Why Staying Friends With An Ex Is A Bad Idea Says Science

Remaining friends with your ex might seem like a harmless idea. But according to experts, your best bet for a good future involves leaving them out of it.

Ending a relationship can prove to be extremely difficult, and if that includes staying friends with your ex, is it healthy?

Here’s what the experts say:

New York City-based psychotherapist and author of The Breakup Bible, Rachel Sussmanadvises being careful when it comes to staying friends with an ex, but there are couples who can make it work. Ultimately, she notes, “it’s an individual determination.”

There are, however, some guidelines exes should follow after separating, Sussman says.

If your relationship ended due to lost passion, or you felt like you’re becoming non-romantic roommates, you’ve got a good shot a healthy friendship, says Sussman. But if you broke up because of constant arguing, or one of you felt the other was too immature or too much of a flirt, or betrayal played a role in your split, Sussman adds that “the same problem that broke you up is going to leak into the friendship.”  In that case, you may have to turn around and walk away.

But even if your relationship was generally in good condition and simply didn’t work out, you might want to think twice before becoming buddies. A 2000 study, for example, concluded that friendships between exes are more likely to have negative than positive qualities than cross-sex platonic friendships.

According to relationship expert Lindsay Kriger, the transition from relationship to friendship can carry all kinds of unwanted dangers that can lead to more pain. “Let’s be friends” might sound like a good idea, but it can be much harder to pull off in reality.

Kriger says “What it doesn’t mean is ‘Let’s have a completely platonic relationship in which we ignore the feelings we had for one another, even the ones we still have.’”

Well, staying friends in real life might not be a great idea, but there’s probably nothing wrong with staying friends on social media. Right?

Actually, no.

Kriger believes the best thing to do after ending a relationship is to cut all connections in order to give yourself the full chance to find happiness elsewhere. That could mean deleting their number, and even blocking them on Facebook.

The most common reason why exes want to stay friends (here’s where things can get messy)

In a recent study by The Oakland University and The University of South Carolina, psychologists asked more than 860 people about their reasons for staying friends with their ex-partners.

While most people wanted to stay in a friendly relationship with their exes for sentimental reasons or trust, those who scored high for the psychological “dark triad” of personal traits – were driven by practicality and access to sex in the future.

For men, practicality and sexual access were rated as slightly more important than for women, on average. This was expected based on classical drivers for opposite-sex friendships.

In the journal for Personality and Individual Differences, Justin K Mogilski (University of South Carolina) and Lisa L M Welling (Oakland University) explain: “Men rated sexual access higher on importance than women did, which is consistent with other research showing that men are more likely than women to form [cross sex friendships] due to sexual attraction.”

In an interview for Broadly, narcissism expert Dr. Tony Ferretti said he agreed with the conclusions of the study, and added that narcissists and other dark personalities often valued relationships in terms of self-interest.

Such individuals, he explained, “may stay connected to [to exes in order to] have access to valuable resources. They also have inside information about their exes vulnerabilities and weaknesses that they can exploit and manipulate which gives them a sense of power and control.”

 

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Can Men And Women Be Just Friends? The Truth About Platonic Relationships

Here’s another post sent to me by one of my followers. I thought it was worth sharing!

Are we just constantly crushing on each other?

Can men and women be friends? Like just friends — no strings attached? No romantic feelings? This question is an age-old one that, it seems, is difficult to answer, but I can give you the answer right now:

Yes. Men and women can be friends without any complications whatsoever. And it’s genuinely counterintuitive for society to pretend otherwise.

Every television show, popular novel, and movie these days refuse to allow their male and female protagonists peace in a platonic relationship. There are Otis and Maeve in Sex Education, basically every possible relationship combination on Friends, Ron and Hermione in Harry Potter (and Harry and Ginny for that matter), Miles and Alaska in Looking for Alaska … I could go on.

Apart from these storylines being incredibly overdone to the point of monotony, they’re also unrealistic and harmful.

I would be remiss not to at least mention the sexist connotations of the idea that men and women cannot be friends. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that much of this concept comes from how society undervalues women.

Rather than being equal to men in a way that makes casual companionship a possibility, the overtone of this cultural phenomenon is that women can only exist in the male sphere through romantic or sexual means.

Obviously, contemporary media representations of strong female characters aim to dispel this kind of misogynistic thinking. However, with the continued nonexistence of full-stop friendship between men and women in media, the residue of this way of thinking is enough to make for discomfort in media consumption.

This relentless relationship building is also harmful to male representations — they perpetuate the narrative that men are only really after “one thing”, which is unfair to half the population, making men seem uncomplicated, aggressive, and unworthy of tenderness.

Apart from the obvious sexist significance of believing that men and women cannot be friends, this is also incredibly narrow-minded. Take into account how we treat children and young adults when they mingle across gender, for instance. Frankly, it’s embarrassing as a child to mention a new friend and immediately have your parents ask if that friend is a crush of yours. It’s intimidating.

As a kid, if my parents, siblings, or friends teased me about a boy I was spending time with, I instantly became unsure of where I stood with that boy. It made me nervous and kept me gridlocked in friendships with other girls. That’s not to say that having female friends is bad, but it would’ve been nice to be able to branch out a little more.

It wasn’t until high school that I started really expanding my horizons to include male friends who I never even considered potential romantic interests. In fact, I’m so comfortable with these friends that we joke about being together, both on the same page about how put-off we are by that idea.

Now, as a college student, half of my friends are guys. Turns out, we have more in common than divides us. Some of them have girlfriends who don’t seem to mind that their boyfriends are so close to their female friends. It’s really great, seeing as we get to talk about various world issues and concerns from two different perspectives. And understanding other perspectives is conducive to developing empathy and compassion.

In the end, gender lines are becoming a thing of the past, anyway. This distinction between male and female, femininity and masculinity, is no longer as viable a one to make.

Hopefully, that means that not as much weight will be put on gender in terms of friendship.

Sure, it’s okay to be romantically interested in one of your friends of a different gender, but these feelings also shouldn’t be taken for granted. Sooner or later, each of us has to figure out what kind of person we’d like to end up with romantically. Now, that doesn’t mean that anyone who doesn’t match that description gets the boot. Sometimes, you really are just better off as friends.

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

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Don’t Push Away a Girl Who Shows These 20 Signs She Cares About You

In everyone’s lives, there is the one who got away. If she’s showing you these 20 signs she cares about you, don’t let her go.

Have you recently met a girl and think she might be someone special? You’re probably a little confused about where her feelings stand. Don’t panic, it’s normal to experience these insecurities! To help you out, here are 20 signs she cares about you. If you notice a majority coming your way, she certainly is wanting the same thing as you.

20 subtle signs she cares about you a lot

If you want to meet someone on the same page as you and experience the deep connection only love can bring, your journey towards finding them can be full of pitfalls. The problem is, after a few false starts, recognizing a genuine person in your life can be tricky.

Finding real, true love can be difficult. We meet people who don’t want a relationship, people who say they do but don’t really those who simply want fun, and those who have no clue what they want deep down. Watch for these 20 signs she cares about you and see where you stand.

#1 She remembers small details about youIf you don’t mean anything to her, she wouldn’t bother remembering your birthday, favorite color, favorite meal, or the other small details which make you the person you are. This means you’re clearly in her brain. It’s a surefire sign she cares about you.

#2 She’s genuinely interested in how your day wentIf she doesn’t care, she won’t have the slightest interest in whether your day went well or not. If she always asks how your day was, and always asks if you’re alright, etc., that’s a great sign.

#3 She worries about you. Perhaps you have a headache, or maybe you didn’t sleep well the night before. Care means she will be worried about that to a degree. Okay, she’s not going to be full scale panicking, but she will be concerned, e.g. ‘make sure you get some sleep tonight, you look really tired.’

#4 She will give you advice. Most girls are great at giving out advice. Is she advising you on the best way forward, especially in terms of the future? This is a girl with your best interests at heart. Sure, if you only notice this one sign then there is a possibility that it’s a friendship deal. But, add in a few more signs, there’s definitely romance in the air!

#5 She wants to know about the people in your lifeIf she seems genuinely interested to learn about the important people you have in your life, such as your family and friends, that’s a great sign too. She could also be trying to find out more about them so that if she gets to meet them, she can impress them. Every girl wants to impress her partner’s parents and friends!

#6 She tries to help. If you have a problem, giving advice is one thing but actively doing something to help is quite another. A person who cares will jump in to help. If you notice that she actually does try and solve a problem of yours, or at least helps, that’s a sign she cares about you. 

#7 She’s happy when you’re happy. A girl doesn’t need to be an empath to pick up on your bad moods or other emotional cues. If you’re in a bad mood or feeling down, she’ll reflect it. On the flip-side, when you’re happy, she’s happy, and a true sign of affection.

#8 She acts selflessly around youA girl who cares about you will put your happiness a little in front of her own, not completely, but she will want you to be the one smiling. This can be something big or small, like giving you the last piece of chocolate cake, or missing out on a party because she knows you need her help with something.

#9 She encourages you to achieve. If she cares about you, she will want you to achieve and do great things in your life. She encourages you to go for opportunities and try new things. She will feel proud of you and be your biggest supporter.

#10 She lifts you up when you’re downPerhaps you’ve had a bad day at work. The big presentation didn’t go as well as you’d hoped. If she really cares about you, she will be the one giving you the pep talk, lifting you up, and pushing you to try again.

#11 She does her best to make time for youIt’s impossible for her to drop everything for you all the time *and quite frankly, why should she?*. But a girl who cares about you will do her best to prioritize you in her schedule. This means fitting you in whenever she can. Maybe she has a pre-arranged dinner with friends in her diary, but she’ll meet you before or afterward, just to see you.

#12 She lets you know you’re on her mindIf she’s out with friends, working late, or away, you’ll probably receive texts from her. Simply to let you know that you’re on her mind. These texts won’t be anything important, just a reason to reach out. This is certainly one of the best signs she cares about you.

#13 She laughs at your jokes, even when they’re not funnyIf a girl cares, she will laugh at your jokes, even if they’re terrible. She will also sit through your long stories, just because she likes to hear you talk. She likes to see you become so animated when talking about something from your past.

#14 She will still make fun of you. There’s an old story that you ‘pull the pigtails of the one you love.’ That basically means that boys are mean to girls on the playground because they actually like them. This can work for girls too! If a girl is always making fun of you in a playful and affectionate way, she cares!

#15 She doesn’t play gamesA girl who cares about you won’t be interested in playing games. She doesn’t want you to misunderstand or get hurt accidentally. She will reply to your texts in a timely manner and be honest with you.

#16 She does her best to remember the things you like and don’t likeI mentioned earlier about her remembering small details. But if she specifically remembers the things you like and don’t like, that’s a great sign. For instance, she’ll cook a meal but she will leave out the mushrooms because you hate them.

#17 She will look at you, simply because she canIf you notice your girl just looking at you with a coy smile on her face, she cares about you. Sure, it’s also a sign of attraction, but there is a difference between looking at you with passion and looking at you simply because she wants to.

#18 She apologizes when she is wrongA girl who doesn’t care about you won’t bother to apologize if she does something wrong or unintentionally hurts you. One of the biggest signs she cares about you is that she will say ‘sorry’ when she knows she is in the wrong.

#19 She will get angry with you occasionallyProbably over the smallest things, your girl will certainly get angry with you if she cares. Anger is an emotion. When someone we don’t care about does something, we shrug it off. If someone we care about does something, we get upset and angry. It’s a contradiction, but it’s certainly a sign!

#20 She will always defend you. Your girl will always be your biggest supporter. If she hears someone talking about you, she will defend you to within an inch of her life. This is a surefire sign she cares.

Nodding along to many of these suggestions? These are true signs she cares about you. In that case, keep hold of her and give her the same signs back. She’s a keeper!

 

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 Have a Casual Relationship Without Getting Hurt or Betrayed

If you’re wondering how to have a casual relationship without getting hurt, it’s not easy. Be sure of your decision, and approach with caution.

I don’t want you getting hurt needlessly in a casual relationship gone bad. And the hurt occurs whatever side of the coin you’re on! Follow these 12 not-so-easy ways for how to have a casual relationship without getting hurt.

Sometimes a person is placed in your path who you want to be with badly. This feeling might push you to do something you would advise someone else not to do. For example, embarking on a casual relationship that has no chance of going anywhere, simply for the pay off of getting to spend time with that person.

You might tell yourself that they’ll change their mind. They’ll want to be with you once they get to know you properly.

This is a common situation. In fact, most people have been in it at some point. I know I have. The thing is, casual relationships take a certain amount of strength and emotional control, otherwise you risk of getting hurt.

The best of intentions can still land you with hurt

Okay, I’ll admit, sometimes someone tells you they want a casual relationship because they have no clue what they really want. After spending a certain amount of time in this casual relationship, they develop feelings and want a real relationship.

I’m not going to lie and say that it doesn’t happen. It does. The problem is, holding out for this possibility is a risk.

Most people who say they want a casual relationship say this because that’s exactly what they want—no commitment. Entering into this type of relationship with the hope that it will become more risks wasting precious time that you could be spending with someone who wants the same things as you.

Lecture over. If you’re sure that you want to go into this casual relationship, do so with your eyes open. Maybe you don’t know what you want right now. You think a casual relationship might be just what you need to give your life a spot of excitement while you figure things out. If that’s the case, and you’re sure, go for it.

How to have a casual relationship without getting hurt… hopefully

Before I delve into this, I want to state here and now that following these steps doesn’t mean you’re going to avoid any type of emotional distress. Casual relationships are hard if you develop feelings. That’s my disclaimer, now let’s explore a little more.

#1 Understand what you’re getting into from the start. Know your starting point in order to be able to handle this type of arrangement. That’s what it is, an arrangement that means you spend time with someone, with no promise of an emotional attachment. Give yourself a good talking to and be firm in your knowledge that this is not the start of a big love affair.

#2 Know yourself—can you handle this without developing feelings? If you’re someone who easily gets attached after sex or develops feelings quickly, this type of arrangement will end in tears. Rule number one for now to have a casual relationship without getting hurt is know yourself. If you’re sure you can handle it and feelings won’t come into the equation, go for it. If you’re not sure, approach with severe caution.

#3 Have a serious conversationNobody wants to have a serious sit down conversation with someone about where something might lead. But, if you want to be sure of what you’re actually going to be getting into, know the facts. Ask this person what they want. Do they want a relationship in the future? Do they want to be single but have perks, e.g. friend with benefits?

Make sure they’re being open and honest with you. Then do the same with them. Knowing the facts will be the basis of your journey into how to have a casual relationship without getting hurt in the end.

#4 Ask yourself if you could handle seeing them with someone else? If you were out walking and you bumped into them with another person, how would you feel? Would it knock the air out of your lungs?

If you do see this, they’re not doing anything wrong because they haven’t made an exclusive commitment to you. Casual means exactly that no strings.

#5 Don’t allow them to become your worldDon’t cancel plans with your friends or family to see this person. If you start doing that, you make them an important part of your life. Feelings are developing or aren’t far behind. Casual means that you see them when you have nothing else to do, it doesn’t mean you make firm plans and cancel your life for them. The chances are they’re not going to be doing this for you either.

#6 Don’t mix your circle of friendsNever introduce this person to your regular circle of friends, and make sure that you keep it all separate. If you start mixing your groups, things will get muddy and difficult when things eventually end. And they will at some point. By having a separate outlet, i.e. your social group, you avoid them becoming too important in your life.

#7 Always practice safe sexOf course, it goes without saying that any sex you have with this person should be ultra-safe. STIs and pregnancy aren’t things that go well in casual relationships. These things tend to be life changing and that’s not the point of an arrangement such as this.

Put your health and your future first. Keep everything safe and protected.

#8 Don’t think about milestonesIf you start to think “oh, it’s three months since we met,” you’re entering rocky ground. Avoid typical relationship milestones and don’t allow them to enter your mind. Save these types of milestones for relationships that have a future, unions that mean something to you in the future.

It might sound cold, and it could be that you have a friendships with this person you’re being all casual with, but if you want to save your heart, be a little aloof and distant.

#9 Do not give it a labelThis isn’t a relationship, so don’t call it one. I’m referring to it as a ‘casual relationship’ but I don’t mean it in the traditional sense. You’re not together, you’re not one half of a union. You’re not in a situation which has a ‘let’s see what happens.’ No, you’ve chosen to be in an arrangement that is super-casual. That’s all it is.

#10 Keep everything as light as possibleIt’s not the best idea to talk to your casual buddy about emotional things or anything heavy going on in your life. If you do, you enter emotional territory which signals danger for your heart. Keep everything light and fun, and if you can do that, this arrangement might turn out to be a welcome distraction from the heavier things in life.

#11 Limit your meetings to a minimum. What your minimum is depends on you. It’s a good idea to limit how much you see this person, to avoid the feelings creep. A couple of times a week is certainly enough, but less if you can manage it.

Generally speaking, the more time you spend with someone, the more likely you develop an attachment on an emotional level. That’s not how to have a casual relationship without getting hurt!

#12 Know your limits and walk away if you start to feel. Be honest with yourself and know when it’s time to walk away. Most casual relationships are great for a time. Then they run out of steam naturally, or someone walks away because they develop feelings. It’s rare that a casual relationship becomes a great love affair. Not impossible, but a huge risk to hold onto that idea.

If you start to feel the bubble of emotion, do yourself a favor and quit while ahead.

Understanding how to have a casual relationship without getting hurt really comes down to knowing yourself and your limits. Be honest, open, and don’t hope for more than promised.

 

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

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6 Questions To Ask On A First Date, According To Experts

First dates are nerve-wracking — that’s something everyone can agree on, right? And in the age of internet dating, even though you can find out a lot of information about someone online, for better or worse, you never really get a feel for a person until you meet them. And of course, that is just the beginning! If you’re unsure of the best way to get to know a potential lover from the get-go, there are some good questions to ask on the first date that might help to figure out if you’re compatible.

“A simple question can lead to a conversation that takes its own course, with little effort from either of you,” Dr. Carissa Coulston, a clinical psychologist, and the main author of relationship articles for The Eternity Rose, tells Bustle. For the sake of nurturing an initial conversation, keep things to the basics at first. “Helpful and neutral questions revolve around work or career interests, hobbies, sport, music and family — these are typically non-contentious.”

And what you might want to avoid? Coulston says generally to steer to left of asking about ex-relationships, or probing into any problems that your date might have briefly referred to, like issues they had with their parents when they were a child.

“Of course, these more personal topics can be discussed between the two of you down the track if your relationship should progress,” Coulston says.

Ultimately, you can talk about whatever you want, and you might have much easier and deeper conversations on some first dates than on others. Below, a few experts shed light on some good initial questions that can give you a peak into a person.

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

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