Here’s How To Have A Long-Distance Open Relationship, According To An Expert

No two relationships are exactly the same. A “normal” relationship can be different for every couple, although I personally have tried to model all of mine off Meredith and Derek in Grey’s Anatomy. (I am single, please don’t ask for details.) For some, normal looks like a long-distance, open relationship, which might not always be easy. But according to a relationship expert, it’s possible to make it work as long as both partners are on the same page about what they want. Still, it does present its own unique challenges. For tips on how to have a long-distance open relationship, I spoke with Dr. Joshua Klapow, clinical psychologist and host of The Kurre and Klapow Show. Remember: You deserve a love that feels right to you, so Klapow’s insight might be able to provide some guidance.

Keeping communication open, but not too frequent, is important in all relationships, but particularly long-distance open relationships. I’ve personally been in long-distance relationships where I wanted constant communication because I couldn’t see my partner, and it ended up making the relationship more strained. “Communicate often but not constantly,” Dr. Klapow tells Elite Daily. “Trying to make up the time you are not together by talking, emailing, and texting constantly simply creates a level of expectation that can’t be sustained. Keep it regular but regimented so that communication doesn’t take over your life.”

In open relationships in particular, too much communication might make your partner worry you’re jealous (or vice versa), which could put a strain on the relationship. Be sure to find a communication rhythm that works for both of you, and you’ll likely have a better chance of success in your open long-distance relationship.

Santi Nunez/Stocksy

Self-reflect, and make sure you’re in the relationship for the right reasons. “What often happens is that one partner agrees to the open long-distance relationship in order to hang on to the relationship,” Dr. Klapow says. “If you are going to be long distance, and you are going to agree to date other people, then your relationship is only as deep and committed as your feelings for each other.” This definitely doesn’t have to be your relationship if you don’t want it to be — only you know why you’ve decided to commit to each other. However, if one of you is in the relationship for any reason other than truly wanting to be in that type of relationship, then it might be time to reevaluate. Figure out what made you begin the relationship in the first place, and remember what drew you to your partner.

Have a way to cope with jealousy when it arises, and your long-distance open relationship is more likely to work out. Communication is critical, and if you have a strategy for telling your partner that you’re jealous, you might not feel like you’re keeping a secret from them. There’s nothing wrong with being envious — it’s totally normal, and it’s especially normal if you don’t get to see your partner as much as you’d like. Still, it’s helpful to focus on your own life when jealousy arises. “Do things for you and only for you,” Dr. Klapow says. “Focus on work, or school when you are not with them. Make friends and enjoy them fully, not as a stopgap for the relationship. The stronger your life can be in terms of activities, hobbies, and other people, the healthier you will be.” Putting the focus on your own life can help keep jealousy in check, and being open with your partner can strengthen the relationship.

Brianna Lee/Stocksy

Sometimes, it can be helpful to change the way you think about the relationship. “Don’t try to formalize something that is not formal,” Dr. Klapow says. “An open long-distance relationship in practice means you are dating other people — nothing more and nothing less.” Of course, only you know if your relationship is truly a relationship (and you get to decide what the term “relationship” means to you), but if it’s easier to think of it as something else, be open to that as well. The two of you can be special to each other in whatever way you like, and sometimes the label of “relationship” puts a strain on the dynamic that you have. If you’re committed to being in a relationship, that’s wonderful, but if you’re open to calling it something else to improve your connection, that might help, too.

Long-distance open relationships can succeed, but only you know if the relationship is right for you. If you and your partner are both fully committed and communicating about your needs, and you’re both happy, then the relationship is healthy, and that’s what matters most. Besides, them being long-distance gives you space to live your own life, and the openness allows you to meet other people. So enjoy the relationship, and happy dating!

 

No two relationships are exactly the same. A “normal” relationship can be different for every couple, although I personally have tried to model all of mine off Meredith and Derek in Grey’s Anatomy. (I am single, please don’t ask for details.) For some, normal looks like a long-distance, open relationship, which might not always be easy. But according to a relationship expert, it’s possible to make it work as long as both partners are on the same page about what they want. Still, it does present its own unique challenges. For tips on how to have a long-distance open relationship, I spoke with Dr. Joshua Klapow, clinical psychologist and host of The Kurre and Klapow Show. Remember: You deserve a love that feels right to you, so Klapow’s insight might be able to provide some guidance.

Keeping communication open, but not too frequent, is important in all relationships, but particularly long-distance open relationships. I’ve personally been in long-distance relationships where I wanted constant communication because I couldn’t see my partner, and it ended up making the relationship more strained. “Communicate often but not constantly,” Dr. Klapow tells Elite Daily. “Trying to make up the time you are not together by talking, emailing, and texting constantly simply creates a level of expectation that can’t be sustained. Keep it regular but regimented so that communication doesn’t take over your life.”

In open relationships in particular, too much communication might make your partner worry you’re jealous (or vice versa), which could put a strain on the relationship. Be sure to find a communication rhythm that works for both of you, and you’ll likely have a better chance of success in your open long-distance relationship.

Santi Nunez/Stocksy

Self-reflect, and make sure you’re in the relationship for the right reasons. “What often happens is that one partner agrees to the open long-distance relationship in order to hang on to the relationship,” Dr. Klapow says. “If you are going to be long distance, and you are going to agree to date other people, then your relationship is only as deep and committed as your feelings for each other.” This definitely doesn’t have to be your relationship if you don’t want it to be — only you know why you’ve decided to commit to each other. However, if one of you is in the relationship for any reason other than truly wanting to be in that type of relationship, then it might be time to reevaluate. Figure out what made you begin the relationship in the first place, and remember what drew you to your partner.

Have a way to cope with jealousy when it arises, and your long-distance open relationship is more likely to work out. Communication is critical, and if you have a strategy for telling your partner that you’re jealous, you might not feel like you’re keeping a secret from them. There’s nothing wrong with being envious — it’s totally normal, and it’s especially normal if you don’t get to see your partner as much as you’d like. Still, it’s helpful to focus on your own life when jealousy arises. “Do things for you and only for you,” Dr. Klapow says. “Focus on work, or school when you are not with them. Make friends and enjoy them fully, not as a stopgap for the relationship. The stronger your life can be in terms of activities, hobbies, and other people, the healthier you will be.” Putting the focus on your own life can help keep jealousy in check, and being open with your partner can strengthen the relationship.

Brianna Lee/Stocksy

Sometimes, it can be helpful to change the way you think about the relationship. “Don’t try to formalize something that is not formal,” Dr. Klapow says. “An open long-distance relationship in practice means you are dating other people — nothing more and nothing less.” Of course, only you know if your relationship is truly a relationship (and you get to decide what the term “relationship” means to you), but if it’s easier to think of it as something else, be open to that as well. The two of you can be special to each other in whatever way you like, and sometimes the label of “relationship” puts a strain on the dynamic that you have. If you’re committed to being in a relationship, that’s wonderful, but if you’re open to calling it something else to improve your connection, that might help, too.

Long-distance open relationships can succeed, but only you know if the relationship is right for you. If you and your partner are both fully committed and communicating about your needs, and you’re both happy, then the relationship is healthy, and that’s what matters most. Besides, them being long-distance gives you space to live your own life, and the openness allows you to meet other people. So enjoy the relationship, and happy dating!

 

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

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Here’s Why Wanting To Start Dating Someone Who’s Not Your Type Can Seriously Pay Off

No moment is quite as ironic as the one when you look back on your dating history and realize you’ve been dating the same type of person your entire life.(So that’s why it’s never worked out! Eureka!) But in all seriousness, it’s so common to have a specific “type” of person you always look to date — whether it’s athletes, artists, intellectuals, and everything in between — and veering away from that type can be challenging. When you find yourself ready or about to start dating someone who’s not your type, it’s important to remember the benefits that branching out can really have.

In his blog, FrankTalks, dating coach Frank Kermit defined what a type really is. “Each of us has our preference of what we like, what turns us on, and what drives us wild,” he wrote. “Sometimes, the type of person we are attracted to is the kind of person that we can function well in a relationship with. But other times, the very type of person we are most attracted to is exactly the type of person that is simply incompatible as a long-term partner.” If you usually fall into the latter category, then giving someone who’s not your usual type a chance is a step in the right direction.

The most important thing to keep in mind when you’re ready to start dating outside your typical type is to keep an open mind about the possibilities this person might bring, Shula Melamed, MA, MPH, and well-being coach says. “If they are not your usual type, is there something about the things you do share in common or the way that they make you feel that transcend [that] type?” she tells Elite Daily.

Even if you don’t think you and this person will work together, just trying to date outside your type can really improve your love life, Melamed points out. By being open to it, you may find “the missing link in having better relationships,” she says.

“It’s good to expand your horizons,” Melamed says. But it can be important to keep in mind that, “going outside your type might cause challenges in some ways, and if these challenges arise, [don’t] try and turn this person into someone they are not,” she continues. You’re a total gem, and the person you’re considering dating probably is, too. Maybe they’re a ruby, and you usually prefer sapphires, but that’s fine! But both are gems with wonderful qualities, nonetheless. See where I’m going with this? Case in point: Dating outside of your type may pay off in ways you never would’ve expected, and make you happier than you ever thought possible.

In fact, your type can change over time. According to Kermit, attraction can be “programmed and re-programmed throughout our lives by life experience.” So, what may be your type today, may not be your type in five years. “Romance and lust tend to be time-limited,” he wrote. “What drives us to feel attraction is not solely based on what we were born to feel attraction for.”

Your type may change repeatedly until you find someone you want to stick with for life, and that person may be the exact opposite of what you thought you were looking for in the first place. So, maybe it’s better to avoid labeling certain people your “type” and others “not your type,” and just date whoever you’re curious about. Granted, the people you date may have similar characteristics that you’re drawn to, but that doesn’t mean they’re all the same person. So, when you’re ready to start dating someone who’s not your usual type, keep this in mind: I’m trying something new, and it might be fully worth it.

 

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

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We Have Ruined Childhood

For youngsters these days, an hour of free play is like a drop of water in the desert. Of course they’re miserable.

According to the psychologist Peter Gray, children today are more depressed than they were during the Great Depression and more anxious than they were at the height of the Cold War. A 2019 study published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology found that between 2009 and 2017, rates of depression rose by more than 60 percent among those ages 14 to 17, and 47 percent among those ages 12 to 13. This isn’t just a matter of increased diagnoses. The number of children and teenagers who were seen in emergency rooms with suicidal thoughts or having attempted suicide doubled between 2007 and 2015.

To put it simply, our kids are not O.K.

For a long time, as a mother and as a writer, I searched for a single culprit. Was it the screens? The food? The lack of fresh air and free time, the rise of the overscheduled, overprotected child, the overarching culture of anxiety and fear?

Those things might all contribute. But I’ve come to believe that the problems with children’s mental and emotional health are caused not by any single change in kids’ environment but by a fundamental shift in the way we view children and child-rearing, and the way this shift has transformed our schools, our neighborhoods and our relationships to one another and our communities.

The work of raising children, once seen as socially necessary labor benefiting the common good, is an isolated endeavor for all but the most well-off parents. Parents are entirely on their own when it comes to their offspring’s well-being. Many have had to prioritize physical safety and adult supervision over healthy emotional and social development.

No longer able to rely on communal structures for child care or allow children time alone, parents who need to work are forced to warehouse their youngsters for long stretches of time. School days are longer and more regimented. Kindergarten, which used to be focused on play, is now an academic training ground for the first grade. Young children are assigned homework even though numerous studies have found it harmful. STEM, standardized testing and active-shooter drills have largely replaced recess, leisurely lunches, art and music.

The role of school stress in mental distress is backed up by data on the timing of child suicide. “The suicide rate for children is twice what it is for children during months when school is in session than when it’s not in session,” according to Dr. Gray. “That’s true for suicide completion, suicide attempts and suicidal ideas, whereas for adults, it’s higher in the summer.” But the problems with kids’ mental and emotional health are not only caused by what goes on in the classroom. They also reflect what’s happening in our communities. The scarcity of resources of every kind, including but not limited to access to mental health services, health care, affordable housing and higher education, means that many parents are working longer and harder than ever. At the same time that more is demanded of parents, childhood free time and self-directed activities have become taboo.

And so for many children, when the school day is over, it hardly matters; the hours outside school are more like school than ever. Children spend afternoons, weekends and summers in aftercare and camps while their parents work. The areas where children once congregated for unstructured, unsupervised play are now often off limits. And so those who can afford it drive their children from one structured activity to another. Those who can’t keep them inside. Free play and childhood independence have become relics, insurance risks, at times criminal offenses.

Tali Raviv, the associate director of the Center for Childhood Resilience, says many children today are suffering a social-skills deficit. She told me kids today “have fewer opportunities to practice social-emotional skills, whether it’s because they live in a violent community where they can’t go outside, or whether it’s because there’s overprotection of kids and they don’t get the independence to walk down to the corner store.” They don’t learn “how to start a friendship, how to start a relationship, what to do when someone’s bothering you, how to solve a problem.”

 

Many parents and pediatricians speculate about the role that screen time and social media might play in this social deficit. But it’s important to acknowledge that simply taking away or limiting screens is not enough. Children turn to screens because opportunities for real-life human interaction have vanished; the public places and spaces where kids used to learn to be people have been decimated or deemed too dangerous for those under 18.

And so for many Americans, the nuclear family has become a lonely institution — and childhood, one long unpaid internship meant to secure a spot in a dwindling middle class.

Something has to change, says Denise Pope, a co-founder of Challenge Success, an organization based in Palo Alto, Calif., that helps schools make research-backed changes to improve children’s mental health. Kids need recess. They need longer lunches. They need free play, family time, meal time. They need less homework, fewer tests, a greater emphasis on social-emotional learning.

Challenge Success also works with parents, encouraging them to get together with their neighbors and organize things like extracurricular-free days when kids can simply play, and teaching them how not to intervene in normal peer conflict so that children can build problem-solving skills themselves. A similar organization, Let Grow, helps schools set up unstructured free play before and after the school day.

Dr. Gray told me it’s no surprise that the program, which he consults for, has been well received. “Children are willing to get up an hour early to have free play, one hour a week,” he said. “It’s like a drop of water if you’ve been in the desert.”

These groups are doing important work, but if that kind of desperation is any indication, we shouldn’t be surprised that so many kids are so unhappy. Investing in a segment of the population means finding a way to make them both safe and free. When it comes to kids, we too often fall short. It’s no wonder so many are succumbing to despair. In many ways, America has given up on childhood, and on children.

 

This blog has been dating and relationships for years. Should I start to write some more self help pieces like this?

 

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If Dating Apps Give You Texting Anxiety, Here’s What To Do

Imagine you match with a total snack on your favorite dating app, but after the excitement settles in, you started to feel a little nervous about actually talking to them. Do you message first? What do you say? How long do you wait to reply? Do you mention that you’ve already Googled them, know about their soccer podcast, and saw on Facebook that their high school girlfriend lived with your ex last summer? (Small world.) If dating apps give you texting anxiety, or if your brain starts to spiral once you’ve started messaging a cutie, you are certainly not alone.

Whether you can’t decide if you should send a sarcastic meme, a sincere response, or if you literally feel your insides rot as you wait for them to reply to you, it’s totally common to feel stressed about digital dating.

“For better and for worse, dating apps have become the new normal for dating. People no longer have to be vulnerable in person and approach strangers because they can use their phone to buffer a lot of the anxiety required to meet someone new,” Nicole Richardson licensed marriage and family therapist, tells Elite Daily. “It’s really common to feel some anxiety around how to put yourself out there in a way that will attract what you are looking for in return.”

It can be hard to know just how much to share with someone you just matched with. And when you want to make a good first impression, but you haven’t actually met IRL yet — it’s super easy to overthink every text or to want to appeara certain way to your date. Cue: Trying to seem “cute” and “chill,” and not “eating blue cheese crumbles from the container watching Sister Wives.” According to Claudia Cox, relationship coach, the texting anxiety you may feel on apps can be a product of overthinking how to make yourself seem a certain way (i.e. “cute” or “chill”).

“A lot of people try to avoid rejection by creating the perfect profile or the best response ever,” Cox says. “But you cannot control the uncontrollable — meaning someone else’s attraction to you.” Cox shares that with the inescapable role of texting in dating today — it’s common for singles to overthink their every message. And with the growing pressure to be chill(literally push me off a boat) there’s pressure to be interested, but not what Cox calls, “too interested.”

According to Richardson, though it may seem harmless to constantly message your date soon into matching, constantly communicating with someone you haven’t spent that much time with IRL can actually add to your anxiety. “Texting too much in the beginning is a mistake,” Richardson says. “It creates a false sense of intimacy and can make the first couple of interactions more difficult because you have a built up image of each other that is not necessarily the person you are interacting with.”

If you started messaging a potential boo on a dating app and switched to texting, you may find yourself constantly talking to someone who you haven’t even met yet. And though you may not realize it, you may be creating an idealized version in your head about who this person is. “There are singles who overly fantasize about someone after just looking at their profile — without even meeting them in person,” Cox says. “This creates anxiety as it builds the other person up into someone so amazing that you’re intimidated to communicate with them.”

If dating apps are giving you texting anxiety, the experts suggest being kind and patient with yourself, but ultimately remembering that the app is just an app. “Dating apps are just an introduction service,” Jennifer B. Rhodes, licensed psychologist and relationship expert tells Elite Daily. “If you have anxiety about an app, be compassionate with yourself, but try it out. The experience will likely give you valuable learning opportunities needed to help build your self confidence.”

For Thomas Edwards Jr., coach and founder of The Professional Wingman, the first step to nixing dating app anxiety is to see your dating app as just another form of social media. “Depending on where you are in your pursuit of a relationship, there can be a ton of attention given to these apps. The first thing to do is not put your dating app on a pedestal,” Edwards says. “The other thing to do is share your experience with others both online and off. This will not only put both of you at ease, but more importantly, your anxiety will diminish long-term as you continue to share.” If you’re feeling totally nervous about messaging a new cutie, according to Edwards Jr., sharing your nerves with them can actually put you both at ease. Rather than pressuring yourself to look cool or seem calm and collected, admitting to your date that dating makes you anxious or that texting keeps you up at night can ease budding dating app tension.

For Clarissa Silva, behavioral scientist and creator of Your Happiness Hypothesis Method, the best way to beat dating app anxiety is to remember that love has no formula. “Algorithms, apps, and sites don’t have any different odds at finding you love,” Silva tells Elite Daily. “Keep the focus on trying to explore if theyare a good fit.” Rather than scrutinizing how you’re appearing to them — according to Silva, it’s important to see how your date fits into your life too. If they don’t seem to have have a compatible sense of humor or if they never reply to your texts on time — rather than changing the way you talk or worrying about what they’re thinking about you — you may realize that you’re not super into them. “The only question anyone should look to answer is ‘Am I having fun with this person?'” Edwards Jr. says. “The only way to make that the only question, is to make sure you have fun no matter what.”

If you’re still feeling anxious about dating apps, though it may seem a little cheesy, the experts share the power of positive thinking. “Visualize yourself successfully flirting and meeting new people. Stay focused on the process, and don’t put your sense of worth into your ability to score a date with every person you message,” Cox says. “Remind yourself that the person you’re messaging might be nervous. You don’t know them, or their story yet. So, keep it fun and don’t fall into the assumptions trap!”

And if somethings feels a little off, or if texting someone is making you anxious, it’s always OK to turn your phone off and take a hot bath or go see a friend. “Don’t push yourself too hard. If something really doesn’t feel good to you, don’t do it,” Richardson says. “Do positive things for yourself and spend time with uplifting and positive people (it’s contagious).” According to Richardson, taking time away from dating apps to hike with friends, read a new book, or visit a cool museum can quell any texting stress. Additionally, finding IRL hobbies or doing fun things away from your phone can give you a ton of cool conversation starters with dating app potential boos. “If you need a little more calming, meditate and journal to let yourself get it out in a constructive way,” Richardson says.

Feeling texting anxiety from dating apps is completely normal. Dating can be super intimidating, and the world of apps can make it seem like there are simultaneously 10,000 people and zero people out there for you. If you’re feeling nervous about dating apps, try putting down your phone and doing something fun IRL. Visualizing yourself totally killing it on a first date can help nix any stress as well. At the end of the day, you are a flawless angel, and dating is supposed to be fun. And with some positive thinking, you can totally swipe left on any dating-app fueled texting anxiety.

 

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

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6 Worst Opening Lines On Dating Apps That Women Have Actually Gotten

Be they corny, crappy, or creepy, the worst opening lines on dating apps are always the ones that make you go, “Wow, I really matched with this person? Goodbye!” Coming up with the perfect opening line on a dating app is a science and an art. Yes, you’ve got to be intriguing — quirky, even if that’s your dating app vibe. But there’s a difference between being a bit offbeat or unconventional in your opening message, and straight-up uncomfortable.

If you’re not super experienced when it comes to crafting dating app openers, all you need to do is sit down and brainstorm some cute, clever things to say. Even a quick glance at a match’s profile is a good start: Ask about their city or about favorite foods, or even a “Would you rather?” type question. A nicely filled out dating app bio is literally an open book! It’s filled in with information so you can find the appropriate topics to broach with your potential f*ck buddy and/or love of your life. What you don’t do is skip over the socially acceptable realm of dating app small talk and skip straight to strange feelings, sh*tty compliments, or niche fantasies — sexual or otherwise. Here are six women on the most cringe-worthy dating app openers they’ve received.

Courtesy of Haley, 24

Unfortunately, the line — “Girl, you’re [looking] thicker than a bowl of oatmeal.” — is a reference to viral, heavily memed court case video, where the defendant was literally caught saying that to an undercover police officer. Not only does it have wack origin, it’s super forward! Clearly this man is horny on main. Haley, 24, literally had the right response.

“ARE YOU FROM MCDONALD’S? BECAUSE I’M LOVIN’ IT.”

Haley, 19, got this opener on Bumble. When asked if she had a screenshot, Haley said, “No, because I unmatched his *ss after he said he deserves my body.”

THE ONE ABOUT ONIONS

Courtesy of Bea*, 22

Apart from her love of indie music and rosé, Bea*, 22, did have a reference to onions in her Tinder profile. She included this cute, quippy little tidbit: “You know that part in Shrek where he said he was an onion because he had layers? Me A/F.” But she never said she liked onions. And what’s up with being worried about whether your Tinder match to make you cry?

A REALLY UNCOMFORTABLE COMPARISON

Courtesy of Ariana*, 25

“Love men who immediately go from negging to horny,” says Ariana*, 25. For those of you who don’t know, “negging” is the practice of offering someone a backhanded compliment. It’s often a tool to make someone vulnerable and get the upper hand in romantic or sexual endeavors.

“It is dismissive and degrading to the other person and can eventually undermine their self-confidence. Usually the person doing the negging is insecure in their ability to attract [someone] without putting them down,” dating coach Christine Baumgartner told Bustle.

“I WANT TO PAINT YOU GREEN AND SPANK YOU LIKE A DISOBEDIENT AVOCADO 🥑 😏”

This opener Charlotte, 22, received is truly the kind of sh*t that you can’t make up. There’s so much to unpack here. Why an avocado? Why not any other fruit? Or was he really just going for a millennial food? And in that case, there’s questions about whether he has sexual desires for oat milk, charcoal ice cream cones, hot wings, or anything sprinkled with turmeric, too. “Literally, so weird,” Charlotte says.

A REALLY INVOLVED COP SAGA

Courtesy of Kathryn, 23

Not only did this man slide into Kathryn’s, 23, DMs with the modern-day Bonnie and Clyde visuals. He later messaged her this: “You’re [student newspaper] writer… here’s a tip. The shooting TN: cop pulled over, man (non-SU student) started a confrontation, gun fight ensured, suspect dead, cop in stable condition.” Um, OK! “These may have been a few weeks apart, but the first one was awful and the second one was hilarious,” Kathryn says. Either way, maybe homeboy needs to tune into a police scanner for his kicks and get off Tinder.

While weird dating app openers are few and far in-between, here’s hoping they can give you a few laughs when you encounter them — and not make you swear off dating apps for life.

 

 

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Do People Care About Who Texts First? The Answer May Surprise You

You’re interested in someone, and you want to send them a text. One problem: You’re getting mixed messages from your friends. Some say to wait for the other person to text, and others tell you to make the first move. You want to do whatever is best for the relationship, so you may be wondering: Do people care who texts first? It’s a question I’ve asked myself many times. The only thing I know for sure is that it’s better to not send the first 80 texts (we learn by doing, you know?). To answer your burning questions about textiquette, I spoke with experts to find out if it really matters who sends the first text.

A first text can have a special meaning. “Sending the first text is along the lines of a watered down version of calling a guy first, but people just don’t call anymore. It’s slightly less because it doesn’t take much effort to text, so it isn’t quite as meaningful as being the first one to call, which is the very thing that makes it okay,” Matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking Susan Trombettitells Elite Daily. A first text is basically just putting your feelers out — you’re not asking them out yet, but you are showing that you remember them.

Ivan Gener/Stocksy

Texting someone first can show interest, which is often a good thing. “I do think it’s a matter sometimes of who is more interested, or who is more willing to show their interest first, so there is a bit of an upper hand by not sending that first text, but just a small advantage,” Trombetti says. If you want to demonstrate interest and the other person doesn’t know you well, sending the first text is a bold move to get them to pay attention. “A text that is consistent with your feelings, your intentions, the situation you are in with them and the kind of person they are absolutely can be sent first,” Dr. Joshua Klapow, Clinical Psychologist and Host of The Kurre and Klapow Show, tells Elite Daily. Showing interest first can alter the power dynamic, but it can often work in your favor.

Sending the first text can also demonstrate that you’re a confident and assertive person. “It can make you look confident but mostly it’s benign,” Trombetti says. A person who sends the first text often knows what they want and is organized enough to assert themselves. Still, it’s a simple gesture, and it probably won’t make a huge splash. “A text that is consistent with your feelings, your intentions, the situation you are in with them, and the kind of person they are absolutely can be sent first. It shows you are being thoughtful, you know what you want, and you simply are connecting,” Dr. Klapow tells us. Sending the first text can make you look confident, but someone is more likely to evaluate your compatibility based on what you say after, so don’t be afraid of that initial message.

Victor Torres/Stocksy

You don’t need to worry about turning someone off by sending the first text, as long as you’ve thought through what to say. “If you text a book, or there are a ton of emojis or grammar errors, that’s a turn-off,” Trombetti warns. Dr. Klapow echoes her sentiment. “If your intention is to acknowledge them but you come across with too long or personal of a text, ultimatums in the text, or you force them to make a choice about you, you may turn them off,” he says. So be confident in your first text, but also think about what type of text you’d like to receive from someone you didn’t know very well. A reasonable person won’t be turned off by a first text as long as it’s considerate and thoughtful.

In general, you don’t need to overthink sending the first text. “One little text doesn’t require too much effort, so you can’t read too much into it,” Trombetti says. I receive tons of texts and notifications (I’m very popular, and also I signed up for too many mailing lists), so receiving one more rarely bothers me, even if it’s from someone I’m not interested in romantically. It’s normal to worry about sending a text to someone you’re crushing on, but the initial text exchange isn’t as important as later conversations. “First or second is far less important than content, intention, tone, situation. It’s what that text says, how you say it,” Dr. Klapow says. So, take a deep breath and remember that your personality will shine through as you get to know the other person, and you don’t need to build up the first text.

Bisual Studio/Stocksy

Sending a first text can be scary, but it’s the best way to get the ball rolling with someone new. Trust me — for years, I thought liking a Facebook profile picture from 2012 was the same as “showing interest,” but it’s not. A text will get the other person’s attention, but it’s also a simple and common means of communication, so you don’t need to overthink it.

 

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Expectations vs. Reality: Dating Somebody Older Than You

It sounds good in theory. After years of toiling in the shallow end of the dating pool, the idea of going out with an older (and presumably more mature) person seems enticing. The media doesn’t help this notion. Movies and television shows have gone to great lengths to portray May-December relationships as the holy grail. Whether it’s films like The Graduate or Wedding Crashers, or even songs on the radio (yes, Stacy’s mom has got it goin’ on), the idea of dating somebody older has constantly been portrayed as a mystical, passionate opportunity you’d be a fool to miss out on. In reality, these relationships are more complicated than you might assume. These are the expectations and realities of dating somebody older than you.

Photo Credit: CBS Studios

Open for business: The Mandatory Do’s and Don’ts of Open Relationships

Expectation: Older Means Wiser and More Mature

Reality: Older Means Same Maturity and Fewer Excuses

Expectations say that when somebody is dating a person who is older than them, usually the older person will be the more mature of the two. In reality, this is hardly the case. Most of the time, older people will date younger people because of their own immaturity. Have you ever heard the idea that girls mature faster than boys? It’s true and these relationships are proof of that.

Expectation: Spending All Day in Bed in the Throes of Passion

Reality: Spending All Day in Bed….Period

It’s an old joke. Dating somebody who is older (aka a “cougar”) results in lots of great sex, right? That’s what all the movies and television shows say. Unfortunately for our hormonally-charged friends, this is rarely the case. Yes, older people like sex just as much as younger people do, but it’s not their lifeblood. There’s no magic trick one develops as they grow older that makes sex better. They might become less selfish, for sure. But that’s the only “trick” there is.

If you find yourself spending an exorbitant amount of time in bed, it’s probably because you’re both too tired to do anything but binge Netflix shows or Lifetime movies.

Expectation: A Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous

Reality: Nobody Can Even Retire Anymore

Our economy kind of sucks right now. The idea of “marrying for money” isn’t totally obsolete (yet), but it’s not as easy as the movies make it out to be. Very few people are actually super rich. The assumption that younger people marry older people for the money is not necessarily the case. Many of the older people in a relationship can’t even afford to properly retire these days, so those who date older people likely do so out of love.

Expectation: Trophy Dates and Gala Events

Reality: Local Bars and Passing Judgment

We’ve all seen this scene, or something like it: Anna Nicole Smith pushing her wheelchair-bound husband down a red carpet, or Ashton Kutcher sharing a kiss with Demi Moore at a movie premiere. Younger people at the arm of somebody older makes for an unusual but extremely photogenic moment.

Unfortunately, for most of us, it’s not red carpets or fashion shows that serve as our evening’s entertainment. Most of the time, it’s a local bar and the lights are dim and nobody actually even really cares.

And that’s the biggest reality check we can take from these relationships: nobody actually cares. So feel free to love who you want.

 

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

Instagram: @phicklephilly      Facebook: phicklephilly   Twitter: @phicklephilly