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18 Science-Backed Ways Men Can Appear More Attractive To Women

  • Romantic attraction is complicated.
  • Lucky for us, scientists have generated insights over the years into what might make men attractive to women.
  • Men who look older, sport a light beard, or do volunteer work are generally considered more appealing.

Romantic attraction is a complicated thing that scientists still don’t completely understand.

But, through research and experimentation, they’ve come up with many ideas about what draws one person to another.

Below, Business Insider has rounded up some of the most compelling scientific insights about the traits and behaviors that make men more appealing to women.

None of the items on this list require you to get cosmetic surgery or do a major personality overhaul; we’re talking small tweaks, like acting nicer and swapping your deodorant.

Read on for simple ways to step up your dating game.

Look for the universal signals of flirtation.

wolf of wall street margot robbie

Mary Cybulski/Paramount Pictures

Rutgers University anthropologist and best-selling author Helen E. Fisher says that women around the world signal interest with a remarkably similar sequence of expressions.

It goes like this:

“First the woman smiles at her admirer and lifts her eyebrows in a swift, jerky motion as she opens her eyes wide to gaze at him. Then she drops her eyelids, tilts her head down and to the side, and looks away. Frequently she also covers her face with her hands, giggling nervously as she retreats behind her palms.

“This sequential flirting gesture is so distinctive that [German ethologist Irenaus] Eibl-Eibesfeldt was convinced it is innate, a human female courtship ploy that evolved eons ago to signal sexual interest.”

Look for someone “in your league.”

Master of None

Netflix

Men — and women — are attracted to people who are as attractive as they are.

In one study from 2011, researchers at the University of California at Berkeley looked at the behavior of 60 heterosexual male and 60 heterosexual female users on an online dating site.

While the majority of users were inclined to reach out to highly attractive people, they were most likely to get a response if that person was about as attractive as they were (as judged by independent raters).

“If you go for someone roughly [equal] to you in attractiveness, it avoids two things,” Nottingham Trent University psychologist Mark Sergeant, who was not involved with the study, told The Independent. “If they are much better-looking than you, you are worried about them going off and having affairs. If they are much less attractive, you are worried that you could do better.”

Many men are delusional of their own worth. Many aim too high but fail to realize they lack the ability to acquire a woman that is far out of their league.

Present yourself as high status.

Bentley Continental GT

Bentley

A 2010 study from the University of Wales Institute found that men pictured with a Silver Bentley Continental GT were perceived as way more attractive than those pictures with a Red Ford Fiesta ST.

And a 2014 study from Cardiff Metropolitan University found that men pictured in a luxury apartment were rated more attractive than those in a control group.

Interestingly, men don’t seem to be more attracted to women when they’re pictured in a high-status context.

Grow a light beard.

david beckham beard

Larry Marano / Getty

In a 2013 study from the University of New South Wales, researchers had 177 heterosexual men and 351 heterosexual women look at images of 10 men in one of four conditions: clean-shaven, light stubble, heavy stubble, or full beard. Participants rated the men pictured on several traits, including attractiveness.

Women said the most attractive beard length was heavy stubble.

“Facial hair correlates not only with maturity and masculinity, but also with dominance and aggression,” write authors Barnaby J. Dixson and Robert C. Brooks.

“An intermediate level of beardedness is most attractive,” they add.

Build muscle (but not too much).

Steph Curry

Ezra Shaw/Getty

In a 2007 study from University of California, Los Angeles, 286 women looked at pictures of shirtless men and indicated which ones seemed like they would make the best long- and short-term partners.

Results showed that women were more likely to want short-term relationships with the guys who had big muscles.

The evolutionary signal that might be at work here?

Characteristics like muscularity are “cues of genes that increase offspring viability or reproductive success,” say authors David A. Frederick and Martie G. Haselton.

But Frederick and Haselton took away another telling finding: Less-muscular men were thought to be a better fit for long-term relationships. So if you want to catch a woman’s eye and hold her attention, you may be better off not going overboard.

Be kind.

ryan gosling omg

Rommel Demano / Getty

One of the best documented findings in psychology is the halo effect, a bias where you unconsciously take one aspect of somebody as a proxy for their overall character. It’s why we think beautiful people are good at their jobs, even when they aren’t necessarily.

As psychologist and writer Scott Barry Kaufman notes, the halo effect works in other ways, too.

In a 2014 Chinese study, more than 100 young people looked at images of men and women’s faces and rated them on attractiveness. Each face pictured was paired with a word that described either a positive personality trait — like kindness or honesty — or a negative personality trait, like being evil or mean.

Results showed that the people described with positive traits were rated more attractive.

“Even though beauty is an assessment of fitness value, there is no reason why assessment of fitness needs to be purely physical,” Kaufman writes, meaning that acting kind can make you appear more attractive.

Wear red.

will smith red

Mike Coppola / Getty

A 2010 cross-cultural study — with participants from China, England, Germany, and the US — found that women are most attracted to men wearing red.

In one experiment from the study, 55 female undergrads looked at a color photo of a man in either a red or green shirt, and then rated the man’s attractiveness.

Sure enough, the man was rated significantly more attractive when he was wearing a red shirt. The results were similar when researchers compared the red shirt to other color shirts as well.

Interestingly, participants generally weren’t aware that the man’s clothing color was influencing their perceptions of his attractiveness.

Make your partner laugh.

couple on date

Shutterstock

Multiple studies indicate that women are more attracted to men who can make them laugh. Interestingly, men generally aren’t more attracted to women who can make them laugh.

In one 2006 study published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior, researchers asked undergraduate students (who didn’t indicate their sexual orientation) to say how much they valued a partner’s ability to make them laugh and their own ability to make their partner laugh.

Results showed that women valued both their partner’s sense of humor and their own ability to make their partner laugh; men valued only their own ability to make their partner laugh.

Walk a dog.

Dog

Fiona Goodall/Getty Images

In a 2014 experiment from the Ruppin Academic Center in Israel and the University of Michigan, 100 Israeli women read vignettes about men.

Some of the men were described as “cads”: They would cheat on their partner and get into fights. The other men were described as stereotypical “dads”: They would work hard at their job and take good care of their kids.

Whenever the story featured a cad who owned a dog, women rated that man as a more suitable long-term partner than a cad who didn’t own a dog. Cads with dogs were even rated slightly more attractive than dads with dogs.

The researchers concluded that owning a pet signals that you’re nurturing and capable of making long-term commitments. It can also help you appear more relaxed, approachable, and happy.

Play good music.

ed sheeran

Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP

In a 2014 study, researchers at the University of Sussex asked about 1,500 women (whose average age was 28) to listen to simple and complex pieces of music and rate the attractiveness of the composer.

The results showed that women preferred the more complex music, and said they would choose the composer of the more complex music as a long-term partner.

Practice mindfulness.

In 2015, Australian researchers studied undergrads participating in a speed-dating session, and found that mindful men tended to receive higher attractiveness ratings from women.

Before the session began, 91 students were asked to fill out a mindfulness questionnaire in which they indicated how much they agreed with statements like:

  • “I perceive my feelings and emotions without having to react to them.”
  • “I notice changes in my body, such as whether my breathing slows down or speeds up.”
  • “I’m good at finding the words to describe my feelings.”

After each interaction with an opposite-sex partner, students privately indicated how “sexy” they found their partner and how much they’d like to date that person.

Results showed that men were generally more drawn to physically attractive women. (Independent coders had rated the students’ attractiveness beforehand.) But women were generally more attracted to mindful men.

Play extreme sports (carefully).

Hiking up a snowy mountain skiing

Doug Pensinger, Getty Images

A 2014 study led by researchers at the University of Alaska at Anchorage found that women are attracted to men who take what the researchers call “hunter-gatherer risks.”

More than 230 undergrads filled out questionnaires about how attractive they would find a partner who engaged in certain risky behaviors, as opposed to a partner who engaged in low- or no-risk behaviors.

Hunter-gatherer risks included mountain biking, deep-sea scuba diving, and extreme rollerblading. “Modern” risks included plagiarizing an academic paper, casually handling chemicals in a lab, and not updating the virus-protection software on your computer.

Low- and no-risk behaviors included biking along paved paths and carefully handling chemicals in a chemistry-lab class.

Results showed that women said they would be more attracted to men who engaged in hunter-gatherer risks — the kinds that were similar to risks faced by ancestral humans. Women said they would be less attracted to men who engaged in modern risks, which might seem just plain dumb.

Wear a scented deodorant.

Simply knowing that you’re wearing a new fragrance can make you act more confident, and even make you seem more attractive to other people.

In a small 2009 study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, researchers gave one group of male undergraduates a spray with antimicrobial ingredients and fragrance oil, and provided another group with an unscented spray that didn’t contain antimicrobial ingredients. Over the next few days, the men who used the scented spray reported higher self-confidence and felt more attractive.

The strange part? When a group of women were shown silent videos of the men, they found those who were wearing scented spray more attractive, even though they obviously couldn’t smell them. The researchers determined that the men using the scented spray displayed more confident behavior, which in turn made them more attractive.

Chow down on garlic.

Ken Christopher holds a garlic plant at Christopher Ranch in Gilroy, California, U.S., March 29, 2019. Picture taken March 29, 2019. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Ken Christopher holds a garlic plant at Christopher Ranch in Gilroy 
Reuters

The smell of garlic on your breath is generally regarded as an instant romance killer. But a series of studies from researchers at Charles University and the National Institute of Mental Health in the Czech Republic and the University of Stirling in the United Kingdom suggests a different story when it comes to body odor.

In one study, eight men ate a slice of bread with cheese and 12 grams of fresh garlic; another eight ate bread and cheese without any garlic. For the next 12 hours, the men wore cotton pads under their armpits and were instructed not to use any deodorants or fragrances.

The following day, all the men returned to the lab, where 40 women sniffed the pads and rated the odor on pleasantness, attractiveness, masculinity, and intensity. Results showed that the garlic group was rated more pleasant and attractive and less masculine and intense.

Do volunteer work.

Diego Prada (C), Maria Luisa Pombo (L) and other volunteers of the Make The Difference (Haz La Diferencia) charity initiative prepare soup to be donated, at Maria Luisa's kitchen in Caracas, Venezuela March12, 2017. Picture taken March 12, 2017. REUTERS/Marco Bello

Thomson Reuters

A 2013 study from UK researchers found that women find men more appealing when they do volunteer work.

About 30 women looked at a picture of a man with a brief description of his hobbies, which sometimes included volunteer work. The same procedure was repeated with about 30 men looking at a picture of a woman. Everyone rated how attractive they found the person pictured for a short- and long-term relationship.

Both genders rated the person pictured as more attractive for a long-term relationship when they were described as a volunteer — but the effect was stronger for women rating men.

Show off your scars.

Heidi Klum Seal Thumbnail

Getty

That scar on your chin from when you fell off a bike could help you attract a mate.

In a 2009 study, researchers at the University of Liverpool and the University of Stirling took photos of 24 male and 24 female undergrads. They digitally manipulated half of the images so the subjects appeared to have facial scars — for example, a line on the person’s forehead that looked like the result of an injury.

Then the researchers recruited another group of about 200 heterosexual male and female undergrads to rate all the people pictured based on attractiveness for both short- and long-term relationships.

Results showed that men with scars appeared slightly more attractive for short-term relationships than men without scars. Women, on the other hand, were perceived as equally attractive regardless of whether they had scarred faces.

Use open body language in your online dating photo.

flirting

Getty Images

A 2016 study — from researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, Stanford University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Northwestern University — suggests that we’re more attracted to people who display expansive body language.

In one experiment included in the study, the researchers created profiles for three men and three women on a GPS-based dating app.

In one set of profiles, the men and women were pictured in contractive positions — for example, by crossing their arms or hunching their shoulders.

In the other set of profiles, the same men and women were pictured in expansive positions, like holding their arms upward in a “V” or reaching out to grab something.

Results showed that people in expansive postures were selected as potential dates more often than those in contractive postures. This effect was slightly larger for women selecting men.

Look proud.

Oscars

AP/Jordan Strauss

A 2011 University of British Columbia study revealed a curious finding: heterosexual men and women prefer different emotional expressions on potential mates.

In one experiment included in the study, researchers had nearly 900 North American adults look at photos of opposite-sex individuals online.

The researchers were specifically comparing people’s perceptions of expressions of pride, happiness, shame, and neutrality (other people had already identified the emotion behind the expression in the photo). For women evaluating men, the most appealing expression was pride, and the least appealing was happiness.

Even weirder, an expression of shame was relatively attractive on both men and women.

 

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

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18 Things Women Find Irresistible About Their Man

One would assume that if you’re in a happy, healthy relationship and were given a challenge to name 5 things you found irresistible about your mate in 30 seconds you could do it, right? Ok I did start this blog with the word assume – so I’m assuming you could.  But guys if you’re reading this, I somehow happened upon 18 things women find irresistible. So, you’re welcome if any of these helps you out:

  • Own a pair of really nice shoes and actually wear them.
  • Brush the hair out of their eyes.
  • Are able to hold a baby or push a stroller without squirming.
  • Plan an evening out from soup to nuts, from finding a movie to making the dinner reservations.
  • Kiss creatively.
  • Handle our emotions with grace and compassion.
  • Have impassioned, informed opinions about women writers and women’s issues.
  • Can distinguish between being courteous and being wimpy.
  • Know how to inscribe a card with a heartfelt, personal message.
  • Demonstrate respect for others by standing up when your mother comes to the table, giving up a seat on the bus for a pregnant woman, asking your dad for his opinion and really listening, etc.
  • Show genuine, platonic interest in your female friends’ lives.
  • Are playful around dogs, cats and kids.
  • Make the bed in the morning and fold the laundry — competently.
  • Offer juice, soup and TLC when we’re sick.
  • Do the come-from-behind cuddle-hug, just to say hello.
  • Remember insignificant details, like our favorite color or flower, and make use of that knowledge.
  • Are unfailingly polite to all members of the service industries.
  • Offer us caresses and compliments for no particular reason.

Ladies, do you agree? Does your man already do any of these? You’d think some would be a given. And I’ll be honest; I can’t wait to read your comments! Be sure to sound off. As always, thanks for stopping by my blog today! – Chaz

 

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

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If Your Guy Constantly Criticizes You About These 4 Things, Break It Off

Relationships, even the best ones, are not always perfect. They are filled with conflict, and it’s important to recognize that fighting in a relationship is completely normal. But there are some conflicts that should be considered red flags — namely, when your partner criticizes you for certain things. Of course, criticism comes in different forms, and not all of it is harmful. But some forms of criticism can have a lasting negative effect, not just on a relationship, but on your fundamental sense of self. Once you recognize these things, it’s important to evaluate the effect it can have on you and your relationship.

Relationship and etiquette expert April Masini explains to Elite Daily, “When criticism is really just about preferring meat cooked well done, not rare — and not about a global criticism like, ‘You’re the worst cook I’ve ever met’ — it’s harmless. But when a partner uses criticism as a tool to maintain a power dynamic, there’s abuse underfoot. Stinging, chronic criticism can be abusive if the point of the comments are to make the person feel bad about themselves and to manipulate them that way.”

1. Your Appearance

“Any criticism that has to do with body image is generally a touchy area,” says Masini. “For instance, height, freckles, big breasts, small breasts, big rear end, small rear end, waist size, hair, nose, skin tone — these are all areas that people tend to concern themselves with about their own bodies, and they worry about how they may appear to others.”

Masini explains that partners want to feel like they’re attractive to each other, so criticizing their appearance can have a negative effect on the relationship as a whole.

Angry unhappy young couple ignoring not looking at each other after family fight or quarrel, upset thoughtful spouses avoiding talk, sitting silently on couch, having relationship troubles.

Shutterstock

2. Your Family

Masini says if you’re dating someone who criticizes your family — your parents, your siblings, or your kids (if you have them) — you should take into consideration how that makes you feel and the effect it has on you.

“It’s very tough to do this, but when possible, avoid or at least limit any criticism of these family members and these relationships,” says Masini. “They’re too close to the heart … to be taken objectively.”

Family stuff can complicate relationships, especially when you vent about your family issues to your partner. This can make it easy for your partner to criticize your family alongside you, but if a line is crossed, it’s important to speak up.

3. Your Personal Traits

You can’t change the way you were brought up and the life experiences you had that shaped who you are today.

“Personal traits like being late, not being well-read or well-educated, having a different religion or culture of origin, coming from a different socioeconomic group, or being either ‘low class’ or ‘uppity’ are very bad arenas in which to criticize a partner,” says Masini. “People can’t change their pasts, and criticizing a partner for being ill-bred or uncultured presents a tough fix for the person hearing this.”

As Clinical Csychologist Dr. Joshua Klapow, Ph.D, previously told Elite Daily, “When feedback is directed at your character, your personality, or who you are vs. what you are doing, then the feedback is becoming criticism. When you feel like you don’t want to hear from your partner, or when you are avoiding them or your interactions so you won’t be criticized, it is time to take action.”

4. Your Career

If your partner makes you feel bad about your career — whether it’s because they wish you were wealthier, don’t approve of what you’re doing, or want you to be more well-known in your field — it may be a red flag.

Masini says lots of people value themselves based on how well they’re doing in their careers, so if your partner criticizes you for your work, it may end up hurting your self-esteem – and that’s not good. It’s particularly terrible when your partner decides you’re not successful enough or making enough money for them. Your partner should keep these kinds of complains to themselves, “or date someone who has a better chance of the kind of success that is important to [them],” says Masini.

Your partner may criticize you for your career if money becomes an issue in your relationship, especially if you live together. They might feel so stressed by the lack of funds that it can create a negative environment for your relationship. “Collateral damage occurs when partners feel devalued in a relationship and look outside that marriage or partnership for sex, love, and self esteem,” says Masini.

 

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3 Undeniable Signs He’s Falling In Love With You

Plus signs women read completely wrong.

There is nothing worse than being in a relationship and having to figure out the “does he love me” question.

Thankfully, I’ve got your back: I’m going to show you how to find out if he loves you, as well as techniques you can use to make him fall in love with you even more.

First, how can you tell your guy is maybe, just possibly falling for you?

Here are 3 undeniable signs a man is falling in love:

1. He’s super awkward or nervous around you.

Sometimes guys are just terrible at dealing with their emotions. They simply don’t know how to be chill around girls they like.

So instead of being helpful, fun and trying to win you over, he may act completely the opposite. He may get super quiet around you, not engage you like he engages all his other friends and generally clam up and get awkward around you.

Maybe there’s been a guy you really adored and you clammed up and got awkward when you were around him? It’s almost like your love for him can strangle your ability to act normal.

Acting like he adores you or acting very nervous around you are the two big behavior signs you should look out for when asking yourself does he love me.

2. He treats you great.

This is the big obvious one that you shouldn’t miss. If your man is doing things that make it clear he loves you, like constantly staring at you, trying to make you laugh, doing really nice things for you, or helping you with things all the time, then there is a large chance that he’s also in love with you.

Note: Now if the guy is like this with everyone he meets and knows, then you can take it that he may not be in love with you. But if he clearly treats you differently to his other girl friends, then it’s a strong sign he likes you

3. He goes out of his way for you and only you.

A massive sign that he loves you is when he goes out of his way to do something for you, but he doesn’t do the same for other friends/co-workers/buddies.

Often guys can be complete jerks and totally inconsiderate to your feelings. So if you notice a guy who is normally a jerk to everyone treat you like a total princess, then it’s a pretty big sign he likes you and possibly is even in love with you.

Important note: Do not confuse small kindnesses and courtesies as a guy being interested.

Often you may be crazy about a guy and be hoping he feels the same way about you. This can often make your mind play tricks on you trying to make you believe that he feels the same way about you.

Sometimes women can look for the tiniest things guys do and try to turn them into big, massive indicators in their heads that a man is in love with them. Have you ever found yourself doing this?

Here are a few examples of what I’m talking about:

  • That guy you’re crazy about said hello this morning: It’s certainly nice, but it definitely doesn’t mean he’s in love with you.
  • He liked one of your Facebook posts: Again, it’s nice, but it’s such a small act that it certainly isn’t a sign that he’s crazy in love with you.
  • He touched you that one time you were talking to him: This guy may happen to be super touchy-feely or maybe he’s not. But touching you just once or twice while talking isn’t a big sign you should watch for when figuring out does he love me.

As you can see from these examples, just one of these things occurring should not be cause for celebration, they unfortunately aren’t signs that he loves you. However, if you find more than one of them happening every single day, then there is a much higher chance that he’s into you.

So, how can you make him fall in love with you?

I want to be really honest here. It’s a tough thing to do. I hate these articles that say you can magically make any guy fall in love with these simple three steps.

The reality is that it’s much more complicated than taking “three magic steps” to making a guy fall in love.

Some guys just aren’t ready.

Some guys have been crushed by a girl previously and are now bitter towards the idea of love.

And some guys just don’t want anything serious.

The most important thing to do is to figure out if he is ready to fall in love in the first place.

If he isn’t at that stage in his life where he is ready to fall in love, then it will be similar to attempting to make a rock fall in love with you: impossible.

But if you’re lucky and do find a guy who’s ready, then it’s a simple case of spending time together, making sure you both have shared interests and making sure that you feel a mutual attraction for each other.

But that’s not all; you also need to keep him on his toes and keep a healthy tension between you both in order to keep it fun and exciting for both of you.

 

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Why Men Pull Away & How To Make Him Chase You Again

And what you absolutely should not do if you want him back.

In today’s dating culture, things between two people often start out very well, and then suddenly, the connection begins evaporating into thin air.

You might be dating a guy right now who suddenly seems distant every time things seem to be going well between the two of you, leaving you to wonder if your relationship is doomed, or if there’s something you can do about it.

Understanding why men pull away after getting close will help you know how to respond to make him chase you again and get your relationship back on track.

The first thing to know is that the number one reason men pull away from good women they seemed to be falling in love with is fear.

Okay, but fear of what?

You were having so much fun together! You have so much in common and every date was full of laughter, flirtation, and those butterflies in your stomach.

Then, just when you believed you could really see this going somewhere, he began pulling away.

Now, he’s much harder to reach and he takes more time responding to your texts, and he’s rarely available to see you. When you do speak or see him, he seems distant, if not a bit cold, and you have no idea what happened or what you might have said to cause this shift.

Sometimes his fear has nothing to do with you at all but is based on negative experiences in his past.

These may be issues related to independence or insecurities.

He may simply be too emotionally immature to handle the depths of intimacy you were entering together.

Or he may still be worrying about issues from a previous relationship in which they didn’t share the same value. Or maybe she was never physically attracted to him or thought his personality was too over-the-top, and he’s concerned that you feel the same way.

Many men’s minds work a bit differently than women’s. Not to over-generalize, but men often have trouble pinpointing exactly what is that’s turning them off. What’s more, whatever it is might have nothing to do with you, and yet he genuinely may not be able to put his finger on what it is that drives him away.

Additionally, many men pull away because the idea of a serious relationship freaks them out, plain and simple.

This can be because of past heartbreak, insecurity stemming from childhood, or trauma. They may have once been taught or convinced they’re not good enough and have since struggled with allowing themselves to be vulnerable.

And sometimes, it’s simply because they realize they prefer to remain single and free.

So, is he scared of being tied down, or is he scared of being in love?

Some men pull away the moment they realize that they’re developing real feelings for you. Unfortunately, this can also happen at the very moment you’re realizing that you’re developing real feelings for them!

This fear of love happens because suddenly there are important stakes involved.

They begin worrying about potential outcomes of the relationship, and this affects their behavior. They become nervous, which leads to uncomfortable feelings of vulnerability many people don’t know how to handle.

At the same time, you may have begun fantasizing about your future together.

In doing so, you become more attached to the happy outcomes you hope for and begin feeling anxious at the thought of losing out on your dream now that it feels so close. As a result, you’re no longer in the present moment of getting to know him, fixating instead on how he feels about you — and this will affect your behavior around him.

Generally speaking, people don’t react positively to shifts from spending time with someone who has a fun, charming personality to being with someone who always seems to be searching for reassurance.

When you recognize someone that you really like — someone who makes you feel good — it’s normal to want to latch on. This often happens without you even realizing it, but it changes your vibe.

Guys can pick up on this.

He might not be able to pinpoint what it is exactly, but he might begin thinking of you as clingy. When a guy feels you’re trying too hard to make things official and tie him down, he might panic and pull away.

How should you respond to a man who’s pulling away and even appears on the verge of ghosting you?

When you’re still in the seduction phase with someone, the most important thing is holding onto your self-confidence.

Confidence is key, and here’s why:

  • If you want to seduce a man with whom you’d like to construct a solid relationship, you’ve got to highlight your true personality. Too many people make the mistake of playing a role in order to make someone fall for them, and it always backfires because as soon as the other person realizes you weren’t being genuine.
  • Being truly confident keeps you safe from appearing to be needy or clingy, which are characteristics that may cause someone to run for the hills, especially if it’s early in a budding relationship.

Here are three steps to take when you notice him pulling away:

1. Focus on yourself

When a man pulls away, your first line of action is switching your focus away from him and back to the task of creating and living the life of your dreams. Make headway on your professional projects and goals. Go to the gym and get those endorphins flowing. Spend time having fun with your friends. Try new things.

And, of course, don’t be afraid to post pictures or status updates on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat about all the fantastic things you have going on in your life. Stop reaching out to him quite as much, and give him the opportunity to wonder what you’re up to.

Social media can be an incredible tool for presenting yourself in a positive light — just be sure the light you’re presenting yourself in is authentic.

People who are living life to the fullest and are happy with themselves leave a lasting impression, and that’s exactly what you want to do with your new, if currently distant, love interest!

2. Make yourself less accessible

You need to be a challenge. Instead of obsessing on why he doesn’t seem as interested as he did, make sure he sees images of you and how life with you would be that make it practically impossible for him to resist. You don’t have to cut ties and disappear, but reach out to him less and make him wonder where you’ve gone. Don’t ignore his messages, but let him make the first move more often than you do.

By the way, this isn’t something you should stop doing once your relationship gets back on track. The way to make a man fall in love and stay in love with you is by maintaining a fantastic life he longs to be part of.

3. Let him know where you stand

Men who pull away aren’t used to being called out on this type of behavior. In fact, no one is. That’s why we see so much ghosting in the realm of dating and relationships today.

As you embark on your mission of staying busy building your self-esteem and living your best life, text him something like this:

“Hey, it feels like you’re a bit unsure of what you want right now. It’s totally fine, but I’m going to take some distance.”

You don’t have to use these words verbatim, but avoid adding anything like, “So let me know when you’re free, because I’d love to see you again!”

Ending your message like this would put all the power back in his hands. You want to assert yourself with him while also reminding yourself that you are in control of what happens in your own life.

By texting him a message like this, you’re not trying to play detective or figure out what’s going on, you’re just stating the obvious. So be careful with your wording and make sure not to phrase things in a way that gives away your power. All you’re doing is reminding him you don’t need him and making sure he knows you aren’t going to wait around.

Men, just like women, find the opposite of clingy behavior extremely attractive.

Now that you know what you should do when he pulls away, what should you not do?

The more he pulls away, the closer you’ll want to get. When your last twenty text messages and phone calls were left on read or unanswered, you’ll want to keep trying until you finally get a response.

It’s understandable that his distance feels so incredibly frustrating. You’ve been spending so much time together, and now it’s not even a breakup — just sheer, utter and unexplained solitude — but you have to control yourself,

Whatever you do, do not blow up this person’s phone! Give him space and avoid initiating conversations for a while.

If you want the chance to get the ball rolling on a relationship with him again, avoid making these common mistakes:

  • Do not harass him. Harassing him won’t do any good. Sometimes, it isn’t even communication you really want; it’s just a response. But nobody wants to talk to someone who makes them feel suffocated. Let some time pass before reaching out again.
  • Don’t spy on him. And please don’t send your friends to spy on him either, or worse, try to get information out of him for you.
  • Don’t put him on a pedestal. It’s normal to forget about someone’s flaws when you’re missing them, but don’t fool yourself into thinking he’s any better or more worthy than you are. Focus on yourself right now.
  • Don’t ask his friends about him. Word travels, you know.

It’s important to not allow your emotions to make you act in a disrespectful manner toward the person you have your eye on.

Above all, the fact that he isn’t picking up should never result in you insulting or threatening him.

You may feel overwhelmed by the desire to tell them everything that’s on your mind that you find it hard to control how the words comes out, but you don’t want to wind up in this type of situation. Making this kind of irreparable mistake may give him a real reason to never contact you again.

Despite your frustration, it’s essential to keep your cool and not blow up at him. And when you do speak, stay focused on keeping the dialogue constructive.

Making it through this period will require a lot of patience from you, but you’ll be fine.

Filling your schedule and saying busy will help you keep things in perspective.

 

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5 Mistakes Most Women Make When Dating Divorced Men

Learn from my mistakes.

“Do you want kids?” I asked.

“Sure I do,” he said.

And with that, I was hooked. Yes, I knew that he was divorced and had two children, but just knowing that he did want kids meant overcoming the first hurdle of dating him.

However, the first 6 months, there were a lot more hurdles, which led to the relationship breaking down.

Having dated a divorced guy, I’d always wished there was some kind of dating advice to help me navigate. Fortunately, from experience, I now know what not to do and the mistakes to avoid.

So, if the guy you’re seeing is ready for dating after divorce, here’s how you can be too. Avoid these five mistakes when dating a divorced man.

1. You ignore his opinion on kids.

Make sure you are both aligned to what you want.

Even though he said he wanted kids, I could tell half way through our dating that things had changed, and I ignored the signs. He already had two children and even though in the first instance he said he wanted to have another with me, I knew that he had started to change his mind.

Instead, confront your situation head-on (if you do want kids with a divorced guy), especially if he has children already. To avoid adding pressure, make sure that you know that you are both on the same path.

2. You get involved in a relationship when he’s still fighting with his ex.

Make sure he is over his ex and/or knows how to handle his emotions towards her.

It felt like I was in a relationship with both of them. He would talk about her all the time. This would cause a lot of tension and would then be transferred into our relationship, which caused a lot of stress on both of us.

To avoid this, it’s key that he has moved on so you can focus on having a good time.

3. You move in together too quickly.

Make sure you take things slowly. Figure out whether this divorced man is the right person for you. Keep your options open.

By moving in together within the first month, we both took a lot on. I took on the new responsibility of not only getting used to living with him but also being introduced to his children. In addition, he doubled his commuting time, which added more stress to the plate.

If we had taken our time, things wouldn’t have fallen apart so quickly as they did. We both needed time to adjust to our new roles, which we didn’t do. Remember: dating is a time for fun, not for seriousness.

4. You choose to be with someone who is in a financially different situation.

Make sure that you are both in a financial situation that you can do fun stuff together.

Because he was paying for his kids and didn’t earn a huge pay check, this limited what we could do with our time together. I really wanted to travel a lot more, so when I did, I would travel on my own as he had other financial commitments. If he did travel with me, I would willingly pay for him.

However, men being men, he wanted to pay and this would frustrate him, and also frustrate me that he couldn’t. If our income and financial situations had been similar, we wouldn’t have had this problem.

5. You spend very little quality time together.

Make sure you make time for the relationship when you are dating. This may sound really obvious, but you would be surprised at how “life” can get in the way, especially if he has kids.

This one was a big one for us both as he worked night shifts, making it challenging to see each other. Also, most weekends he wanted to see the children, which meant there were weekends we spent apart.

It’s normal that he prioritized the children. I wouldn’t have expected anything less, but it definitely put a spanner in the works for us to just enjoy our time.

 

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A Divorced Dad’s Beautiful Advice For All Married Men

Gerald Rogers is a father and Psychologist who has been through a rough divorce. A few years ago, he wrote an amazing post that beautifully describes the lessons learned through this tough process, and importantly, valuable advice for all married men.

His words remain timeless.

He says,

“After losing a woman that I loved, and a marriage of almost 16 years, here’s the advice I wish I could have had…”

What marriage advice does he wish he could have had? Dads, husbands reading this – this advice is solid. This advice is real. And if you think your relationship could do with a breath of fresh air right now, then this is it.

Image: iStock.

1. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable

Your wife is attracted to and loves your masculinity. But this doesn’t mean you should remain stony-faced even when you are tearing up inside. Rogers’ advice is to “be willing to share your fears and feelings, and quick to acknowledge your mistakes.” You can’t go wrong with this formula.

2. Don’t make it all about the cash

Yes, you need money to survive in this mean world. But if you find yourself having more and more arguments with your wife about cash, stop. The advice is to find ways to work with your partner as a team, financially. Both of you have strengths, use these.

3. Grow together

In Rogers’ beautiful words: “The stagnant pond breeds malaria, the flowing stream is always fresh and cool. Atrophy is the natural process when you stop working a muscle, just as it is if you stop working on your relationship. Find common goals, dreams and visions to work towards.”

Image: iStock.Grow together. Image: iStock.

4. No skeletons in the closet

The foundation of a good relationship is trust and if you want to have her trust, then you need to open up to her about everything. It takes courage to open up your deepest heart, even as you are not sure that she will like what she hears or sees. Let her see your shades of light and darkness as these imperfections make you perfect in her eyes.

5. Never stop dating her

You might have two kids and 10 years of marriage behind you. But never, ever take your partner for granted – she deserves to be loved, to be cherished as much as the very first day you met her and knew she was the one.

6. Find ways to fall in love with her daily

“You will constantly change. You’re not the same people you were when you got married, and in five years you will not be the same person you are today. Change will come, and in that you have to re-choose each other every day. SHE DOESN’T HAVE TO STAY WITH YOU, and if you don’t take care of her heart, she may give that heart to someone else or seal you out completely, and you may never be able to get it back. Always fight to win her love just as you did when you were dating.”

The truth!

7. Finally, CHOOSE LOVE!

Ultimately, this is your magic charm, this is the only advice you’ll need. As Rogers points out, if this is the guiding principle through which all your choices are governed, there is nothing that will threaten the happiness of your marriage.”

Love will always endure.

Image: iStock.Choose love. Image: iStock.

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

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There Are 3 Types Of Divorced Men – And Only One Is Relationship Material

Not all newly divorced guys are bad news.

Men who are dealing with divorce deserve to be in a relationship as much as anyone else but many women are wary of dating them. What does dating after divorce look like for men?

The divorce process is not easy for anyone. If you’ve ever had the misfortune of being the rebound, you might think that staying away from all newly divorced or recently separated men is the answer to sparing your heart. Some dating advice might even say so.

I get it — I’ve been Rebound Girl myself on more than one occasion. The “It’s not you, it’s me” conversation is never pleasant.

As someone who’s conducted a multi-decade, deep-dive exploration into relationships, dating, and understanding men, I’ve made some observations about newly divorced men — grabbing your sneakers to run from them as fast as you can might actually be a mistake.

And what’s behind this oh-so-common deal-breaker is fear.

Fear of falling for someone hard then getting the rug yanked right out from under you. You’re trying to mitigate heartbreak before it happens and who could blame you for that? (Definitely not yours truly.)

When we’re dating, we’re often dealing with strangers. And when you’re connecting with any stranger, there are no guarantees.

You might be wondering, “Why would a newly divorced or separated guy be dating before he was ready anyways? What’s the deal?”

The answer? Recently separated or divorced men are usually looking for two things: sex and attention. And there’s no faster or efficient way to get sex and attention at the same time than to go out on a date with a delightful and positive person.

But does this mean that a real and lasting connection and a healthy relationship isn’t possible? Nope.

When I met my husband, he was newly separated — five weeks, to be exact. And we’ve been together for years and years.

My BFF and her husband? Six weeks into his separation and now married years and years.

I could keep going on the list of couples I know who got together from his first date after divorce or separation is long — and I mean really long. And they are in successful and healthy relationships.

Now, before you run off to go hang out at the lounge area of your local Marriott Residence Suites, allow me to offer a few observations from my own research.

If you’re looking to date men in their mid-40’s and older, there are 3 types of men and one is totally okay to date and form a relationship with.

1. The one who values his freedom

This guy tried marriage and learned it really wasn’t his cup of tea. He found that marriage was a series of compromises and negotiated collaborations that weren’t worth it in his grand scheme of things.

For him, the delicious and comforting aspects of partnership didn’t make the trade worth the sacrifice.

He enjoys companionship. He craves adventure. And since he loves women, he’s going to work on spending time with as many of them as he can for the rest of his life. When this guy says, “I’m never going to get married again”, believe him.

There is a subset of humans who have unkind things to say about this guy.

I’m not one of them. I think he’s awesome. If he wants to be single, date women, and buy fancy whatevers (cars, boats, etc.) that make him happy, then that’s his business just as long as he’s not making any false promises to the women he dates. (He can promise whatever he wants to his boats.)

2. The one who is not over his failed relationship

When a divorce is sudden and didn’t see it coming, he might be in shock. Or even if he knew it was inevitable long in advance, depending on how he manages the emotional side of his life, it might take him a minute to pull it together and be ready for someone new.

His whole world got rocked and he needs to find his footing again in a new life after divorce.

The hot-mess-divorcee comes on strong. You are the most amazing woman ever! You two get “swept up.” And then he has a moment of clarity, which is when you learn you’re the rebound. It feels like being dropped to the ground from a thousand feet in the air.

So, if this is how it goes, why? Why would smart women like me and my BFF be willing to put ourselves through it over and over with the newly divorced or separated guy when this specific category of dating is so painful?

The answer is easy: Not all men.

3. The one who is ready to date after divorce

You, too, have a shot at meeting the newly detangled guy who says, “Wow, I didn’t think I’d meet you so soon.”

And boom — done!

How can you tell which one you’ve got?

Easy, but it might take a minute.

The “I’m free! I’m free! I’m finally free!” guy will usually tell you before you can ask. He might all but bring a bullhorn to deliver this message on your first date or he’ll say so right there on his online dating profile — “I’m only looking for fun,” “I want to meet new people for adventures,” or “Not looking for anything serious.”

They’ll tell you. Is there room for exceptions? Sure. But you have a whole lot of vetting to do.

The hot mess might be needy, clingy, or overly reminiscent about his past (with his ex or the ex before the ex). You might get the sense he doesn’t see you — at all. When he’s looking at you, he sees a mother, a savior, or the fantasy he’s always wanted.

He might not have a confident sense of self at this point in his life, so he projects onto you. Or you might get to the “We’re dating” part, but you can tell he’s so guarded that he’s not going to let you in or fully commit.

These signs will be obvious if you’re willing to see them for what they are — or it’ll become obvious when he ghosts you because you were the rebound. Alternately, he may take the “showing up but not opening up” path.

I’ve had both, more than once. And if I had been truly honest with myself, I could have caught even the “It takes time because he’s not opening up” ones much faster if I’d been willing to take off the rose-colored glasses and stop making excuses for him.

Keep your eyes wide open, ladies!

Then there’s the “Terrible timing, but it’s you” guys. They both show up and open up. You can count on them to do what they say. They take actions that match their words (in other words, not all talk). They’re not too busy for you. They’re leaning in by calling, texting, and planning fun new adventures with you.

On my second date with my now-husband, I said, “Wow, you’re really great! It’s too bad our timing is so terrible”, referring to his newly separated status.

He replied, “It’s not bad timing for you. The bad timing is on my side. It’s not for you to worry about, it’s mine, I got this.”

Hot, right? I sure thought so.

And there are more hot things to note about this type of newly disentangled guy:

  • He knows how to commit and he’s likely willing to do it again at some point.
  • He likely “grew up” in his marriage and as a result, he’s an upgraded version of himself thanks to his ex and the experiences he had with her
  • He’s realistic about what he needs and what he is able to provide in partnership
  • The fantasy of “happily ever after” without putting in any work is well and truly shattered (good)
  • Bonus points if he has a good relationship with his children: Those little humans have done unspeakable things to and on him, and he still loves and cares for them. (That’s staying power!)

Good men who love partnership will find it again, and often quickly. Most women have this fantasy that a guy will wait, mourn, do inner work, heal, take a few personal growth workshops, wait three years, and then go find his new wife.

But it doesn’t work that way in the real world.

What I see consistently is men connecting with their new forever people either straight away or after the first rebound (or three) when the old wounds aren’t yet entirely healed, ink still not dried (or even inked yet in some cases), but getting there.

These are the men who hold their new person’s hand, and willingly pull them into his future while still doing the work to shake off the past. (Sorry, I don’t create the realities, I just observe them.)

So, what do you think? Still gonna grab your sneakers and run away from the newly disentangled guy as fast as you can? Or are you going to give them a chance?

 

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

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What is ‘Morning Wood,’ and Why Does it Happen?

Nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT) is not a result of sexual arousal or having a dream relating to sex. Instead, it is a normal function of the male reproductive system.

In fact, regular episodes of NPT are a sign that the nerves and blood supply to the penis are healthy.

If a male does not have NPT regularly, it can indicate a health issue, such as erectile dysfunction (ED), which involves having trouble getting or keeping an erection. Not having regular NPT can also suggest other problems with the nerves or the blood supply to the male reproductive organs.

A hormonal imbalance, such as a decrease in testosterone, can also affect how often a person experiences NPT. A lack of regular NPT can sometimes result from not getting quality sleep.

As a person gets older, they can expect to experience NPT less often. This change should happen gradually, as hormone levels shift. Anyone who notices a sudden drop in the number of their NPT episodes should speak with a doctor to rule out any potential health issues.

Causes

“Morning wood” is a common occurrence for most men.

NPT is not a typical erection because it is not related to sexual thoughts, dreams, or stimulation. It is simply a result of sleep cycles, combined with healthy nerves and blood flow in the body.

NPT tends to happen when a person is in a rapid eye movement (REM) phase of sleep. REM sleep can occur several times during an 8-hour sleep cycle. The erection may go away on its own as a person enters deeper sleep. Thus, a person may have erections several times during the night but may not be aware of them.

Often, a person wakes up at the end of a REM sleep cycle, which explains why NPT seems to happen in the morning. In addition, testosterone levels tend to be elevated in the morning. Males have high levels of this hormone, which contributes to sexual function.

An erection caused by NPT may be physically different from one caused by arousal. One study found that some men experienced pain when they had NPT, but not when they had typical erections.

How often should morning wood occur?

Males of various ages, from children to older adults, experience NPT. Usually, younger adults, who have the highest levels of testosterone, will experience nocturnal erections more frequently than children or older people. Young adult males may have NPT every morning and a few times during the night.

The peak of sexual maturity generally happens when males are in their late teens to late 30s, and this may correspond with higher testosterone levels. It is normal for people in this age range to experience frequent episodes of NPT.

As a person approaches their 40s and 50s, they may notice fewer episodes of NPT. This often occurs because testosterone levels are naturally declining. However, the episodes should decline gradually, not suddenly. A gradual decline in NPT with age is customary.

A hormonal imbalance, especially one that affects the penis and testes, can result in few or no episodes of NPT. This is one reason why having regular erections in the morning is an important indicator of healthy male sexual organs.

One study found that men with hypogonadism, which prevents the sexual organs from fully functioning, experienced an increase in NPT after they had received testosterone therapy.

Some research says that a person’s quality of sleep can affect the frequency of NPT. If a person is not getting good sleep and entering the REM cycle, they may not experience nocturnal erections.

A study of 61 men with obstructive sleep apnea and ED found that getting better quality sleep resulted in more frequent NPT. The participants who used continuous positive airway pressure devices had more frequent nocturnal erections than those who did not.

Other studies have used NPT as an indicator of hormonal or sexual health, especially when treating ED.

For instance, if a person has NPT but cannot get or maintain an erection during sexual activity, doctors can rule out issues such as insufficient blood flow or nerve responses in the penis. If this is the case, ED may be a psychological issue, and a health professional can treat it accordingly.

However, if a person has no nocturnal erections and has trouble getting or keeping erections related to sex, doctors may determine that there is a physical cause of ED.

When to see a doctor

A person should speak to a doctor if they notice changes in how frequently NPT occurs.

Because NPT is an indicator of quality sleep and the health of sexual organs, it is helpful to pay attention to how often NPT happens.

If NPT suddenly stops or is happening much less frequently, speak with a doctor. They may wish to discuss possible health conditions, such as sleep disorders, hormonal imbalances, anxiety, and ED.

It is important to see a doctor about a lack of NPT, as it can be a symptom of ED. This condition can indicate serious health issues, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes, especially in younger males. A health professional can help treat these conditions, including ED.

Certain medications, such as antidepressants, can make it more difficult for a person to get or maintain an erection. They may also cause a decrease or sudden stop in NPT. Some of these medications include:

  • high blood pressure medications
  • muscle relaxers
  • hormonal medications
  • seizure medications
  • antidepressants
  • histamine H2 agonists (which can help treat some types of ulcers)
  • chemotherapy drugs
  • medications to treat heart arrhythmias
  • diuretics

If a person has recently started a new medication and notices changes in the frequency of NPT, they may wish to speak with their doctor. Sometimes, the doctor can prescribe a different medication to help address this side effect.

See a doctor if NPT or erections in general are painful.

Seek emergency medical help for an erection that does not go away after 4 hours. If this occurs, it can cause tissue damage in the penis and problems with sexual function.

Summary

Morning wood is a healthy function of the male body.

A person should talk with their doctor if they notice a sudden change in the frequency of nighttime erections. This can ensure that a person receives prompt treatment for any underlying health conditions.

 

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