What Does It Mean To Be Avoidant In Relationships?

Intimacy is the arena in which all of our deep seated emotional tendencies seem to play out — and that is true even if we seem to struggle with reaching intimacy in the first place. But having “avoidant” tendencies in relationships is not uncommon, when it comes down to it, and it’s also not a be-all-and-end-all life sentence if this is how you often function in love.

So, first things first, you might have heard people talk about their “attachment styles” in a relationship before. But where did it come from? Very generally, attachment theory refers to a psychological model about how our attachment to a primary caregiver impacted our personal development. It was applied into a framework about how people act in romantic relationships by Cindy Hazan and Phillip R. Shaver in the 80’s. Whether or not you are able to form secure attachments to people can, theoretically, inform all sorts of things about who you are, how you act, and how you perceive your place in the world. In particular, it informs how you tend to behave in regards to romantic love.

Having avoidant tendencies, on the simplest level, means that receiving love and affection makes you uncomfortable, therapist Rachel Bauder Cohen, MSW, LCSW of Seaside Counseling Center, tells Bustle.

“You (often unknowingly) steer clear of situations that will put you in direct line of affection because you can ‘handle things by yourself,'” Cohen says.

Avoidant tendencies might show up by you being extremely independent, so much so, that you may be uncomfortable with having to rely on someone, Cohen says. It might take you longer to trust and open up to others. It can also mean someone really needs to earn your trust, respect, and love because you don’t just show those to anyone.

You might also have many superficial relationships, but struggle with deeply attaching yourself to someone, Cohen says.

“Struggles associated with love avoidant tendencies [can be things like] feeling lonely, depressed, and not understood,” Cohen says. “You may be extra hard on your loved ones and find yourself constantly let down when you choose to trust someone.”

Having avoidant tendencies does not mean you are incapable of intimacy.

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If you have avoidant tendencies, as counselor David Bennett of Double Trust Dating tells Bustle, it also might mean that you may get into relationships, but the relationships tend to lack a strong emotional connection, or deep intimacy.

Having avoidant tendencies doesn’t mean you are unable to be intimate at all, but it might be challenging to connect at times, Bennett says. If someone has avoidant tendencies, they might keep relationships on a relatively surface level. There is hesitancy towards commitment and someone can often send mixed messages through their behavior and communication. There might be fear around things getting too serious or vulnerable. Avoidant tendencies can show up in different ways.

“They might like to do a lot of the fun things, but perhaps won’t be too available when you need someone to really talk to,” Bennett says. “They may focus more on casual sex, rather than seeing sex as a form of intimacy. They also may idealize past relationships, or even an imaginary ideal relationship. This can result in being very picky and a perfectionist, which allows them to avoid deeper relationships.”

And while someone who has avoidant attachment tendencies often gets the reputation of being a person who totally “avoids” love, Elizabeth Sabine, MEd, registered clinical counselor at Peak Resilience tells Bustle it’s not so black and white.

“We all want love, but the ways that our caregivers responded to (or didn’t) respond to us and our needs helps us to develop ways of coping, protecting ourselves from being hurt, and of going about getting our needs met,” Sabine says.

Clinical counselor Lauren Phelan, MA, of Peak Resilience says that for this reason, she finds it helpful to think about attachment styles as existing on a continuum rather than as rigid categories.

“Some of us may have more avoidant tendencies than others in intimate relationships, and these can be learned (adaptive) patterns that protected us in earlier relationship from being hurt or overwhelmed,” Phelan says. “Those of us who are more avoidant still want to feel connection and closeness, but it may feel less safe for us, so we do it from a distance.”

Cohen says to approach a shift in your tendencies, try things like journaling, as it’s important to open up and be honest with yourself, before you expect to be that way with someone else.

“Lean in to your positive, established relationships,” Cohen says. “If you already have someone in your life that has shown you that they are trustworthy, try opening up about something that is hard for you.”

Cohen also says that seeking help from a professional to dig deeper around relationship patterns is a really good idea. If you feel you have behaviors that get in the way of having the connections you want and deserve, guidance is out 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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15 (Hilarious, Kind Of Sad, But Also True) Signs It’s Time To Get Laid

We all go through dry spells. We all know what it’s like. So let’s give ourselves permission to laugh about those moments when you realize it has been entirely too long since you last had sex. Here are 15 signs.

1. When you feel around on the empty half of your bed, you find a single snow boot, a Life Magazine from 1967, and a half-eaten animal cracker that you swear is judging you with his frowny circus animal half-face.

2. You didn’t know “condom dust” was a thing, until you checked the hidden pocket in your wallet.

3. You’ve stopped saying uber-confident stuff to your friends like, “Tonight, I’m going to Bonetown, Virginia!” and now mutter quietly to yourself about how you yearn for physical intimacy. And then you shed a single tear, unbeknownst to the revelers around you, who are, in fact, there for your birthday party.

4. Your mom’s like, “Are you getting enough sex, dear?”

5. Your friends don’t even ask anymore.

6. You’ve kind of pretty much totally forgotten how to lip-kiss.

7. You have not plucked your Creepy Nipple Hair since before Carly Rae Jepsen was a thing.

8. You have looked at your naked reflection, stood tall, and said aloud, “I’m not that bad.”

9. You have looked at your naked reflection, stuck out your stomach, jiggled it around, frowned at your bellybutton, then ate ice cream in bed until you fell asleep.

10. You have almost successfully convinced yourself that nobody else in the whole world is having sex when your roommate — who has the same name as one of your parents — comes home with the loudest. One night stand. Of all time.

11. You know what’s better than sex?! Cheese. And RPGs. And watching Louie on Netflix, alone, in bed, with a box of white wine. Seriously, you all are missing out.

12. You’ve envisioned telling your next sex partner how long it’s been since your last sexual encounter, in case you do something severely incorrect.

13. Sometimes it feels like you are being beaten in the genitals with a wooden plank, but when you look down, nothing’s there.

14. Sometimes you forget you have sex parts.

15. You take comfort in knowing that you went 16 years without sex. Granted, that was from age zero to 16, but dammityou can do it again if necessary!

 

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

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7 Signs Your Relationship Won’t Last After The First 3 Months Of Dating

It’s so easy to get swept up in the rush of lovey-dovey feelings you get from dating someone new. But according to experts, it’s pretty important to stay grounded during the first three months of dating. Because as amazing as those new love feels are, those first 90 days can determine whether or not your new relationship is the real thing or has an expiration date.

“The three month-mark in a relationship is usually when you either take the relationship to the next level and become more serious, or you decide that love isn’t going to grow and you break ties,” dating coach, Anna Morgenstern, tells Bustle.

Although every relationship differs, three months is considered to be the average length of the first stage of a relationship. According to psychotherapist and relationship coach, Toni Coleman, LCSW, you should be ideally making that transition from “casually dating” to “exclusive” around that time. But again, this varies depending on how much time you actually spend together and how much distance is between you two.

According to Coleman, many believe that “losing interest” is the reason behind why some couples can’t seem to make it past three months. But that’s not entirely the case. “It’s not so much losing interest in one another as it is making a decision that this relationship is not one they want to invest more in and deepen,” she says. “They simply don’t feel that the friendship, connection, attraction and interest are strong enough.”

So will your new relationship make it past those crucial first 90 days? According to experts, if your partner hasn’t done these things in that time frame, it may not.

1. Your Partner Can’t Be Consistent With Their Communication

A person who wants a serious relationship with you will be consistent with communication early on.

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At the beginning of a relationship, texting, calling, and messaging typically happen very often. There’s a lot of back and forth flirtation, and you pretty much expect it. But if your partner is no longer predictable or consistent with their communication, Emily Pfannenstiel, licensed professional counselor who specializes in therapy for women, tells Bustle, that’s not a great sign.

“As your relationship progresses, your communication should be too,” Pfannenstiel says. “They should be excited and wanting to talk to you! Playing coy is one thing, but if you feel like they go MIA on you every couple days, that’s not good.” According to her, it may take some time to get used to each other’s communication styles. For instance, one partner might not like texting all day, while the other does. But in the early stages, it’s especially important to check in and show some investment in the new relationship. If you’re unsure of your partner’s level of interest, Pfannenstiel suggests matching the level of communication they give you. If they’re barely communicating, you may need to have a discussion about it.

2. Your Partner Isn’t Their Genuine Self Around You

By the three-month mark, both you and your partner should feel totally comfortable being yourselves around each other. According to Samantha Daniels, dating expert and founder of Samantha’s Table Matchmaking, it’s a time when you stop worrying about scaring your partner off with talks about the future or bringing up issues that need to be discussed.

“You should feel no boundaries when it comes to texting when you feel like it, introducing them to your family, and being mad if they hurt your feelings and saying so,” she says. “The three month mark is when the dating games should be stopping and you can both be your genuine, honest, real true selves.” For some people, it may take a little longer to open up and be truly comfortable. So you may have to be a little patient, depending on how your partner is. But it shouldn’t take any longer than six months for them to be themselves around you.

3. They Don’t Invite You To Hang Out With Their Friends

If someone sees a future with you, they will want you to meet their friends.

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If your partner starts making more plans with friends and isn’t making the effort to include you, Morgenstern says, that’s an early sign your relationship may not last. When this happens, the tendency is to cling onto the relationship for fear of losing it. You may text them more or request to spend more time together. But as she says, “that is the absolutely worst thing to do.”

Instead, let them be. Maybe they need space to figure out their feelings in order to move forward. “Plan a trip with friends for the weekend and have an amazing time reconnecting with your inner circle. Coming from a place of self love and inner confidence will save your relationship,” Morgenstern says. “And if your partner does break it off, you’ll be setting yourself up to walk away from the relationship as a whole person, not a broken shell of yourself.”

4. Your Partner Doesn’t Find Small Ways To Keep Moving The Relationship Forward

In order to create a well-balanced and healthy dynamic early on, you shouldn’t be initiating everything as your relationship goes on. If your partner’s interest in the relationship isn’t strong enough to take it to the next level, they may take less of an initiative, be less affectionate, and show less physical closeness. In short, there’s going to be distance and you’re going to feel it.

“Couples should want to see each other, especially in the beginning,” Daniels says. “So if you feel that your partner is straying away or they’re coming up with invalid reasons to cancel plans, then this may be a sign they are losing interest.” If this is an issue, you should discuss this with your partner. You can even offer up a plan where you come up with something to do one weekend, and they come up with something to do the next. But if nothing changes and you’re still the only one moving the relationship forward, they may not be as invested as you are.

5. Your Partner Can’t Be A Shoulder To Lean On

If your partner can't be there for you when you're having a bad day, your relationship won't make it after three months.

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If your partner can’t listen to you and be your shoulder to lean on in those first three months, Daniels says your relationship may not make it long-term. You shouldn’t necessarily dump all your deepest and darkest fears on them right away. But if you’re going through something at work or with your family, they should be there to talk and listen to you.

“This kind of thing is what takes your relationship to the next level,” she says. “It establishes a level of trust and strength for both of you to feel comfort when seeking comfort.” If your partner can’t be that for you, that’s not a great sign. The same goes for them choosing to lean on you during tough times. If you’re not the first person they go to when they hear bad news, they need to vent, or they need someone to lean on, they may not see the relationship as something really serious.

6. They Don’t Make Solid Future Plans With You

A partner who sees a future with you will hint at it through the words they use. Even if they aren’t thinking marriage at this point, they may talk about a future trip that they want to take with you or plans for your birthday in a few months. It’s equally important to pay attention to the follow-through. It’s one thing to say that you should go away together for the weekend, and it’s another to actually book everything and hash out the logistics. If your relationship is one that is destined to get stronger, Coleman says you will make solid plans for the future together. For instance, you may not meet their family within those first three months, but you can make plans for it. But if your partner can’t even commit to making dinner plans for next week, that’s not the best sign.

7. They Don’t Make Your Relationship A Priority

If your partner isn't prioritizing the relationship early on, your relationship isn't going to last.

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“There is much more that goes into maintaining a long term partnership; it’s not just be all about lust and pheromones,” Susan McCord, dating coach and talk show host, tells Bustle. “Relationships take work and need to be nurtured.” As you go further along in your relationship, your partner should be putting a good amount of effort into the relationship. The “busy” excuse won’t cut it. If someone wants to be with you, they’ll make time. You will be a priority.

It’s tough to realize that the person you’re dating isn’t putting in enough effort to be in a committed relationship with you. But as Coleman says, “You can’t keep someone interested if they’re not.” Besides, why waste your time and effort trying to make a relationship happen if it’s not meant to?

On the other hand, it’s so easy to get hung up on timelines, especially when you first start dating. There’s no shame in wanting commitment and exclusivity once you’re realized your feelings. But just remember, every relationship is different. For some, life circumstances will only allow them to have two or three dates over the course of three months. For others, getting engaged after three months just feels right. If your relationship is making you feel anxious because you haven’t done this, this, and that, by your third month together, don’t panic just yet. If you and your partner can openly communicate about where things are at and where it’s going, you’re on the right track.

 

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

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

 

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How To Break Up With Someone You’re Still In Love With, Because Sometimes, It Just Doesn’t Work

One from a female reader…

My last breakup was with someone whom I still cared about, and it sucked. I loved my boyfriend very much, but the relationship started to feel stagnant, and it was time to move on. We were moving forward, but not as a couple. We were growing in separate directions that had caused us to feel more like friends than lovers. It’s hard to know how to break up with someone when you still love and care about them very much. The moment never exactly feels right, because you don’t want to hurt someone you care about, and you don’t want to stop hanging out with each other either.

When my ex and I broke up, he came over, and we had a long discussion about how we weren’t compatible for one another at this point in our lives. He was struggling in his career and felt the need to concentrate on it in order to feel happy and stable in his life and, thus, couldn’t give his full attention to me. I cared about his happiness and couldn’t continue to feel neglected in a relationship. We broke up, cried a little, watched a movie, and then, he slept over (bad decision). Yes, we hooked up. Then, the next morning, I left for work, and I never saw him again.

Winter depressed sad girl lonely by home window looking at cold weather upset unhappy. Bad feelings stress, anxiety, grief, emotions. Asian woman portrait.

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When I got home that night, he had left love notes all over my apartment, telling me he would miss me and how much he cared about me. He also stuck a note on the fridge saying, “Remember when you cooked that horrible dinner,” and one on the toilet that said, “Remember how embarrassed you were when you clogged this on our third date,” which made me smile… but also miss him. It’s easy to break up with someone you hate or to move on from a relationship that’s broken. That’s why they’re called breakups after all, right? But breaking up with someone you still care about is hard. You don’t want to do it, even though it’s the right decision.

Phicklephilly spoke to two experts about how to break up with someone you’re still in love with, even when it hurts. Because you deserve to have it be as painless as possible.

1. Do It In Person

So many of my relationships have ended over text or on the phone, and I think that’s why it took so long to get over them. The book felt unfinished. I never got closure, and things felt unresolved with those partners. I wanted to ask my exes questions or see their expression when things were ending, but all I was left with was the crying emoji instead. Every time I’ve ever broken up with someone over the phone, text, or email, the subsequent months are filled with plans to finally meet up in person and discuss what happened. But if you do it in person the very first time, you can have a clean break from the very beginning.

“The most important thing you can do for them to show compassion is to explain why,” Dr. Joshua Klapow, clinical psychologist and host of The Kurre and Klapow Show, previously told Elite Daily. “If you can answer the question for yourself then you should offer that to them.” If you and your partner are still in love but it’s time for your relationship to end for other reasons, then you at least want to give your significant other the respect of breaking up in person. It will help to give both of you closure and allow for an honest and thorough conversation that can help both of you move on.

2. Be Strong (And Also Don’t Hook Up)

If you’re still in love with the person you’re breaking up with, then you might be unsure about your actions. Should we really end things, or can we work this out? Maybe we’re just having a bad day, week, or month. Can we get over this? Is moving on a mistake? But if you’ve thought about this thoroughly and you’re sure the relationship is not right for you, then be strong and resolute in your decision, and don’t get swayed into staying together.

“Ask yourself this: ‘Why do I not want this and what would make things different?'” Dr. Klapow said. “Ask yourself: ‘Have I had the conversations clearly and specifically about what is not working and what is working?’ If you love the person, then you need to be very sure that you are very clear about why you don’t think it is going to work.” Be firm that things are ending, and, no matter how tempted you are, do not have breakup sex. It’ll only end up leading both of you on and keep you wondering if you’re making the right decision. Overall, it’s just bad news.

3. Set Boundaries

After a breakup, it’s important to set boundaries and clarify breakup behaviors. It’ll make the transition to friends (or strangers) easier, and boundaries can help you from getting hurt even more after a breakup. I remember after I broke up with one of my exes, I was really hurt when I found out he had hooked up with someone else. The reason I felt hurt was because he and I were still talking every day, and it felt like we were still very much together, even though we weren’t.

“There is not an easy way to break up with someone you love,” Dr. Klapow said. “Recognize that there is a decent chance you are going to hurt feelings.” Establishing boundaries between you and your ex can save you a lot of heartache and help to clarify the role you play in each other’s lives. Are you going to stay friends on social media? Are you still going to talk, and if so, how often? Are you going to see one another in real life? What’s the rule about hooking up with each other? Are there certain things you don’t want to talk about with one another?

Sad disappointed european man can not forgive his african girlfriend infidelity, the girl is sitting next to man having apologetic guilty look, trying to make peace with man. Relationships problems

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4. Take Time Apart

If you’re still in love with your significant other, that’s not going to end right when you break up with them. You’re still going to miss them. You’ll want to call, text, and talk with the same frequency as you always do. You’ll still want to hang out. In my last relationship, after we broke up, I remember how badly I missed my boyfriend on the couch every night, sitting next to me, watching our favorite shows. I knew we weren’t right together, but couldn’t we still hang?

The answer is no, not so soon. Right after a breakup, you need to take some much-needed space to heal and actually get over one another. You can’t go from lovers to friends immediately just because you’ve said the words “we’re done.”

“It’s useful to initiate the breakup conversation at a time when you all have space during/afterward to respond to your subsequent feelings and reactions,” James Guay, a therapist who specializes in high-conflict couples, previously told Elite Daily. “In other words, don’t start the conversation right before you each have to go to work or to an important event.”

You need time to actually get over one another, or you might just end up back together again — or back in bed at least. And if you prolong the breakup, you’re only prolonging the time it takes for you to finally start moving on and feeling better.

Breaking up is hard to do, especially when you’re doing it with someone you still care about. But if it’s the right decision for you, then you have to make it. Be firm and direct, and make sure you establish proper boundaries after you’ve decided to part ways.

 

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

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

 

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Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

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Guy Talk: The Real Reason Women Shouldn’t Make The First Move

Maybe you catch him standing at the other end of the bar, slyly checking you out. Maybe you met him before and flirted with him, but he never asked for your phone number. Or, maybe you’ve already hung out with him a few times, but a casual arm flung over your shoulders is about the extent of the physical contact he’s made so far.

So, you saunter over to him and say hi.

Or, the next time you see him, you say, “So, are you ever going to ask for my phone number?”

Or, as you’re sitting on the couch next to him, streaming yet another movie on Netflix, you turn to look him in the eyes, and you decide to just go for it and kiss him.

Like that daydreaming moron you’re stuck behind at the busy intersection, these are the guys who make you throw your arms up in the air and yell, “You’ve got the green light! Just go already!”

Yes, there are a lot of timid guys out there.

But now, I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Timid guys aren’t as numerous as you may think. In fact, that cute guy who flirts with you and acts interested, but never actually does anything about it, can turn out to be a totally different breed of guy. He’s not timid, or awkward, or nervous. He’s manipulating you.

This is the guy who’s not looking for anything serious (or, more specifically, not looking for anything serious with you), but wouldn’t be opposed to a casual fling. This may also be the guy who prides himself on being a “good guy.” And true to his self-professed nature, he doesn’t want to play you. That’s why he never comes right out and makes any overt moves on you.

On the other hand, if you initiate all the moves, he’s certainly not going to stop you. And whether consciously or subconsciously, that’s the trap he has set for you.

How do I know so much about this guy, you ask? Because I used to be him.

You see, if I let the girl make the first move, then I don’t have to be the douchebag who acts interested, gets the girl into bed, then dumps her immediately after.

If she makes the first move, then I’m the one being chased. And if I’m the one being chased, then I’m the one who was never sure about hooking up. And if I’m the one who was never sure about hooking up, then I have a perfectly valid reason to pull back at any time.

Let me repeat that last part: at any time.

Yes, some guys are douchebags to the core. They sleep on king-sized douchebag beds lined with satin douchebag sheets lathered with the essence of douchebag body spray. They’ll say whatever it takes to get you into bed, and they’ll feel no shame pulling the fade-out after they get what they want.

But, most guys aren’t assholes of such cartoonish proportions. I think most guys actually try to do “the right thing.” And on a conscious level, they know it’s not cool to feign interest in a girl just to get her naked, especially if it seems like she wants more than just a fling.

And that’s when the subconscious rationalizing begins:

“Well, I’d sleep with her. And I’m pretty sure she’s interested. But, I’d never want to date her….”

“Alright, be cool then. Just talk to her and be friendly….”

“Oh, look at that. She just kissed me. Hmm….”

“Alright, Conscience. Look, dude, she freaking just kissed me! You can’t possibly expect me to turn her away, right? As long as she kisses me first, then I can totally hook up with her, and you won’t lay all that guilt on me afterwards, right? Right?”

“You won’t? Game on!”

And once that rationalization train gets going, the excuses just keep on chugging along:

“I had fun with you, but I just don’t want anything serious right now.”

“I’m sorry, I should’ve been more clear what I was looking for before we hooked up.”

“I’m just not ready to commit to anyone at this point in my life.”

Any of these lines can be spoken by the guiltless douchebag as he’s in the process of dumping you. And you’ll hate him.

But, if you’re the one who made all the moves, if you’re the one who pursued him, do you see how the self-professed good guy can say these same exact lines and still come across as the innocent victim while he’s dumping you

In his arsenal, the self-professed good guy even has lines the supersized douchebag could never use. Like this one:

“I’m actually kind of old-fashioned and like to take things slow. Don’t get me wrong—last night was amazing. But, I was caught up in the moment, and I think we definitely moved too fast.”

See? It’s your fault you jumped into bed too soon, because you put the moves on him. And now, he gets to walk away with nary a scratch on his shiny armor.

I admit, I did all this subconscious rationalizing for years before I realized what I was actually doing. Once my conscience made that shady back room deal with my lust, my hypocrisy became all too easy to ignore.

Yup, all my life, I prided myself on being a decent guy. But, it turns out I was a douchebag all along. And unfortunately, I think every guy has some amount of douchiness in him (if, by “douchiness,” we mean the desire for easy sex).

Here’s the bottom line:

If I really like a girl, I’m going to make the first move.

So, go ahead. Make the first move on that cute, coy guy if you want. Just remember the Get Out Of Guilt Free card you may be handing him if you do.

 

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

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

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

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How You Can Tell If You’re Putting In Too Much Work In A Relationship

Relationships are hard work. You’ve no doubt heard people say this before. But the notion of “working hard” on love can be confusing. Exactly how challenging is it supposed to be? When can you tell if you’re actually putting too much effort into a relationship and not getting enough back?

Well, if this possibility is something you’re grappling with, begin first and foremost by checking in with yourself and your needs in the partnership. And as therapist Dea Dean, who has a private practice in Mississippi, tells Bustle, there are some more obvious signs you may be in an imbalanced dynamic where emotional work is involved. For one, if the invitations you extend to your partner for connection, partnership, or communication are denied or dismissed repeatedly, this indicates a problem, Dean says.

“If your partner says they are willing to meet a need (more quality time, healthier boundaries with friends or family, equal share in household responsibilities), yet their behavior consistently reveals unwillingness and a lack of follow-through,” Dean says, that’s not a good sign.

And as Lisa Myers, 32, tells Bustle, she has found herself in unbalanced relationships where she gives things up to focus on her partner’s needs. “My biggest thing has always been ‘dumbing down’ my success or how social I am because it makes my partner’s uncomfortable,” Myers says. “Literally every one of them.”

While every relationship has its ups and downs, and the internal dynamic between the two of you might shift, in general, it should be a give-and-take that works for both of you. Below, take a look at some signs that you might be doing too much when it comes to keeping your relationship working.

1. You Feel Drained When You Hang Out

It's normal to feel confused or stressed out when your relationship is taking an inordinate amount of energy.

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Every now and then, being around your partner — or anyone, for that matter — can be draining. But as life and relationship coach Diana Venckunaite tells Bustle, hanging out with your partner should be fun, fulfilling, and relaxing for the most part. It’s the kind of dynamic that should lift you, not deplete you.

“If you feel exhausted physically, mentally, and emotionally every time your partner leaves, then you may be doing too much work to please your partner and going out of your way to make sure that everything is perfect,” Venckunaite says. Are you the one who makes the plans? Takes care of the food? Tries to maintain the peace? Ask yourself what you think your “responsibilities” are, and if they are truly balanced between you both.

2. You Feel Like Your Partner’s Therapist

“A relationship needs a strong foundation of being one another’s rock during tough and stressful times, where you trade who will be the support for who on and off,” Venckunaite says.

But if you find yourself being “the rock” over and over again, then you have to sit down and think if you’re getting enough from the relationship.

You both deserve to be mutually supported, and feel safe to ask for help and let your guard down. And remember, even as a source of love and strength, you aren’t responsible for each other’s emotional issues.

3. You Feel Irritated A Lot Of The Time

It can feel very frustrating to  be putting in more emotional work than your partner.

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You might start to get irritated with your partner once you begin recognizing there are some imbalances, Venckunaite says. Maybe it’s because you always end up being the designated driver, or you can predict in advance the way your partner is going to behave in a social situation.

“You’re not a babysitter,” Venckunaite says. And you shouldn’t have to feel irritation that foreshadows the same things happening every single time you go out.

4. You Feel Your Contributions Are Unmatched

Dean says that if you are giving on an emotional, financial, or physical level and it’s not being reciprocated in some balanced way, you can easily become critical and withdrawn.

Do you pay for everything and do all the house work? Are you always providing emotional support and doing all the planning? Even if you give different things, you want to make sure you are giving to each other in an equitable way.

“In order to avoid [imbalance] partners can frequently ‘check-in’ with one another and give non- judgmental feedback about how they can better help one another and find balance in negotiating responsibilities with finances, housework, emotional care and relational preferences,” Dean says.

5. If Your Partner Asks For Something Small, You Feel Resentful

Resentments can build easily when you feel unappreciated.

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Again, if you feel like you are putting a whole lot into the relationship without much in return, you might notice yourself feeling bad in general, but that might be doubled when your partner asks you for something. For example, if you feel like you’re constantly the one giving, having them ask for that glass of water at the end of the night might be the last darn straw.

“If this is happening to you, take some time to identify if your resentment is stemming from your own needs going unmet,” Dean says.

If you do indeed find that is what’s going on for you, it’s time to communicate with your partner.

“Once you’ve informed your partner of the imbalance in your dynamic and invited them to demonstrate care for your desires, evaluate whether they show willingness to match the level and frequency of care you’re longing for,” Dean says.

Ultimately, never doubt that you deserve a supportive relationship that makes you feel respected and seen. Even when it’s a lot of work — it should be work for both of you.

 

 

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

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing publishes of Amazon June 20th!

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‘Jerk-Baiting’ Is The Infuriating New Dating Trend You Can’t Get Mad At

Your hot new fling suddenly cancels. Tinder bae goes through your phone. Your partner of two years treats your kitchen like an (absurd) art studio.

While these situations all appear quite different, they have one thing in common: they stretch your patience.

But what does that have to do with ‘jerk-baiting’? We spoke to couple’s counselor Heidi Gee to get the low-down on that very question: welcome to the most devious dating trend of 2020.

‘Jerk-baiting’ is when you deliberately test how ~keen~ your partner really is on you (or how psycho they might be), by baiting them into being a jerk.

As Heidi tells us, the kindling for this trend (i.e. the age-old ‘shit test’) has been around forever. But now, with the advent of smartphones and dating apps, it has taken off, giving early-stage daters easier ways to test each other and longer-term couples more things to bait each other with.

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Sounds like a plan 😍

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“Communication has changed and interpersonal skills have changed a lot so it’s quite easy for people to avoid difficult conversations.” Not only that but many women these days, Heidi tells us, are afraid of the consequences of directly rejecting someone.

As the wealth of rejection-gone-wrong literature reveals, there is good reason to jerk-bait a potential partner to make sure they are not a psycho.

The problem is, jerk-baiting can backfire in numerous ways. Not only can it land your phone with some truly bizarre text messages, but it can also push someone awesome away from you if they don’t realize that you’re testing them.

This also has a tendency to happen in full-blown relationships, with couples deliberately and subconsciously testing each other’s patience.

 

Why? According to Heidi, it comes down to self-esteem: “We all play those games of seeing how much the person does like us, what they would do for us, pushing their buttons, pushing them to the limit.”

“Moving in with someone and seeing how much they will take care of x y and z around the house,” is a great example, she tells us. “[I’ve had] couples come in and that’s been an issue: ‘I don’t do the dishes because I know she’s going to do it – these things can build up and cause tension.”

Another example is when one partner, “Will sabotage or say things to get a reaction to see how much they [the other partner] cares and whether they would be chased and how much they’re loved.”

Sound familiar? Here’s what Heidi recommends you should do if you find yourself jerk-baiting: “If you’re uncertain about where your relationship or feelings stand then you ask the partner rather than baiting them; that could make things fall apart rather than the partner chasing.”

On the other hand, if you are the jerk-baitee, Heidi says it is crucial not to get mad, but rather, “Be assertive, ask your partner, ‘Why are you doing this? When you do this it makes me feel like x y z.’ You need to talk to each other, identify what’s missing in the relationship and figure out what you can do to show them you really care [and that they don’t need to be annoying to get your attention.”

 

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

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

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Secret Signs a Woman Wants You

You probably already know about the obvious signs that a girl wants you such as laughing at your jokes and playing around with you. But there are more subtle signs that you may not be fast to notice.

Kezia Noble is a known dating expert for men and we got the secret signs that a woman wants you from one of her expert videos. Check them out below:

1. She seeks your validation

Couple(Hot 963)

 

If a woman is always seeking your approval, and may be altering what she had said earlier in order to be in your line of standards, then she wants you. If she had stated swimming as her hobby, she might change or say that she also likes going for movies if it’s one of your hobbies.

2. You have her full focus

We are living in the age where people pay more attention to their phones than to what the other person is saying to them. If you are talking to one of those girls who are always glued to their phones but they focus all their attention on you, Kezia notes that this is a good sign that the girl is interested in you.

3. She tries to resurrect the conversation

Couple talking

We’ve all been there and it feels awkward when you have nothing else to say to each other. According to Kezia, “If she is trying to resurrect that conversation, she is trying her best to stop the fizzle from happening, that’s another good sign.”

4. She is always hanging around you

It’s not just a coincidence that you find her around you every now and then. If you think it’s just a coincidence, try looking for more signs and you might be surprised that she actually wants you.

5. She is distracted by you

Flirting(Giphy)Flirting(Giphy)

She could be talking to other people but once in a while, she is stealing glances at you. This a sign that she probably wants you.

6. She extends a compliment

If she tries to challenge your compliment or seems like is trying to gauge it genuineness, no doubt she is interested.

7. She excuses your bad behavior

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This is not an excuse to go acting like a jerk. But if a girl doesn’t seem to mind your bad behavior or even giggles about it, she could be interested in you.

8. She responds to your lazy text messages  

Girl texting(Fortune)

Especially if you just met her and you send her a basic ‘hi’ or ‘how are you doing’ text message, Kezia says this is a very good sign that she is interested.

 

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

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

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

11 Of The Biggest Deal-Breakers In A Relationship

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

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

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

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

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

They won’t address the issues that you present.

couple break up breaking up fight ignore

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They’re showing a lack of interest.

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

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

You don’t have the same values.

couple selfie

Stephen Zeigler/Getty Images

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

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

When they get upset, they fight dirty.

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

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

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

They aren’t over their ex.

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Pixabay/stocknap

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

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

There’s no sense of vision.

couple serious

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

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

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

couple fighting arguing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

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8 Signs Its Time To End A Friendship

These bros ain’t loyals, sometimes good judies turn to jealous jackasses and your bestie may become an enemy.Deciding whether or not to break up with a friend can feel like a roller-coaster ride of emotions. Yet when considered logically, it could clearly be the healthiest choice.

As we go through life, we naturally make new acquaintances and form friendships with a select few. While we put great importance on carefully choosing who we let in, we should remember to cut ties with those who start to drag us down.

It’s really nothing to feel ashamed of. Naturally, people change and you may find yourselves in totally different places. Don’t assume that friends must always be forever, at times it simply can’t be fixed or reconciled. Sometimes you’ve got to consider your own long-term happiness and keep your social circle lean.

It can be a painful experience a friendship changes for the worst, but there’s no need to prolong the hurt. If your relationship possesses any of these eight indicators, it may be time gracefully part ways!

1. Your Relationship Has Become One-Sided

If your relationship has fallen off-balance and shows no sign of returning, it’s likely they don’t value you as you do them. Constantly having to pursue a friend without much return is terrible, it can even harm your self-worth.

If you’ve let your friend know and it still hasn’t made a difference, quit wasting your energy and let them go!

2. Manipulating and Controlling Behavior Runs Rampant

Stop to reflect on your relationship for a second, have you lost sight of being the real you? If you feel you’re no longer being authentic, relationship toxicity will be building up. Consider whether you or your friend manipulating each other, and why?

Healthy friendships are about sharing the depth of our character, not exploiting each other. If this is the case, it may be time to reassess the whole relationship.

3. They Are Dragging You Down With Them

Are you starting to feel guilty by association? If your friend has a questionable character or behavior, you may want to consider how it reflects back upon you. If they regularly exhibit bullying behavior, others may start to see you in the same light. Or worse yet, it may start to bring out the bully in you!

You’ve got to be careful with who you align or associate yourself with, you may pick up their qualities and mannerisms too.

4. There’s Spiteful Jealous and Furious Competition Between You

Your friendship is well on truly on the rocks if you find yourselves in bouts of jealousy and ruthless one-upping. The constant need to prove yourselves to each other is exhausting rather than comforting.

Remember, friendships should be empowering and encouraging not antagonizing!

5. The Best Thing Between You is History

Sometimes, we find ourselves holding onto lifelong friends for little more than the rich history. But what’s the point of holding on if the only positive part is a recollection of a childhood friendship. You’re now living in the present, where you, your friend and life may be radically different.

The last thing you want to do is hold onto stale relationships purely out of historic honor!

6. They No Longer Contribute Anything Positive to Your Life

Sometimes we’ve simply got to stand up for ourselves. If someone does nothing but bring us down, we must respect ourselves enough to let them go. Friends should be a natural extension of your life, as you should be to theirs.

Whether it’s cheering each other up, spurring each other on or even just having a laugh together. Everyone contributes something different, but make sure it’s positive!

7. The Negative Situations Over-Shadow the Positive Ones

If the bad has begun to outweigh the good, it’s likely your friendship is beginning to sour. A friendship should be mutually beneficial and make both of you happy, not provoke emotional situations or altercations.

While an occasional fallout is quite common, having consistent problems is a strong indicator of incompatibility.

8. They Are Chipping Away At Your Self-Esteem

True friends provide a crucial support system for each other, especially within the associated stresses of modern living. Whenever either one has problems, troubles or doubts, their buddies will rally to provide moral support. This single most important aspect of friendships is raising each other’s self-esteem.

Breaking up with a friend is never easy, but if they are working against your self-confidence and causing you to doubt yourself, it’s definitely time to jump ship!

 

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

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

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