STOP Settling in Your Relationship — You Deserve More

Signs You’re Settling in a Relationship   

Both women and men experience this, and questions like, “What if I am missing out on something better?” or “Am I missing out on something better?” have plagued all relationships (even the healthy ones). The difference between the strong relationships and the ones that eventually end is if you are able to identify the problems and work them out. Read on for the warning signs that you’re not getting what you deserve from your partner and see if you guys can fix the problems.

1. You’re Not Happy in Your Relationship Anymore

The biggest indicator of how well your relationship is doing is your happiness (and your partner’s too). It’s understandable that you won’t be happy all the time, but if you’re constantly feeling down and looking outside of your relationship for that feeling of love and warmth, then there are problems. If you’re not happy, chances are your SO will also take notice.

Try to pinpoint where your sadness is coming from. Have you guys been arguing a lot? Are you in an LDR and it’s becoming too straining? Have you grown apart? Getting to the root of your feelings may shed light on the next steps you should take. Whether that means taking a break or breaking up completely, you and your partner should be making the decision together if possible.

2. You’re SO Won’t Commit to You (or to Anything, Really)

Your partner doesn’t need to have everything figured out in life, because who does? But if he or she hasn’t made that next big step in your relationship (finding a job, moving in, proposing, etc. . . .) and you have been patiently waiting, you’ll need to address the situation. Sometimes a little nudge is enough to get them motivated to step up their game, but if the talk ends up in a big fight or nothing changes in the next couple of months, it’s time to re-evaluate the relationship. You two may just be on different paths in life and it’s completely OK to not want to wait for them to catch up.

3. You Have to Take Care of Yourself and Your SO

The best part of a relationship is having someone to lean on when times get rough. If you’re the one constantly being the rock, however, you’ll start to feel drained. After all, it does take two to make a relationship work. You should not have to be the sole provider financially or emotionally; your partner should also bear that responsibility. Like anyone who is dating or married, you want to feel taken care of and supported. And if you’re not getting that from your SO, then that is really troubling.

4. You’re in an Emotionally or Physically Abusive Relationship

This type of relationship is the hardest to break away from. We all probably know someone who has been in one, and as an outsider looking in, it’s easy to judge and say, “well, just leave.” But it’s easier said than done. You know the relationship is not healthy when your partner is constantly putting you down, threatening you (and your friends), cheating on you, or getting violent with you. In these situations, until you break off all contact with that person, the vicious cycle will continue.

No one deserves to be treated with disrespect, so try to seek counseling (if you’re too scared to leave) or speak to those you trust for advice. A clean break from this type of relationship is the best chance you have for feeling like yourself again.

5. You Changed Yourself For Your Partner

There’s give and take in every relationship, but it is never OK to completely alter yourself for another person, whether that means giving up your hobbies, friends, family, religion, or other important aspects of your life that make you who you are. The point is to not feel forced into discarding a part of yourself for your partner. The person you are with should respect your choices, even if they may disagree. If at any point you find yourself slowly losing your own identity, take some measures to get that back.


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15 Texts To Send Your Partner When You’re Proud Of Them

Few things feel more gratifying than when someone you love tells you they’re proud of you and genuinely means it. This is especially true if that person is your partner. If your SO has been killing the game lately (maybe they got a promotion or aced a midterm they studied super hard for), they definitely deserve to be celebrated. A great way to start is by texting your partner to let them know you’re proud, and that you really do recognize all the hard work they’ve put in, especially if their love language is words of affirmation.

Whether your SO had their art displayed in a gallery, recently scored big in their sports, or surpassed their goals at work, here are 15 texts you can send to acknowledge all the good work they’ve been putting in lately. Then, take them out for a celebration! Backing your words up with action can cement just how much you admire them.

Texts For When Your Partner’s Been On Fire

1. Want to go out for ice cream/coffee/drinks to celebrate tonight? 😌

2. You’ve really been on your A-game lately, and TBH, I’m taking notes. 📝

3. I’m so proud of you, [insert cute nickname here]. Keep up all the good work!

4. Just want to remind you that you’re killing it! 🙌🏾

5. You’ve literally got this thing in the bag.

Texts To Remind Your Partner Of How Far They’ve Come
Happy cool smiling african man with smartphone sitting on city street over brick wall background


6. Don’t ever forget: You’ve worked hard to be here!

7. Just wanted to let you know I’m so impressed by all that you’ve accomplished this year.

8Sometimes it just blows my mind how creative and wise you are.

9. Remember when you were [XYZ place of life]? Look how far you’ve come!

10. Hi! Just dropping in to remind you that I love you and that your gifts are much needed in this world.

Texts To Remind Your Partner That You’re Always Going To Be Proud Of Them

11. Hey, [insert pet name here], just wanted to say you’re my favorite person and keep doing what you do.

12. You’re a wonderful, talented human being and I’m so proud to be dating you.

13. Someone as smart and accomplished as you? If we weren’t dating, I’d totally shoot my shot.

14. No matter what happens in the future, nothing and nobody can take away all the cool sh*t you’ve accomplished.

15. You know I brag about you all the time, right?

Whether your SO is always on their grind, just had a wonderful breakthrough, or you’re just endlessly impressed by them, shoot them one of these 15 texts to remind them they’re really flourishing — and that they’ve got you by their side.

A Sex Therapist Explains If It’s Normal To Sometimes Dread Initiating Sex

There may be weeks or months where you catch yourself wondering: Is it normal to never want to initiate sex? Sometimes, you have moments where you love your partner dearly (and might be able to show some PDA with ease), but you’re consistently not in the mood to follow through on sexy times. Of course, every person is different, and if you’ve never been the one in your relationship who’s always initiating sex, that might just be a personal preference. Still, it could be frustrating for you or your partner.

If you’re not feeling frisky a whole bunch these days, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Everyone’s sex drive fluctuates over time. And just note: If you’re not 100 percent into having sex, you shouldn’t — if you can’t give enthusiastic consent, that’s a signal that you need to say no to sex.

Susan Segal, a sex therapist who’s seen individuals and couples for about 35 years, says there could be a number of reasons why you’re just not feeling it when it comes to initiating in the bedroom. Anything from your romantic and sexual histories to your body chemistry can be the reason you’ve been slow to get the ball rolling on sex. If you do find yourself being hesitant in the bedroom, there are a number of solutions you can look into that might be just the trick you need.

Your Relationship With Your Past

Alexey Kuzma / Stocksy

For one, Segal says, it could be your sexual history. Painful sex or traumatic events could be holding you at bay. In this case, speaking with a therapist to unpack unpleasant sexual experiences can go a long way.

A fear of being rejected might also hold you back from putting the moves on your partner. Have you ever been in a relationship where attempts to initiate sex were often shut down? If so, you still might be carrying those memories and concerns with you into this new partnership. Here, Segal recommends sitting your partner down and being explicit about what’s up.

When addressing situations like this, Segal has a saying: “Sex goes on between your ears.” That’s to say, you should take the mental and emotional — not just the physical — elements of sex into consideration. Talk to your partner about what’s going on inside that’s causing a roadblock.

Your Relationship With Your Partner, Romantically

Michela Ravasio / Stocksy

Another reason you might not want to initiate sex is because of unresolved beef. One roadblock can be a lack of intimacy or a lack of trust you have with your partner. Not wanting to take the reins on sex can also be a sign of unexpressed resentmentAnger doesn’t always have outward signs. Sometimes, it looks like withdrawing.

“People, when they’re not expressing their anger, tend to be withholding,” Segal says. “They don’t want to give the other person what they want. They don’t want to be close with that other person.”

So ask yourself: Has bae done anything that just pisses you off lately? If the answer is yes, it’s time to put on your grown-up undies and confront the situation head-on. Again, Segal recommends being upfront with your partner. Be honest. Say that you’re feeling resentful and withdrawn, and give them the reason why. That way, there’s a clear direction for the conversation, and you and bae can get to the bottom of the issue.

Your Relationship With Your Partner, Sexually

Bonnin Studio / Stocksy

Sometimes, reluctance to initiate sex with your partner simply comes down to knowing that it’s going to be boring — as harsh as that may sound.

“If someone’s going to do it — have sex the same way, all the time, which a lot of couples get into doing, like a habit — we get bored!” Segal says. “And even if each person is having an orgasm, it can still be boring.”

Chances are: If you’re more excited about Brooklyn Nine-Nine coming back than sex with your partner… you’re probably not going to bother. But there are loads of ways to spice up your sex life.

For starters, one pro-tip Segal suggests is sharing your sexual fantasies with your partner. Often, it’s something they can get in on or at least, get off to. But you’ll never know if you don’t take a leap a faith and talk to them about it.

“I suggest watching porn. I suggest making the fantasy — talking about them and acting some of them out. I suggest taking on different identities. I suggest carving out time for sex,” Segal lists. “A lot of couples get in the habit of just not making the time.”

Segal says some clients do turn their nose up at the idea of “scheduling sex.” Because, of course, adding “have sex” to your iCal might not be the sexiest move you’ve done. But at the end of the day, as Segal points out: If you’re not having sex with your partner (when you want to be) and this is what works, then that’s all that matters. Even if couples have to take a raincheck sometimes, Segal says, it’s a solid first step to finding their rhythm again.

Your Relationship With Your Body

Jovo Jovanovic / Stocksy

Sometimes, the dread comes from lack of body confidence or body dysmorphia.

“If someone doesn’t like their body, they’re not gonna want to be seen naked. They’re not gonna really feel good about themselves,” Segal says. “It can affect someone’s sexuality, even if they wanna have sex.”

In this case, Segal tells her clients to “get in touch with their body.” Sometimes, that looks like exercising. Sometimes, that looks like unfollowing social media accounts that affect your self-esteem, or making a vow to yourself to not drag your body or anyone else’s.

Another physiological reason could be low libido or low sex drive from hormonal imbalances. A specific diagnosis often will be hypoactive sexual desire disorder. Whether you’re assigned male or female at birth, your levels of testosterone or prolactin might be the reason you’re not in the mood in anymore.

Thyroid problems might be the root of these imbalances. The effects of hormonal birth control could also be to blame. If your reluctance toward initiating sex keeps up, Segal suggests talking to your doctor or getting blood work done.

Likewise, antidepressants can affect your sex drive, psychiatrist Grant Brenner told Elite Daily. If this might be the case, waiting it out sometimes works.

“Sometimes, when psychological and relationship issues improve for a couple, sexual satisfaction will improve as overall relationship quality improves,” Brenner said. “This is important because it highlights that even with some degree of antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction, couples may still enjoy healthy, active sex lives.”

If waiting doesn’t work out for you, Brenner recommended talking to your doctor, seeing a sex therapist, or, ultimately, switching medications to help address the issue.

Whichever combination of solutions you look into, it’s important that you don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Don’t stress yourself out about how fast you can jumpstart your sex drive, how quickly fill up the intimacy gap, or how you’re going to perform in the bedroom. What’s most important is that you feel comfortable, safe, and satisfied with your partner and your sex life.


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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.


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


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?



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.


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

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