life and relationships.

Don’t allow your date’s baggage to become your problem. You’re seeking a potential partner, not a therapy project.

9. Find someone who shares your values in a relationship

Many people date because they’re seeking a relationship, but part of dating is discovering if the person you’re seeing wants one with you.

10. If you want lasting love, don’t settle for a “player”

Some people are dating because they are seeking no-strings-attached companionship. They only want a play pal or a friend with benefits. Most will casually mention it as you’re getting acquainted.

If you continue to see them after they’ve told you they aren’t interested in a real relationship, they will assume that you are also looking for something casual.

It helps if you see your return to dating as an adventure. You don’t know who you’ll meet, but if you embrace your new situation, it’ll definitely be entertaining and, ultimately, rewarding.

 

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13 Signs Your Ex Is Confused about Your Breakup: What About You?

Breakups aren’t easy. Usually, we end up more confused after the relationship. What do the signs your ex is confused mean for you and your relationship?

If your ex is telling you they want you back, don’t rush into it. You need to take a step back and see the signs your ex is confused. That way, you’ll know what to do next.

After my long term relationship *four years!*, it took me a while to get over my ex. Throughout the relationship, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be with him, and my emotions and self-esteem got the best of me. I didn’t think I could find someone who would love me the same way and make me feel happy, even though I knew my ex wasn’t the one for me. So, I stuck it out and stayed in the relationship.

But, eventually, it came to an end. Going through a breakup is really hard, and during the process, it makes you think about your ex in a different light. On the nights where you’re sad and lonely, you think about the good times you had—and it sucks you back in.

How to interpret the signs your ex is confused

My ex and I were off-and-on for a couple of months after the breakup. Even though we both knew the breakup must happen, you struggle with separating for good. This was someone you called your best friend; someone you shared laughs and memories with. I was definitely confused and highly emotional when wanting to go back to my ex.

And these emotions just made the breakup even harder for both of us. Don’t get played by emotions if it isn’t the right thing for you.

#1 What does your gut instinct say? When it comes to your gut instinct, your body knows when something isn’t right. If your ex gives you all the right words, but you feel something is off, then listen to your gut. If what they’re saying or doing isn’t making you feel good, then it’s not for you.

#2 They’re hot and cold. When you talk to them, they’ll be happy and flirty one day, and the next, moody and antisocial. They’re clearly confused with how they’re feeling about the breakup. They’re not sure what to do and struggling emotionally to make a decision.

#3 They mention how much they’ve invested in you. When you talk with them, they bring up how much they invested in the relationship. This could be seen as a positive, but also negative. If they feel they’re invested a lot, getting back together could be because they don’t want to waste what they put into the relationship.

#4 They’re angry. Anger is usually a common emotion after a breakup. If your ex feels indifference, then that’s a sign they’re over the relationship. But anger shows that they’re not over the breakup; they’re not over you. Although, it doesn’t mean you should get back together. 

#5 They don’t try to reconcile. It doesn’t matter who’s at fault for the breakup, the point is, they don’t push to reconcile. They won’t even bring up the reason why you broke up. If they’re not willing to work on reconciling the relationship, then they’re not ready to be in one. 

#6 They tell you they want you back. But when it comes to committing, they don’t jump right in. This is because they’re unsure about the relationship. They may tell you they want you back, but if they’re not ready to commit, they’re just confused.

#7 They make up reasons to talk to you. Your ex always has an excuse to talk to you. Even though they don’t directly bring up getting back together, they focus on talking about memories or things you like.

#8 They’re dating other people. Even though they’re casually dating others, how can they get back together with you at the same time? If they really wanted to be with you, they wouldn’t be dating other people too.

#9 You’re getting mixed messages. They’ll drop subtle hints about wanting to get back together with you, but then the next day they mention wanting to move on. And every day, it’s something different. The messages you get aren’t clear, if anything, you’re more confused now than you’ve ever been. Well, if you’re confused, they’re confused.

#10 They attempt to make you jealous. Your ex does their best to make you jealous, and sometimes it works. When you confront them on what they do, instead of taking action, they play games. See, they’re not really interested in getting back together with you; they just don’t want your attention to move from them to someone else.

#11 They keep communication open. When someone is ready to move on, they cut ties with their ex, at least, until they’ve moved on. But your ex still lingers around, liking your posts and chatting with you via text. They want to keep the line of communication open, just in case.

#12 They try to publicly humiliate you. When your ex tries to put you down in public, they’re hurting. This isn’t an excuse for their actions. All this shows you is their immaturity and they’re confused with their emotions.

They don’t know how to handle their emotions, so they put their anger onto you. If this happens, it’s a clear red flag.

#13 They tell you they’re confused. If you’ve confronted them about their actions, good for you! If you’re confused, talk to them about it and see how they feel. If they tell you they’re confused, you now know where they stand. And if they’re confused about their feelings for you, then they don’t want to be with you. They just don’t know how to move on.

Now that you know the signs your ex is confused, what do you think? Is your ex really confused or do they genuinely want to get back together with you?

 

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How to tell if your boyfriend is cheating: 10 signs most women miss

It’s thought that around one in three couples are affected by cheating. That’s a lot of people.

Many of us have been cheated on, or suspected we have been. We all have friends who’ve been cheated on and we’ve helped them mend their broken hearts.

Cheating is so common that everyone knows the hurt it can cause. It’s a scary thing to think about, but if it’s going to happen to you, it’s better that you know about it so you can take action.

In this article, I’ll take you through 10 key signs that your boyfriend might be cheating on you. You should never assume that because your boyfriend is doing one or two of the things on this list that he’s cheating. Even if he’s doing more than two of them, there might still be another explanation.

It isn’t always easy to tell. Most of the tell-tale signs of cheating can have completely innocent explanations.

It’s still important to make sure you’re aware of signs of potential cheating. Use this list to guide you and if you think you have reason to be suspicious, just keep watching and waiting. He’s sure to trip himself up at some point, and you’ll be ready.

1. A change in phone habits

Smartphones mean it’s easier to cheat, but it’s also easier to catch people cheating. A change in their way your boyfriend uses his phone is a big giveaway that he might be cheating.

If your boyfriend is suddenly on his phone much more than usual, he might just be engrossed in a game or busy on work emails.

Ask him casually why he always seems to have it in his hand. His reaction will tell you a lot about whether he might be cheating or not.

If he’s secretive with his phone when he never has been before, that’s also a really clear signal that something’s up.

According to counselor and therapist, Dr. Tracey Phillips, hiding things from you on their phone may be a sign of cheating:

“They could be trying to avoid receiving any questionable calls or texts in your presence.”

If he used to happily leave it lying around in the living room, but now puts it in his pocket wherever he goes, you should wonder why.

Also, look for him turning the screen away when you’re nearby or not wanting to charge it overnight by the bed.

These things too could have completely reasonable explanations. He might be turning the screen away because he’s planning a surprise for you, for example.

But be aware of changes and keep an eye out for patterns.

2. Less or more sex

If your boyfriend’s having sex with another person, he’ll probably change the way he has sex with you.

Some men will end up not wanting sex with you if they’re cheating. They might even feel as if having sex with you is ‘cheating’ on the other person.

Or they might just have lost interest because there’s someone else on their mind. If he stops initiating and starts to avoid situations when you might initiate (like early nights) then think about why.

Other men will want sex much more when they’re cheating. Having sex more means it’s on their mind, whoever they’re with.

Sex expert Robert Weiss explains why:

“Both decreased and increased levels of sexual activity in your relationship can be a sign of infidelity. Less sex occurs because your partner is focused on someone else; more sex occurs because they are trying to cover that up.”

They might also be feeling guilty and trying to cover up their cheating by being ultra-affectionate.  This can be especially cruel if you’d been going through a bit of dry spell.

The cheating re-sparks their sexual appetite, but you don’t realize it’s not because their feelings for you have strengthened.

Another thing to look out for is men who start doing things in bed they’ve never done before. Where did they learn it from, if not from you? Could be porn, but it could be another woman…

3. Constantly mentioning someone…or stopping mentioning them

When you’re into someone, you tend to talk about them all the time, often without really realizing it.

If your boyfriend is cheating, it’s a weird irony that he might find himself ‘telling’ you about it by talking about his new interest all the time.

If a woman’s name keeps cropping up in conversation, then you have cause to be concerned.

When this happens, it’s often a work colleague or someone he’s met in a totally innocent context and this means that he doesn’t realize there’s anything strange about talking about them. In his mind, he’s not talking about the other woman, he’s just talking about work.

If he mentions a woman all the time and then suddenly stops mentioning them, that’s even more suspicious.

It’s a good indication that something that started out as a crush or a bit of flirting has now moved on to something physical.

Once he’s actually having an affair, he’ll usually realize that mentioning her all the time isn’t a great idea.

4. Making a sudden effort with appearance

Many men don’t bother too much with their appearance once they’re in an established relationship (beyond the basis of showers and clean clothes).  What should you think if your boyfriend suddenly buys himself a new wardrobe, or develops a complex new skincare routine?

If this happens, it’s certainly possible that he’s just trying to impress you, or that he’s having a quarter or midlife crisis.

But there’s also a strong possibility that he’s doing this to impress someone else. Think back to the first few months of your relationship.

Did he make more effort then, compared to recent times? If his new-found focus on appearance is similar to how he was when you first got together, then you have cause to be worried.

It means he’s doing the things he naturally does when he’s in a new relationship…except this time, the relationship is not with you.

Jonathan Bennett, a certified counselor and co-owner of Double Trust Dating, says that if your partner has had the same haircut for a long time but suddenly has a bold new haircut “this could indicate an effort to impress another person.”

According to Dr. Phillips in Bustle, you may also want to have a look for a change in their grooming habits:

“If your partner comes home and jumps right into a long shower, they may be washing away any evidence of cheating.”

5. Money disappearing

Cheating can be expensive. There will be meals out, drinks and maybe hotel rooms. If the woman he’s with is cheating too, they won’t have anywhere to go other than out and that costs a lot of money.

Even if she’s single and has her own place to take him to, he’ll want to impress her and that will usually mean expensive dates, flowers and gifts.

If your boyfriend earns well, or you don’t have joint finances, you might not notice the extra spending straight away. But over time, the costs will start to add up. Look out for letters from the credit card company landing on the doorstep – they might be reminders because he’s late paying the bills.

If he seem short of money all the time, when he never used to be, that’s another clear sign. Maybe he’s stopped suggesting your usual Friday night pizza, or he buys you a cheap gift for your birthday.

There might be little signs at first  – simple things like buying a cheap bottle of wine rather than an extravagant one when it’s date night.

If those little things start to add up, and you can’t think of any other reason why he’d be worried about money, then you might have a problem.

6. Working more or developing new hobbies

Many men meet the person they have an affair with at work, so spending more time at work is a good indication there might be something up.

According to Robert Weiss Ph.D., MSW in Psychology Today:

“Flat tires, dead batteries, traffic jams, spending extra time at the gym, and similar excuses for being late or absent altogether might also signal infidelity.”

Everyone has times when they need to work a little harder than usual, but if he’s working lots of overtime for no apparent reason, be worried.

This is especially true if his job hasn’t demanded this before. Also remember that overtime usually leads to something.

Either a promotion, or more money, or a big new project. If none of these things seems to be happening, it’s time to ask him why he’s working so hard and what he’s working on.

If he doesn’t have an answer, then it’s quite likely that he’s not actually working when he says he is.

Another thing to look out for is big new hobbies that take up lots of time. It might be that his new hobby is something his other woman also does and that he’s got into it with her.

It might also be that it’s completely made up, and is simply an excuse to spend time away from home.

Look out for anything  – work or hobby related  – that takes him away overnight or at weekends. It might be that he’s making it up and he’s not where he said he’d be.

Or it could be that the promotion he got that means work travel, is one he went for because of the travel…with her.

It might be that he’s not really that into triathlon, but she does it and being part of her triathlon club means weekends away competing.

If you’re suspicious, suggest coming with him next time and see what happens.

7. Ducking out of social or family events

We all have times when we don’t really feel like seeing friends or family, but cheaters often take that to another level.

This might be especially true if they think your relationship has probably run its course, but don’t have the courage to own up to it.

According to clinical psychologist Ramani Durvasula in Oprah Magazine, “A major commitment makes it more difficult to pull out of a relationship quickly.”

If he is still happy to see his own friends and family but is avoiding events with yours, then it might be that he’s cheating and slowly withdrawing from your life.

Even if he’s not cheating, it’s usually bad news if a man who was previously happy to socialize with ‘your side’ decides he isn’t happy with that anymore.

Be careful that you don’t assume anything, though, as this can be a tricky one.

Sometimes, people alter their social habits because they’re struggling with anxiety or depression, and men often don’t find it easy to talk about their mental health, even with those closest to them.

It might be that he’s willing to socialize with his own friends still because he’s more comfortable with them. Tread carefully, but don’t be a pushover.

8. Moodiness

When your previously lovely, happy guy starts being grumpy and difficult to please, then you definitely have a problem of some kind.

It might be that there’s something deeper going on for him, so do bear that possibility in mind.

But there will be a reason why he’s changed the way he interacts with you.

When men cheat, they sometimes begin to feel resentful of their girlfriends. He might feel that he;s met someone – his affair partner – who he really wants to be with.

And while it’s hugely unfair, he might feel that you are holding him back from being with that person.

This can happen even if your relationship was previously really solid and you were making plans together for the future.

He might still be happily making plans with you now, even as his mood and body language are telling you a different story.

Just because he’s having an affair and considering moving on to someone else, doesn’t mean that he’s sure of what he wants.

If he’s moody, it might be because he’s confused and hasn’t yet made up his mind about who he wants to be with long term.

It could also be more calculated than that. He might have already decided that he wants to move on, but hasn’t got the courage to tell you and own up to his affair.

Instead, he’s behaving badly in the hope that you’ll end it before he has to.

9. Lots of attention

Not every cheater wants to end their primary relationship. It might be that your boyfriend is cheating, but in the hopes that he can have a bit of fun while still staying with you.

If this is the case, it’s quite likely that he’ll become more attentive rather than less. He’s feeling guilty and wants to make himself feel better by showering you with attention.

Maybe he’ll book a romantic weekend away, or come home with flowers when he never has before.

Perhaps he’ll step up his game when it comes to Christmas or birthday presents and buy you something far more expensive than he ever has before.

Of course, it might just be that he’s been thinking about the future and realizes he wants to pay you more attention and commit to you more than he has before.

That does happen when relationships step up a gear.

But if you don’t think that’s what’s happening, and he’s super attentive out of nowhere, you do have reason to be wary.

10. You know something’s up

If you get that gut feeling that there’s something wrong, it’s probably because there is.

Intuition allows you to pick up on small clues about your boyfriend’s behavior. There might not be anyone big thing that’s changed that you can analyze rationally.

But you know that things are different from how they were and you’re wondering why.

It is important not to allow an openness to intuition to become insecurity, though. Be really honest with yourself.

If you have a history of being suspicious of other people but never being proved right, it might not be your intuition speaking, but your insecurity.

That’s nothing to be ashamed of, but it is something you should be working on.

If you know that you’re not generally insecure, and you have an overwhelming feeling that there is something wrong, then you’re probably right.

You know your boyfriend better than anyone.

Most importantly, you know exactly how he is when he’s in the first flush of lust with someone, because he did that with you.

There is absolutely a reason that you’re feeling what you’re feeling. It might not be that he’s cheating, but it’s absolutely right that you try and find out what is going on.

Don’t assume, but be aware and start to ask questions.

Conclusion

Even those who are really determined to hide their cheating will nearly always give it away somehow.

Not many people are capable of cheating without any change showing in the behavior.

If you feel like you might be being cheated on, your intuition may tell you before anything else does.

If you get that feeling, start looking out for concrete clues.

These can include:

  • Using his phone differently.
  • Having sex more or less often, or changing the way he does it.
  • Talking about a woman all the time, or not mentioning someone he used to talk about.
  • Stepping up his grooming habits or buying new clothes.
  • Spending more money.
  • Being out of the house more often with work or hobbies.
  • Not being interested in doing things with your friends and family.
  • Being moody or grumpy.
  • Giving you lots of attention.

Some of the signs of cheating are contradictory. Which signs your boyfriend displays will depend on his personality and the nature of his cheating.

He’ll behave differently for example, if he’s having a series of one-night stands than if he has a long-term affair partner.

Keep an open mind, keep an eye out for evidence, and when you’re sure you know, confront him.

 

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 He Doesn’t Do These 12 Things, It’s Time For You To Walk Away

Finding a good man is hard these days. So when you have one, you really have to hold on tight. It’s easy to get confused by the hundreds of imposters you’ll become acquainted with during your lifetime. Luckily, there are ways to determine which ones are keepers in this chaotic world. Basically, if he doesn’t do these basic things in your relationship, you should dump him immediately.

Respect you.

He doesn’t always have to open the door for you, but he should at least treat you like his equal. He shouldn’t make you feel bad about yourself or degrade you. Instead, he should be lifting you up and constantly reminding you that your opinions and beliefs are valid. If he doesn’t respect you, leave him.

Make an effort.

Once you make it official, he shouldn’t stop trying. He should still initiate dates or spontaneous adventures, surprise you with flowers just because, or do whatever he can to remind you that he loves you and wants your relationship to work.

Tell you he loves you.

Once it’s openly said (because let’s be real — it’s daunting at first), he’ll always remind you how much he loves you. His communication will be open, honest and never-ending — so he better keep expressing himself to you.

Make you laugh.

He doesn’t have to be a stand-up comedian, but he should at least make you laugh every once in a while. Whether it’s a funny comment about something he’s getting passionate about or something stupid that makes you laugh and roll your eyes, there should be something. You should laugh and have fun with your S.O.

Listen to you.

When you talk about things of importance to you or your feelings, he should be all ears. If he cares, he’ll pay attention and will remember those conversations. Who knows, he might just surprise you every once in a while by remembering something from those old convos.

Show you off.

He doesn’t have to post endless pictures on Instagram, but he should still hold your hand in public and introduce you to people he knows. He should be eager to intertwine you with his life and make sure everyone important to him knows who you are too. If he doesn’t, I’d leave him.

Make you orgasm.

It is the 20s all over again, but it doesn’t mean the 1920s. The world is progressive and he should please you as much as you please him. One way or another, he’ll find a way and will succeed. If he doesn’t, he’s just selfish, clueless, and an idiot.

Comfort you when you need it.

He may not know exactly what you need in the moment, but over time he’ll learn how to comfort you correctly. He won’t be scared by a few tears. Instead, he’ll pull you in for a hug and listen to what you need to vent about.

Try new things.

It’s easy to fall into a comfortable pattern in relationships but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t try new things. Whether it’s going to a cooking class just for shits and giggles or going on vacation to a place you want to go to and he doesn’t — he should make the effort to do it with you.

Make you feel beautiful.

If you feel bloated, are covered in back zits, or have hairy armpits — he should always convince you that you’re beautiful. And when you argue with him on that topic, he’ll stand strong and give you more reasons he finds you gorgeous. You’ll never doubt that he sees your beauty.

Be honest with you.

Trust and truth go hand in hand when dating, and honesty is always important. He won’t lie, and if he does, he’ll tell you the truth when you confront him. And chances are if he’s lying, it’s probably about a surprise he has planned for you. He’ll have nothing to hide otherwise. Dishonesty is a big reason to leave him.

Encourage you whenever you need it.

He’ll always be your number one cheerleader, and will give you every reason to pursue your dreams even when you’re deep in doubt. He’s seen your potential, knows your drive and will convince you that you are capable of anything.

Obviously some things go unsaid, like being faithful and committed. However, a lot of these other crucial traits need to be emphasized but often aren’t. Without them, your relationship is doomed. So if your man doesn’t do these things, you may want to find one that does as soon as you possibly can. Stop wasting your time!

 

If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support.

 

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

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Quarantining Together After A Breakup Doesn’t Have To Be Impossible

The coronavirus pandemic has created tons of uncertainty in people’s lives. It has introduced a whole new way of living, with limited access to life outside the home. Couples cohabitating together are dealing with a fresh set of challenges — and in some cases, the stress of this crisis might even lead to a split. If you find yourself stuck quarantining together after a breakup, it doesn’t have to be a terrible experience. It’s all in how you and your ex choose to navigate the situation.

For whatever reason, you’ve determined that your relationship just can’t survive this chaotic time period. That’s OK, and it’s bound to happen for many other couples, too. “This unprecedented time will test couples greatly and bring underlying issues to the surface,” breakup coach Natalia Juarez tells Elite Daily. “Irrespective of the terrible timing, it will be necessary that people know how to end their relationships in the best and most loving way possible.” Living together in isolation (especially if you moved in together before you were emotionally ready to) may force you to take a closer look at your realistic compatibility, and potentially determine that you’re just not the right fit for each other.

Breaking up in a normal, non-pandemic situation is hard enough, but when you’re quarantining with someone, it gets even trickier. The White House has recommended that people stay home as much as possible and practice social distancing to slow the spread of the virus. This means that moving out isn’t really an option at the moment, or at least, will be extremely difficult (and unsafe) to try and pull off.

Until the social distancing guidelines are lifted, you and your ex may have to find a way to live together. “Breaking up while quarantining together is not ideal, but it may force you to treat each other with more respect and sincerity than is usually done today,” says Chelsea Leigh Trescott, breakup coach and podcast host of Thank You Heartbreak. Experts typically recommend a 90-day no-contact period after a breakup to give you a chance to heal, but if you’re in the same house, you can’t avoid one another entirely. Instead, you’ll need to set ground rules about how you plan to interact.

PeopleImages/E+/Getty Images

If you have a separate bedroom or living space in your home, “moving” into a different location might help you get some mental clarity. “Having some extra space within your existing home could offer the physical and emotional space needed during a breakup,” Juarez says. “Try as best you can to give each other space, and take breaks to go for walks (if you’re allowed) to give the other person time home alone.” Both of you are dealing with a lot right now: the stress of a global public health crisis, economic turmoil, plus a personal heartbreak. It’s only natural that you need some alone time to process.

You’ll also need to decide what your new daily routine will look like. “If you’re living and working together, have open conversations to discuss routines and boundaries,” Juarez says. “Will you still eat meals together, and go for walks, and watch Narcos together?” It’s really up to you about how much time you decide to spend with your ex, but you should be very clear about the boundaries you need to set to move on. “Although it’s uncomfortable, it’s better to over-communicate than under-communicate,” Juarez notes. The more you can talk through your feelings directly, the better you’ll be able to survive this period of cohabitation.

When you’re hurting, you may find yourself wanting to lash out at your ex or be passive aggressive toward them. But the last thing you need during this stressful time of quarantine is a hostile living environment. “Because you’re still living together, you’ll have to ask yourself how you can drop your egos, distance yourself emotionally, and show up in a way that honors both your past, and the courageous decision you’re making to split,” Trescott says. “Ask yourself what your best self would do, and if the tables were turned, how you’d want to be treated.” Even if you feel betrayed, take the high road and treat your ex with kindness.

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Whatever you do (and as hard as it might be), try not to blur the lines between your relationship and your breakup. “If you’re going to break up, be broken up,” Juarez says. It may be tempting to fall back into your regular routines: cuddling, sharing inside jokes, maybe even having sex. This will only make things more difficult for both of you, and it can drag out your healing process indefinitely.

As tough as this situation is, try to reframe it as a chance to end your relationship gracefully and to stay on good terms with your ex. “Quarantining with a partner you’re not in a good place with will be excellent practice for future relationships,” Trescott says. “[There’s] less running, less hiding, more letting go and leaning into the discomfort. These life skills and character development will serve you in quarantine and out of it, too.”

 

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

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