12 Shameless Signs of Breadcrumbing People Use for an Ego Boost

You’ve been chatting with this person, and everything seems perfect until it starts to get confusing. Are you able to recognize the signs of breadcrumbing?

Ah yes, the agony of recognizing the signs of breadcrumbing in a budding romance! But before we get there, if you’ve never heard of this term, well, in some cases, it’s a good thing.

But if this has happened to you, obviously, you want to know the name for it. Have you ever met someone, and there was this click? The conversation is going really well, and in your head, you think something good may come out of this.

You two are texting all the time, even talking on the phone, but nothing goes past that. They’re not asking to see you, not making any new plans – nothing. And maybe you’re still talking to them right now. Well, if this has or is happening to you, this is called breadcrumbing.

What is breadcrumbing?

So what is breadcrumbing exactly? Well, breadcrumbing is when someone is consciously leading another person on for the excitement and ego boost. A breadcrumber will flirt, engage in conversation, doing everything they can to get you hooked.

And then once that happens, they toy around with you, playing hot and cold games. I know it sucks. It’s always a good feeling when someone is interested in you, and there’s a good connection. But, you don’t want that person to do it because of ego. If you want to know if you’re being breadcrumbed, take a look at these signs of breadcrumbing. That way, you can quit while you’re ahead.

The 12 most obvious signs of breadcrumbing that can’t be missed

Learn the signs of breadcrumbing to avoid it happening to you.

#1 They play hot and cold games. Ah yes, the classic ‘hot and cold’ games. This is something they’re masters of and is a very clear sign you’re being breadcrumbed. One day, they’re very chatty, texting with you non-stop, making you feel like you’re the only one. And the next day, it’s like you don’t exist. This happens again and again, over and over.

#2 They use different ways to breadcrumb you. Here’s the thing, when someone is breadcrumbing you, they’re not just sticking to one form of breadcrumbing. Instead, they’ll keep you ‘seen’ on Whatsapp, but then they’ll like your photo on Instagram or comment on a Facebook post. That way, they maintain on your radar, so you can never really forget or move on from them.

#3 Your conversations are shallow. This doesn’t mean you’re shallow. Sure, you two may have had a deeper conversation now and again, but when you really take a look at what you two talk about, there’s not much going on. In reality, your conversations with them are simple and shallow. They’re not investing too much energy in getting to know you.

#4 They’re seeing other people. If they’re seeing other people while texting you, they’re clearly breadcrumbing you. Now, if they’re in an open relationship and you’re aware of that, this is something different. But if they’re not, it’s clear they’re keeping their options open, and you’re just one of them. They want to date a lot of people without looking like a jerk, so they tell you they’re casually dating.

#5 They don’t ask to see you. If someone likes you, they’re going to make time to see you. It’s really that simple. If someone isn’t investing time to hang out with you, they’re not interested in you.

Yeah, I know the flirting is giving you a different impression, but look at their actions, not words. They could have all the free time in the world, but they still don’t take the time to see you.

#6 They know exactly when you’re getting over them. Here’s the thing, when you’re almost getting over them, they contact you. It’s funny how that works. It’s like they have a clock inside of them that alerts them when people move on. Maybe it’s their psychic abilities, or they’ve recently crept you on social media. But I can put money on it that this is when they’ll contact you again.

#7 The only time they talk to you is for something. When they text you, do they ever do that just to see how you are? Probably not. Instead, they only text you when they need something. What I mean by ‘something’ is usually sex. They’ll send you flirtatious jokes, and ask you a question or two, but give it a couple of minutes, and you’ll see their true intentions.

#8 They booty call you. Now, a booty call doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being breadcrumbed. If you two both agreed on casual sex, then it’s fine. But if not, then that’s something else. You don’t hear from them in ages, and then all of a sudden, late at night, you get a suspicious text from them. And this is the “booty call” text.

#9 They bail on your agreed plans. You two have made plans to see each other, but at the last minute, they’ve canceled on you. If this happens once, it’s fine. But if this becomes a routine act on their part, you’re being breadcrumbed. They have no intention of meeting you ever, unless it’s for sex, of course.

#10 You don’t feel good about yourself. When you have a conversation with them, you don’t feel good about it. At the moment, flirting felt nice, but when the conversation ends, you feel disappointed. The feeling of sadness and disappointment aren’t signs of a healthy relationship. This person shouldn’t be making you feel these negative emotions.

#11 They’re passive-aggressive when you confront them. No one wants to be caught when playing a mean game. Maybe you’ve confronted them about their actions; as a response, they’re passive-aggressive and manipulative. Listen, you know what’s going on, so don’t let their response affect you. Listen and follow your gut instinct.

#12 You wonder what you did wrong. First of all, you did nothing wrong. But every time you talk to them, you feel like you may have said something that turned them off. That’s not the case, that’s part of the game. It’s easier for them to have you blame yourself than point the finger at them.

It’s easy to be confused when you’re experiencing the hot and cold behavior of someone who’s playing you and trying to breadcrumb you. But remember, whenever you go through these cycles of confusion and stress, it’s usually them and not you.

No one likes to be breadcrumbed, and knowing the signs of breadcrumbing will help you avoid having this happen to yourself.

The Absolute Dater – Making Online Dating Easy Again

 

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

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

How to Hook Up with a Girl Who Has a Boyfriend

Sometimes it seems like all the good ones are taken. Now, you’ve found a girl that you feel a strong connection with and attraction to, but she has a boyfriend. Here are some ideas for how to win her over, ranging from being straightforward to being stealthy. It’s up to you to decide: is all fair in love and war?

Telling Her Your Feelings

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    Evaluate your relationship with her. It’s important to consider whether telling her your feelings is appropriate based on the strength of your relationship.

    • Imagine you tell her. Is your relationship strong enough to handle it if she doesn’t feel the same way, or if she does but decides to stay with her current boyfriend? If yes, it might be worth the risk. If no, weigh your options carefully.
    • If you haven’t known this girl very long, this probably isn’t a good option. She could see your professed feelings as very abrupt or forward.
    • Make a pro/con list to weigh the risks and benefits of telling her your feelings. Also, consider the risks and benefits of not telling her. Is it worth the risk?
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    Plan out what you want to say. Frame this conversation carefully, so she knows you are not making demands of her. Ask a friend to talk out the scenario with you to work out any kinks. Your friend can give you a perspective on your choices of words.
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    Build up your courage. Of course, you’re nervous to tell her your feelings. Not only could this admission change your relationship with this girl, but it could affect your relationship with her boyfriend or other mutual friends if you have them. Fear signals that the outcome is important to you. Once you’ve decided you want to go ahead with expressing yourself, use your fear to motivate you, rather than deter you.
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    Tell her. Once you’ve built up your courage, go for it.

    • When you’re alone with her, say something along the lines of: “Caitlin, I know that you’re dating Sam, and I don’t want to mess anything up for you, but I’ve started to have feelings for you. I want you to know.” If you think she reciprocates the feelings, you can add, “I’ve sensed that the attraction might be mutual, and I want to clear the air.”
    • If she has been giving you vibes that she’s interested in, it’s important that she knows so that she doesn’t keep giving you mixed signals.
  5. Respect her response. You’ve weighed the risks and benefits of your decision, and you knew that she might not respond favorably. It is important, especially if you want to remain friends, to accept and respect her response.

    • She may tell you that she does not feel the same way. Rejection is painful, but it is one of the ways that we reduce our ego and grow.
    • She may tell you that she does have feelings for you, but that she wants to stay with her boyfriend because they have a strong relationship and she also has feelings for him. This is harder to accept because it feels like there is a glimmer of hope, but once she tells you her decision to stay with her boyfriend, you need to move on.
    • Don’t torture yourself. Waiting around and hoping that she’ll change your mind will only be a waste of your time. If you accept her response, you will be better able to move forward and search for a romantic connection elsewhere.
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Seducing Her Stealthily

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    Establish yourself as a constant in her life. If she only sees you around every once in a while, you won’t be on her mind that often. If you want a shot with her, you need to see her regularly

    • Join her friend group. Ingratiate yourself to her best friends. If her friends hold you in high regard, chances are she will, too. Being part of her friend group ensures that you will be invited to events that she will be attending.
    • Get her phone number. Wait for a natural opportunity to ask for her number. You were having a conversation and it was cut off? Ask for her number so you can continue talking. You’re planning a get-together for your friend group? Perfect reason to make sure you have her number.
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    Highlight your good qualities. Make sure she sees that you’re a positive person to have in her life. Do you have a great sense of humor? Are you empathetic and open to talking about your feelings?  Are you particularly creative? Slip these traits into your conversation with her or her friends. She’ll start to see what she’s missing out on.
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    Find the weak points in her current relationship. No relationship is perfect, and there are likely things she’d change about her boyfriend if she could.

    • Casually ask her about her relationship. As she grows to trust you, she’ll share more information with you. If she tells you that her boyfriend never takes the time to hear about her day, don’t tell her that you’d always make time to listen to her if you were in his shoes. Store this information. Another day, make sure you ask her how her day is going and actively listen.
    • If you are hanging out with her friends while she’s not around, pay attention if they are gossiping. They may say something about her relationship that you can use to play up your strengths in contrast to her boyfriend’s weaknesses.
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    Make your move. You’ve set the stage so that she sees you in good light. You can decide if your move will be verbal or physical. Will you tell her you’re attracted to her or just lean in for the kiss? Wait for a time when the two of you are alone and the mood is light.
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    Be prepared for her reaction. Though you’ve been contemplating this for a while, it could be totally out of the blue for her.

    • If she tells you she’s attracted to you, too, give her some time to decide if she wants to act on that. Don’t pressure her. That will make her withdraw from your friendship and undo the work that you’ve done to show yourself off.
    • If you physically hook up with her, recognize that there will be consequences. In all likeliness, she’ll feel guilty, and might even be angry with you for disrespecting her relationship status. You will seriously damage any relationship you have with her boyfriend, and likely with mutual friends.
      • If you make this move and she tells her boyfriend, you will probably be cut out of her life unless they decide to break up.
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    Ask her for a decision. Regardless of whether you expressed your feelings emotionally or physically, give her time to process her feelings. She may decide that she wants to give a relationship with you a shot. She may decide that she wants to stay with her boyfriend. Once she makes that decision, that’s it. Trying to convince her to change her mind will only make her put up walls. 

Waiting Patiently

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    Decide if she is someone worth waiting for. You could be waiting around for a long time for this relationship to end if it ever does. Even then, you might have to watch her go through a string of relationships if she moves quickly from one relationship to the next.

    • Consider her current relationship. If she’s in a strong relationship, she is not likely to leave it, even if she likes you, too.
    • Though it’s not romantic, scientifically there’s no such thing as “the one.” Do you want to spend your life waiting around for a girl who is interested in another person? There are plenty of other girls looking for someone like you.
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    Foster a strong friendship with her. If you care enough to wait for her, disregard Method 2. Don’t manipulate her feelings. Be present in her life and let her know that you are someone she can trust. She may drift in and out of relationships, but she will keep you around.

    • If you genuinely care about her, nurturing a friendship with her will come naturally. Make small gestures. Remember her birthday and how she likes her coffee. If you notice she’s having a rough day, ask her if she wants to talk about it.
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    Wait until her current relationship ends. She will know you care for her well-being if you respect her relationship. Don’t try to break it up.

    • If she is happy in her relationship, she will not thank you for critiquing her boyfriend or finding ways to get their relationship on rocky ground. Even if she is unhappy in the relationship if she realizes your motive she will see it as manipulative.
    • If you truly care for her, you will want her to be happy, even if it’s not with you.
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    Express your feelings to her in a timely but respectful time frame. Once she and her boyfriend break up, give her time to grieve that relationship and heal from the hurt. Don’t wait too long, though, or she may move on to another relationship before you get your chance.

Tips

  • Don’t be too clingy or she will try to distance herself from you.
  • Make absolutely certain that this girl is worth it. So often we want the impossible relationship because we are too afraid to find a relationship that might actually happen.
  • If you step on her boyfriend’s toes, it will be all over. He will be more protective of their relationship, and you might even be cut out.
  • If you realize you’re stuck in the friend zone, move on. There are other great girls who don’t have boyfriends.

Warnings

  • If she breaks up with her boyfriend for you, someday she may break up with you for someone else.
  • You can seriously damage relationships by trying to break a couple up. Not only might you ruin your relationship with her and her boyfriend, but you also may hurt relationships with mutual friends, classmates, or coworkers.
  • If you succeed in hooking up with her and she finds out about your plot, you could jeopardize your relationship.
  • In Method 2, you will be manipulating your own crush for your own selfish wants. If you are willing to do this, you may not care about her as much as you claim to.

The Absolute Dater – Making Online Dating Easy Again

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

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

5 Signs Your Innocent Friendship Has Turned Into a Full-Blown Emotional Affair

Emotional affairs often begin as non-sexual friendships.

What is an emotional affair? How did your innocent flirting with someone you claim to be just good friends with turn into emotional cheating and infidelity?

I cannot count how many couples have come into my life with their relationships in shambles — with one spouse saying that their partner had an affair, with the other denying an affair occurred often proclaiming that they are “just really good friends” and that they “never had sex”.

So…was it an emotional affair?

In a monogamous relationship, people share both emotional and sexual information that is exclusive to their partners. They expose their weaknesses, mistakes, and innermost feelings.

We build trust with the other person because we make ourselves vulnerable. These conversations are valued and treasured by us because we know this information is reserved for us and only we have access to these aspects of our partner.

Emotional affairs often begin as non-sexual friendships. We confide in our friends perhaps because we feel our partner lacks understanding or they are unavailable.

This is particularly common with couples where one or both partners is a busy executive. When we lack access to our mate and need an outlet to talk to, we turn to our friends. And there are the always available social media, where platonic relationships can easily take root as deep and emotional friendships.

One important point here is that a majority of the emotional affairs begin as harmless friendships without any intention or plan to develop the relationship beyond that of a platonic friendship.

Unfortunately, we all have limited time, energy, and emotional resources available — and when these finite commodities are expended on the “friendship” rather than your partner relationship, there is a disconnection where the partner has cheated, emotionally.

An emotional affair is one where a person falls in love with another person but the relationship is not sealed with a sexual act. Over time, if the emotional affair continues (perhaps you flirt without realizing), it often leads to a sexual affair.

Emotional affairs can be devastating and destructive to your current relationship and family. In fact, emotional affairs can cause as much (or more) damage as physical affairs, but be more devious since they are less obvious.

Why? Because it leads to secrecy, deception, and is established primarily to gain an emotional high or to run away from negative experiences within the actual marriage itself.

One of my clients recounts, “I was so much more shattered by my husband finding solace and love with her. I could have more easily forgiven a one night stand because she wouldn’t have meant anything to him but as an object for sex.”

When someone falls in love and seeks such intimacy with that other person, when the time spent with the partner is superficial because their heart longs to be with someone else, the underlying trust is shaken.

Casual flirting or a crush don’t even begin to cover the irreparable damage such kind of “affairs” cause.

So, are you having an emotional affair or are you just friends? Are you on the path to an affair, even though nothing has physically escalated…yet?

Here are 5 signs you’re having an emotional affair (and you need to stop).

1. You have conversations you’re not too comfortable with your spouse knowing about

Do you find yourself hiding your phone (or getting a separate one), making sure your email and phone passwords are secret? Maybe you’re thinking “I’m glad my partner isn’t (reading, watching, finding) this (call, text, picture).”

These are signals the “friendship” boundaries have already been crossed.

2. You find yourself daydreaming or making plans with this person

Examine your mindshare. Does this person occupy your thoughts unceasingly? Are they on your mind when you go to sleep, when you awake in the morning, and during most of the day? Whenever you are alone, do you think about them and seek opportunities to speak with them?

In a way, you begin to idealize this person. You may become more discontent with your partner and share concerns and problems with your friend while becoming more distant with your spouse. At times, you may even have disappointment that your spouse doesn’t do things like your friend does.

You, then, begin to find faults in your spouse for habits, beliefs, or approaches to situations that were never an issue and have always been present in the relationship.

Your tolerance for your mate is then less and they begin to irritate you leading to the belief that this person understands much better you’re your spouse ever did or could.

If you find yourself feeling more connected to your friend rather than your own spouse, then clearly some changes need to be made.

3. You’ve lost interest in being intimate with your spouse

It is a fallacy you think that affairs begin in the bedroom. Affairs actually begin in the mind.

First, emotional involvement often leads to our seeing our friend as having few, if any, flaws. This leads to our partner’s flaws becoming considerably more obvious leading to our being critical of our spouse and their habits and mentally comparing them to our friend.

While looking your best for work or going out is not an issue, the action of doing so for a specific person is entirely different. The action of being visually attractive to another person begins in the mind.

Expending considerable emotional energy and thought into dressing up for a friend is a signal that the relationship has a deeper meaning than that of traditional friendship.

Once you dress the part do you let your imagination play out romantic fantasies about your friend? Daydreaming and planning a new life with our friend is often the next step in the progression of an emotional affair.

This mental scenario with our friend is beginning to evolve into a relationship that we feel would be far superior to that of our partner. Directing your energy into cultivating a fantasy is not far from the fantasy transforming into a reality.

4. You’re spending less time with your spouse

Are you spending less time with your mate since the relationship with your friend has become a more significant part of your life? Are you are sharing personal problems, feelings, and thoughts with your friend instead of your partner?

Do you create ways to talk with or be alone with your friend? Do you stage opportunities where it is probable you will run into your friend and then the opportunity to speak with them appears organic? Do you find excuses to talk with them?

Whenever you have something exciting in your life or anything good or bad happens, do you rush to this person to share?

Whether it is communication, your daily life stuff, affection, thoughts, time or focus, does your spouse get less of your mind share while your friend gets more?

While there is nothing wrong with having a good friend, the problem comes when you begin to share less with your mate.

If everything that you used to give to your partner has become considerably less or completely transferred to this new person these are warning signs that an emotional affair is in the works.

5. You keep secrets and lie

Are you keeping the friendship with the other person a secret? Do you minimize the amount of time you spend with your friend to others? Do you omit details about meetings, private lunches, or phone calls?

Do you guard passwords, access to your phone and social media accounts from being seen by your partner? Do you delete evidence from your phone, lie about your whereabouts or deny having communication with your friend?

These are also hallmarks of an emotional affair.

Now that you’ve realized that you’re on the brink of an affair without meaning to, what should you do next?

It is important to remember that even when such affairs do not cross the line and reach the physical stage, the impact is equally damaging and could put your marriage in a danger zone.

The intimacy and chemistry that is the core of an emotional affair have a deeper emotional intensity because you happen to be emotionally invested in it.

An emotional affair is bad, it can slowly disconnect you from your partner and you won’t even realize it. If you have such a kind of friendship with the opposite sex, cut the relationship ASAP. Otherwise, it will take you down the road of a physical affair very soon.

 

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

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

When Your Boyfriend Ignores You: Why He Does It and How to Respond

If you’re in a relationship, you know it’s normal for couples to argue. But when your boyfriend ignores you after, do you wonder why?

We’ll talk about what to do when your boyfriend ignores you, but what’s important is to look at why they ignore you first. That way, you kind of see where their behavior originates. This doesn’t mean you should excuse the fact that he’s ignoring you, don’t let it slide. But knowing the root cause helps you decide which angle to approach this from.

Again, this doesn’t excuse his behavior, but it gives you a better idea of what’s going on in his head. Since ignoring you is his go-to move, you should be the bigger person and approach the subject. It’s clear that he won’t.

5 reasons why he’s ignoring you

Whoever said relationships were easy has never been in a relationship—or not a normal one. Of course, when you’re in a relationship, it’s normal for people to disagree and argue sometimes. You may not like it, but it happens in any relationship. But the way you come out of a fight is what matters.

Everyone argues, but how does the argument end? Are you talking about what happened or is someone ignoring the other for days on end? Now, no one is perfect but ignoring someone is a sign of immaturity. It isn’t cool.

And men say women are complicated—yeah, right.

#1 He’s angry at you. If you just had an argument with him and he’s been ignoring you, well, then you have your answer. Obviously, he’s upset with you. Now, him ignoring you could be one of two things.

He could be so angry that he just needs some space from you. Or, secondly, he’s using this as a way to manipulate you into admitting fault. It really depends on the fight you had and your role in it.

#2 He feels suffocated. When your boyfriend ignores you, this could be another reason too. You’re not necessarily clingy for wanting to spend time with him, everyone has their own personal space and amount of alone time they need to recharge. But this doesn’t mean he should ignore you, instead, he could tell you that he needs space instead.

#3 He’s cheating on you. Okay, before I say anything, remember, just because they’re ignoring you, doesn’t mean they’re cheating. This is possibly the most drastic reason behind why he’s ignoring you, so don’t freak out. If you feel he’s cheating on you, you need to look at other behaviors as well.

#4 He’s thinking about breaking up. When we’re thinking about breaking up with someone, we distance ourselves from the person in order to make the breakup easier for ourselves. I know, we’re selfish but that’s just human for ya. He’s making his decision and while doing so, he’s pushing you away.

#5 He has other things going on in his life. Whether it’s work or school, he could be really stressed in other areas of his life and as a result, he ignores you. Now, this may not be intentional, but he’s not keeping your feelings in check either.

The things you need to do when your boyfriend ignores you

No one likes being ignored. So, it’s time to take action and stand up for yourself when your boyfriend ignores you without any explanation. Don’t let him behave like this towards you.

#1 Don’t “pay him back.” I know that you’re probably giving him a taste of his own medicine. In some cases, it can work but let’s be honest, is that really showing him that you don’t appreciate his behavior? The only way for him to understand that his behavior is wrong is if you talk to him. Don’t try to do the whole “he needs a taste of his own medicine” because that won’t solve the problem.

#2 Communicate with him. If you don’t communicate with him, it’s only going to get worse. Communication is key, and it can solve a lot of issues that you’re experiencing as a couple and on your own. So, if it’s bothering you that he ignores you, I recommend that you just sit down with him and talk about it.

You may find out things that you didn’t know before. Make sure you talk about how this makes you feel.

#3 Spend time with family and friends. Well, you can’t change his behavior, but you can change yours. Don’t sit at home twiddling your fingers, instead, go out and spend time with the people that care about you. He’ll come around but don’t wait for him in the meantime.

#4 Don’t chase him around. When we feel that we’re going to lose something, we try to grab onto it even harder, but it never works. If he’s ignoring you, don’t panic and start texting and phoning him twenty times. Instead, back off and give him the time he needs. When he’s ready, he’ll come to you and that’s when you sit down and talk about it.

#5 Set boundaries. He can’t keep ignoring you every time something doesn’t please him. You need to set firm personal boundaries in order to protect yourself. He needs to know that you won’t be putting up with this behavior any further. If he continues to use this strategy as a way to deal with his problems, you don’t need this.

#6 Wait for him to connect with you. He needs to make the first move and reach out to you. If not, you’re just going to be chasing him like a lost puppy and that doesn’t look as cute as it does on Instagram. Only time will tell what will happen and if he continues to ghost you, you’ll have to end it yourself.

#7 Don’t let it absorb all your thoughts. This is going to bother you, but refocus your attention and do not let it ruin your day. This is his behavior and you can only control your own behavior. I know that you have many unanswered questions but having it consume all your thoughts won’t change the fact that he’s ignoring you.

#8 Practice self-care. No one likes being ignored, and in fact, it’s extremely hurtful. If your boyfriend has done this a couple of times, each time is like a knife to the heart. So, rather than getting sucked in, focus on yourself and practicing self-care. Think about your emotions and how they affect you. Write your feelings down, go for walks, and be around supportive people.

#9 Talk about finding a solution with him. After figuring out why he’s behaving this way, then you can figure out how to solve it. Of course, at the end of the day, he’s going to need to work on this, but you may have played a larger role in this than you originally thought. This obviously goes deep, so, by knowing the root problem, this behavior can be changed.

Ignoring people isn’t going to help any situation. When your boyfriend ignores you, it hurts even more. But now you know exactly what to do when he starts with this behavior.

 

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

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

This Is the Only Real Way to Know If Your Partner Is Micro-Cheating

Is micro-cheating a real thing?

What is micro cheating? How do you define it? Is it just as bad as “normal” cheating in relationships?

Plus, how can you communicate relationship boundaries when it comes to this kind of emotional infidelity?

Micro cheating can be defined in many ways:

Cosmopolitan says that it’s the “small things you do that could have whispers of infidelity, without actually being unfaithful.”

Time magazine defines it as “a set of behaviors that flirts with the line between faithfulness and unfaithfulness.”

And Urban Dictionary says that it’s “small acts considered disloyal within a relationship. Nothing too serious, but not innocent either.”

Because there are so many definitions of micro-cheating, a whole lot of behaviors may or may not even qualify — a raised eyebrow, a furtive smile, lightly touching someone on the arm, browsing profiles on hookup apps but not actually hooking up, chatting with an ex on social media, checking out a little porn here and there, sexting, webcamming with strangers, going to a strip club with the guys (or gals), or getting a massage when away on business.

What is considered cheating? Where do we draw between micro-cheating and actually being unfaithful?

Here’s a thought: Maybe there’s no line to draw. Maybe cheating is cheating.

Maybe calling a behavior that violates one’s relationship boundaries micro-cheating is simply a way of justifying that behavior.

Or maybe there is a meaningful difference between micro-cheating and emotional cheating.

Cheating is “the breaking of trust that occurs when you keep intimate, meaningful secrets from your partner.”

Notice that this definition of infidelity does not name specific sexual or romantic behaviors.

Instead, it focuses on what matters most in romantic relationships — mutual trust.

If you’ve engaged in sexual or romantic behaviors that violate the trust in your relationship, you’ve cheated.

My definition also suggests that a list of behaviors that do and don’t qualify as cheating depends on the couple.

If you and your partner have mutually agreed that looking at porn is not an issue, so be it. And who cares what your grandmother thinks about it? This is your relationship to define, not hers.

If, however, you and your significant other have mutually agreed that porn is not OK, then plugging in that flash drive filled with your favorite videos is cheating.

Interestingly, for betrayed partners, it’s usually not the specifics of what you’ve done that causes the most pain.

What hurts the most is the lying, the manipulation, and the keeping of secrets from the cheating spouse — the lies of omission.

When you engage in sexual and romantic behaviors that violate relationship boundaries (including marriage vows), you’ve cheated. Period.

And when you lie about that behavior and keep it secret, you’re compounding the damage.

That said, maybe micro-cheating really is a thing — a less-damaging form of cheating.

My definition of micro-cheating centers not on the specifics of the “sextracurricular” act, but on how deeply that behavior and any lies and secrets surrounding that behavior impacts the betrayed partner when the behavior comes to light.

In other words, how profoundly is relationship trust affected by the act and by covering up the act?

If you find yourself now wondering what constitutes cheating (micro or full-blown) in your relationship, initiate a discussion with your partner about what behaviors are and are not acceptable.

When you both can mutually define your relationship boundaries in this way, cheating is much less likely.

Moreover, by being open and honest with one another about your sexual desires and limits, you can develop a deeper sense of emotional intimacy and relationship trust.

In short, you strengthen your intimate connection.

The more open and honest you and your partner are with each other, the more intimacy you will have. So give this conversation a go.

 

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