3 Reasons Women Over 50 Have Trouble Finding Love (IT’S NOT WHAT YOU THINK)

Why do otherwise dauntless women in their 50’s and 60’s struggle so much when it comes to dating? Do you feel, as a mature woman, you should have your love life figured out by now? Take heart – you’re not alone and help is on the way!

Dating Expert Lisa Copeland and Margaret Manning of Sixty and Me talk about why dating in your 50’s and 60’s can be difficult. Lisa explores some of the real reasons for your struggle and has some great tips on what to do about it.

Don’t Play Mind Games With Yourself

Have you ever noticed that you almost can’t help but smile at someone who smiles at you? You probably don’t really even notice if they are attractive or not, the smile just draws you in. That’s personality at work.

Women in their 50’s and 60’s often worry that they won’t measure up to a man’s standards. “This just isn’t true”, according to Lisa, “Men fall in love with who a woman really is, while women tend to fall in love with a man’s potential.” The truth is; if you have a great personality and positive energy, men will love you for it.

You Are More Than Your Body

We all know our bodies change as we age. Do you worry that your wrinkles, grey hair, or thick waist makes you unlovable? Many women feel like they simply have too many flaws to be attractive to anyone.

Want some good news? While you may be comparing your body to what it was in your 20’s, the men you are meeting now can’t do that because they don’t know what you looked like then. Relax, have fun, and know that he will love you for who you are right this very minute.

Never forget just how amazing you really are!

You’ve Got To Have A Plan

Would you leave on an extended trip without knowing what to take and where you want to end up? Dating is no different than any other complex undertaking in your life. If you want to be successful, you have to have a plan.

“You can’t just flounder around, not really knowing what you want,” says Lisa, “the most important part of your plan is to be super clear about the type of man you want to end up with”. Lisa also suggests you have 2–3 different ways to meet men, other than online. Baby steps are your best friends in this process since they help you see your accomplishments as you go along.

Rejection is Not About You

Do you hesitate to approach a man because he might say “no”? Being turned down can be a hard pill to swallow. Take heart, there is a trick that helps sweeten the bitterness of rejection.

“A man who says “no” isn’t rejecting you,” Lisa assures us, “you just don’t fit the picture of what he wants”. When you think about it, you do the same thing to men, don’t you? In fact, since men tend to be the one to initiate contact the most, they are given the brush off much more often than we are.

Pay It Forward With Online Dating Etiquette

Speaking of rejection, have you thought about the way you refuse men who don’t match your ideal picture? With the surge in online dating, our manners have perhaps slipped a little. Hiding behind our keyboard, we often say things we simply wouldn’t in a face–to–face situation.

Good manners are important in women of all ages and women in their 50’s and 60’s are no exception. Be polite, thank the man for his interest and decline gently. Your courtesy could be extended to the next person he talks to and may eventually come back to you.

Even if it doesn’t, it costs nothing to be nice.


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The Top First-Date Ideas That Lead To Marriage, According to PlentyOfFish


When it comes to first-date ideas, there’s a lot of options out there, from the standard dinner-and-a-movie to more atypical ideas, like going for a walk or hike. But you may wonder what the best first-date idea is if you want a long-term relationship. Luckily, one dating platform found out the top first dates that lead to marriage.

Between August 16-20, 2018, PlentyOfFish (POF) surveyed more than 400 former users from the U.S. who married partners they met on the app. After all, it’s best to go straight to the source and see what date ideas worked best.

“It’s important to pick a first-date location that encourages conversation,” Kate MacLean, resident dating expert at POF, tells Bustle.“Dates that foster conversation will help you get to know someone better and will determine whether or not date #2 is in your future.” She also suggests selecting a location you’ve been to before so you’re relaxed and familiar with your surroundings. “That way, when you’re at ease on a first date, there’s less room for any awkward interactions,” MacLean says.

So, when you think about your own first-date locations, do you do the same type of activity with each date? Do you have a go-to first-date spot? Or does the location vary depending on the other person? In any case, the below are good #firstdateinspo, so take note.

1. A Sit-Down Meal At A Restaurant


Having a sit-down meal at a restaurant was the #1 first date that lead to marriage, popular with 55.1 percent of respondents. Yes, with someone you meet online or through an app, a dinner date may seem like a bigger first-date commitment than, say, meeting for drinks. However, it seemed to work for more than half of those surveyed, so food for thought — literally and figuratively.

2. A Romantic Walk

Going for a romantic walk came in second place as far as first-date ideas go, with 29.9 percent of those surveyed doing this as their first date — and now they’re married, so… it works! You can either walk to another location if you two click, but if you’re not feeling the person, you can just walk away. Plus, if you prefer dates that don’t involve alcohol, a walking date is perfect for that, too!

3. Drinks At A Bar

Hannah Burton/Bustle

Having drinks at a bar came in third place, with 27.7 percent of people doing this for their first date, and it makes sense — you can limit the date to one drink or have more if things are going well. And with rooftop bars so popular, you can also have drinks-with-a-view.

4. A Movie

If you’re looking for a first date where you don’t have to talk much — at least, not right away — a movie may be your best bet. It was for 18 percent of those surveyed, at least, and then it’ll be a natural conversation-starter — you’ll have plenty to discuss about the movie afterwards.

5. A Quick Coffee

Jacob Lund/Fotolia

Having a quick coffee was the fifth most popular first-date activity among those surveyed — 15 percent of them, at least. Just like meeting for a drink at a bar, meeting for coffee is easy, and you can always add dinner or dessert to the date if it’s going well.

6. The Beach

For summer first-date ideas, the beach also came in the top nine, in sixth place, with 10.3 percent of respondents choosing it for their date. And why not, right? It’s usually free (unless you have to rent chairs or an umbrella), it’s beautiful, and also romantic. Who can ask for more than that?

7. A Music Festival Or Concert

Jacob Lund/Fotolia

Going to a music festival or concert with somebody is also a great first-date idea, and 5.6 percent of those surveyed agreed. Just like a movie date, the music performance will be a conversation-starter for you two.

8. A Sporting Event & A Bike Ride

There was a tie for eighth place: watching a sporting event and going for a bike ride; each came in at 4.7 percent of respondents choosing them as summer first-date activities that led to them getting married.

While some people are definitely sports fanatics more than others, sporting events, like a baseball game, are great for first dates — not only can you enjoy the game, but you can also eat, drink, and talk. Plus, you can bond over your favorite team — or tease your date if they’re rooting for the other team.

As for going on a bike ride, renting bikes is getting more and more popular and economical in many cities, whether you rent them for a half-hour, an hour, or all day. Plus, like some of the other date ideas on this list, you can extend the bike ride if you and your date are enjoying each other’s company, and even ride to some of the other date suggestions, too.

9. Amusement Park Or Carnival

Going to an amusement park or carnival came in ninth place in popularity, with 1.9 percent of people who married their POF date choosing this as their first-date activity. Plus, you can stay at an amusement park or carnival as long as you want, making a day (and night) of it, or not. And both settings provide built-in, child-like fun. Who doesn’t like when their date plays Skee-Ball and wins them a prize?

As you can see, many of the above first-date ideas that led to marriage can also be done year-round — depending on where you live, of course. As MacLean said, it’s good to choose a date location that encourages conversation, then take it from there.



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If You Notice These 11 Signs, Your Partner Is Taking You for Granted


A solid relationship calls for mutual appreciation and respect.

If one person is putting in all the work while the other sits back and takes without giving anything in return, it could mean serious trouble ahead.

Sometimes, it’s obvious when you are being taken for granted, or when your love is not appreciated by your partner. Other times, it’s not so easy to tell if your partner is taking advantage of you.

It’s only natural for the partner who’s feeling undervalued to gain resentment and animosity, as people want to feel appreciated and cared for when in a relationship.

But there are plenty of signs that that’s not the case.

Your partner can show they’re taking you for granted in subtle ways, which might be hard to miss if you’re very infatuated or in love with them.

If that’s the case, you might try to deny that these things are happening or focus only on the good in order to settle with the bad.

But nobody should have to settle, ever.

If you think your partner might not be reciprocating your feelings or gestures, it’s time to stand up. Here are some signs you that you’re being taken for granted, or that your partner likes to take advantage of your love.

1. They never thank you

Dr. Tarra Bates-Duford, forensic psychologist specializing in familial dysfunction and traumatic experience, and marriage and family therapist and certified relationship expert, explains to Phicklephilly that if your partner doesn’t ever thank you for doing favors or being a great partner, they’re not appreciating you for all you’re worth.

Likewise, if your partner never acknowledges any of your personal sacrifices for him/her or the relationship, it’s a red flag, too.

2. They make huge demands

If they’re making some big demands, like making you spend excess time with them, forgo certain relationships or connections, or prioritize their interests over yours without reciprocating, ditch them now.

“If your partner expects and often demands that you contribute more to the relationship than he/she is willing to do, it’s a major sign of underappreciation,” says Bates-Duford.

3. They make all the plans

If your partner is busy making plans for the two of you without consulting you first and then makes a fuss if you try and arrange something that they may not be super interested in, it’s a clear sign that they’re taking you for granted, explains Bates-Duford.

Instead, you should both be discussing plans and compromising to see inside each other’s world as a couple.

4. They don’t care to learn about you

If your partner has no interest in trying activities you love or sharing in moments that matter to you, they’re taking you for granted, says Bates-Duford.

Plus, if you keep inviting them to spend time with your friends or family and they refuse because they want to be around their network, it shows a selfish disinterest that won’t progress your relationship.

5. Your partner spends more time with others

If your partner only makes time for friends and no date nights (and just chooses to spend less time with you overall), it means they don’t fully value or appreciate quality time with you, the relationship, and the commitment, Dr. Wyatt Fisher, licensed psychologist and marriage counselor, explains to Phicklephilly.

6. They refuse to compromise

Relationships require equal work and compromise in order to make both people happy and to show willingness to adapt and care for each other.

However, if your partner is refusing to compromise on both big and little issues and always set in their ways, it shows they just string you along without thinking of you as a valued factor in the matter, says Fisher.

7. You always feel guilty

If your partner is always making you feel insecure, they’re probably treating you with inadequate appreciation.

“If you’re constantly feeling guilt — the feeling you may be hurting or harming someone else, especially in the absence of doing anything intentionally hurtful — a person may be taking advantage of your sensitivity and compassion for others,” Carrie Krawiec, LMFT, tells POPSUGAR.

8. They take forever to text you back

“If your partner used to respond very quickly to messages or always answered calls but have been less responsive lately, that’s another sign they might be taking you for granted,” Anna Morgenstern, dating coach and matchmaker, explains to Phicklephilly.

If the communication has waned, they aren’t keeping you at the top of their minds. And they should be!

9. They aren’t affectionate

If your partner is less affectionate than usual, it’s also a sign they’re taking you for granted.

Besides, that spark should still be there in a happy relationship.

“Physical touch is really important in a relationship, and it helps reassure both people that the connection is still there,” says Morgenstern. “When that starts to decrease, it can cause the other person to feel hurt and confused and definitely taken for granted.”

10. They criticize your quirks

Maybe your partner used to love the way you chewed your gum or how you laughed during a movie, but if now it’s an annoyance, they’re not appreciating you for you the way they used to.

“You might notice your partner finding your little quirks less cute. In fact, they might even annoy them. That’s definitely a sign they are taking you for granted,” says Morgenstern.

11. They never include you in plans

If you’re never invited to a night out with friends or when the family comes in for a visit, it means they don’t value you as an important enough person in their life that they want around and want people to know better, explains Morgenstern.

You should be with someone who wants to make you a part of their lives and allow relationships to build in order to see a future.


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Cherie – Chapter 54 – State of the Heart – Part 1

The coming and going of love is a fluid thing. It’s searing pain can crush you for years, but if you get back out there and try again you can come back strong. Almost like it never happened. That’s how powerful love is. It can eclipse your pain and give you back to yourself so you can give yourself again to a new person that could love you.

Cherie my love. We met some time ago. The last relationship I was in was with shitty Annabelle. (See: Annabelle – Nice to Meet You) That has been five years gone. I was hanging with my ex girlfriend Michelle before that and we were friends longer than we had been lovers. We met in 2007, became an item in 2008, moved in together and split in 2010. Like all of the girls before she loved me and wanted marriage and kids. I had already been married and divorced back in 2001. Daughter Lorelei came to live with me in 2016 in her senior year of high school to escape the nightmarish clutches of her mother. My ex-wife.

Annabelle was a painful extraction. Initially it wasn’t because I was sick and tired of her. But she kept coming back once a month for greatest hits and that made it extremely difficult. I had never experienced anything so confusing in all of my life when it came to relationships. Breakups aren’t done like that, and adults don’t do that to each other but Annabelle is ignorant, self-absorbed and foolish, so she used me to wean herself off me to deal with her loss.

I’m sure that vacuous fool is still alone. Who cares. It’s been dust for years. (Update: Saw her profile on Tinder last month!)

But I start writing this blog as the inspiration to the crazy ladies in my single life, and my friend and co-worker who tells me to tell these stories. So I’m back into it. No one likes dating. It’s hard. But you know what? Despite the incredible financial output it’s really fun. I love courtship. I have loved courtship and romance since I was a teen. Most men just do it to fuck a girl.

I’m the opposite. I love dating and getting to know a woman. I suppose that’s old-fashioned now. I hope that isn’t completely lost on our modern culture because it’s truly the best part of dating.

Meeting her for the first time. Seeing her. Her beauty. Her face. Her hair. Her beauty and voice. Her words. Her story!

I love it all.

That is why I write phicklephilly. The story and the passion of romance.

The rush of first love.

You can be destroyed by love and die in the gutter of despair. But if you find new love you will come back shiny and new like it almost didn’t happen. I have friends that are struggling with their relationships. The coming and going of love is a fluid thing. It’s searing pain can crush you for years, but if you get back out there and try again you can come back strong. Almost like it never happened. That’s how powerful love is. It can eclipse your pain and give you back to yourself so you can give yourself again to a new person that could love you.

You have to keep getting up. Don’t be bitter. Go again.

You might suck at meeting people and dating but please…please…. try again. The results can be glorious!

If you mire yourself in your past relationship, (Which you will do after a painful breakup) get active!

Go out with friends. Stay busy. Go to events. Surround yourself with good people! Sign up for Tinder, Clover, Bumble and OkCupid!

Do it!

Sure there’s a bunch of shitty people on all of that and a bunch of banged up divorced folks but take a chance. dating has never been easier for losers worldwide. It’s how it’s done now! Amazing!

That’s how I met Cherie. A great girl who is 29 and beautiful and loves me like mad. She’s fire in the sack and the most orgasmic woman I’ve ever met. She has a wonderful heart and has an inert sense of goodness and kindness that is wife material. (Yea, I said that.) We’re so sweet together that it’s almost like I’ve met my perfect match.

She’s super chill and not around much because she’s so busy with her job, education and life. Being in a relationship with Cherie has shown me the perfect relationship for me.

It really has. I’ve fooled myself my entire life thinking I can be in a domestic relationship with a woman and lived under the same roof and been in constant insecure contact. This relationship works because we’re apart. I love Cherie. I really love her. She’s a good, sweet woman and amazing to me based on the previous chapters.

Read them. What man wouldn’t absolutely love this arrangement?

I’ll finish this tomorrow!


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10 Ways to Say ‘I Love You’ Without Actually Saying It

We all know those 3 magical words: I love you. They’re simple, yet incredibly powerful words. Hearing them from your significant other can be the most incredible and heartwarming feeling ever. Your stomach flutters with butterflies, your excitement and energy could move mountains.

However, saying “I love you” is not the only way to show your partner how you feel. While words do matter, actions often speak louder. Sometimes, it’s better to show someone how you feel rather than simply say it.

Here are 10 ways you can let your significant other know that you love them without using those 3 words:

1. Support them.

This is an excellent way to display your love for your significant other! When you support your partner, you show your willingness to cheer their success and also comfort them when they struggle.

2. Love them despite their shortcomings.

Everybody’s flawed, but we should love each other despite those shortcomings. This is important in relationships because it shows how deeply you care about your partner. You can showcase your passionate feelings by loving someone even in their less flattering moments. You’ll both feel more connected once you accept each other’s shortcomings.

3. Teach them new things.

When you love someone, you want to help them grow as a person. Learning together is a powerful way to feel closer since it forces you to rely on each other. It also allows you to share your knowledge with your partner and lets them see you shine.

4. Show up when you know they’re not OK.

It’s important to know when your partner is not at their best. When you know someone well, it’s obvious when they need extra support, and you should provide just that. A gesture as simple as bringing them their favorite food, giving them a long hug, or letting them vent does wonders for your relationship. When you show compassion and show up for them, trust and connection blossom.

5. Leave random notes for them.

This one is our personal favorite, even though it sounds cheesy. Leaving simple notes in your significant other’s pocket or their bedside table lets them know you care. You don’t need to write elaborate poems or love songs: just jot down an inside joke or a reminder that you love them. Not only do these notes show your lover that you care, but they’re also a labor of love since you took time to scribble something sweet on paper for them.

6. Remember the small things.

Don’t you feel extra appreciated when someone remembers your favorite candy and buys it for you? Little gestures like that show just how much you pay attention to your lover. Don’t just remember the big stuff, like their birthday, last name, or favorite coffee order. Focusing on the tiny details makes your partner feel like they are your world, and you remember them even when you’re not together.

7. Do their chores for them.

Sometimes, your partner needs a break after a hard day at work. If you live together, try doing the dishes or laundry. This allows your lover to relax and forget about their troubles. If you don’t live together, try cooking for them while they sit with their feet up and unwind in your company.

8. Compromise with them.

Relationships require commitment, meaning that compromise becomes a very important aspect of coexistence. Both parties must understand that they can’t always have their way. Sometimes, you need to reach a consensus. Additionally, when you willingly compromise, your partner feels like you see the relationship as more important than whatever you were arguing about.

9. Stay up to wait for them.

In nearly every relationship, one person works longer hours or spends more time at university. Lack of quality time can drive a wedge between partners. So, try staying up if they arrive home late. They will be happy to see you and enjoy a late-night meal while discussing the day.

10. Shower them in hugs.

Simply showing affection without a reason is a huge sign of love. It conveys your true feelings without any words. Plus, studies show that physical touch between loved ones holds several positive health benefits.

It’s not difficult to show your significant other that you love them, but sometimes we forget. Building this habit floods your relationship with affection and care, bringing you closer to your partner. If you struggle to show your love, try one of our 10 ideas rather than just mumbling, “I love you.” You might be surprised what positive changes occur!


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Realizing you’re in a one sided relationship—or, as I referred to them in my early twenties, a relationship—is usually a slow burn you wait too long to treat. It sizzles with each unanswered text, and every friend’s birthday party they last-minute flake on attending, and every trip to Chipotle for dinner—which is clearly not a date, by the way. You get more resentful, more anxious, more frustrated, and yet for some unknown reasons remain unable to break it off (to be fair, it doesn’t help if your partner won’t answer their phone). Finally it becomes too much, and one day you straight-up snap and set all their clothes on fire (no? just me?).

Ideally with age and dating experience, we’re all able to grow in a way that facilitates approaching matters of the heart more mindfully and with a little less arson. Part of that journey requires being super-proactive by learning the signs of a one sided relationship before things get too far along on the wrong track. Because as sex and relationship therapist Tammy Nelson, PhD, has seen with her own clients, these situations of mismatched emotions and their emotionally taxing effects can drag on forever.

“Anna had been in a relationship with Jack for four years,” Dr. Nelson tells me. “She was in my therapy office every week, telling me how miserable she was because she wanted to marry Jack, and Jack had no interest in getting married. Anna said that Jack was very honest with her about their setup, telling me, ‘I call him twice a week and we get together one night usually during the week. That’s enough for him.’ But it wasn’t enough for Anna. It was a one sided relationship.”

Seeing their entropic relationship play out led Dr. Nelson to recognize the telltale signs of a one sided relationship. And for your benefit, those signs are outlined below:

Check out 3 signs of a one sided relationship—plus what to do if you find yourself in one.

1. You feel that you’re contributing all of your energy and your partner is giving none

“I asked Anna if Jack ever called her, or if she always called him,” Dr. Nelson says. “She said, ‘I call him. He said he would rather talk at a time that works for me. That he has more of a flexible schedule, so he wants me to be the one that calls all the time.’”

Weird, right? And maybe it even sounds familiar: Think to your current relationship, and what the communication is like. Are you always the one sending the first text? Do you get responses maybe six hours later saying, “Sry, work’s been crazy’”? If it seems like you’re the one with open availability and your partner threw their phone in the river for all you know, it’s time to have a (face-to-face) discussion about it.

If one person is solely responsible for reaching out and checking in and taking initiative, the other person is quite obviously checked out.

“I suggested she say to him, ‘why don’t you call me this week, I’m open, just call whenever,’” Dr. Nelson continues. “She did, but he never called. She waited around and called him the following week. He said he had been busy all week and asked her ‘what’s the big deal?’”

The big deal is that schedules regardless, if one person is solely responsible for reaching out and checking in and taking initiative, the other person is quite obviously checked out. And you know what they say about tangoing? Yep—it takes two. Plus, if your partner is dismissive about your feelings, it’s never a good sign that they’re emotionally invested in or care about you…leading us to telltale sign of a one sided relationship number two:

2. Your partner diminishes all the effort you’re putting into a relationship

You’re doing the most and showing your partner affection—and now you’re kind of getting annoyed, and with good reason. If you’ve made an effort to voice your frustrations about how you often feel belittled and not a priority and your partner doesn’t see the problem or even gaslights you with that old “you’re being crazy” refrain? Well, that right there is a problem.

“If your partner downplays or minimizes your efforts in the relationship, making you feel like what you do to make things work are not appreciated, it may be too much of a one sided partnership,” Dr. Nelson says.

“If your partner downplays or minimizes your efforts in the relationship, making you feel like what you do to make things work are not appreciated, it may be too much of a one sided partnership.” —Tammy Nelson, PhD, relationship therapist

If you have a hunch this is the case, test how your partner reacts to your disappointment. And remember, body language is language, too. Not all of us are amazing at expressing our feelings verbally, but by extension of that, we also can’t wear a poker face 24/7.

So if you look visibly crushed and invoke the silent treatment when your partner’s reaction to the carefully curated playlist you created for their birthday is along the lines of, “Oh, cool,” they should notice that. And more importantly, if they do notice your visible distress and aren’t acknowledging your feelings or are acting like you’re overreacting, that’s a really big problem. The biggest problem, though? Sticking around and enduring this treatment—which is what Anna did.

“Against her better judgment, Anna kept the one-way calls going. She even made all of the plans and the dates to get together, and she put all of the effort into keeping their relationship going,” Dr. Nelson says.  That brings us to our final big-red flag:

3. Your relationship feels sex-based, and you need and want more emotionally

“When Anna and Jack met once a week, it was always at Anna’s house, and it seemed that it was primarily always a date for sex,” Dr. Nelson says. “Jack brought her flowers but rarely took her out for dinner, and wouldn’t suggest a night out at a movie or a club, and he never agreed to a weekend away when Anna said she wanted to get out of the city.”

Well. At least there were flowers. I waited until nearly age 30 before someone bothered to get me a little Whole Foods mason jar of roses. I guess a suitor once gave me an iPhone 5, but that’s a whole other story. Anyway, welcome to sign number three. “If the relationship is primarily for sex, and you want more than that, you’re giving too much: It’s likely a one-way relationship, and it may be time to get out,” says Dr. Nelson.

“If the relationship is primarily for sex, and you want more than that, you’re giving too much: It’s likely a one-way relationship, and it may be time to get out.” —Dr. Nelson

There is a disclaimer to this rule, though: “There’s nothing wrong with having a purely sexual relationship, if that’s what you both want. If it’s working for you, great,” Dr. Nelson says. “But in Anna’s case, their sexual relationship wasn’t even fulfilling all of her sexual needs. She wanted sex more than once a week and she began to suspect that Jack’s distancing was more than just about his busy work life. She wondered if he was in another relationship, or worse, if he was married.”

This sense of fear really applies to dating in general. One really fun dating trend, for example, involves finding out you’re in the middle of someone else’s open relationship. And when you start to date someone new especially, there’s always that looming fear that they’re seeing other people. Ultimately all of the smoke and mirrors is a common deal-breaker in one sided relationships when the sex isn’t even worth the turmoil anymore.

How to proceed if you think you’re in a one sided relationship

First, take a sec to breathe. From there, contemplate what you’re lacking the most with this person. “In order to create a more balanced relationship, put some time into thinking about what you really want,” says Dr. Nelson. “Do you want more companionship? More sexual time? Put yourself first and share your needs and desires with your partner.”

Big declarations of self-worth and personal needs are really important to share…as long as you can break away when the person hears you, but isn’t listening. Still, if you think this is union is worth fighting for and the person you’re dating is just, for lack of a better phrase, being f**king dumb right now, things could work out great! It could turn out that they were simply clueless about your feelings or absentminded when regarding texting, and that you bringing it to light made all the difference.

“You may have to take some risks to get what you want,” Dr. Nelson says. “In the long run, it will be worth it to feel like you’re getting what you deserve in a balanced and giving relationship.”

Ultimately, the biggest key for figuring out if you’re in a one sided relationship isn’t simply recognizing the signs. Instead, it’s all about recognizing the love you want and deserve—and expressing your needs. And also, of course, being able to leave a bad situation before you go all Firestarter on someone.

Feeling suspect that your S.O. is cheating on you? You might want to look out for the common traits of a serial cheater. And if you’re still in the throes of early love and want to make it legit, here’s how to successfully define the relationship.


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‘PAPERCLIPPING’ is the Most Infuriating New Dating Trend That’s Also Irresistible

It’s not an embarrassing pretzel-like sex act: it’s worse. Oh, and it’s also irresistible. How so? Allow us to explain.

Tinder trills. Soon enough you’re meeting for a drink, heading back to your place and enjoying some spontaneous displacement of linen. You fall asleep in a pile of rumpled glory, only for them to sneak out in the early hours.

“Fair enough,” you think. It’s too soon to spoon anyhow. You sigh, make some coffee, and wait for their charming morning-after text.


A few days pass and you start seriously questioning your pillow talk. Then, just as you give up hope, they follow you on Instagram.

You play it cool, like a few pics, and ask what they’re up to next weekend.

No interest.

Why did you bother following me then? You vent your frustration to a friend and move on with your life, while they proceed — for the next few months — both to ignore you and also to religiously watch every single one of your Instagram stories.

Whatever: you find someone something else to do with your time, throwing yourself into your career, hobbies, side hustle and a bunch of other dates. Then, just as your life reaches Marie Kondo alignment, your old flame — who ghosted you after one date — suddenly hits you up with a friendly message.

Whether this has anything to do with the gym selfie you just took or the career update you just posted is irrelevant. Fact is; they have popped up with no pretext, sending you a message you have no time for: much like Clippy the irritating Microsoft Office assistant who used to goad you with random questions on word, often when you least needed it.

As reported by Metro and Yahoo, this has become such a common faux pas that it now has an official name: paperclipping, a piece of nomenclature that was made Instagram official earlier this week by New York artist Samantha Rothenberg, who posted a too-close-to-home illustration of the phenomenon to her 125k followers.

As Metro put it, these unexpected messages are never malicious or rude, “they’re just designed to bait and baffle… aim[ing] to get a response by reeling you in with their absolutely baffling timing.”

“Upon receiving one, you’ll be struck with many questions. What do they want? Why now? Is something horribly wrong? Are they madly in love with me? Should I respond?”

Or course it can be supremely tempting to message them back, even if only to try to get to the bottom of their unexpected text. But — if you’re looking for payback — this is the wrong road to go down as your reply “could condone their initial bad behavior” and “it’s unlikely to end well,” (Yahoo).

But as gluttons for punishment ourselves, we’re not going to judge. Either ignore them or type yourself silly: but whatever you do, don’t assume you are now a priority for them; they most likely just got bored.


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