13 Secrets To A Happy Marriage

  • Being in a relationship brings an equal share of moments that are joyous and others that are difficult.
  • As the honeymoon phase inevitably comes to an end, there are many ways that you can work with your partner to keep your relationship exciting and fulfilling.
  • The most successful couples share equal responsibility for household chores, have similar financial habits, and support each other through the ups and downs.

Romantic relationships are challenging, rewarding, confusing, and exhilarating — sometimes all at the same time.

Should you take things slowly at the beginning or dive right in? Can things stay hot in the bedroom even after years of being together? What happens when one of you wants to use a holiday bonus to invest in Bitcoin and the other wants to go on a vacation?

The answers aren’t always clear, but when it comes to marital satisfaction, science has some interesting things to offer.

According to research, the happiest couples are those who:

1. Don’t fight over text
texting working late

What seems obvious is now backed up by science: A 2013 study out of Brigham Young University shows that couples who argue over text, apologize over text, and/or attempt to make decisions over text are less happy in their relationships.

When it comes to the big stuff, don’t let an emoji take the place of your actual face.

2. Don’t have kids
kid playing with parents

Children are one of the most fulfilling parts of life. Unfortunately, they’re hell on relationships. Numerous studies, including a 2014 survey of 5,000 people in long-term relationships, show that childless couples (married or unmarried) are happiest.

This isn’t to say you can’t be happy if you have kids — it’s just to understand that it’s normal to not feel happy sometimes. Many couples put pressure on themselves to feel perfectly fulfilled once they have what they’ve always wanted (a long-term partnership with children), but the reality of kids is that they’re very stressful on relationships.

3. Have friends who stay married
friend crying

If you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with, you’re also just as married as them.

According to research out of Brown University, you’re 75% more likely to get divorced if a friend or close relative has already done the deed. When it’s someone with one more degree of separation out (the friend of a friend), you’re 33% more likely to get divorced.

Researchers had this to say on the ramifications of the results: “We suggest that attending to the health of one’s friends’ marriages might serve to support and enhance the durability of one’s own relationship.”

4. Fight at the beginning, then not a lot
couple man woman dating friends married talking sad beach water

Psychologists like Herb Goldberg suggest that our model for relationship is backward — we tend to expect things to go smoothly at the beginning, and for problems (and conflicts) to arise later. In fact, Goldberg argues that couples should have “rough and ragged” beginnings where they work things out, and then look forward to a long and happy incline in the state of the relationship.

Research agrees: A Florida State study found that couples who are able to be openly angry in the beginning are happier long-term. According to lead researcher James McNulty, the “short-term discomfort of an angry but honest conversation” is healthy for the relationship over the long haul.

5. Are comprised of one first-born child and one last-born child
young couple walking

There’s an entire body of research on how your birth order impacts your life, including your relationships as well as professional success. One of the happiest pairings for couples? Someone who was the youngest child with someone who was the oldest.

Researchers hypothesize this may be because the relationship has one person who enjoys being taken care of, and one who’s used to taking care of others.

6. Know who does what when it comes to housework
cleaning chores

According to a 2013 UCLA study, couples who agree to share chores at home are more likely to be happier in their relationships. An important caveat: Couples who have clearly defined responsibilities are far more likely to be satisfied.

In other words, when you know what to do and what’s expected of you, you tend to be happier both yourself and with your spouse. This might be a good thing to sit down and discuss in the new year, especially if you’re newly cohabitating.

7. Are gay, or straight and feminist
gay couple hug

In a 2014 study of 5,000 people, researchers found that gay couples are “happier and more positive” about their relationships than their heterosexual counterparts. Straight couples made less time for each other and were less likely to share common interests and communicate well.

Straight couples are better off being feminists. Research out of Rutgers shows that both men and women with feminist partners are more satisfied in their (hetero) relationships. The name of the 2007 study? Feminism And Romance Go Hand In Hand.

8. If heterosexual, when husbands view wives as more attractive of the two
wedding present

Levels of attractiveness within couples have long been the subject of debate (not to mention song lyrics). According to a study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, when husbands view their wives as the more attractive of the pair, not only are they more satisfied in the relationship, but the wives are, too. The opposite was not true — when husbands thought they were better-looking, they weren’t as happy.

9. Are best friends
couple holding hands

The National Bureau of Economic Research did a study demonstrating that marriage, on the whole, leads to increased levels of happiness (they controlled for premarital happiness).

Perhaps more telling was the finding that people who consider their spouse to be their best friend are almost twice as satisfied in their marriages as other people.

“What immediately intrigued me about the results was to rethink marriage as a whole,” researcher John Helliwell said. “Maybe what is really important is friendship, and to never forget that in the push and pull of daily life.”

10. And have a lot of friends in common
friends laughing smiling

In 2013, Facebook released a report that analyzed 1.3 million of its users, looking at, among other things, relationships. The conclusion? Couples with overlapping social networks tended to be less likely to break up — especially when that closeness included “social dispersion,” or the introduction of one person’s sphere to the other, and vice versa.

In other words, the best-case scenario is when each person has their own circle, but the two also overlap.

11. Spend money in similar ways
Couple money talk from shutterstock

The two biggest things couples fight about are sex and money. When it comes to the latter, it’s well-known to psychologists as well as social scientists that for some reason, people tend to attract their spending opposite. Big spenders tend to attract thrifty people, and vice versa.

A 2009 University of Michigan study corroborated this. Researchers found that both married and unmarried people tend to select their “money opposite” — and that this causes strife in the relationship. The happiest couples tend to spend money in a similar way, whether that is saving or indulging.

12. Have sex at least once a week
couple bed

Probably the best statistic of the bunch comes from a 2004 study, which showed that upping your sexual activity from once a month to once a week can cause happiness levels to jump by as much if you made an extra $50,000 a year.

The study, entitled “Money, Sex, and Happiness: An Empirical Study” sampled 16,000 adult Americans. One of its main conclusions: “[S]exual activity enters strongly positively in happiness equations.”

13. Celebrate each other’s achievements
couple champagne balcony

Anyone who has been in a relationship can attest to this one, but now there’s research to confirm it: A 2009 study in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showed that when couples celebrate their partner’s accomplishments as if they were their own, they’re more satisfied in the relationship.

“In good times and bad” includes the good times — something it can be easy to forget. And it’s true; there’s nothing quite so satisfying as having your partner be loudly and enthusiastically in your corner when you do well.

Joy, after all, multiplies with love.

 

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

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

10 Things All Couples in Healthy Relationships Do Every Day

Ultimately, the power to transform your marriage is in your hands.

All relationships are unique but all require one thing: hard work.

There is a lot of relationship advice out there, from articles to videos. But, after 20+ years as a marriage advisor working with executives and their families, I found that work success can also translate into martial and committed relationship success.

Healthy relationships require just as much work and effort in order to be successful. In marriage, especially, the hard work doesn’t stop at the wedding. It continues on until “death do us part”.

Whether you’re in a relationship or married, it’s important for both partners to do their fair share and lift their weight in order to last a long time.

If you can put as much effort into building your career as learning how to have a healthy relationship, you will achieve the same success.

Here are 10 ways to apply your hard-working ethics to successful and healthy relationships.

1. Take responsibility for the health of your relationship

You and your spouse are responsible for the state of your marriage.

Acknowledge that your beliefs, choices, and behaviors all play a role in your relationship, and strive to make decisions that support your bond.

2. Exhibit the behaviors you hope to see in your spouse

If you want to be with a kind, considerate, and hardworking person, you too need to adopt these attributes.

Lay the foundation for a successful marriage by acting in a way that makes you proud. Show your spouse you love and respect them to nurture your relationship.

3. Give more than you hope to receive

Treat your partner the way you would like to be treated — and then go the extra mile.

Be the example, even if you do not believe your spouse is giving back what you are putting into the marriage. Live without expecting reciprocity.

4. Determine who you are

Clarity about who you are and where you are headed brings feelings of purpose and fulfillment.

By discussing what you want and encouraging your spouse to do the same, you will build a framework to evaluate your desired outcomes.

5. Continue building your relationship skills

Few couples put in the time to actively improve their relationship skills.

It’s important, however, that you work to continually strengthen your bond.

6. Advocate for your marriage or commitment

Society conveys that spouses should consider divorce when things are no longer “fun” or “easy”.

Rather than accepting this outlook, view your marriage as the most important relationship you have. Remember that your union is sacred.

7. Commit to your partner

Marriage is an investment not only in your partner but also in your relationship.

Even when things become difficult, honor your commitment by putting in the work needed to sustain a healthy marriage.

8. Aim for personal growth

The challenges we face help us learn and grow. Couples who stay together through difficult times report that their marriages are happier and stronger.

Aim to improve yourself, and your marriage will improve too.

9. Learn from other successful relationships

Those who have not witnessed other happy marriages or committed relationships often struggle with their own relationships.

Remember that your example will give future generations a framework for their own success.

10. Remember that anything is possible

If you want to enjoy a thriving marriage, you must put in the time to nurture your relationship. This will not occur organically any more than your next raise or promotion. Pinpoint your goals and put in the work to achieve them.

Ultimately, the power to transform your marriage is in your hands. It is the result of the actions you take, for you have considerable power over your thoughts and attitudes.

 

The Absolute Dater – Making Online Dating Easy Again

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Tired Of Being Alone? 10 Ways To Enjoy Being Single

Being single has a lot more benefits than we give it credit for.

Depending on whether or not you’ve been in a relationship, being single can be a positive or negative situation. If you’ve been in relationships, then it’s easy to feel more lonely — especially after you’re used to someone being by your side. If you’ve been single for a while, then you’re more comfortable living life for yourself.

Little do we realize what a blessing it can be to be single. We are not promised to find that one person in our lives. Instead, we have to learn to love our family, friends — and most importantly, ourselves. Instead of seeing singleness as a bad thing, it’s important to use this time being alone to see the good parts of not having a partner.

Holding on to perspective can save us from feeling destructive in our season of singleness. These days on shows, finding your true love is the main mission, when in fact loving yourself can be just enough.

Single people are portrayed as someone who is sad or even pitied — but being single doesn’t mean you have to be lonely. Look to the list below to help remind you that there is a beautiful strength that comes with being single. Along with independence, there are plenty of benefits to being single than people give it credit for. Here are ten ways to enjoy being single that beat being in a relationship any day.

1. You get a chance to focus on yourself.

Being in a relationship can take up a lot of time in our lives. You begin sharing your partner’s problems, without having time to meditate on your own.

“Believe it or not, relationships are ‘mentally expensive,” Susan Winter. The amount of stress in a relationship comes as a price for love. Being single activates a self-awareness of taking time to treat ourselves.

2. You become self-sufficient.

Having to live independently forces you to find your inner strength and not have to depend on someone else to be fulfilled. You have more opportunities to chase your own dreams while facing them without a partner.

Taking risks by yourself allows you to take control of your own journey. Instead of having to constantly fit someone else’s schedule, the only one that matters is your own.

3. You prove that you can be financially stable on your own.

If your partner has financial debt, then it becomes a financial burden on you, too. Being single helps you prioritize financial budgeting, without constantly spending it on someone else. This can also help prepare you for any relationship, to notice red flags in a relationship, and to help you stay financially independent once you’re with someone else.

Take time to look up financial gurus like David Ramsey, and enjoy having control over your finances. This gives you more free time to go out with family and friends, without worrying about over-spending.

4. Self-care is a top priority.

Activities like exercising, meditating, journaling, socializing with friends and more help promote nourishment to our brain. Happy chemicals like dopamine other endorphins encourage positive energy, not only for life but for others.

The single-season refrains us from pushing time for ourselves for someone else. Instead, we’re inspired to go on an adventure of self-reflection. Our identity is essential on our journey through life. Sometimes steering away from relationships forces us, to remember our strengths and weaknesses.

5. You have time to focus on your spirituality.

After experiencing a breakup myself, I notice that getting back to being close to God has become a reality for me. My relationship had to come to an end, but having a relationship with God became the goal.

There’s a personal intimacy with God when you’re single again — where I realize my heart is healing from the separation. This was a time to work on me so that God can morph me into the strong individual woman He needs me to be.

6. You have better connections with your friends.

Yes, your girl or boyfriend might have steered you further away from friends. Take this opportunity to reconnect with them and make more memories. True friends will always be there until the end.

A good friend will always remind your strengths and encourage you to keep moving forward. They will want nothing more than to see you grow, not just in the world, but in yourself.

7. The only person you have to compare to is yourself.

Being single, you start to learn that the only person you should compare yourself to is the person you were yesterday. We all have a chance to grow in life and learn more about ourselves each day. If your partner didn’t want to try something that you were curious about, now is that time to chase after your curiosity!

Being single offers independence to build yourself, so if you meet someone new, then you’ll love yourself enough to prepare for anything. You don’t need someone to feel complete. You need to feel complete with your own life before you jump into another relationship.

8. You have the opportunity to travel whenever and wherever you want.

Waiting for your partner to be available for a trip can leave you feeling disconnected from the world. Grab a couple of close friends or family and hit the road.

Look far into the horizon, knowing you’ll be okay with whatever is on the other side of the horizon.

Traveling helps each and every one of us feel more in tune with the world. New culture, friendships, attractions, and more remind us of how beautiful and wonderful life can be.

9. You get time to figure out what you want in a partner.

Studies show that as much as fifty percent of marriages fail or end in divorce. Can you imagine how easy it would be to date a bad match? Getting to know who you are will help prepare for marriage because you’ll know what you’re looking for.

You’ll be accustomed to who you are and your system, and you’ll focus on who’s the best at compatibility. Even though in marriages you’ll have your difference, but during the seasons of singleness, you’ll have a firm ground to stand on. You’ll know who’s worth working things out and who’s better off with someone else.

10. You get to find comfort in being alone.

Being single doesn’t mean you’re lonely. Some perceptions of singles have a negative connotation to them. You can be just as lonely or secluded even if you’re married. It’s all about our perception of life, and how we feel internally.

Who’s says the ultimate goal is to be with someone in the end? Instead, it could be about the quality of relationships we build, and how well we’ve nurtured our body and mind.

I mean… look at me. I’ve fallen in love a bunch of times and it’s been great. But I love being single and not having to answer to anyone!

 

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

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Study Says Single Women Are Happier Than Married Women

Most of society is geared around the idea that people should form couples, settle down, and raise a family. But is this what women really want? Studies indicate that no, it definitely isn’t.

Of course, to a certain extent, people need to make babies. Without children, society would literally disappear!

So if women are happier when they’re single, what can be done to literally keep humanity alive?

To put some context into these statements, here’s what some scientific studies are saying about the happiness of women, both in and outside of relationships.

In the UK, Mintel surveyed a range of single women and found some statistics that have shocked many people online.

The report stated that 61% of single women were happy with being single. And 75% of single women are not looking for a partner.

But in a way, these findings are nothing new. Way back in the early 70s, the sociologist Jessie Bernard produced a study that said women are happier when they’re single, but men are happier when they’re married.

Seeing as the world’s population has literally doubled since Bernard first produced her studies, it doesn’t seem as if anyone needs to worry about society disappearing any time soon.

But what does this tell us?

The statistics aren’t exactly saying that women shouldn’t settle down. But it does suggest something worrying: that women get more unhappy when they marry a partner or at least commit to being permanently with them.

 

And there is evidence to back up that statement. Psych Central for example cites a study where 707 Louisiana married couples were surveyed over seven years. At numerous points, they were asked about their levels of marital satisfaction.

The study found that both men and women became dissatisfied with marriages, but women experience declines in marital happiness much, much faster than men.

And Psych Central has also discovered that 70% of divorces are initiated by women.

This data can seem grim at first sight. It suggests that women are happy when they’re alone, but then they get into an unhappy relationship which inevitably ends in divorce.

But that isn’t necessarily the case.

What this data is saying is maybe that society has been telling women the wrong message.

Women have been fighting for equality for so many years, and yet stereotypes of the housewife abound.

In the past, perhaps more women got into those kinds of relationships, realized that it wasn’t what they wanted, and got out.

And there is evidence that states that this is changing.

While women are still the main initiators of divorce, the divorce rate in America is plummeting.

In fact, the divorce rate dropped a staggering 18% from 2008 to 2016.

This statistic, when coupled (pun intended) with the data that says that women are happy when they’re single says something very positive.

It says that women are choosing to wait for the right partners to settle down with.

Just because a woman isn’t actively looking for a relationship and is happy being single doesn’t mean that they hate the idea of a relationship.

They’re just not content with committing to someone who might not be right for them.

When people analyze the data like that, it actually points toward a positive thing for women today. They know how to be happy when they’re single, aren’t desperate to shack up with the wrong partner, and are successfully forming permanent relationships when the right person finally does come along.

And who could object to that way of living?

 

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

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

 

Lorelei – Happy 24th Birthday!

Lorelei,

I love the originality of you..

Your willingness

To stand out from the crowd.

Your unique Perspective

On what’s happening in your world

 

I love the wisdom of you…

The way you trust your intuition…

Your unfailing commitment

To doing the right thing

 

And most of all,

I love your heart…

The genuine compassion, empathy,

And friendship you offer,

To everyone you know

 

You have made me a better person,

And I’m grateful everyday you’re in my life.

 

I love you,

 

Dad

 

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=kat+wiedenmann

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

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Men With These 20 Personality Traits Make The Best Dads

HAPPY FATHERS DAY!

Does your man have what it takes?

When I was a kid, most parents understood “good parenting” to mean raising kids however they’d been raised by their own mothers and fathers.

The genre of parenting advice began when Dr. Benjamin Spock first emerged as a child-rearing expert, but really, moms and dad pretty much just expected their kids to behave, entertain themselves, and learn how to be responsible adults based on experience and some stern discipline.

And, as noted by Time Magazine, the first edition of his classic work, Baby and Child Care, “was published in 1946, when ‘parenting,’ at least for infants, meant almost exclusively ‘mothering.’”

It’s a different world now, one that relies upon both parents working as a team to make effective choices for their family in order to foster healthy personality traits in their children and keep their kids emotionally and physically “safe.”

Modern complexities of the digital age, which include an older average age of parents, shifting parental roles, starker generational differences, and widely spread outright parental anxiety complicate matters, but at the same time, on the plus side, bonds between parents and children have never been stronger.

And no matter how many parenting books you have on your shelf — and there are likely to be many — effective parenting often comes down to certain personality types and personality characteristics.

Just as many women have (or had) a checklist indicating the combination of traits that would make man husband material, a similar list can be created outlining which kinds of men are most likely to make the best dads to your children.

Of course, a lot of parenting for everyone is trial and error, and none of us will ever be perfect at it, but when someone possesses a solid foundation of certain skills and innate tendencies, they have a higher likelihood of achieving better outcomes, which in this case, means raising healthy, happy, well-adjusted kids who are poised to lead successful lives, however they define success for themselves.

Dads play the role of moral compass, protector, provider, teacher, coach, and playmate.

For their sons, they model what it’s like to be a man, a partner, and a father.

For their daughters, they build their girls’ self-esteem and teach them which qualities to look for in a healthy, dependable life partner.

It’s true that nobody’s perfect, but if you pick the right man, and one who has the right personality traits, you’ll be further ahead. Choose less wisely, and you’ll have a much more difficult time co-parenting through an already tricky experience.

Here’s a list of personality traits and characteristics of men who make the best dads out there raising kids these days.

1. Dependability

Kids need to know they can count on their dad. If they can’t, they lose faith in all men after that. Simple things, like being on time and keeping their word, mean so much.

2. Honesty

Honesty seems like a no-brainer, but take a closer look.

Does the man in your life come clean when he makes a mistake and tell the truth even when it might make his life a little more difficult?

3. Humility

Kids need to learn that it’s an imperfect world out there, and that as much as they may admire their father, he is only human. Infallibility and humility are both important traits to show kids so they can learn self-compassion and healthy leadership.

4. Attentiveness

A father who can give his child his undivided attention teaches his children one of the most critical life skills. Actively listening to others is a way of saying, “I care. You’re important to me. What you say matters.”

5. Patience

Let’s face it; temper tantrums are an expected, if unpleasant, experience all parents face. Add in teenage hormones, and you’re into a whole different ballgame! If the prospective father of your children cannot patiently deal with frustration, he’s not going to be effective as a dad, period.

6. Playfulness

Every kid wants to have fun! Piggyback rides, tickle torture, catch, and game nights make life enjoyable. In order to teach kids balance, you don’t want to end up with someone who’s too serious all the time, and who has a lot of trouble when it comes to letting go and laughing a little.

7. Curiosity

Curiosity is the desire to learn something new. In fact, curiosity is at least an equal, if not potentially even greater, predictor of success than intelligence itself. Effective parents hold off on judgment, seeking to understand and continuously learn themselves. This is a basis of trust, and you’ll find that the more curious you are about your child and the world, the more open your child will be with you.

8. Compassion

Compassion goes beyond empathy. If your mate is able to not only sympathize with your child’s predicaments (and at times they might have daily predicaments), put himself in his or her shoes, and then be willing to act on it, you’ve got one gem of a guy! Your kids will learn kindness, how to build positive relationships, become good citizens, and ultimately be happier.

9. Adaptability

Rigid parenting doesn’t work as well today as it once did. It’s important for parents to know when to stand firm and when to give the rope some slack, or even drop it altogether. Someone with an adaptable personality type can give and take with their child in an effective way that teaches them structure and allows them to feel loved and whole.

10. Optimistic

There’s enough pessimism in the world right now. Kids need hope. They need someone in their life who can show them what is possible and give them the courage to go for their dreams.

11. Pragmatic

Besides being optimistic, effective dads should be pragmatic. There needs to be an equal dose of realism about what it takes to succeed in life. On a micro level, too, good dads need to be able to handle the everyday things that happen and make clear judgments, like when to deal with illness at home versus when to drive to the emergency room.

12. Creative

Creative doesn’t have to mean artistic, although, if the potential father is handy with a paintbrush and a box of crayons, it’s going to make junior’s playtime extra fun and save Dad’s sanity. What’s important here is the degree of creativity Dad brings to problem-solving. Solutions aren’t going to be black and white in today’s parenting dilemmas. Any man who possesses creativity is going to be miles ahead of other parents.

13. Assertive

Creating a safe and predictable world is essential in parenting, and structure is one means of doing that. Flip-flopping and loose rules are the enemy and assertiveness can save the day! Here, assertiveness means being self-assured and firm, without being aggressive or unpleasant.

14. Conscientious

Your man’s conscientiousness will lead him to be a thoughtful and stable contributor to your family, and he will model conscientiousness to his children. This means they, too, will be more likely to be careful, thoughtful, goal-setting, and rule-abiding contributors to society. They’ll be more likely to experience higher job satisfaction, and health and happiness, as well.

15. Genuine

A parent who is the same on the outside as he is on the inside demonstrates congruence. His child sees the world as secure. Also, his child sees that it’s important, even essential, to be who you are and to love that person, and in this way, a genuine father helps build up his child’s self-esteem.

16. Perseverance

It takes true grit to get what you want in life. You want a man who will passionately go after his goals, works hard for what he wants, and who will do what it takes to succeed. Your kids will admire his commitment, endurance, and resilience.

17. Helpful

As kids are learning and growing, they need a helping hand. They need someone who’s self-sacrificing and generous with their time and energy, or else they’ll be left with one defeated child. A good parent provides just the right amount of help — enough to be instructional, but not enough that they become over-responsible and fail to build self-efficacy in their kids.

18. Level-headed

Is your mate calm in the face of a crisis? Flying off the handle or otherwise reacting emotionally will keep your kid’s emotional brain offline longer, too. Kids need emotional stability, and they need a calm environment in which to solve problems.

19. Affectionate

“Love is all you need,” is such a popular saying for plenty of good reason. Well, it’s not everything you need, but it does count for a lot. Fathers who are more easily able to access their emotions and share them are more likely to have emotionally connected kids, too. Bonus points if your man can tap into your child’s love language and give them what they need to feel loved and secure.

20. Self-awareness

Finally, bringing up great kids means being self-aware as a parent. It means embracing your strengths, accepting your growing edges, and knowing when to get help. Parenting does take a village, and sometimes you must call in backup!

Of course, being self-aware himself, he’ll be able to teach his kids self-awareness, too. They’ll be in a better position to identify their own likes and dislikes, strengths and passions, and these will guide them all their lives. Without this trait, your partner — and your kids — may flounder, and will likely miss out on the greatest skill of all: loving one’s self.

If your man possesses a lot of these qualities, hold onto him tight!

He’ll not only be an exemplary father, but he’ll be a fantastic life partner and co-collaborator on your journey through parenting.

There’s me and my little one!

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How to Learn to Be Alone and Happy About It

Consider yourself lucky if you can balance being social and spending time by yourself. After all, your parents didn’t intentionally raise you to be a loner, learn to be alone, or take time for you.

If anything, you learned various social skills for your relationships. There may be days when you decide to not answer a text, respond to a phone call and snuggle with your dog on the couch to binge-watch Netflix.

Choosing to retreat gives your friends the impression that you are anti-social, which can bring pressures and difficulties.

In these moments, you learn to be alone.

However, it is harder to learn to be alone in the midst of people you’re supposed to interact with daily. In the mind’s of people, it is the norm for everyone to be socially active; seeking to reach out for various reasons.

When you learn to be alone and be happy about it, another layer of self-care and self-improvement evolves.

You open yourself to better understand new aspects of who you are, which in turn strengthens your relationships.

In reality, adulting comes with tons of responsibilities, constant break-up’s, friendship losses, and social misunderstandings–all of which can be draining.

You can begin to strategize how you will learn to be alone, be happy about it, and keep amazing relationships going without losing unnecessary energy.

Research shows that only fifteen percent of the 82 million Gen Xers in the U.S. have no friends. This doesn’t mean they are loners or uninterested in interacting. These individuals just enjoy time alone every once in a while.

To learn to be alone is a healthy choice. So, when you do find yourself without company at any time, you won’t view it as a terrible fate, but as moments worth spending time with yourself.

Is It Healthy To Be Alone?

Spending quality time with yourself helps you enhance your psychological development, and experience.

On the flip side, excessively spending time alone can negatively impact your mental and physical health.

It would keep you at the mercy of your inner critics, lead to depression, painful loneliness, and can ultimately lead to the deterioration of your health.

Consequently, you pretty much have to strike a balance between the two extremes. That said, these are the health benefits of being alone.

Spending Time Alone With Yourself Increases Productivity.

How quickly do you get a job done when you have family and friends chatting away around you?

Your goal may be to complete things around the house, run errands, finish a school assignment, or meet a deadline for work. Even a ping from your phone when a chat or mail comes in can make you lose concentration on a task.

The brain is naturally programmed to be more productive when there are little to no distractions. So, if you desire to be more productive, spend time alone.

It Fosters Better Relationships With Others.

Being an extrovert is amazing. However, sometimes being an introvert is good, too.

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Research has it that introverts are more in touch with themselves, better express self-awareness and empathy. This makes it possible for them to understand individuals around them and better manage relationships.

What’s more, studies show that relationships thrive when the individuals involved can take a step back and keep a level of independence. When they do reunite, the spark is incredibly amazing and refreshing.

It Allows You To Revitalize Your Mind.

Being the life of occasions and mingling with friends can be fun, and can help with some aspects of brain activity.

However, what happens when your brain begins to lose creativity or, starts to yearn for some break away from the hype and action of your social life?

In such times, being alone would be healthy. Spending some time alone with yourself helps your mind to process previous activities, unwind, and recharge.

Additionally, when your brain is relaxed, a lot of things would begin to make sense and come together beautifully.

It Boosts Your Creativity.

The mind comes up with the best ideas when it is left alone in perfect solitude. It generates amazing plans, weighs the pros against the cons, and just creates beautiful creative stories.

So, when you feel the pressure to be creative, and you can’t deal with the noise of brainstorming, you can simply separate yourself from the crowd, and give your mind some time to think and come up with a great idea.

10 Ways to Learn to Be Happy Being Alone

Here are some steps you can take to learn to be alone and be happy about it.

1. Be Your Primary Source of Validation

Having friends and family call and show you major attention sure feels great. However, what happens when they are caught up with other things and don’t have that much time to text or call?

In such times, getting disappointed about not being contacted won’t help you, and sure would tell that you are far from being your source of validation.

So, what you can do is to deliberately train yourself to get used to the absence of people.

Take some time off from the noise of social life, and indulge in your hobbies like reading, writing, or seeing some great movies on Netflix.

What’s more, you can try meditating or yoga. This would clear your mind, and keep you in tune with yourself.

2. Learn To Feel And Be Self-Aware

So, first off, you can take a person out of psychology, but you can’t take psychology out of a person.

This means that the person that can reach into your emotions, and channel those emotions so you can be happy, alone and single, is you.

Learn to spend time with yourself, practice self-awareness, and keep in touch with your feelings.

That way, you will truly be happy. Identify your goals, dreams, and setbacks. Know the things that make you tick, and do those things.

3. Spend Some Time with Nature

There’s nothing quite as soothing as bonding with nature. You can simply spend time in a garden, where you can watch the flowers bloom with your favorite book in hand.

Or you can listen to the chirping of the birds, lie under the skies, and watch the shapes of the clouds and the brightness of the stars, and fall in love with yourself all over again.

If you have some energy and stamina in you, and you are a lover of outdoor activities like hiking, then put on those hiking boots, grab your backpack, and head to the nearest mountain around you.

4. Work on Your Self-Improvement

Remember those amazing self-improvement things that you have on your bucket list, but have somehow managed to miss doing them?

Bring those goals into actualization. You can create some alone time and work on them.

Learn to play that musical equipment, author that book, strategize on how you will start that company, learn a new skill, or a new language.

Just improve yourself.

5. Deliberately Ease into the Pleasure of Relaxation

The moment you go for a massage, treat yourself to a bubble bath with red wine in hand or stay home to watch Netflix with popcorn.

Then you will begin to love spending time by yourself. The cares of the world would be non-existent for that duration.

6. Take a Trip to a Dream Location Alone

You might ask yourself where the fun is in traveling alone. Be that as it may if you can get beyond the feeling of weirdness that accompanies taking a trip by yourself, just do it.

Just pack up your bags, and visit that location that you heard is a tourist attraction, or simply go for a weekend getaway in an amazing resort.

Then in no time, you will begin to feel the hang of being alone and happy.

7. Step Out to Town Alone

Perhaps you thought that to learn to be alone means camping at home and shutting the world out. However, that’s not the case.

You can indeed have beautiful time with yourself by going out to town to do activities like reading in a park, grabbing a coffee, and going to the seaside where you can feel the wind on your face, watch the sea waves come and go, and just gather your thoughts.

Become Mentally Stronger!

8. Stay Away from Your Phone

If you’re going to learn to be alone, then you might as well go all the way. This would mean staying away from your phone and the distractions that come with it.

When the phone is out of the way, you can do whatever you desire, such as snack away on whatever you crave for, or jam to your best music.

9. Feel Free to Be Weird

Okay, you might think that you’re an adult, so you just can’t go about being weird.

In truth, who cares? Being grown does not stop you from playing your favorite song at home and dancing to it in your underwear, or bingeing on your favorite ice-cream or meal.

Nothing stops you from doing crazy activities like sky diving, that will send some adrenaline shooting through your body.

And nothing stops you from participating in karaoke, even when you don’t have a voice worthy of applause. The main thing is to be weird and to own your weirdness.

10. Guiltlessly Make Mistakes, And Own Them

At this point in your life, you should understand that making mistakes is part of the cycle of life.

I’m not saying that you should go about being the king or queen of errors. Rather, you should not beat up yourself when you unknowingly make a wrong move or a wrong decision.

In essence, own your mistakes, learn from them, and move on feeling better, and stronger.

Final Thoughts

Finally, the one thing you should convince yourself of is that, it is normal for you to live your life the way you have chosen.

There is no need trying to convince anyone that what you are doing is in the right interest of you. There is no need working yourself up to prove to anyone that choosing to learn to be alone is right for you.

You have decided to be happy and have found the best way to be healthy.

Instead of getting heartaches from your relationships, you have decided to sideline yourself and you are doing just fine.

Laugh. Live. Be happy alone. You’ll soon discover that this is the greatest decision ever.

 

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

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If These 10 Things Happen In Your Relationship, You’re Meant To Be

No couple is perfect, but you two are pretty close.

You’re pretty sure you’ve finally found that right person for you. You know, the one who listens intently while you vent about your grueling day at work and is there to hold you tightly on the couch with your Netflix queue already lined up.

But how can you tell for certain that you’re in a healthy relationship? Luckily, science has some answers. Read up on these research-backed factors that strongly influence whether or not you and your partner are meant to go the distance. Because sometimes, relationship advice doesn’t do the trick.

1. You’re both positive.

Sure, this one might not come as a surprise, but studies show that a positive outlook and a few genuinely exchanged smiles a day can go a long way in keeping a relationship stable. Researchers from the University of Chicago found that when just one partner possesses a high level of positivity, there’s less conflict in the relationship.

“Positive emotions are fundamental to any relationship because they counteract the negative emotions that shut us down,” says Jane Greer, New York-based relationship expert and author of What About Me? Stop Selfishness from Ruining Your Relationship. “This translates into feeling more secure with your partner and more trusting.”

And the benefits of seeing the cup half full don’t stop there.

Another study published in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that couples who celebrated their partners’ achievements — say, a job promotion or killing that 7-minute mile — as if they were their own, experienced greater satisfaction than those who reacted negatively or with indifference. In the study, the couples who had broken up rated their partners’ typical responses to good news as “particularly uninspiring.”

While this isn’t to say you should break out in the Carlton Dance next time your partner offers up some good news, it’s a sure sign that optimism can benefit you both.

2. You keep texting to a minimum.

Between emojis and GIFs, our feelings and emotions are pretty clearly captured sans alphabetical symbols these days. But tread lightly when communicating with your significant other via telecommunication, say researchers from Brigham Young University.

After surveying 276 men and women around age 22 and in committed relationships, they found that heavy texting was to blame for both genders feeling dissatisfied with their relationships.

“Texting is precarious for a lot of people in relationships because it’s hard to flesh out our genuine expressions,” says Dr. Greer. “When one person is less interactive, the expectation is not matched by the reality for the other, and this can lead to disappointment and a feeling of disconnection.”

Similarly, the study found that the men who texted more often reported lower relationship quality than those who didn’t text their partners as frequently, while the women who texted more often reported higher relationship quality. Researchers speculate that as men detach from the relationship, they replace face-to-face convo with increased texting. The ladies, on the other hand, take to their mobile devices to try and make things work.

Bottom line? Hold the phone — literally.

3. You limit social media use.

You love checking your Instagram, Facebook and Twitter feeds — and, chances are, it’s probably also how you read your news. But over-scrolling on social media may be one of the most toxic things you can do for your relationship.

One study in the Journal of Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking found that people who use Facebook more than once a day (ahem, most of us) are more likely to report conflicts in the relationship that inevitably lead to negative outcomes like cheating, breaking up, or getting divorced.

“Romantic relationships can be challenging enough to navigate without these added technological complications,” says Joseph Cilona, Psy.D., Manhattan-based licensed clinical psychologist. “Finding ways to simplify or minimize potential pitfalls, like limiting what each other shares about your relationship on social media, is a great rule of thumb to follow.”

But good news for your social media mojo if you and your man or lady have been together for over three years: These results only held for couples in the early years of the relationship, which may mean the threat of Facebook coming between you two reduces the longer you stay together.

4. You cuddle.

Most of us admit to loving the feeling of being physically close to another human — it’s a natural, biological response. But when consistent physical intimacy (not just sexual) is a staple of how you both behave in your relationship, it also signals your levels of happiness together.

A study published in The American Journal of Family Therapy surveyed 100 men and 195 women to examine their preferences and attitudes towards romantic physical affection—massaging, caressing, cuddling, holding hands, hugging — and found overwhelmingly that the amount they experienced in their relationship was significantly correlated to their levels of couple satisfaction.

“Cuddling and tenderness help maintain the physical connection and intimacy shared between couples—not just when you’re being sexual,” says Dr. Greer. “As a result, it can be easier to get turned on because there’s always an element of sexual energy being shared through physical touches, therefore leading to a happier relationship overall.”

So next time you’re in the mood to snuggle, remember that science is on your side.

5. You fight instead of holding back your feelings.

While you might get down and out about the latest tiff you had with your boo, one study reports that it may be the all-important glue that winds up keeping your relationship together.

Researchers from Florida State University found that expressing anger when disagreements arise may actually be necessary in resolving problems in the relationship. In fact, that whole saying “forgive and forget” could surprisingly lead to buried feelings of resentment that fester and almost always come up later in the courtship.

“If you learn to argue in a healthy way early on, then you’re more comfortable expressing your emotions to your partner and working through your different points of view,” says Dr. Greer. “This creates a good working framework for handling arguments in a positive way instead of them resurfacing constantly, causing more strain in the relationship.”

So don’t be afraid to put your feelings out there and fight (respectfully, of course) next time you feel passionately for or against something in your relationship.

6. You have regular sex.

If the honeymoon phase has come and gone and the two of you still maintain a consistently hot-and-heavy romp schedule, you’re on the road to relationship bliss. In fact, a study published in the journal Society for Personality and Social Psychology found that having sex at least once a week brings as much happiness to your relationship as making an extra $50,000.

For this study, researchers surveyed more than 30,000 Americans over four decades, and found that having sex just once a week was the frequency most linked to relationship happiness. Surprisingly, couples who had sex more or less frequently were not happier.

“Intimacy is just another type of communication, so if that communication falters, so will your sexual connection in response,” says Dr. Tessina. That being said, your sexual chemistry is not a race to the sack.

“If you’re mutually enjoying more sex, than it will make you both happier, but remember that it comes down to both people wanting to be intimate that often,” adds Dr. Greer.

7. You’re similar.

You know the old saying, “opposites attract”? Well, if you happen to have a lot in common with your partner, it may be a better recipe for attraction.

In fact, a study by researchers from Wellesley College and the University of Kansas found that we’re actually hard-wired to desire “like-minded others.” They were able to reach this conclusion by analyzing pairs or people — from romantic couples to friends and even mere acquaintances — interacting in public. The pairs were asked questions about attitude, values, and prejudice, among other things, and it was found that the longer-term relationship pairs had greater similarities than those who had recently become acquainted.

“If you’re more alike in terms of your personalities, you’re sharing similar styles of dealing with a variety of things in life — from interacting with friends to experiencing life changes,” says Dr. Greer. “So if you and your partner share similar values and interests, you’ll wind up with more cooperative spirits and having a greater respect for one another.”

8. Your spending habits differ.

You’re certainly not alone if you find that the majority of the arguments you have as a couple are sparked by personal (or combined) finances. In fact, a Money Magazine poll found that a whopping 70 percent of couples argue about finances the most — more than household chores, togetherness, sex, snoring, and so on.

But if the two of you have stark differences in the way in which you prefer to spend — AKA one of you is a spendthrift and the other is a tightwad (yes, that’s an actual term) — you just might be perfect for each other. The proof is in one study by the Universities of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Northwestern. Researchers surveyed over 1,000 married and unmarried couples, and found that most individuals tend to choose their spending opposite when it comes to selecting a lifelong partner.

So if that sounds like you and yours, you just may have the perfect yin-and-yang combo to make things work. “Just remember to prioritize the big-spending opportunities like buying a car, house, etc,” reminds Dr. Greer.

9. You laugh at the same jokes.

If you and your sweetie both know how to appreciate a raunchy comedy routine, love anything with Will Ferrell, or both equally detest either of those two scenarios, you’re a match made in heaven, says science.

A study published in the Western Journal of Communication found that 75 percent of happy couples laugh together at least once a day. Even more interesting, another study reported in the same journal found that 92 percent of married men and women credited humor as a factor that made a significant contribution to their married life.

“Laughing at and appreciating the same comedy is the emotional oil to grease the wheels of a relationship to keep it moving forward,” says Dr. Greer. “It gives each of you the resilience you need to laugh off the petty and irrelevant things that naturally build up in life and offers more chances to bond intimately on a regular basis.”

10. You both love to booze it up… or not at all.

We’ve all seen it at one point in our lives — the couple scenario where one person is totally sober and the other is a giant, falling-all-over-the-place mess. There’s a good reason why those unmatched levels of drunkenness or sobriety don’t wind up working out in the end.

In a study published in the Journal of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, scientists reviewed data collected from nearly 20,000 married couples, and found that the spouses who consumed relatively the same amount of alcohol were less likely to divorce than pairs where one person drank more heavily or significantly lighter than the other spouse.

“I’ve seen many couples split when one of the pair of drinkers got sober,” says Dr. Tessina. “Alcohol alters a heavy drinker’s experiences and perceptions, so couples who drink heavily together naturally have similar ways of living, as do couples who don’t drink much at all.”

 

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

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Sun Stories: Trinity – Chapter 3 – Dopamine Overload

I was working at the salon. It was Saturday. We’re firmly ensconced in the busy season and killing it. I’m on my own, but the cash register is singing and I’m having an amazing day.

I’m texting a potential girl for a lunch date this week, when my phone buzzed.

I thought it was the girl I had been texting with a final word. (Brooke again trying to catfish me?)

But I got a sudden text from Trinity.

It got my strict attention.

“I’m seeing a lot of legs!!! You must be so happy lololol”

I’m shocked and astounded. Here’s a girl I really like, that ghosted me, but suddenly lights me up. I need to be cautious,…. or I need to be… ME.

You know who I’ll pick.

“Hi, Trinity. It’s been a total leg show here at the salon all day. Finally finishing up the day.”

“That’s wonderful!! Lol It’s a total leg show out in the street too!! I feel overdressed lolo!

I love that the girl I really like that ghosted me for a week has suddenly contacted me and is discussing my favorite fetish and is now online!

“What are you up to? I could go for a post work cold beer”

“I’m in your neck of the woods! Where should I go?

So this is the girl I really I want to hang out with and a week ago I was angry because she blew me off. The gods must be smiling upon me for bringing in over a thousand dollars into the salon today.

This is my moment with Trinity…..I pull the trigger.

“Meet me at Happy Rooster in 15 minutes.

 

Holy Shit. Is this really happening?

I finish up at the salon and lock the door. I light a celebratory cig and walk down Walnut street to 16th. Happy Rooster is a block away.

I’ve chosen well.

Prey is in range, and the lion is on his way. I’ve worked in sales my whole life. When the client is ready. You must strike.

I’m excited. I haven’t heard a word from Trinity in over a week since we last tried to meet up. I thought it was dead and gave up. But after a great day at the salon and the 80 degree weather, the planets are lining up and I’m ready to unfold with the universe as usual.

This shouldn’t be happening, but it IS!

It so reminds me of when I was courting Michelle. (See: Michelle – A Brand New Day) That energy. That unsure, off balance vibe, that’s always going to right itself once you see her. Just be you. That charming guy at the salon that she feels safe with.

I’m not worried, I can only think of the smell of the cigarette I’m smoking right before I sit next to her in Happy Rooster.

I head over there, puffin tuff. I have to do it. This is destiny. Who gives a shit. She has a boyfriend in Boston, and she’s just texted me.

I have to be me.

The city is awash with people. The weather is unseasonable warm and it’s a preview of what the city looks like all summer. A non-stop sea of lovely young women in various stages of undress.

I traveled two blocks and it was a non-stop pageant of bare legs. It was magic for me. But I love that not only did Trinity realize the exposure, she connected it to me and reached out.

That’s huge. She remembers what I like, and took the time to text me on a special day.

Let’s put a cap on this extraordinary money day at the salon with a beer with a pretty girl.

“Just arrived.”

I toss my cig and head in.

Trinity’s at the bar and there’s surprisingly plenty of room.

I like that. The bartender, Chase is a raven haired beauty with tattoos in all of the wrong places that will assure she’ll never work a job where she has to pay taxes.

Her bar back is a very pretty, young baby with hair like chocolate and a face that’s made for a painting.

I enter and Trinity’s at the bar sipping a beer and very happy.

I’m stunned that I am in her presence.

A week ago I was so pissed that she ghosted me and I was doing my usual dopamine withdrawal, but she has no idea.

“Hey, Charles… sit where you want. On either side of me.”

“I sit to the right.

I tell the bartender (Hot Chase) I’d like a Yards, Pale Ale. ( I haven’t had a beer in 6 months because I’m not into beer and I figure that would work.

“When does Victory Summer Love Happen?”

“I have it now.”

“Oh God… I want that…”

I am overjoyed that Happy Rooster has my favorite summer beer and I’m sitting next to the object of my desire. (For the moment)

Chase places the ice cold bottle in front of me on the bar and I’m stupid happy to be in this moment.

I turn to Trinity and we toast. I feel the click of the necks of our bottles and then we both tap the bottles on the bar. We sip. “To new friends.”

We both sip from our beers and after the day I’ve had, I describe the taste of Summer Love as kissing the face of God.

I tell Trinity about how I wanted to text her after she ghosted me. How I wanted to say, “This is why you have no friends… you don’t ever get back to them!”

Trinity loved this and laughed saying her friends in Boston say the same thing.

There was much laughter and I could feel our amazing connection.

Trinity was constantly doing all of the things to me that I write about in this blog. Touching her face, grabbing my arm, touching me, etc. Just text book attraction.

I love this.

I just want to hang out with Trinity, and get free drinks at Square with her. I don’t want to hurt her relationship with the boyfriend in Boston.

Ever.

Not cool.

“I’m sorry I ghosted you but my job is so intense i just get so focused on it I forget everything else. I’m sorry. My friends in Boston tell me the same thing.

“You have friends?”

We laughed over that.

I won’t do that to you ever again.”

No worries. I’m happy to have you in this moment. Trinity.”

“I have to go soon.”

“Okay.”

“I have to go meet my boyfriend at the bus station. He’s coming into town in an hour and then we’re going on vacation.

“Finally. You’ve been working your ass off, Trinity.”

Yea. We’re going to Austin and then I’m leaving him and going to see a friend in Colorado. She’s been wanting to see me, and if I’m in Austin I have no excuse not to jump and see her.

I love all of this intrigue. How strong can their relationship be if they are so far apart? Then she leaves him in Austin and sees her friend.

This makes me think back to when Michelle was trying to get back with her ex Dave and was making all the effort and I clipped her because I was present here in the city.

If I got super cranky when Trinity didn’t get back to me after I invited her out for free drinks. that tells me the vibe is on. I love the dopamine vibe.

We walk outside, and smoke cigarettes together. It’s so warm out. A rare day this chilly Spring.

I feel such a strong connection to Trinity and I hope if anything at my age I just get to hang with her again.

I’m literally at that point in my life.

Just to go to the movies would be amazing. Kill some dinosaurs at Dave and Buster’s would be terrific.

I’ve isolated my prey and I really like her.

We flick our cigs and she goes in for the hug.

I like that.

“When I get back from all of this we’ll go to Square and do that thing we talked about.”

“Yes. It’ll all be free.”

“Cool. see then, Charles.”

I tell her the bus station from Boston is in Chinatown.

I watch as Trinity walks away knowing that even though her legs are wrapped in denim they are magic beyond words.

I need to drink with her at Square.

I’ll just flirt with all of my favorites at the salon until Trinity returns.

And compartmentalize the rest of my life as usual.

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