Dating and Relationship Advice – Before Becoming Exclusive With Your Partner, Here Are 4 Things You Should Talk About

If we’re being honest, I think we can all agree that there really are no shortcuts when it comes to building and nurturing a healthy relationship. While it’s probably best to avoid talking about the nitty-gritty of a relationship too early on (i.e. within the first few dates) to avoid applying unnecessary pressure to your partnership, before becoming exclusive with your partner, it’s super important to talk through a few key points to ensure you’re both on the same page.

Having serious conversations when dating someone newish can certainly feel daunting at best and massively anxiety-inducing at worst, but the truth of the matter is that, if exclusivity is on the table, having an open and honest dialogue (or three) shouldn’t feel strained or forced in any way. If it does, then that may be a sign that you’re not quite ready to take things to the next level. If, however, the lines of communication have been solid, then chances are, that’s a green light to bring up deeper topics of conversation. This way if/when you become exclusive, you can move forward knowing you’ve set a solid foundation for the road ahead. So, before you start calling this person bae, be sure to talk about these four things.


1. Your Plans For The Immediate Future

If you’re thinking about incorporating the person you’ve been dating into your life in a more permanent way, you should definitely talk about your plans for the next year at some point. While it’s totally OK to become exclusive with someone you might not see yourself ending up with down the line, at the very least, they deserve to know if you are leaving town or planning a six-month trek through Asia anytime soon. Likewise, if there are any commitments that will require large amounts of your time and energy — like starting grad school or a high-pressure job — you should both know what you’re signing up for.


2. Any Ex Business That Could Come Back To Haunt You

I know that some people might disagree with this, but I personally think that honesty is the best policy when it comes to ex business (finished or unfinished) or pretty much anything that could come out later and bite you. If the person you’ve been seeing has been assuming that your friend or roommate is just a friend or roommate, when really, you either dated or banged them in the past, then that’s something you should consider mentioning.

While the conversation might be an awkward one, biting the bullet will at least give you full control over how to frame it. If the person you’re dating just ends up finding out about your relationship with the other person on their own, then chances are, you may have to do some damage control, especially if your bae feels like their trust has been breached.


3. Your Expectations In A Relationship

This topic is frequently overlooked for the sake of “playing it cool.” However, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a talk about what elements of a relationship are most important to you. Because even though it’s easy to assume you and your bae value and are hoping for the same things from one another, this may, in fact, not be the case.

Differences in expectations are much easier to work through when you both actually know what the other person wants. Now, of course, it’s important to keep in mind that making demands is likely to come across as intimidating and may make many people shy away. But if you both bring your needs in a relationship up in a positive, chill, and open way, they can be a great roadmap for you and your new bae.


4. Family Baggage

In a perfect world, our family dynamics would have zero bearing on who we choose to date. And for some people who are able to maintain their full autonomy, they don’t. But either way, before you become exclusive with someone, the person you’re dating should have an honest overview of your family and how they fit into things. For example, if things between you and your fam are particularly tense or strained, this is could end up affecting your bae. And even if it doesn’t, knowing where someone comes from is an important part of getting to know them on a deeper level.

It’s always a good idea to keep in mind that, while this might seem like a lot to spring on someone in casual conversation, these aren’t things that need to be talked about in one sit-down. You can space these conversations out over time. Depending on the type of person you are, being open isn’t always easy, but anyone whom you want to call bae should have an accurate picture of who you are and vice versa.


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Dating and Relationship Advice – 11 Unexpected Signs That Your Partner Loves You More Than You Love Them

While it may sound horrible to say out loud, it’s actually pretty common to feel like your partner loves you more than you love them. (Or vice versa.) And it doesn’t necessarily mean something’s wrong with your relationship. There’s nothing wrong with one person loving the other just a little bit more. As long as you’re on the same path together as a couple and are exclusive, there will be times in the relationship where this will shift in one direction or the other. There may also be times when you’re the one who is head-over-heels, as well as times when you both feel like things have cooled off.

Through it all, the only thing you can do is acknowledge it, and then do whatever you can to prevent your relationship from becoming unbalanced in an unhealthy way. “Take time and see if your love grows, which might take a little work. Ask questions about their life, join in activities they like to do, ask about their family, and share the same about yourself. From there, if the relationship is meant to be, you should feel the love growing, and like things will be more balanced as a result. But if not, experts say you may notice some of the signs below — that your significant loves you way more than you love them.

They Apologize All The Time — Even When They Don’t Need To

11 Unexpected Signs That Your Partner Loves You More Than You Love Them

If your partner apologizes a lot, or when it’s not exactly necessary, it could be their way of showing the love by keeping the peace. Extending the olive branch in order to make peace in your relationship shows one person may love the other a bit more.

And same goes for a partner who stands up for you 100 percent of the time — even when you’re so wrong. “This shows an undying loyalty that one person may be more in love and willing to be a bit dishonest just to protect the other person in the relationship,” she says.

If this describes your partner, it could just be a sweet sign that they love you unendingly, and would do anything for you. But it could also be a slippery slope into codependence. And since that’s not a healthy dynamic, you may want to pump those relationship brakes, and have a chat before things escalate.

They Always Check With You Before Making Plans

11 Unexpected Signs That Your Partner Loves You More Than You Love Them

If your partner always checks in with you before solidifying their weekly plans, there’s a good chance they love you. Like, a lot. Checking in with you before making plans means that your partner is prioritizing the relationship. It also shows respect towards the other person and that their time and opinion is important.

But if you can’t return the favor, it may be time to reevaluate your feelings. While it’s always a good idea to schedule in alone time — and to do things separately, away from your partner — you shouldn’t prefer alone time to seeing your partner, or consistently want to put them on the back burner. If that seems to be your MO, it might mean you’re not as invested in this relationship as you should be.

They’re The One Who Makes All The Plans

11 Unexpected Signs That Your Partner Loves You More Than You Love Them

Think about who comes up with date night ideas, and who plans vacations. Is it your partner 100 percent of the time? If so, it’s a clear sign they love you, want to see you, and that they prioritize your relationship. And it may just be your dynamic; that they’re the planner, and you’re the one who goes along.

But it is important to flip the script, and surprise your partner from time to time. “Taking the initiative to respond within a respectful amount of time as well as planning a special day for your partner can help you contribute to the relationship,” And if you want to be in the relationship, then it’ll be totally worth it.

You’ve Met Their Parents, But They Haven’t Met Yours

11 Unexpected Signs That Your Partner Loves You More Than You Love Them

Another sign your partner might just be a little bit more invested? You have met your partner’s family and friends but you don’t feel the need to introduce them to yours. This says your partner thinks it’s important for you to meet the most important people in their life because you are important and they see a future with you. With you not reciprocating you take the chance of hurting your partner’s feelings and them questioning your loyalty.

So go ahead and ask yourself what might be holding you back. If you are not close with your family … take the time to explain your reasons for not introducing them. When you are ready to introduce friends and family members start slow, introduce friends first while moving up to introducing your family when you are ready.

They Remember Everything You Say

11 Unexpected Signs That Your Partner Loves You More Than You Love Them

If your partner is the one who remembers your anniversary and the date of your first kiss, they could just be a hopeless romantic (or someone with an iron clad memory). But it could also be that they’re more invested in this than you are.

Your partner remembers the things that you tell them but you don’t really recall the same about them. “Committed and invested partners tend to remember the little things and show that they care though gestures.

But remember, just because your partner “wins” in this category, it doesn’t mean all is lost. By possibly going to therapy, and doing a little soul-searching, you might be able to drum up the effort you need to stay in this relationship — and make it a healthy one.

They Pay Attention To Every Detail

11 Unexpected Signs That Your Partner Loves You More Than You Love Them

Even though you might both be doing kind things for each other, your partner likely goes above and beyond by really paying attention to the details. How you spend your time is a good indication of how much you care about someone or something. If your partner puts effort into the little things related to you (like random cute texts, asking about your day, remembering important dates, etc), but you can’t ever seem to do those things in return, they are more invested.

They Send Way Longer Texts Than You Do

11 Unexpected Signs That Your Partner Loves You More Than You Love Them

Speaking of texts, long detailed texts are generally a sign someone is head-over-heels. “If your partner sends lengthier messages … I can guess that they are more into you than you are them.

But, it could also be a sign of laziness on your part. If you aren’t much of a texter, or can’t be bothered to put effort into your phone, be sure to show your love in other ways. And, consider chatting with your partner about love languages. If they’re someone who needs words of affirmation in order to feel loved, then you may need to up your texting game.

Your Text Ratio As A Couple Is Super Skewed

11 Unexpected Signs That Your Partner Loves You More Than You Love Them

If your partner sends lengthy texts, that’s fine — as long as you also respond. So take a look at the ratio you’ve got goin’ on. “The text ratio will not be 50/50 if your partner loves you more. “The text ratio will be something like 70/30 meaning that your partner initiates 70 percent of the time while you only initiate 30 percent of the time.”

Again, sometimes one partner might just be a better texter than the other — meaning they want to talk more, or monitor their phone more than you do. But it can also be a sign you need to balance the love in your relationship. You can balance this out by putting in more effort. Think of things that your partner enjoys and text them about it. It will bring you closer as a couple if you can maintain balance in the relationship.

They Go Above And Beyond For You

11 Unexpected Signs That Your Partner Loves You More Than You Love Them

Think of all the times your partner has dropped everything in order to help you out. Like that time they woke up at 2 a.m. to pick you up from the airport. Or that time they drove out into the fields with a new tire when you had a flat. If you can’t seem to reciprocate — even in smaller ways — It could be a sign you aren’t that into them.

As mentioned above, it’s normal for a relationship to have its ups and downs. And it’s normal for one partner to be just a little bit more in love. But if you can’t seem to muster the strength to put effort in for your partner, it may be better for both of you if you move on.

They Motivate You Like A Life Coach Would

11 Unexpected Signs That Your Partner Loves You More Than You Love Them

If your partner is the one dishing out all the love in your relationship, you might notice that it seems like they never stop thinking about you. Maybe they know you’ve had a long day, so dinner is waiting at home, or they pick you up and take you out so that you don’t have to worry about cooking. Maybe they text you throughout the day to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything you wanted to get done. Perhaps they do some of your errands to make you forget about having a bad day.

This is super sweet, if you’re also making an effort. But if you’re not, it may be time to chat with your partner about ways to make your relationship more balanced and fair, so that you can both show the love.

They’re Kind of “Attached At The Hip”

11 Unexpected Signs That Your Partner Loves You More Than You Love Them

If your partner would rather be with you than see a friend pretty much 100 percent of the time, there’s a good chance they love you. But, as mentioned above, that isn’t always the healthiest.

So go ahead and set up some boundaries. Explain to your partner that you like to be independent and take time to be by yourself and hang out with friends.  It can be beneficial for you partner, and for you.

Most likely when they give you your space you will miss [them and] move towards a more even desire to spend time together. It’s important to pay attention to these areas and talk with your partner. And once the two of you discuss how to enact that balance in your relationship, you can both feel loved and cared for.

I think in many of the relationships I’ve been in I obviously loved my partner more than they loved me.


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Dating and Relationship Advice – First Date Conversations – The Top Tips For Great Conversations

First date conversations can be awkward and difficult to manage. In many cases, bad conversation will make for a long, painful date. You can avoid this though…

The way to avoid this is to ensure that you can engage the other person in gripping, meaningful conversations. In order to do that, you must have some conversation starters ready to use and you must be able to read the other person.

Part of demonstrating good dating etiquette is to know what and when to say it. There are great things that you can talk about on a date, and things that you should not talk about. The key is knowing the difference…

And that is where phicklephilly comes in to help you! I have assembled some great ideas, tips, things you should say, and things you shouldn’t say on a first date. In fact, many of these principles apply to any type of date, but the first one is the most critical.

First Date Conversations Tips

1. Place the focus where it should be – The focus should be on your date at all times. Most people have a tendency to talk about themselves. For most people, the most interesting person on the planet is…themselves! So, let’s use this to our advantage…

Ask questions that will allow the person to open up about themselves. Do not ask questions that they could answer with a yes/no answer. The point is that we want them to answer so that they open up.

2. Listen! This simple tip seems to elude most people when it comes to first date conversations. When you ask a question, you need to listen to what they say. There’s nothing worse than when someone is not paying attention to you or hearing what you say. In order for the conversation to go well, you must listen to their response and comment about it so that they know you were paying attention.

Usually, most people are not listening because they are busy trying to think of another question to ask. While they’re thinking about the next question, they miss what the other person said. To avoid this from happening, think about your questions beforehand. The preparation time will be well worth it.

3. Avoid difficult subjects – When it comes to a first date, there’s nothing that’ll kill the date faster than talking about religion, politics, or anything else that is controversial. These are topics that many people are passionate about and have strong opinions. If they have a different opinion than you and it turns into a debate, then you have failed and there will not be a second date.

Let’s face it…the first date is not the time to see what their position is on political parties, abortion, or anything of the like. Spend the time getting to know someone and trying to build a friendship. Anything that takes away from building a friendship is unimportant.

4. Build on common ground – The easiest way to maintain healthy first date conversations is to find something that the two of you have in common. The purpose of the first date is to build a relationship and see if you would like to continue the building process. If you are focusing on how they are different from you, you are missing the boat.

Ask about interests, hobbies, what they do in their spare time. Find something that the two of you are passionate about. This will add fuel to the conversation fire.

5. Relax – This is usually easier said than done. It has been my experience that the more stressed I get about conversation, the worse it ends up being. So, the easiest thing to do is to not worry too much about it.

I hope these first date conversations tips will help you on your next date.


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Kaja – Monday… Sigh

I get a text on Sunday night. “Are we still on for Monday?” It’s Kaja. I just had lunch with her last Friday. (But she did close with the words, “When can I see you again?” with a hug and a kiss.)

I tell her I go to Cavanaugh’s Rittenhouse every Monday for lunch at 1pm. She agrees to meet me and it’s on. I get there around noon so I can do some work and edit the week’s blogs because I was so busy writing about her I forgot to do it. I really wanted to get her story down because it was so good. (See: Kaja – 2003 to Present – Out of the Blue)

She arrives at 12:45. I like that. To me, punctuality is imperative. She looks great as always. This is the most I’ve ever seen her in a small space of time. With Kaja it was always pop in, and then pop out for another two years. But what’s happened in the past year has changed everything for the better.

I hope for her sake it stays that way.

She tells me more about prison. She says the food you get the first few weeks is worse than they describe it in the movies. It’s small portions of gross looking and worse tasking grub you can imagine. So she was basically starving for a couple of weeks. Maybe that’s to weaken the prisoners at first.

After a few weeks you can apply for commissary. A prison commissary (commissary being a word taken out of context in such situations) or canteen is a store within a correctional facility, from which inmates may purchase products such as hygiene items, snacks, writing instruments, etc. Spices, including those packaged with instant ramen noodles, are a popular item due to the often bland nature of prison food. Typically inmates are not allowed to possess cash; instead, they make purchases through an account with funds from money contributed by friends, family members, etc., or earned as wages. Typically, prisons set a maximum limit of funds that can be spent by each inmate on commissary; in the U.S. federal system, it is $290 per month. It’s generally prohibited for inmates to trade items purchased on commissary. However, certain items tend to be used as currency. Cigarettes were a classic medium of exchange, but in the wake of prison tobacco bans, postage stamps have become a more common currency item, along with any inexpensive, popular item that has a round number price such as 25 or 50 cents. As prison budgets are cut in the USA, ramen has become a popular commodity to supplement food needs. Mylar foil packets of mackerel fish or “macks” are one such item. In 1930, the U.S. Department of Justice authorized and established a commissary at each federal institution. Some prison commissaries are staffed by government employees and inmates, while others have been completely privatized. Significant price markups are common in prison commissaries, although some prison systems set maximum markups; for instance, the Delaware Department of Correction has a 20% maximum markup. $100 million in purchases were made from Texas’ prison system alone in 2009. Prison commissary is a privilege that is often taken away for infractions.

She said once she had commissary she ate a bunch of food and a lot of it was carbs and sugary food. I think she just stuffed her sadness with chow. She said she ballooned up to 180 lbs. She’s 5’9″ so when she was a dancer she was 120 lbs. She says, “Too skinny.” I say, “Super hot.” But now she’s 140 lbs. and would like to lose a few more. I still think she looks good, but she’s right. She shouldn’t look like an Estonian matron by the time she’s 40.

She clarifies that she went in for two months and was released on bail. But had to go back in and serve seven more months for all the other infractions. I’m not clear on this but basically she did a total of nine months in the can.

She’s apparently living with this old guy who isn’t all there. I’m thinking she may have met him back in her stripper days. She doesn’t get into the details of how she knows him, but apparently he’s retired, bi-polar and not all there. He just sits around all day and chain smokes and watches TV. She hates it there because he’s nuts and she never knows what she’s coming home to. (That’s bi-polar for you!) Sadly, all of her clothes smell like filthy cigarette smoke.


Back in jail she was in a cell that was a  big room, three stone walls and the front is all bars. But she’s in there with 19 other women. It’s all bunks. So take 20 women that are in for different offenses, throw them together. They’re sad, they’re depressed, and they’re angry. Throw in some PMS…That’s a powder keg waiting to go off.

So she said there was all kinds of drama, fights, and even some romance. Classic women’s prison movie stuff.

We go on and off topic and I’m sure more will come out as we hang out. Like I said, I’m just glad she’s okay. We have a delicious lunch together and I tell her my Monday ritual here at Cav’s. She says she has some more things to do, and has to make a few call and will let me know if she can stick around. Either way is fine with me. As I get older I enjoy most people in small doses.

Kaja goes outside and makes a few calls.

I continue editing phicklephilly until she returns. I get the last one finished, just as she approaches the table. She is such and elegant woman with such good manners I wonder how she got into all of the trouble she has. But if she sticks around long enough, I may get the story. I’m okay even if I don’t.

Kaja tells me she has to go. Now worries. I’ll do some writing and sip a Manhattan in a few hours. She drops $25 on the bill and a hug later she’s gone.

While I’m sitting there I get an email from Cavanaugh’s. It said that “You really like us and we really, really like you so we’re giving a free drink of your choice on us.”  How brilliant is this small chain of sports bars? They must know I use their wifi every Monday and see that I’m a trackable regular. They sent me a reward for spending money there on a weekly basis. That’s the future of advertising!

I show the coupon to Karina and she says your drink is free. So when I walked out of Cav’s my bill was $10. Peanuts!  Karina is now my #1 favorite female bartender in the city. Killer hospitality!

I text Roman over at Square and ask him if he’s working, and if it’s busy. (See: Roman – 2012 to Present – Rock and Roll Bartender)

“I am and it’s not.”

I pack up and head over. Normally I would have just gone home but I want to charge up my devices and write some more pieces. I have so many right now. I thought I’d be dry by now and writing about my past more but there are a lot of things going on.

I get there and sit at the end of the bar. It’s quiet. I plug everything in and I’m typing away. Roman sets a glass of chardonnay down and a glass of monster ice cubes. I like ice in my wine. Old networking trick. Water it down, and nobody knows what it is you’re drinking. It waters it down and you can keep going without losing your shit like everybody around you.

Almost like a magnet, people I know start coming in. They’re stopping by and chatting and catching up. It’s lovely. Even a server I thought didn’t like me comes over to chat. She’s telling me how she has been with an older man for over five years because he really appreciates her and treats her well.  (Well done, sir! She’s 29!)

After an hour or so I crack off a couple of pieces and pack up. I had maybe three Chardonnay. My bill was $5.50.

Hookup city!

I pay cash, tip heavily, and head home. I’ve had a lovely day surrounded by good people. That’s my life now. I’m blessed to have gotten to this place.

I go home and chat with my buddy Church on the phone.  (See: Church – 2014 to Present – Brand Ambassador) Daughter Lorelei is over in Jersey at her boyfriend’s house. I have the place to myself tonight. I’m in the command center, (My chair and ottoman in front of my 50″ flat screen watching Netflix . I light a cig and pour myself another glass of Chardonnay.

UPDATE: Kaja is back to working as a stripper in New York City!


Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day at 8am & 12pm EST.

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Cherie – Chapter 16 – Brief Repose

Cherie is off for winter break from school, so she has some flexibility. Not much, but a little. She was able to come downtown today to meet me for lunch. If my daughter Lorelei was working the lunch shift instead of dinner at her job today, lunch with Cherie would have been a completely different experience.

But I’m always happy to see my love. Cherie had an appointment in the morning. She texted me to say she was finished and available to meet. We met at 17th and Chestnut. It was raining today and I remembered my umbrella this morning, but forgot it when I left the office for lunch. So this time, instead of me sharing my umbrella with her like on our first date, she was sharing her purple one with me. I’m holding it over her head. She doesn’t seem to mind the rain as usual.

We arrive at Devil’s Alley. It’s a little after 11am, which is brilliant because the place is dead. The food at Devil’s is great, but the service has always been a little slow. It’s been that way for years. But… if you get there early it’s a whole different story. The place is dead.

The host gets off the phone and asks us where we want to sit. I say upstairs and up the steps we go. We get a nice quiet table in the back. Our server is on point with the specials, but we know what we want. We order the amazing dry rub wings to start. I think they’re the best in the city. She goes with the blue cheese burger and I get the pulled pork sliders. Mine comes with coleslaw and hers with fries. She likes slaw and I like fries, so we’ve got the perfect share plate.

It’s really nice to see her. She’s wearing her glasses today and she looks sexy smart. I tell her than I noticed she wore her contacts last time we were together. “That’s so I could see you!”  she says. I tell her that men are visual animals and it’s always better in bed when we can see our partner.

“I know, that’s why I woke you up at 6am last Saturday to fuck me again, so you could see me.” she says.

I just laugh as the waiter approaches. She loves to play with me like that. It only makes me want her more. But we’re in a restaurant, and our next intimate encounter is a week away.

We’re chatting about the holidays and life. She finally got a new phone from her dad for christmas. She loves it. I don’t know what she had before, but she didn’t like it. It seemed like it was always going dead. She whips out the iPhone 7 and it is brand new. My phone seems old in comparison. (As long as it works I don’t care what kind of phone I have) It’s lean and slim like her.

I’m happy to be having lunch with her. Just sitting across the table from her is wonderful. Looking into her eyes and holding her hand. She never wants anything. She didn’t even want anything for Christmas. I had a glorious Christmas with her, but the gifts we exchanged didn’t come from a store. She says she really doesn’t want things. She’s happy with what she has. If she wants something, she’ll work and save for it. I asked her if she and her son’s father ever exchanged gifts at Christmas. She said they did, but it was no big deal. She said that she would rather see him put the money for her gift towards something else for her son. That’s really sweet and selfless.

It’s a good week for me to spend time with her. Work is slow. The rain has stopped, so after lunch we head down to the store to get a case for her new phone. I can’t believe how expensive some of these cases are now. That’s a cottage industry unto itself. I saw cases that were over sixty dollars! For a hunk of plastic? That seems like a ripoff to me, but if you drop one of these new elegant phones on the pavement…

The sales girl who was helping us showed the strength of  the case on her phone. While talking to us, she literally tossed the phone like twenty feet away. It bounced against the front of the counter. She goes over and picks up the phone and it was fine. We were sold. I found it a brilliant sales tactic and I congratulate the girl.

Cherie picks out a winner and it’s the same make as mine. (Otter Box)

The rain has stopped. Cherie says she has to use the restroom. I know where every liquor store and clean bathroom is in Philly. “Follow me.” I take her to Sofitel. They have super clean and very private bathrooms. It’s the only place my buddy Church will go for an ‘away game!’ The Ritz Carlton has my other favorite bathrooms in the city. You gotta know stuff like this when you live in a city.

Cherie’s been working so many hours at her two hospital jobs, that I can see that she’s just tired. I think between finals at school, raising her son, and all the hours she works, it’s taking a toll on her. She says that she may have to leave the one job once school starts again, because it’s just too much. Sometime you have to choose between money and health. I really care about her and her well-being is far more important to me than anything else. She did really well in school this past semester, so she’s moving forward with her education.

She said she walked past a place called the Velvet Lily earlier today. I know the place and the owner. It’s a high-end sex shop down in Midtown Village. They sell all sorts of toys and what not. I tell her we’re too far to go back down there, because I have to be at the salon at 3pm and she has a 2:38 train to catch. But there’s a place on Walnut called The Passional that has stuff like that. I have never set foot in the place, but Cherie loves sex and I may get some ideas based on what she looks at in the store.

We go in, and it’s downstairs from a head shop called Wonderland. First thing I see is a bunch of silly bachelorette party crap. Which I find sort of obnoxious. Cherie isn’t interested in it either. I point out a wedge-shaped pillow that improves the angle of things during sex. “As if you don’t twist me and flip me around every which way enough?” She smiles. I laugh and move on. The store isn’t that good, and I wonder how they stay in business. Don’t most people buy all this stuff online now? I’m thinking about getting some things, and I can probably just go through Amazon.

It looks like Cherie is unenthused in regard to this store, so we leave. I think it’s cute that she always asks where we’re going because she doesn’t know her way around Philly. I always assure her where we are, and where we’re going, and when we’ll get to where we have to be. I don’t mind it at all. She makes so many decisions every day, that she likes relying on me to do all of that when we’re together.

We know it’s coming. The time when we’ll have to part. I take her into the BNY Mellon building to escape the damp chilly day. I know the whole Suburban Station network like the back of my hand. I can even tell you at any point where we are in relation to the street level when I’m down there. Like my father before me, I’m an explorer. My dad could always find ways to locate things and shortcuts to everywhere. That’s when having anxiety and OCD are a good thing. You’re always looking for and angle or an alternate escape route.

I take her to her train platform and we sit down on one of the red metal benches. I’m close to her. I take her hands in mine. The train is coming soon. I kiss her neck, and whisper to her:

“I miss you already.”

She whispers back. “We’ll be together soon.”

A slight breeze. It’s coming. A light appears down the track, and the train roars into the station. We rise and I walk her over to the door.

We kiss, and she’s gone.


Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day at 8am & 12pm EST.

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Dating and Relationship Advice – The Most Popular Way to Meet a Significant Other Has Nothing to Do With Online Dating


Is it time to say so long to swiping?

While dating apps are as popular as ever, they might not be the best way to meet a potential romantic partner. That’s the takeaway from a recent survey, which found that only 8% of people polled said that they hooked up with their significant other via online dating or a dating app.

What was the most common way for couples to meet? Through mutual friends, according to the survey, which was conducted by market research company ReportLinker. An impressive 39% of respondents replied that they met their spouse this way—just like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Meeting at work came in second place, with 15% of respondents answering that they met their significant other at the office. Next on the list was in a bar or public area (12%), through a sport/religion/hobby events (9%), family (7%), and school (6%). Just 1% of poll takers said that they met their beloved at a speed-dating event.

The poll results cast doubt on the prospect of finding lasting love online, and instead relying on friends (or your local pub) to help you find The One. When asked what they thought was the main drawback of online dating, 30% of single respondents said that potential love interests on sites and apps were “not serious” and 21% said “more lies.”

Still, singles continue to search for a significant other digitally. Respondents who said that they were currently dating online had a profile up on an average of 2.4 websites.

The results were based on replies from 501 singles and 551 coupled-up people in the U.S. Speaking of couples, the survey also found that 6% of the people who described themselves as having a spouse were still registered on a dating website or app.


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Dating and Relationship Advice – 7 Things Women Expect On A First Date

Landing yourself a first date is only the first step in securing a smooth transition into an eventful and exciting night. A first date is about an impression. A woman wants to feel that the man she’s with has not only thought about the date, but also prepared accordingly.

Let me help you decipher her unspoken expectations for the evening and what she wants you to do but would never actually say.

1- Go the extra mile… or two

If you greet her with a red rose and a smile you’re sure to get a warm response. But why not turn up the heat and offer her a less stereotypical treat? If you already know some details about this woman, use the information to your advantage. If her favorite color is purple, give her a purple flower. Otherwise, use your imagination.

If she’s the playful type, she might enjoy a bouquet of lollipops to sweeten the night. Or, if she’s of a more intellectual persuasion, perhaps offering her a copy of your favorite book might stack the odds in your favor. The key is creativity — she’ll be impressed if you’ve shown that you not only got her something, but that you thought about her while doing it.

2- Be polite, not pushy
She may not tell you that etiquette is a priority, but be sure that she’s keeping an eye on what you are, and perhaps more important, what you aren’t doing. It’s the little details that make the difference, like chewing with your mouth closed. Remember; nothing you have to say is either important or funny enough that it can’t be said after you swallow.

Do offer to open the door for her, but if she insists on doing it herself, be sure and let her. Another rule to remember: any stories that involve vomit or secretions of any sort (no matter how funny or appropriate you think they are) will generally be a complete turnoff to a woman.

3- Be complimentary
Many men forget to notice and compliment their date’s appearance. There must be something about her outfit, her hair or the way she smells that you like. You can rest assured that she’s spent a good portion of her time primping and preparing for this first date, and it’s important that you acknowledge her efforts.

Find out what you should do during dinner and how to leave her with a lasting impression…

4- Be curious about her
You’re nervous and trying to make sure that she thinks you’re better (and more original) than the last guy who showed up at her door with a red rose. The result can often be you talking about all the things you’ve accomplished while neglecting to ask her about her interests. Your intentions might be to keep the conversation flowing, but a monologue actually makes for a more uncomfortable evening than a few awkward pauses. So be sure to ask her about herself; just don’t turn it into an interview.

5- Be assertive, not aggressive
It’s important that you show her you’re confident. But, it’s also important not to blur the line between being assertive and aggressive while interacting with her, as well as those who might even prove to be allies on your first date. When dealing with your waiter, she’d prefer you be courteous than cantankerous. If what you order isn’t what you get, then by all means tell your waiter, but don’t raise your voice and demand it be taken back. A polite smile and a simple assertion that your order has been confused is the perfect time for you to show your willingness to forgive while your waiter tries to make it up to you (all the while making you look even better). Likewise, if the movie you both wanted to see is sold out, take it in good humor and most importantly…

6- Always have a backup plan
If the plans you made unravel at the last moment, relax. You can always rely on plan B to make the most of what might have been a wasted night. She’ll either be impressed by your on-the-spot creativity or glowing at the thought of you considering a “just in case” scenario for your date. It doesn’t have to be overly extravagant, just make sure you have some other ideas in the event the night doesn’t come together exactly as planned. From ice skating to salsa dancing to coffee drinking — any backup option is better than no option at all.

7- Leave her impressed

The evening seems to be coming to a close; time to pull that proverbial ace from up your sleeve. You want to leave her with a lasting impression about what a wonderful time she had and how lucky she was to spend it with you. Seeing her to her door will no doubt get you further than the front door. But give her the option to welcome you in by taking it one step at a time. Offering a polite end to a wonderful evening just leaves her wanting more and gives her the chance to assert herself if she’s craving more than a kiss at night’s end. Of course, if you’ve played your cards right, she’ll be wanting more than just this one date anyway…

Go get ’em

These seven effective steps are sure-fire ways to not only impress the woman you’re with, but also to exceed her expectations. Remember; being sincere and thoughtful each step of the way guarantees success. By taking care and control of the details, you will exude confidence and keep her craving more.


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Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day at 8am & 12pm EST.

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