13 Signs You Should Take Your Ex-Boyfriend Back

Here’s one from one of my female readers…

Sure, our own Erin and conventional wisdom say that in life you only get one chance. But in love, there are no rules. However, there is good advice, not to mention learning from your mistakes. That’s why I’m going to share with you the biggest relationship mistake I ever made.

I used to have a “never take an ex back” policy. It stopped me from making plenty of mistakes, like bad ex sex, dropping cash I didn’t have on a bikini wax, and becoming the victim of sheer drunken douchebaggery. Some guys you just get over and there’s no need for a do-over. But I’ve only ever loved one man and after we broke up, he tried to make it work again for months. I, on the other hand, was still in love with him too, but refused to break my own childish rule— no take-backs. Why didn’t I give us one more shot? At the very least, I wasn’t done letting him hurt me. At the very most, well, now he’s married to someone else.

Now I’m left with “what if?” questions. What if I’ll never love any other man as much? What if I never have sex as good again? What if he was THE ONE? And my personal favorite: What if I’m going to die alone now? Even more excruciating and existential is the other side of the coin: Am I inflating who he is and what we had? Has he been martyred because he was the one that got away? Not giving yourself another chance is like opening a Pandora’s Box of second-guessing yourself. OK, so I kept my pride, but so what? It didn’t get me what I wanted—him. And all I had to lose was a little bit more time spent trying to figure things out between us. Unfortunately, now I’m stuck with a lifetime of wondering “what if?”

OK, so maybe even if my ex and I had gotten back together, it probs wouldn’t have worked out. In that case, I’d have ruined the delicious fantasy of him for good. Sad, sure, but maybe that’s just what I needed to move on. And hey, makeup sex can be worth the hassle of a do-over.

I’m here to help you not make the same mistake I did. While you don’t owe every dude you’ve done a second chance, there are those select few who you just have to give it to. However, before you go re-welcoming them with open arms, you have to think about what exactly you’re going to also have to embrace about him. Is he worth a second or a third time around? Here’s how you can see if he’s worth giving another shot:

1. Day McDreamy: If you think about the dude everyday, or even a couple times a week, you’re sooooo not done with him.

2. BF & BFF: Your pals still want to be his friend. If they’re still rooting for him, maybe you should be too.

3. Black And Blue: He didn’t ever hurt you physically. In fact, he was quite gentlemanly.

4. Time Is On Your Side: You feel like you’ve got nothing to lose except maybe a couple hours for a date. Whatever happens, happens.

5. Not Co-Dependent: Beware, if he’s vengeful or even slightly manipulative, he might just be waiting to get the upper hand again.

6. Going The Distance: What’s he doing to get you back? Was it a random drunk text or did he talk to you face-to-face or phone-to-phone? Heck, he’s gotta give you at least an email you can tell he spent time on. Guys get bonus points for creativity here, i.e., love letters, getting the DJ to play your fave song, or other heart-melting rom-com-esque smooth moves.

7. Change Is Possible: It’s been a long time, so he may have actually grown up.

8. Back And Forth: If either one of you is not willing to discuss the past openly, there’s no future. Do you think you can articulate what your old problems were to him or are you afraid to go there?

9. Needy Not Greedy: Ideally, he’s single. But most importantly, he’s not trying to stick it in you while he’s still dating someone else. He has genuine feelings; he’s not just feeling up on you.

10. If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It: Can you be realistic about your expectations? Are you OK with crashing and burning, or will it send you back to relationship rehab?

11. Not So Sexy Times: If the sex was never good, forget it. Either you have it or you don’t; you can’t learn chemistry.

12. Please Forgive Me: Do you still hold a grudge? Do you want him to pay for what he did to you last time? You can’t run your love life like it’s a toll booth. If you can’t find it in your heart to forgive him, you can’t date him again.

13. Tie The Not: Could you see yourself marrying him or being with him forever? If not, why bother? If you’re just looking for a good lay, he’s not your stunt penis that can just slip in for the action scenes. You can’t have meaningless sex with an ex—there are feelings there. So, go find a new boy toy.

 

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

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

Here’s How To Respond To Your Ex’s Text From Out Of The Blue

Let’s say it’s a Saturday afternoon, and you’re having a lovely day minding your own business. You slept in, you grabbed coffee with a friend, and you even ran a couple errands on your to-do list. Now you’re curled up in bed binge-watching Succession and eating Halo Top straight from the container. Then, all of a sudden, your phone flashes with a new message from… No. It can’t be. You ex, whom you haven’t heard from in months?! Mild panic ensues. How should you respond to your ex’s text? Should you even say anything at all?

When you’re not expecting it (or even when you are), a text from your ex can ruin your whole day. Why on earth are they trying to contact you after a long period of silence? No matter how innocuous the text looks — maybe it’s something along the lines of, “How’s it going?” or, “Congrats on the new job!” — it can certainly feel like there’s something deeper going on. Before you rush to respond with something snarky, put your phone down and take a deep breath.

According to clinical psychologist and author Dr. Beth Kurland, receiving a text from an ex can fire up some of the brain chemicals that affected you when you were first in love. Dopamine is responsible for making you feel happy and carefree, and the body releases it during sex, a make-out session, or any particularly happy moments with your partner. And now, even though you’re no longer together, this text can send your brain right back to that place. “When we break up and later get a text from an ex, this can re-trigger and activate that same neural circuitry,” Kurland previously told Elite Daily. “We crave that same pleasure we once experienced with this person, which can help explain why it is so hard to let go of an old relationship and why it can even become an obsession.”

Side portrait of african american female using mobile phone by window at home

Shutterstock

The text can also remind you of all the pain you experienced when the relationship ended. A 2004 study in the American Journal of Psychiatry showed that remembering your ex can trigger responses in your brain that are typically associated with acute grief. In an instant, you’re transported back to those feelings of heartbreak, wondering if you’d ever be able to interact with your ex in the same way again. No wonder the text hits you hard out of nowhere.

As for how to handle the situation, it really depends on how you feel. Leigh Smith, a researcher at the University of California Davis, previously explained to Elite Daily that your brain could respond to the text in a couple of ways. “When we encounter a stressor — like a text from an ex —there are two primary ways we can react,” she said. “We can either one, believe we have the resources to cope with the demands of the task. Or two, we can feel like the demands of the task outweigh our coping resources.” If you’ve had enough time and space to heal from the breakup, maybe you’re fully confident to respond without freaking out. But if it was a messy split, or if you’re not fully over your ex, you might feel overwhelmed by the mere idea of trying to craft a message to send back.

First thing’s first: prioritize your own health and healing. If you don’t want to respond, you 100% do not need to. Kurland warned against jumping too quickly to engage with your ex again. “Our first impulse might be to follow that pull toward ‘reward’ and become re-entangled with an ex when we know this would not be good for our long term well-being,” she noted. But instead, try being mindful and intentional about what you think is best. Take as long as you need to decide about the next best step — and maybe wait until those chemicals in your brain have calmed down.

If your ex is trying to reconnect with you, and you don’t think it’s a good idea to see them, be straightforward about this over text. Dating coach Diana Dorell previously told Elite Daily that “less is more” is usually a good philosophy. “There’s no need to over-explain, to justify, or defend why you’d not want to see them, it’s really none of their business,” she assured. “What you can do is tell them, ‘I appreciate you reaching out to me, I want to let you know I’ve moved on and I wish you all the best. Take care.’ That really is all you need to say.”

Serious woman using smartphone and standing outdoors. Pretty young lady wearing jacket with trees and buildings in background. Urban lifestyle and communication concept.

Shutterstock

If they’re asking for a simple favor, or something that’s easy for you to respond to without stressing, you can choose if you’d like to open up conversation with them again. But remember that you do not need to give your ex your time and energy, especially if it could come at the expense of your well-being. Sure, this person was once really central to your life, but that time period is over, and your ex should respect your wishes if you want to cut off communication entirely.

Even if you do want to be friends with your ex again, it’s crucial to talk about boundaries with each other, to avoid any potential confusion or hurt feelings. “I think there is immense pressure to be chill and drama-free,” Dr. Alexandra Solomon, clinical assistant professor and staff therapist at Northwestern University, tells Elite Daily. But she notes that this pressure can keep you from speaking honestly about how you’re feeling. It is completely OK to ask your ex why they’ve reached out, and to try to clarify what they hope to gain from the interaction.

Regardless of whether you choose to respond, you should make that choice based on your needs, rather than a feeling of pressure or obligation to seem “chill” or “over it.” You’re on a forward trajectory, and the last thing you need is to feel pulled unexpectedly back into your past. Craft a response after you’ve had some time to think and determine what’s best for you. Your ex should respect your commitment to your healing — and if not, who cares? You don’t owe them a thing.

 

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

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

20 Questions to Ask Your Ex after a Breakup to Heal & Find Closure

Ending a relationship is never easy, but it can be a lot easier to move forward if you have the perfect questions to ask your ex after a breakup.

You’ve had your breakup. The tears have been shed and the sweatshirts have been returned. But, there is still a lot of confusion, which is why these questions to ask your ex after a breakup matter.

A breakup rarely ends everything. It may end the technical parts of your relationship, but it likely left a lot of feelings and probably quite a few questions.

We don’t always get the chance to talk to an ex and get all our questions answered, so if you do, be smart about it. I know you have a lot of unresolved feelings, but there are some questions to ask your ex after a breakup that will help you move on.

Are you seeing your ex after a breakup?

When you are talking to your ex after a breakup, it is really the most beneficial if you do it in person. If you start texting your ex it can get out of hand. You can start saying things you might regret. When you are talking virtually you have an invisible wall protecting you from embarrassment or regret.

When you text your ex, things can turn around and take you back into a potentially dysfunctional relationship. Texting to ask questions to get clarity is just like going to their house to seek closure.

Seeing your ex privately, especially while feelings are still fresh, will lead to more harm than good.

Try to meet your ex somewhere in public to ask questions and get closure. You can go to lunch, meet at the mall, or anywhere that you will be able to keep things calm and cordial without lashing out or rekindling unresolved emotions. 

Questions to ask your ex after a breakup

If you have found a neutral place to meet your ex and are hoping to get closure by asking them questions, you’re in luck.

It may sound impossible, but it isn’t. Now, closure doesn’t mean you will come away with these answers feeling unfazed by the end of your relationship, but the end will feel more meaningful and like there is a reason.

This is what you want from these questions to ask your ex after a breakup. You don’t want to dwell on the past or what could have been. You want to learn from this relationship and move forward with knowledge and clarity.

With that, there are some questions to ask your ex after a breakup that will help you heal and move on.

Be prepared for some unexpected answers, and some that might upset you at first. But, all in all, the truth is what gives you closure.

#1 Can you give me the full truth? Starting here sets things off on the right foot. As your ex, they may think lying will protect you from hurting more or protect them from accountability. They may not want to see you cry or get upset.

Let them know no matter how you react now that you want the whole truth in order to move on and will offer the same to them. 

#2 When were we done in your mind? This can give you a lot of insight. Something a lot of us do when a relationship ends is wonder how long our ex wanted to end things. We think the breakup was a shock. But, if we can know when things took a turn, we can be more aware in the future.

#3 How did you know this wasn’t going to work? This will let you know why they gave up. You may still be wondering why you didn’t make it work or try harder. The answer to this question will give you closure.

It will let you know what straw broke the camel’s back, so you don’t have to wonder what if.

#4 What do you think went wrong? This may seem similar to the last question but is a bit broader. The answer to this won’t necessarily be about the end of your relationship but the beginning of the end.

#5 Were you ever unfaithful? This is not something everyone will want the answer to and yes it will hurt at first, but in the long run, you will be more confident in the end of this relationship once you know.

#6 Do you think I was unfaithful? This will clear things up for your ex and you. If you want to ensure they know you were faithful or that you weren’t so they can move on too, this is the time to talk. 

#7 Do you think we both contributed to this ending? I would say in most relationships both partners almost always have a hand to play in the end, but that isn’t always the case. Talk to your ex about this. Do they think they fully ended things on their own or that it was your fault?

#8 What do you think are my best qualities? This can be cathartic to hear from someone that is hurting due to the end of your relationship. It isn’t about what they think of you, but what you can take away from this.

Knowing that they still see good in you no matter the ending shows that you are both mature and that things didn’t get too out of hand before ending.

#9 Do you think we are different people than we were when we first met? Knowing if you changed since the beginning of your relationship can give you a lot of clarity. You may think you are the same person but your ex could point out the ways you’ve changed. And that isn’t a bad thing.

Sometimes we grow and our partners don’t. Sometimes we grow in different directions. And sometimes we grow and the relationship doesn’t. Knowing these things helps you take away more from this relationship.

#10 How would you describe our breakup to friends? This is not your business in every situation, but if you share friends it is best you two are on the same page so that there is no unneeded drama.

#11 Do you think we should distance ourselves for a while? I always think cutting off communication with an ex for a while is the best move. You can adjust to not having them in your life. But, see what they think. Do you need to interact because of work or other circumstances? 

#12 Did you ever trash talk me to your friends? This is another thing that can be hard to hear, but when asking your ex questions after a breakup this helps you be in control. Feeling like a fool after a breakup is one of the worst feelings, so knowing as much as you can now will help prevent that.

#13 Do you wish we never met? A mature person will look at a failed relationship as a way to grow and improve. If your ex wished they could wipe out your entire history together, they are not mature and this realization will help you move forward. 

#14 What do you think you brought to our relationship? This is the time for you to get clarity and closure, but can also be a time to learn more about your ex and for them to learn something too. Seeing what they think they did right in the relationship can be very eye-opening.

This can take away a lot of bitterness you may have built up and help you both regain confidence.

#15 Will you be okay with me moving on? Will seeing you with someone new hurt them? Will they be happy to see you happy? This lets you know what stage of the breakup they are in. If you know you’ll be seeing someone and posting photos online, you can mute or unfriend each other for a while until you are both past it.

#16 Are you happy? Knowing your ex’s state of mind is important for both of you to move forward after this conversation. Are they doing okay? Are they struggling? It is not your priority to keep them happy, but it is helpful to know where their mind is for your own sanity.

#17 Are you seeing anyone? You do not want to be surprised when your ex brings their new partner to a mutual friend’s party or posts pictures with them online. Asking them this prepares you for seeing that. You can even ask them to let you know if they do start seeing someone just so you aren’t taken off guard.

#18 How are we going to handle our mutual friends? This is something a lot of ex’s don’t talk about, but if you have mutual friends it can help. Maybe you just want to go back to how things were before you dated. But can you? Maybe you’ll switch off events with them until the tides have calmed?

#19 Moving forward do you want to keep in touch? I wish I had asked this question to all of my exes. It prepares you for that random text or for radio silence. Do you want to try to be friends down the road or are you going to go your separate ways?

Answering this now and getting on the same page prevents hiccups from spreading out the time it takes to move on. 

#20 Is there anything you want to ask me? This conversation is meant to offer clarity and closure to you post-breakup, but your ex deserves that too. Give them the same honest responses to their questions that you expect from them.

Try not to ask your ex if they miss you, if you could have done something different, or if they regret anything. These questions and others like these only pull you back into the relationship that is over.

These are questions to ask your ex after a breakup to move forward not back. So, keep that in mind and good luck.

 

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

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shutterstock

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Their memories haunt them.

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

Shutterstock

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Buy my new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

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

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

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

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

Woman texting on the smart phone walking in the street

Shutterstock

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If You Want Nothing To Do With Them

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

Buy my new book, Angel with a Broken Wing on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

The Four Simple Rules for Dads Getting Divorced

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

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

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

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

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

Take Care of Yourself First

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keep the Fight Contained Between the Adults

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

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

The Big Release of Your Ex

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

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

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

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

Return to the basics.

Your health.

The energy and health of your kids.

Moving on to what’s next in your life.

Don’t Go It Alone

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

 

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

Buy my new book, Angel with a Broken Wing on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

5 Ways To Get Over Your Ex (Even When It Feels Impossible)

This is solid advice…

From someone who learned the hard way.

Having trouble learning how to get over a breakup and move on from your ex? Do you miss the way they looked at you? The way they smelled? The way their hand felt in yours? Do you think you see them walking down the street when really it’s a stranger? Do you still hear certain music that reminds you of them?

When someone takes up so much of your life, it’s impossible to get over them in a day or two. And while doing things like reading, walking, working out, journaling, and hanging out with friends can certainly be positive distractions, if you really want to deal with the root cause of the emotional pain you still feel, you’ll have to do things a little bit differently.

I have a secret to confess: I went through a breakup that took me several years to get over. She was intelligent, challenging, loving, kind, and beautiful. We dated for just over a year and the mark she left on my heart was undeniable.

I had imagined our futures together. Repeatedly. I pictured her smiling face looking up at me at our wedding. We had discussed what we would name our children. I fell in love with her, hard. And one day it was all over.

It took several painful years to get over her. Years of hiding myself emotionally and engaging in surface level relationships.

I could have done it a lot sooner if I knew how to properly address what was really going on in my unconscious mind, and I want to help you get through things much faster, by laying out that process in this article.

Emotions are one of the most addictive things available to you. When you are in love with someone, your brain is hit with massive surges of dopamine (brain scans have shown that our minds follow very similar patterns when influenced by cocaine or nicotine).

When you no longer have access to your intimate partner (post-breakup), your brain doesn’t fall out of love with them, it simply continues to be in love with them, but you no longer have access to them. And like a crying baby who doesn’t have access to his mother that it so yearns for, our minds’ “rejector stimulus” is on overdrive.

We simultaneously feel the pain of abandonment, the deep craving for a “fix” of our drug (aka partner) of choice, and our once-regular hits of dopamine and oxytocin are nowhere to be found. In fact, immediately after a breakup, your happy chemicals are replaced with a flood of cortisol (stress hormone) and adrenaline. It’s almost as if your body is saying “Here’s a rush of energy… time to get up! Either work your butt off to get that one back, or go make yourself a more valuable partner and find someone else!”

Long story short, if you were hooked up to a brain scanner, your brain after a painful breakup is highly similar to the brain of a drug addict in rehab. So if you’re getting over a breakup, do these things first:

1. Remind yourself of the good, the bad, and the awful.

Part of the reason we get stuck in processing our breakup is that we idealize the relationship as a big collection of amazing, emotionally fulfilling times with very little downside. In reality, you fought frequently and there were core incompatibilities that drove you apart.

To get a more accurate view of your past relationship, journal about the things that you loved about the relationship, the things that bothered you about your ex, and your part in the downfall of the relationship.

2. Allow yourself space to grieve alone.

Take a few days (at least) to sit with your emotions and let them move through you.

Every time you resist feeling an emotion, it goes down to the basement to lift weights. So if you ignore the frustration, anger, resentment, hurt, or pain that is present in your body, it will only get stronger and come back louder than before until you listen to the signals.

3. Embody the “you” that felt the most stifled.

In any failed relationship there is bound to be a part of you that felt like it was discouraged by your ex. Maybe she didn’t like your playful side, or how much time you wanted to spend with your friends, or how much time you spent working on your business.

Whatever it was that felt dormant, go and inhabit that side of yourself to the fullest degree. You only suffer in a breakup to the extent that you lost yourself during the relationship, so there might be some leftover negative emotional residue if you felt like you weren’t fully allowed to be yourself around your partner.

4. Use your newfound energy for positive growth.

With the surge of adrenaline and cortisol that you get after a breakup telling you to get up and get out (and numb yourself to the pain by partying and hooking up with others), you have a huge opportunity. Get your exercise routine dialed, learn a new skill, or build a new business.

I have had clients who built successful seven-figure businesses from the surge of adrenaline they got from an especially painful breakup. Some of the best art in the world was made by people who had lost love. Utilize this current of emotional energy for your personal gain.

5. See your emotional process as a trend, not a linear path away from suffering.

If you expect your emotional suffering to decrease in a linear A to B straight line, you’re in for a rude awakening. Re-frame your processing of the breakup as something that generally trends upwards and you won’t be as taken aback by the down days (when you see something that reminds you of your ex, smell their perfume on someone, and so on).

So you’ve done everything listed above and it only feels like it’s affecting you on the logical level, and not on the deeper emotional level? Then I have one exercise left for you. And it’s one that gets right to the heart of the suffering.

Think back to your relationship with your partner, remember all of the good times and ask yourself one question: What is the overarching emotional benefit that you got from being with them specifically? It could be something along the lines of “She made me feel appreciated/proud/good about myself.”

Whatever that thing is, one of the reasons that you’re suffering this long after your breakup is because whatever she did for you is still a large void in your life. You may be emotionally and psychologically addicted to your ex because they were your only source of a certain emotion, thought, or feeling that you only got from them.

Some examples of this would be:

  • You have low self-esteem and she made you see yourself through her much more positive perspective.
  • You are reluctant to give yourself any praise for a job well done and she would lavish you with praise and congratulations.
  • You feel directionless in life and your relationship with her gave you a project to work on.
  • You aren’t good at keeping yourself accountable or on track with your goals and she helped you tremendously in this area of your life.

Whatever your ex gave you, you are likely still suffering because you barely give yourself any of the emotional benefit that she gave you tons of. So the action step part of this section is to start giving yourself the thing that she used to give you.

Like a bird who lands on a tree branch only to have it break out from underneath it’s feet, you still have wings. You can make yourself soar without her.

Do I still do mental gymnastics sometimes and begin convincing myself that I’m still not over her? Yes, I do. As do a handful of my clients that are engaged to other women. But our brains are experts at convincing ourselves (logically) that we want things that aren’t good for us (because we want them emotionally).

When I slow down for longer than a minute and think about why we broke up (several times), it was because we weren’t right for each other. She is my ex for a reason, just like yours is your ex for a reason. If it was meant to be then it would have been easier and you both would have fought to keep it going. But now it’s in the past and all that’s left to do is to let go of it.

They came into your life to teach you a lesson about yourself, and now it’s time to gracefully let go of that person. You are better off for having known them, and you both bumped into each other on your life’s journey so you can better prepare each other for your next respective relationships.

 

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

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing, is now on sale at Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

13 Brutally Honest Reasons Guys Always End Up Trying To Get Back With The Ex

Why your ex has come crawling back to you — or why he left you for his ex.

Here’s a solid post by one of my female readers. I found it very interesting…

Whether you’re fresh out of a breakup yourself or dating a guy who is, you might wonder if him getting back with an ex is a possibility.

I remember when my ex broke up with me. He was my everything, and I had expected that we’d end up being together forever. Out of all the guys I dated, I never expected to see him boomerang back to me, especially considering that he was so much more popular than I was

I was devastated, I really was.

My friend Jon, though, seemed totally mellow about the entire ordeal. He looked at me while sipping his beer in his classic “you can’t be serious” look. No matter how much I vented, his expression didn’t change, and for some reason, that just got to me.

“Why are you so mellow?” I asked. “I just got dumped!”

Jon laughed, and said, “Dude, I don’t get why you’re sitting here crying into your beer like that. You know he’s going to come back, right? They always come back.”

I didn’t believe him. Yet, no more than 4 years later, he had tried to get back together with me… except this time, I rejected him. He seemed more crushed than I did after the breakup. Eventually, I realized what Jon meant when he said that “they always come back.”

Most men will try to get back with the ex after a breakup, even if it’s not immediate. And sadly, the reasons why they do aren’t always the noblest.

Here are the most common reasons guys try to get back together with an ex.

1. The sex was good.

Most guys will not pass up good sex and they’ll often try to keep the avenue to sex with them open if they can help it. This is why so many guys will weave a sob story about how they “miss their ex,” but that they “can’t really commit to anything again.”

Make no mistake about it: most of the time, guys don’t miss their exes as much as they miss the sex.

2. He had a fall from grace.

This is actually what happened with me and my ex. He lost most of his hair and started looking like a creepy old man. Moreover, due to drama, he also lost a lot of friends who used to praise him and demonize me. Meanwhile, I got more muscular and more popular with his friends.

When a guy sees that their ex is doing way better than they are, they often will try to get back with the ex as a way to regain some of the social standing they once had.

3. He thought you were going to go downhill, and then you bounced back after the breakup.

This happened to me a number of times, and the funny thing about this is that most guys can’t even come up with a good excuse as to why they dumped you in the first place. It wasn’t that he was “in a bad place,” honey. It was that he was too selfish to actually stay by your side when you needed him.

Needless to say, if he kicked you while you were down, he doesn’t deserve an ounce of your time.

4. He had you as a backup plan, and the new girl dumped him.

This reason is most common with cheaters as well as guys who ghost early on in the relationship. The most common reasons he’ll give for dumping you when he apologizes include “I was going through something” and “I didn’t know what I had.” He may also say he misses you.

Don’t fall for it. You can do better than a guy who shelved you.

5. You’re doing well for yourself, and he’s broke.

This happened to my friend and her ex. He dumped her because she was making a solid $11 an hour at a local car wash, said he didn’t want to be seen with a “poor girl,” and that he was worried that she was a gold digger. He ended up losing his $55,000-per-year job later that year.

Guess who came knocking at her door asking for a second chance? That’s right: her ex. And guess who sagely slammed the door in his face? That’s right: she did.

Money is a relationship influencer for both men and women, and male gold diggers are increasingly common these days.

6. He wants to control you.

A scary amount of guys get off on the idea of having a girl wrapped around their little finger, and if he comes back to you once you’re finally over him, it could be because he realized that he no longer has a hold on you.

If you notice him regularly stringing you along, getting in the way of you dating others, or doing similar tactics, it’s a matter of control, not love, for this guy.

7. He doesn’t want to start over and he realized it a bit too late.

Dating is exhausting for most people, including men. Sadly, most guys out there have a “grass is greener” mentality until one fateful breakup… and then they want that girl back because they realized how much work is put into getting another girlfriend.

Unfortunately, this kind of thinking is never good for long-term relationships, so it’s best you keep walking.

8. You got hotter.

Did you lose 75 pounds after the breakup? As shallow as it is, guys will often try to get back together with an ex if that ex ends up looking super-hot later on. There’s a reason why Khloe Kardashian’s Revenge Body show has some truth to it, after all.

However, that interest guys have to get to know “the new you” is never genuine. If it was, then the packaging wouldn’t have mattered.

9. He misses the perks of being in a relationship with you.

Whether men want to admit it or not, being in a relationship does have perks. If he’s been single for a hot minute, then he may want to try to hit up exes in hopes he can get coupled up again, because he knows which girls treated him well.

Though others may disagree with me, I believe that any worthwhile guy will know what he has when he has it and won’t require a breakup to realize he wants you.

10. You became a challenge.

Were you always underfoot when you two were together? If he sees that you no longer want him, he may start chasing you because he sees you as a challenge now. It’s sad, but it’s true. Some guys never learn!

11. He legit changed.

This reason he came back is actually the rarest of all, and it’s up there in rarity with unicorns and Bigfoot. Guys can change if they really want to, but most of the time they won’t. If he tells you this, it may be better not to believe him.

12. He wants an ego boost.

Fragile male egos are a thing, and sometimes, they’ll hit up a girl just because they want to know they’re still attractive. Is this fair to you? No, and it’s all the more reason why you shouldn’t forgive an ex.

It’s not your job to protect the feelings of a man who hurt you, and frankly, no one would really think ill of you to make a point of telling him he’s not worth your time.

13. He regrets the way he treated you.

Some guys really don’t understand how awful they were to a girl until she leaves him. And when this happens, they are often filled with regret. However, going back to someone like this doesn’t ever really end well. After all, there’s no saying that he won’t fall into his old ways and take you for granted.

 

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

Buy my new book, Angel with a Broken Wing on June 20th, on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

11 Of The Biggest Deal-Breakers In A Relationship

  • Deal-breakers in relationships are the things that will cause you to call it quits — no matter how long you’ve been together. 
  • Some common deal-breakers include a partner’s stance on having children, a lack of responsibility with money, or a lack of ambition.
  • We asked dating and relationship exerts to name some of the biggest deal-breakers people cite for breaking off a relationship.

When you’re considering the type of partner you want in your life, there are plenty of things that may make your list.

From their sense of humor to their looks to the way that they treat you, everyone has some sort of picture of who they classify as the ideal mate.

But just as there are specific things that we look for the person that we’re dating to have, there are things that we hope to never encounter, too.

Although everyone’s list of deal-breakers may not be exactly the same, there are a few things that many of us can probably agree on. Here are 12 of the biggest deal-breakers — according to experts — to compare your list to.

They won’t address the issues that you present.

couple break up breaking up fight ignore

Shutterstock

Regardless of how long you’ve been with a person, one of the most important things in a relationship is ensuring that both you and your partner are happy. So, if you’ve found yourself in a predicament where your comfort is put in jeopardy and your partner is doing nothing to rectify the issue, psychologist Dara Bushman told Insider that this could definitely be something to drive your relationship to its end.

“When you first started dating, you felt connected and were having a great conversation that was very stimulating and soul-nourishing,” she said. “Over time though, you’ve began feeling a disconnect. The disconnect may not be the concern — it’s the partner’s aloofness, inability, or unwillingness to discuss what the disconnect is.”

“If you’ve approached the topic and your partner becomes guarded or even defensive, this could be a deal-breaker. Communication is foundational.”

They’ve changed their mind about having kids with you.

Another important topic that should be discussed before deciding to go the long haul with a potential mate, is whether or not you see kids in your future together.

But if one of you has second thoughts or is on the totally different side than you are, according to Bushman, that should totally be a deal-breaker.

“Another big deal-breaker is someone changing their stance on having kids with you,” she said. “If you wish to have children while your partner already has children — or even if you’re both childless — and they were initially open to creating a family together, but after some time decide against, this can be crushing. They may seem great on paper and you even convince yourself you can make do without your own children for a bit. After a while, however, you may realize that the lack of flexibility from your partner is more than just about not wanting more children. A real and lasting relationship would find compromise.”

They have a tendency to cancel plans at the last minute.

Few things are worse than making plans with someone and then having them cancel at the last minute. And, if that repeat offender just happens to be the person that you’re in a relationship with, it could very well be the reason why you’re considering ending things with them.

“Having spontaneity in a relationship is good, but if your guy or girl is always canceling at the last minute to do something that ‘just came up,’ that’s a deal-breaker,” matchmaker Bonnie Winston told Insider. “It shows they do not respect your time, your plans and your interests. For example, if the person blows you off without much notice for something like a sports thing with their friends, that’s a deal-breaker.”

You are not on the same page when it comes to finances.

During the initial dating phase, how your partner chooses to spend their money may not be that big of a deal.

As you start to grow in your relationship, however, it could become more of a focal point and if you’re not on the same page, it could cause a lot of friction.

“Not being close to or on the same page concerning spending money is a deal-breaker and many cannot get over the strain of finances,” Winston said. “Additionally some people feel being consistently cheap with everything, bad tipping, or rudeness to waiters is a deal-breaker as it indicates that someone is just not generous in other areas.”

They’re showing a lack of interest.

Although it seems like a simple thing to note as a deal-breaker, many people ignore the signs when there’s a lack of interest from their partner, and according to Winston, it may not always be as simple to spot as you think.

“If one partner makes the other partner feel unattractive, divvys out criticism of the way one dresses, comments on weight, or other things like that, it can come off as if they are not interested,” she told Insider. “Likewise, if one person always talks about themselves and never shows interest in you, your life, your job, your friends, or your family, that can, and probably should be, seen as a deal-breaker.”

You don’t have the same values.

couple selfie

Stephen Zeigler/Getty Images

When you choose your partner, you should consider all aspects of the person, and that includes comparing their values to yours. Do they see eye to eye on values like integrity, ambition, love of family, and other things important to you?

“Attraction and chemistry are great, but what happens when looks fade and the spark wears off?” Rachel DeAlto, a Match.com relationship expert, told Insider. “If your potential partner differs significantly on a core value, the relationship can be doomed.”

When they get upset, they fight dirty.

DeAlto also said that if you’re with someone that talks down to you or treats you poorly when you are having a disagreement, you may want to reconsider the reason behind continuing the relationship.

“Everyone gets angry on occasion, and sometimes we even say terrible things we don’t mean,” she explained. “The deal-breaker arises, however, when people get nasty during every argument — name-calling, gaslighting, and failing to listen are all traits that lead to misery in a relationship.”

It’s important to note that these can also be the signs of a potentially abusive relationship too. Your partner should never make you feel unsafe and if they do, exiting the relationship should be done with care and potentially with help from a professional and your loved ones.

They aren’t over their ex.

texting

Pixabay/stocknap

Although you may be super into someone, if they’re still hung up on someone else, you shouldn’t let that slide.

“You know when someone is still stuck in their past,” DeAlto said. “Their emotions are still high when they talk about them — positive or negative. Often they even admit they aren’t ready, but it’s rationalized away.”

There’s no sense of vision.

couple serious

Getty Images

For many people, lack of ambition or drive in a partner can be a huge turn-off. That doesn’t mean that it’s a deal-breaker for everyone. But according to relationship expert and dating adviser Jeffery L. Miller, it should be.

“Being a very determined and successful person and pairing with someone who is content can be detrimental to any relationship,” he said.

There’s a history of abuse with you or someone else.

couple fighting arguing

Getty Images

Whether physical, mental, emotional, or sexual, if you hear of someone being abused, it may seem like an easy fix to “just leave.”

Unfortunately though, Judy Ho, a psychologist and author of “Stop Self Sabotage,” told Insider that it’s not as easy as it seems, nor is it that simple to notice that it’s happening.

“Physical or sexual abuse are absolute deal-breakers in a relationship and occur more often than one might think,” Ho said.

“What is sometimes tougher to spot is psychological or emotional abuse. Sometimes this occurs alongside physical and/or sexual abuse but sometimes it can occur in isolation.”

She continued: “Emotional abuse can be extremely damaging. Some examples include extreme control, like tracking your whereabouts, demanding that you don’t spend time without them, and telling you that you are no good, worthless, and nothing without them. It can break someone down to the point that they don’t believe they deserve any better and therefore continue to stay in an abusive relationship. If this is happening in your relationship, it should be a deal-breaker.”

There’s a constant denial of a substance abuse problem or refusal to get help.

If you are with someone who is dealing with addiction, it can be tempting to stay with them. And while support from a partner can help people overcome addiction, if it’s taking a toll on you and they aren’t seeking help, it could be time to leave, Ho told Insider.

“There is no shame in suffering from such a disorder, but it can wreak havoc on a relationship — not to mention the person’s life in multiple domains like physical and mental health, work, and other social relationships,” she said. If someone refuses to seek help for their substance abuse, lies about their use, or you notice that the problem is getting worse over time, it’s a deal-breaker.”

 

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

Buy my new book, Angel with a Broken Wing on June 20th, on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

Sorry, But Getting Back Together With Your Ex Will Never Be A ‘Fresh Start’

Ah, the power of the ex. Is there anything more alluring than The One That Got Away? Probably not.

But before you go ahead and try getting back together, remember that life isn’t like Friends (Ross and Rachel), Sex and the City (Carrie and Big), or Grey’s Anatomy (Meredith and McDreamy). The appeal is real…but so is the drama.

It’s not really your fault: While you probably broke up for a very legit reason, your desire to rekindle an old flame is pretty normal. “We are wired for attachment and also for new experiences,” says licensed marriage and family therapist David Klow, owner of Skylight Counseling Center in Chicago. “When we can have a bit of both by getting back together with a former lover, many of us jump at the opportunity.”

And let’s face it: Getting back together with an ex is just easier than spending hours swiping through Bumble (and going on craptastic dates). “We often aren’t interested in someone new because we have to get to know someone new and that takes time,” says Terri Orbuch, PhD, author of Finding Love Again: 6 Simple Steps to a New and Happy Relationship and professor at Oakland University in Michigan. “When with our ex, we already know what we like, don’t like, and how they act.”

It’s definitely possible to have more success with round two, Klow says—but you need to approach it the right way. Here’s how to get back with your ex without making a total mess of it.

1. Take it slooow.

I know, I know. The texts! The dinners! The sex! It’s all very exciting that you and your ex are hanging again. But before you go posting couples shots all over Insta and jumping right back into double dates with their parents, take a sec to chill.

There’s no proven formula for what speed you should move at (obviously…who could study that?), but Klow says it can be incredibly helpful to slow down and take a beat before you slap a label on things again. Why? Because you need time to…

2. Figure out what really you want.

Orbuch says this is your chance to lay all of your cards out on the table, so don’t be afraid to get real (like, really real) about what you need to be happy in a relationship. She recommends asking yourself what your expectations are in a relationship, as well as what qualities you need from a partner.

Was there something major missing before that your partner could actually fulfill this time around? That’s an important Q to be able to answer before reconciling. For example, did you feel like they took you for granted last time? Didn’t know how to speak your love language? That’s all fixable on take two.

But if you felt like they didn’t quite match up in terms of goals and values, that’s a different story. (Perhaps you’re super ambitious and they’re A-okay working at their dad’s company with no plans of moving up or taking it over someday—that’s likely not going to change tomorrow.)

You’ll also want to have your deal breakers in mind. “Then share these expectations with your former partner and have your former partner do the same and share the list with you,” Orbuch says. “This is important for all couples to do together, but even more important when you reconnect with a former partner. Be open and honest.”

3. View it as a new chapter in an old relationship.

“Yes, you’ve already dated and know one another, but time changes people,” Orbuch says. “So get to know your former partner again, ask questions, see what they think and feel.”

That said, “it’s impossible to have a truly fresh start with someone you’ve already dated,” notes WH advisor “Dr. Chloe” Carmichael, PhD, a clinical psychologist and author of Dr. Chloe’s 10 Commandments of Dating. “It’s really important to recognize that this is a rekindling of an old relationship, not the start of a new one.”

When getting back together with an ex, you need to do everything you can to separate fact from fiction and the past from the present. Ask yourself if some of the beliefs you have about this person are based on the behavior and statements they’re making to you now, versus who they were when you initially started dating and things were good.

“Women are especially vulnerable to sticking with their first impressions of people,” explains Dr. Chloe. So check yourself: Is it your mind telling you that this person is your rock-solid? Is that thought based on what has actually happened in the relationship or are you letting what you want things to be like overshadow how things actually were?

If you’re having trouble sussing this out, Dr. Chloe suggests try making a timeline of your past relationship, highlighting significant events—both good and bad. This exercise helps you see what your ‘ship was actually like versus your brain’s fantasy of it, and can help you pinpoint times when your ex didn’t live up to the image you’ve made yourself believe.

4. Talk about what you did when you were apart…

Now’s the time to speak up if you were with someone while you two were broken up. You don’t have to go into details. A simple, “I dated someone for a few months” is good enough—unless that someone was his best friend/coworker or anyone else that might trigger hurt or jealousy.

It’s important to at least mention it so that there are no surprises down the road, Klow says. If your guy is upset about it (even though, hello, you weren’t together anymore), then talk about it and address any concerns or fears—and then move on.

5. …And why you want to get back together.

Are you frustrated because your last date was a lousy kisser or turned out to be a d-bag, or do you really think there’s something positive and healthy worth pursuing with your ex? If it’s the former, Klow says that’s not a great reason to run back to your ex. But if it’s the latter, go for it.

Remember, settling is still settling, even if it’s with someone you’ve loved before.

You could get back with an ex…or you could just stay friends with them. These celebs did just that:

6. Listen to your gut.

If you found yourself ignoring some major issues the last time the two of you were a pair, then Orbuch says it’s important not to let that happen this go’round.

“Perhaps last time you were in the relationship with your ex, you didn’t see the red flags or didn’t listen to your gut,” she says. “[Maybe] you thought things would change, you didn’t believe in yourself or know what you wanted.” If you’re giving it a second chance, be sure you also trust your instincts if things start to backslide again.

You know that little ball of doubt in the pit of your stomach? It’s there for a reason…don’t ignore it if it comes back or grows.

7. Address old issues.

So, heads up: It’s pretty likely that old fights and problems are going to crop up again—it’s best to get ahead of them. You don’t have to reenact your Worst Fight Ever, but you should discuss the issue behind it, plus what you’re going to do to avoid another one of those in the future.

Talking about it when you’re both calm is key, says Klow, since you’re much more likely to get somewhere. “It is important for a couple to build on the past relationship, warts and all,” says Klow.

Note that if your ex is quick to sweep old issues under the rug, “that’s probably not a good start,” says Dr. Chloe. Feelings need to be validated—even if the other party doesn’t agree with them.

8. Have a trust chat.

“Given that the two of you have a past, trust has most likely been broken,” Orbuch says. “In many relationships, breakups occur because one or both of the partner have betrayed the other [in some way]. And trust, once it’s broken, is very hard to rebuild.”

Because of that, Orbuch recommends couples looking to rekindle their relationship have a “trust chat,” where you discuss what it means to trust one another and list realistic expectations for the relationship, as well as answer “what is fidelity and what does it mean to each of us as we go forward?”

During this talk, you’ll also want to decide what your definition is of commitment. “These are all questions that should be addressed in any relationship as you move forward, and even more so if you’re getting back with an ex,” Orbuch says.

9. Be ready to forgive.

Let’s say your ex cheated on you, physically or emotionally. You have to be truly willing to give them another chance, says Dr. Chloe—otherwise you’ll end up crucifying them for the past every time you get upset. (You know what I mean: They forget to call you back, you go on a downward spiral thinking about what they could be doing, then throw their past transgressions in their face when they ask why you’re annoyed.)

“It’s perfectly normal and okay to have old wounds, but you need to be able to talk about them calmly and respectfully together to avoid an unhealthy cycle of criticism,” Dr. Chloe explains. Keep in mind that forgiveness is a process, and if you’re struggling to move forward with it while being with your ex, you may want to hold off for a bit.

10. Collect your thoughts before bringing them up.

If you do notice ghosts from you past relationship coming up, it’s best not to speak about them the moment they pop into your head, says Dr. Chloe. This makes it all too easy for impulsive and unhelpful arguments to creep up on the reg.

It’s much, much better to write in a journal or talk to a friend until you have your thoughts together enough to have something constructive to discuss.

When you know what you want to say, approach it this way: “Here’s what’s been on my mind…” or “I could use some reassurance about….”

Always speak up about your feelings, but know that people respond best when it’s done in a thoughtful and organized manner.

11. Don’t expect everyone to be on board.

Just because you’re ready to move on with an ex, that doesn’t mean your family or BFF will be quite as keen on the idea. “They will remember what was bad about your ex,” Orbuch says. “And most likely because you’ve spoken negatively about the former partner to them, they will bring it up again as you announce to them about getting back together.”

When that happens, Orbuch says it’s important to remember that they have your best interests at heart. She recommends meeting their concerns with this: “I hear you. I understand your concerns and appreciate you telling me.”

Follow it up with the things that have changed about your ex and how you’ve discussed it all. You can also fill them in on your plan moving forward, and keep them looped in along the way.

12. Remember the bottom line: You’re still with the same person.

Sure, people change, but they’re usually more likely to stay the same. Basically, don’t think that things will be different after the “getting to know you again” stage is over. “It is very common for couples to fall back into the same patterns that they found themselves in the previous time,” says Klow.

Hated their habit of turning into a couch-loving sloth on Sundays? Or not a fan of how youranxiety subconsciously fed off of theirs, turning you into a big ball of stress?

Odds are, you’re going to deal with it again. So make sure they’re worth the time and effort. This isn’t a TV show after all….Life is short, and you don’t get endless reruns.

 

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

Buy my new book, Angel with a Broken Wing on June 20th, on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly