Breaking Up With Your Partner While Social Distancing Might Be Your Only Option

Adversity has a way of making or breaking relationships, highlighting problems, and pushing couples to their limits. Now, imagine adding the pressure of being unable to walk away from someone while your relationship is under duress, or taking the space you need to think through your conflict. If you’re considering breaking up with your partner while social distancing, isolation may have lead to the realization that you and your SO are not in it for the long-haul. And you’d rather end the relationship than spend one more second listening to each other chew, even if you’re currently stuck together.

Karla, 26, tells Bustle that social distancing took her relationship from casual to serious overnight, and it ended up being a dealbreaker. “Everything was great — we were going on day trips and playing board games and meeting each other’s friends,” she says. “Then, all of a sudden, coronavirus anxiety began, and we went from getting to know each other to date.”

After a couple days of cohabitation, I couldn’t stand him.

While self-isolating as a unit sounded like a good idea at first, Karla quickly realized she wasn’t ready for a live-in partner. Instead of enjoying their company, she felt overwhelmed and annoyed, craving privacy. “It was so much so fast,” she says, “and after a couple days of cohabitation, I couldn’t stand him.”

Eventually, she decided to call things off, and the two parted ways. “Had this not happened, we would’ve still been getting to know each other and having our distance while still enjoying each other’s company,” Karla says. “There’s a time and place for everything, and this just came far too soon for such a young relationship.”

Outside of a global pandemic, any number of drastic changes to your everyday routine has the potential to become a relationship stressor — starting a new job, moving to a new place, adjusting to a new schedule. When you’re already negotiating the chaos of an overwhelming shift in your day-to-day life, small problems can feel like big ones.

“As people #flattenthecurve, we may be forced to spend considerably more time with each other,” Danni Zhang, psychologist and managing director of New Vision Psychology, previously told Bustle. “It’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to start thinking of getting out of said relationship.” Zhang emphasizes the importance of weighing whether you’re experiencing a dead-end or weathering temporary stress.

“Coronavirus has run the gamut of emotions in our relationship over the last couple of weeks,” Danielle, 33, tells Bustle. She and her husband of five years made it halfway through the second week of social distancing together, before they needed to establish a few quarantine rules in order to keep the peace.

The two made an agreement that, at least once a week, they’d part ways and enjoy a little alone time — relaxing in separate rooms, going for solo walks, and cooking alone for a much-needed respite. “Communicating how we are feeling without judgment has also been very important,” Danielle says. “Even though we are together, having time and space of our own is necessary, and allows that time together to be more valued.”

For couples on edge, Zhang suggests listing out the reasons why you love your partner in order to shift attention away from their habits that have got you on edge. But not all couples feel the investment is worth digging in their heels. Once they got a glimpse into their future together, they were ready to jump ship — even if that only meant moving from the bedroom to the couch.

“I’m fairly certain living together too soon was what pushed us to break up,” Karla says.

 

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3 Things All Driven Men Look For In A Partner

Driven Men – smart, entrepreneurial, curious, open-minded, ambitious achievers – shape our world and set trends for others to follow. They are the innovators, the creators, the influencers and the leaders.

Hence, it is crucial these driven find the perfect partner who would support and compliment them the way they need to. However, it is often very challenging for driven men to find emotionally fulfilling relationships. This is why ambitious men need to know exactly what they are looking for when seeking a romantic partner.

“AMBITION IS LIKE LOVE, IMPATIENT BOTH OF DELAYS AND RIVALS.” – SIR JOHN DENHAM

Driven men, successful men, and entrepreneurial men all have something in common…

They all yearn for an emotionally fulfilling relationship.

Sure, all people crave a highly functioning and fulfilling relationship. But in my career as a relationship coach, I have consistently seen driven, high-achieving men, to be the most love-starved.

But why would that be?

Why Driven Men Have Messy Love Lives

“A MAN WITHOUT AMBITION IS LIKE A BEAUTIFUL WORM–IT CAN CREEP, BUT IT CANNOT FLY.” – HENRY WARD BEECHER

The more time and energy that driven men put into their careers and self-optimization (fitness, education, nutrition, spiritual practice, etc.) the more they tend to delay being in intimate relationships.

Since driven men are risk-tolerant in business yet risk-averse in emotional intimacy, they tend to subscribe to the “I’ll just keep getting more and more perfect until one day I’ll just fall into the perfect relationship that’s meant for me.”

But this is akin to standing next to a golf ball and taking 400 practice swings before you actually take a shot. You can prepare all you want, but the real learning comes from the experience of breaking through your emotional barriers within a committed relationship.

Unless of course, the relationships you keep falling into are just as safe as taking your practice swings because you end up in relationships with people that aren’t a compatible match with you.

So how do you, as a driven man, know what sort of things to look for in a partner?

The 3 Things That All Driven Men Need In A Partner

“Love is not about finding the right person, but creating a right relationship. It’s not about how much love you have in the beginning but how much love you build till the end.” – Jumar

While this isn’t an exhaustive list, between all of the most highly functioning long-term relationships that I have been witness to over the past decade, these are by far the most common traits that I see embodied in the partners of driven men.

1. Someone Who Is Kind To You When You Are Wrong

In their business dealings, driven men are wizards at being stubborn and laser beaming to the core of the matter. And while this helps them in business negotiations, it doesn’t help them nearly as much in their love lives.

Having a partner that will be kind and patient with you in those moments when you forget that she isn’t your employee and you can’t make all the decisions will be invaluable to your love life’s long term success.

2. Someone Who Is A Cheerleader

Entrepreneurs have an overactive optimism bias – meaning that they assume that they have a lower risk of experiencing a negative outcome than others. As such, they need a partner who can support them in their near manic-like work sprint phases of productivity.

Not only do they need encouraging words when they are up, they especially need someone to help them with emotional support when they are down.

After great success with his first two businesses, my father (a brilliant and talented serial entrepreneur) sold them to open a third business that went bankrupt within a year. With three children under five years old, it was a tough time for my parents. My dad struggled with depression and lost confidence in his entrepreneurial abilities. Fortunately, he had the courage and strength of a strong woman behind him (my mom) to help him through those difficult years.

A less supportive partner would have looked at the current reality of “what is” and packed up and left. But his brave and loving partner was able to see “what was” and “what will be” in the future and knew that he would be able to pick himself back up again. My dad speaks positively about that early business failure. It taught him the value of having strong support in family, friends, partners, and mentors, and not hesitating to ask for help.

Driven men can’t go it alone 100% of the time. Sometimes they need someone to lean on for support. So choose a partner that will be your cheerleader through both the good times and the challenging ones.

3. Someone Who Sees Past Your Resume

If you’re used to being one of the most impressive people in the room, you likely get turned off by women that are overly impressed by you.

And it’s not your fault.

As people, we don’t value what we don’t work for.

But the moment a woman stands out for you is when they aren’t as impressed by your past accomplishments as they are impressed by your character and personal values.

Sure, maybe you had a best-selling book or smartphone app, or you flipped businesses for impressive amounts of cash, but that was never you. Those were just things that you did.

So when you meet a woman who hears your resume and listens patiently with a “What else ya got?” kind of attitude, your interest is piqued. And for good reason. We all want to be seen for who we truly are, not for the things that we’ve done or achieved.

So while having a partner that is encouraging and supportive is essential for a driven man, you also want to make sure that she isn’t fully buying into your PR/bio page/resume above who you truly are as a person.

Can Driven Men Be As Successful In Love As They Are In Life?

“DON’T WAIT FOR A PERFECT PERSON TO LOVE. LOVE A PERSON AND MAKE HIM OR HER PERFECT WITH YOUR POWER OF LOVE.” – DEBASISH MRIDHA

Absolutely.

If you spent years figuring out how to become a success in one area of your life, you can experience those same results in other areas.

If you’ve read more books about startups, investing, entrepreneurship, or business than you have about love or relationships by a ratio of more than 10:1, then you might want to reconsider your priorities.

Smart and driven men embrace and appreciate and aspirations, independence, and creativity in their women. They want their partners to stand their ground, speak their minds and do what she believes to be true. Although this can create a little bit of friction in the relationship from time to time, this will also build a fulfilling and deep connection between both partners.

Women who understand driven men will not only help their men take one bold step after another, these women will also walk their own paths and be valued as equal partners in the relationship.

 

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If Your Partner Keeps Your Relationship A Secret, Here’s What It Means

If your partner keeps your relationship as private as their “Close Friends” list, it can be hard to find a balance in how open you are about your relationship. Whether they’ve always been on the shyer side or just prefer to keep things low-key, your SO may not be one for PDA or giant group gatherings. However, if you’ve been seeing someone for a while and still haven’t met any of their friends and family, you may start to wonder if your partner is keeping your relationship a secret.

After a few months of dating (or a few years, like Marianne and Connell on Hulu’s Normal People), you may start to wonder why you haven’t been invited out with your partner’s friends or to their weekly family dinner. But even if your sister or best friend may have met their partner’s friends two weeks into dating, Dr. Joshua Klapow, Ph.D., clinical psychologist, says there’s no set timeline for going “public” with a relationship.

“It’s not time as much as the depth of the relationship,” Dr. Klapow tells Bustle. “It should be feeling management versus time management.”

According to Dr. Klapow, there’s no magic number or set rulebook on when you’re “supposed” to meet the people in your partner’s life. Like all “next steps” in a relationship, you get to make your own timeline, based on whatever you’re feeling. Of course, if you’re upset or annoyed that you haven’t met your partner’s friends, Dr. Klapow says it’s time to check in.

Hulu

“If you are ready [to be public] and they are not, it’s important to ask about it,” Dr. Klapow tells Bustle. “It may be a great chance to understand more how they feel about you and address some miscommunications.”

According to Dr. Klapow, there could be many reasons why your boo is keeping your relationship on the down-low. Maybe they’ve been through some messy breakups and are extra cautious about who they let in on their love life. Perhaps they have super nosy friends and like to ease in when it comes to introducing new people. They might be worried that their roommates will make a tactless joke or embarrassed about their family’s political or cultural beliefs.

On the other hand, they may also be feeling a little nervous about your relationship or not really sure what they want moving forward. Regardless, there’s no way to know why your partner hasn’t introduced you to people until you flat-out ask them about it.

“The real test here is how well do the two of you communicate about these issues,” Dr. Klapow says. “Tell your partner that you care about them, you want to meet their family and friends, and you believe it’s time.”

While it can feel intimidating to confront your boo, it’s important to openly address your feelings. When you try to “play it cool” or act like something doesn’t bother you, you’ll likely end up feeling resentful and more confused. “Dancing around the topic and not addressing it straight on sends mixed messages,” Dr. Klpaow says. “The more you push this to the side, the bigger the issue it is going to become.”

If you’re unsure how to start the convo, Dr. Klapow suggests asking your partner what their concerns or holdups are. Whether they’re nervous that you won’t like their friends or feeling unsure about where your relationship is headed, being transparent about your needs is the only way to guarantee that you and your boo are on the same page.

 

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7 Signs Your Partner Has Feelings For Someone Else, According To Experts

Finding out that your partner is in love with someone else can be a total shock to the system. Sometimes you really can’t see it coming. There are some people who are really good at hiding what’s going on with them. But for most people, falling in love is a process that doesn’t really happen overnight. When your partner is falling for someone else, experts say you’ll likely notice some small changes in their behavior.

“We should always be paying attention to the subtle changes in our relationship because, whether it changes for better or worse, it usually evolves inch by inch,” Mariel Mangold, LCSW, relationship expert and licensed psychotherapist, tells Bustle. “If you’re just waiting for a glaring red flag, you may be missing some smaller yellow flags along the way.”

You shouldn’t blame yourself for failing to see the signs, nor should you try to look for signs when there really aren’t any. When you think things are going well, it’s healthy to not look for problems. Mangold just says it’s just important to always be in tune to your relationship. That way, you can celebrate when it’s going well and get ahead of problems as they’re developing.

So if you notice any of these subtle changes, experts say your partner may be falling for someone else.

1. They Aren’t As Thoughtful And Affectionate As They Used To Be

“The first telltale sign that your partner could be falling for someone else is a distancing from you,” Diana Mikas, love life coach, tells Bustle. Their distance can be physical. For example, sex may not be as frequent as it used to be. They may not go completely cold on you right away, but something about their kiss, touch, or hug may feel off to you. Their distance may even show in the way speak to you. For instance, if they stop complimenting you or calling you by your special name, that can indicate something may be up. Of course, there are many other explanations as to why this may be happening, so your best bet is to talk to your partner, and try to get answers.

2. They’re Being More Selfish And Secretive With Their Money

If they had no problem treating you out and now they’re constantly asking to split the bill or they suddenly have budget restrictions, Mikas says that may be a red flag. To be fair, they could have experienced a change in their job or money situation. So this is one to really look out for if your partner is also spending more money on lunches or nights out. Either way, if they haven’t explained why they suddenly have restrictions, they may be keeping something from you. Talking with them is the only real way to know for sure.

3. They’re Emotionally Withdrawn

If your partner is falling for someone else, they may not be as emotionally available to you as they used to be. If you ask them how their day went, they may be short with you and give you a simple, “fine.” If you try to have a deeper conversation with them, they might shut down and ask to talk about it later. “When someone is emotionally cheating, they may start pulling away from the relationship out of guilt because they know they’re betraying someone they love,” Mangold says. They’ll be very conflicted and withdrawn. Since they can’t talk things over with you without feeling bad about it, they’d rather keep things to themselves.

4. They Casually Mention Another Person Constantly

Just think about the early days of your relationship. When you’re excited about someone, it’s so common to keep bringing up all the little things they said or did. Many times, you can’t help it. “If your partner is constantly having someone else on their mind, they may start bringing them up in conversation whenever they’re reminded of them,” Jeannie Assimos, chief of advice at eharmony, tells Bustle. It may not catch your attention at first. If you’re in a healthy relationship, your partner is allowed to be friends with people you don’t know. But if you keep hearing someone’s name being brought up over and over again, it may be worth paying attention to.

5. They’re Reluctant To Hold Your Hand In Public

This alone shouldn’t really raise any red flags unless it’s a complete change. But if it’s coupled with other warning signs, it’s worth looking into. According to Mangold, on some level your partner may not want to be seen as partnered up or in a relationship with you. “If you’re walking next to each other and not holding hands, that can be totally fine,” she says. “But if they’ve started walking ahead of you, behind you, or putting a lot of distance between you, you may want to ask them what that’s about.”

6. They Get Easily Irritated With You

“Spending intimate time with a partner you aren’t actually interested in anymore will get frustrating after awhile,” Assimos says. If your partner is falling for someone else, spending time with you may start to feel like a chore. Because of that, they may lose their patience and get frustrated with you more easily or get mad for the smallest things.

7. Your Gut Is Telling You That Something Is Off

Unless you’re just a naturally suspicious person, you should always go with your gut. If you feel like they’re distracted or that something is off, you could be right. But as Chris Seiter, relationship consultant and breakup specialist, tells Bustle, don’t react right away. “It could just be a passing interest,” Seiter says. “Having a gut feeling isn’t really proof that they’re cheating. It could simply mean they’re noticing other people.”

If you spot any of these signs, the best thing to do is have a direct conversation with your partner. Assuming that they’re already cheating can make things worse than they really are. Try to approach them by being calm and curious, not accusatory. “Always start from a question,” Mikas says. “Be inquisitive, not the executioner (e.g. ‘I really appreciate how you show your love by calling me your ‘love bug.’ I noticed that you haven’t been using this term of endearment lately. Why not?’).”

It’s better to ask and get your answer right away, then worry yourself over something that may or may not be happening. Once you know the truth, you can decide where to go from there.

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

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