Digital Detoxing Is The New Ghosting. Change My Mind.

In the olden days (before social distancing), when a crush wanted to decline an invitation to hang out, they could claim to be “at work” or “busy with friends.” But now, amid a global pandemic, when everything is closed, and everyone is sitting inside, glued to their phones, the only way to ghost someone is by taking a digital detox.

While you’d think the embargo on public events might hinder one’s ability to make last-minute excuses, leave it to the gems I date to come up with new, innovative reasons for why they can’t make it. When dating relies solely on technology, the only way out is off.

After a couple of days of sheltering-in-place, it became clear to me that I was going to need more human interaction than my roommates were capable of providing. I’d been following a fellow creative on Instagram, and after liking each other’s quarantine-chic posts, I decided it might be time for a socially-distant slide into their DMs.

To my surprise, they replied immediately. They told me how lonely they were, quarantined with their parents, and what a relief it was to connect with another person. For the next few days, we exchanged messages, swapped GIFs and music recommendations, and shared articles we’d enjoyed reading. We’d take turns complaining, confessing our fears for the future, and offering suggestions of what to make for dinner.

I loved having a quarantine crush — someone cute to gab with in self-isolation who wasn’t my roommate’s dog or the Amazon delivery person. We found love in hopeless, contactless place, so as the weekend drew closer, I resolved that it was time to kick it up a notch. I messaged my crush asking if they wanted to FaceTime, aka the social distancing version of, “Want to grab a drink this weekend?”

I was shocked to find that people can still be so committed to roundabout-rejection, even when they’re sitting in their sweatpants at home, baking sourdough bread on Instagram Live.

When I saw “Typing…” pop up, I began daydreaming about their response. Would they claim to be working up the courage to ask me out? Suggest we do a fun activity over Zoom? Ask for my address, so they could send me a bottle of wine?

But when my phone finally pinged, their response made my eyes roll so far back inside my head, I felt like I was riding Kingda Ka.

“Uh, sorry,” they said. “I’m actually going to ban myself from screens for a while, to attempt to become one with nature. Or something.”

That’s right, folks. Instead of hitting me with an, “I’m just not that into you,” a content creator for a digital publication opted to tell me that they were not planning on using their cellphone or computer for the foreseeable future. All to, presumably, get out of going on a FaceTime date with me. Casual!

At first, I tried to cut them some slack. According to Dr. Carla Marie Manly, clinical psychologist and author of Joy from Fear, people often give phony explanations to avoid conflict or hurting someone’s feelings. When you’re not into someone, claiming to be “so busy at work” (or going on a cellular strike) can help cushion the blow.

But Dr. Manly also shares that lying your way out of plans doesn’t just hurt the people you’re rejecting — it hurts you.

“A pattern of telling ‘white lies’ can reduce sensitivity to dishonesty and lead to greater dishonesty over time,” Dr. Manly says. “Now that you can’t tell a ‘white lie’ about having another engagement, you have the opportunity to increase your honesty-based skills and personal boundaries.”

I did what they couldn’t: I officially pulled the plug.

Look, I’m all for giving your body what it needs, but there’s a difference between “I’m not using my phone” and “I’m not using my phone to FaceTime you.” I was shocked to find that people can still be so committed to roundabout-rejection, even when they’re sitting in their sweatpants at home, baking sourdough bread on Instagram Live.

I get it: Telling someone that you’re not feeling them can be intimating. But instead of finding new ways to blow people off, perhaps self-isolation can be a time to reflect on what you want, what you don’t, and how to honestly and directly communicate that to the people you date (or politely reject).

When my crush posted on Instagram a few days later, I thought about calling them out. But ultimately, I decided against it. Instead, I did what they couldn’t: I officially pulled the plug.


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!

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3 Non-Committal Zodiac Signs That Don’t Like To Label Their Relationships

There’s nothing quite like the frustration of falling for someone who seems to be dodging every opportunity to take your relationship to the next level. Whether you’ve been dating for a few months, or are approaching the one year mark, trying to build a relationship with non-committal zodiac signs can quickly start to feel like an uphill battle. The good news is that all hope is not lost. If you’re willing to be patient, these zodiac signs can make great partners, but it my take them a while to untangle their true feelings.


Known for their paradoxical nature, Gemini is a sign that often experiences an excess of inner conflict that can make them difficult to pin down. It’s not uncommon for the unruly twins to crave the freedom of singledom, while also yearning for the comfort and convenience of a committed relationship. For this reason, Geminis can be hesitant to label a relationship. And in some cases, this apprehension can last after passing relationship-y milestones like meeting their family, or regularly socializing with their friends.


As natural conflict avoiders, Libras aren’t always forthcoming with how they feel. But when they do fall for someone, they tend to fall extremely hard. That’s why, maintaining an identity independent from their love interest can feel like an impossible feat for them. However, it’s not long before the observant Libra becomes aware of their propensity to get swept up in relationships — And since they’ve likely been burned in the past by committing too soon, more experienced Libras may feel the need to overcorrect this habit by constantly pumping the breaks, even when they’re genuinely into someone.

beautiful young boho woman close up with pink feathers and accessories at sunset


Aquarians have so many wonderful qualities, but opening up about their emotions is not one of them. Being vulnerable is something that many Aquarians actively avoid. This is a sign that may also have unrealistically high standards for their relationships, which can make it hard for them to fully commit to a great partner who may not match up with the idealized image in their head. Your best bet when dealing with an Aquarius who’s being dodgy about labeling your relationship is to make your feelings known, then give them space to process. If they’re still being flighty, then it might be time to cut the cord.

When it comes to dealing with a partner who is apprehensive about putting a label on your relationship, it’s important to strike a healthy balance between pursuing your needs and respecting the fact that they may be processing their feelings a lot slower than you are. That said, as in every relationship, having an honest conversation about the future is the best way to assess whether you’re dating a compatible match.

10 Signs You’re Finally Getting Over A Breakup & Are No Longer In Love With Your Ex

Breakups can be brutal. But you’re past that now. Here’s how to know you’re over your ex.

The worst part of a breakup is not knowing how long it takes to get over a broken heart. At first, it feels like you’ll never figure out how to move on.

While you’ll probably always feel some type of way for your ex and the relationship that you had, slowly but surely you’ll start seeing the signs you’re finally getting over your ex.

We sympathize with those of you who were still pining over an ex (we cyberstalk our exes sometimes, too), we’re hoping this article will help you in your process of getting over a breakup. It might just be the catalyst you need to move past that toxic purgatory.

1. You don’t feel homicidal when he starts dating someone else.

In fact, you’re thrilled for both of them. Especially since you’re the one who set them up in the first place. After all, just because the two of you didn’t work out doesn’t mean he shouldn’t find happiness with someone else.

On the flip side, if he happened to know someone who might just be your soulmate, you’re sure he’d do the same for you.

2. You feel no urgent need to return his phone calls, texts, and emails.

Because he no longer holds the number one spot in your heart. And it’s not as if he’s going to see the error of his ways simply because you’re prompt.

3. You are interested in other men.

When you and your ex first broke up, you hit the bar scene in earnest with your best gal pals, but your heart just wasn’t it, no matter how many jolly rancher shots they plied you with.

But just the other day, that sexy bartender smiled at you, and you experienced a moment of zing! And yesterday evening, you brushed shoulders with Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome as you were picking up your kids from school, and your stomach did flip-flops. It looks like you’re ready to date again!

4. You now realize that a lot of his personality “quirks” were annoying or lame.

Like the fact that he was a compulsive liar. Or the fact that he constantly preened in front of the full-length mirror, making it really difficult for you to get dressed in the morning.

If you’re done seeing him through rose-colored glasses, you’re over him.

5. You consider your relationship a learning experience.

When you think back on the happy memories the two of you created together, you can’t help but smile. Yes, there were serious problems, but now, thank your lucky stars you know what to look out for in the future.

And that awful angst you experienced during your breakup and subsequent mourning period? It only made you stronger.

6. You no longer blame him for everything.

In the past, the bitterness you experienced due to your breakup caused you to inject spiteful comments about him into every conversation. Thank God that’s over and done with.

7. When you meet a new guy, you don’t automatically compare him to your ex.

Not only that, but you’re not even tempted to bring him up on your first date. Instead, you’re truly interested in learning more about this new guy’s life and, when asked about your own, are able to present yourself as a woman with hobbies and interests separate from those you shared with your old partner.

8. You think of yourself as single, not as someone who’s just gotten out of a relationship.

You’ve wallowed in self-pity for long enough, and are again ready to embrace the fun, adventure and boundless possibilities inherent in singledom. If you’re excited to be single, you’ve put Mr. Past where he belongs.

9. You truly feel that the relationship wasn’t meant to be.

And that you’re that much closer to finding the one you are supposed to be with.

10. You try to think of his middle name or phone number and can’t recall it.

Congratulations! The unnecessary detritus from your time together has been officially flushed from your system. Now go out and find someone who doesn’t give you chronic migraines

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!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

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