Dating and Relationship Advice – Marriage Preparation: Tips & Advice for the Groom

Marriage preparation for a groom is really not all that different from how a bride should prepare. Like any bride, you also need to ask yourself some crucial questions. There also feats of (emotional) strength you must perform in support of your spouse.First, you need to be sure you are ready for a marriage. Is your girlfriend ready too? Does she also want the same things as you do from this relationship? If yes, then great! Congratulations!

Marriage preparation: Tips & advice for the groom

1. You are a team

Do not contradict in public. Form a united front even if you know she is wrong. Discuss your disagreements when you are alone at a later time. You have moved on from your mother so it is important to cut the apron strings and side with your spouse – at least in front of her. Always. Do not let your relationship with your mother (or best friend, child, or anyone) overtake your partnership with your spouse. No meddling allowed.

Marriage preparation: Tips & advice for the groom

2. Know your limits

We are human and know what we are good at. There are many stereotypes that you don’t have to live up to (and frankly aren’t expected to). Call the plumber, find an accountant, don’t let ego make a mess of major things.

Marriage preparation: Tips & advice for the groom

3. Discuss money/career/children/religion

Discuss any sticky subject matter that is important to you. Get on the same page and manage each other’s expectations. Plan your budgets. Are you saving for a house? Where? Do either of you have to go back to school? What is the debt scenario? All uncomfortable topics need to be hashed out and compromises need to be found for the road to be laid out smooth for the future.

Marriage preparation: Tips & advice for the groom

4. Always maintain respect and composure

There will be disagreements. This is a guarantee. Handle them with grace and patience; No name calling, no grudge holding, don’t ever retaliate. Fight fair. When it’s all over and the two of you have taken your space let your spouse know they are the most important person in your life.Expectations come from both parties. Live up to yours. If you make agreements be sure to stick to them. If assistance is asked for, get up and assist when asked the first time. Be strong and be patient & your spouse will look to you to be their pillar when times get dark. Deliver on that and you will receive the same treatment in return.

Marriage preparation: Tips & advice for the groom

 

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Celebrity Sightings: 15 Celeb Couples Who Clearly Should’ve Broken Up A Long Time Ago

Do you know a couple that you’re convinced shouldn’t be together? Many of us invest too much on the fictional romances in our favorite shows that we often end up believing we know exactly which of our friends should end up together and which ones are wrong for each other.

Although the concept of “happily ever after” is as fictional as Cinderella and her Prince, most of us still believe some people have a shot at ending up in a relationship which the parties involved will never disagree. However, even those who end up in “perfect relationships” always find out they’re not immune to relationship problems, and they have to work even harder to keep their relationship going.

One of the disadvantages of being a celebrity is that everyone out there makes it his or her business to meddle in their personal lives, so their relationships are subject to public opinion. Therefore, people everywhere have their opinions concerning which celebrity couples should be together and which ones should break up.

This list is about celebrity couples who have been through very tough challenges which should have split them but didn’t. Celebrities often have a reputation for hooking up and breaking up with whoever they’re with, to the point that we love to celebrate those who survive many years in the same relationship. Here are 15 celebrities who should have broken up a long time ago but are still going strong. Which of these do you think are likely to break up in the near future?

 

15.RAY RICE AND JANAY PALMER

Have you’ve watched the video of what happened between Ray Rice and Janay Palmer in an elevator back in 2014? If you have, then you know that at the time, Rice hit Palmer in an elevator while the two were engaged to be married. For the sake of those who’ve not watched it, it’s important to point out that Rice intentionally hit his fiancee so hard that he knocked her out.

In addition to having to answer charges of third-degree aggravated assault, his contract with the Ravens was terminated and the NFL suspended him indefinitely. He appealed the decision in federal courts and won, but he has not gotten an opportunity to play professional football since.

The interesting thing is that these two got married six weeks after the incident took place, and according to Palmer, Rice made a mistake he’d never made previously and would not make again. Palmer is a unique woman since very few women would have married a man who had previously hit them, let alone knocked them out. This relationship should have been over the moment Palmer recovered from the blow, but these two are still going strong.

 

14.JAY-Z AND BEYONCÉ

Many people consider Jay-Z and Beyoncé to be the most powerful couple in music, which is arguably the case. Both have risen to the highest possible levels in the music industry individually, so you can imagine just how powerful they are as a couple. However, their presence on this list means that even the most powerful couples are not perfect.

If you’ve listened to Beyoncé’s Lemonade, then you know she sang songs about her husband’s infidelities at length and was clearly not pleased. In addition, Jay-Z’s 4:44 confirms the unfaithfulness Beyoncé mentioned in her album and even further admitted to straying in an interview with The New York Times.

You must be thinking to yourself just how crazy someone would be to be unfaithful to Beyoncé since every woman would want to be her because she’s so beautiful and successful. This should have been the point at which this high-level couple would have broken up, but they chose not to. Since these two worked out their issues, there’s no reason other people can’t overcome similar challenges as well.

 

13.KANYE WEST AND KIM KARDASHIAN

Although Kanye West and Kim Kardashian got married back in 2014, some people still think their marriage is a sham and a union that happened just to make them relevant and attracted worldwide attention. Since Kim and her whole family will literally do anything to stay in the news, her marriage has played a huge role in helping her meet this objective, and she’s reaping big-time from it. Her social media presence and “reality” shows have made her one of the richest reality tv celebrities in Hollywood.

On the other hand, Kanye West seems like he didn’t mind marrying a hot woman, and was aware of the benefits the union would have on his music career and his image. Many people think these two shouldn’t be in a relationship, let alone a marriage, but somehow, they’ve made their relationship thrive. Whether these two got married because they’re in love or whether it was a good business arrangement is up to them.

 

12.GABRIELLE UNION AND DWYANE WADE

Many people would argue that Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union are one of the happiest couples on the planet, owing to just how much fun these two have together. Union, who is a celebrity actress, and Wade, who is a superstar basketball player, first got together in 2009 and got married in 2014. Since their amazing wedding, these two have shared images of the fun moments they have together on vacations and on dates, and it’s clear they’re not afraid of a bit of PDA (public display of affection).

These two make it to this list because, in 2013, Wade hooked up with Aja Metoyer, a longtime friend, and she gave birth to his son in November of the same year. In his defence, Wade claimed he and Union had split up at the time, so he technically didn’t betray her. A month after his son was born, he proposed to Union and she said yes. They got married in August of 2014. These two should’ve broken up even before they got married, but their love is keeping them strong.

 

11.WILL SMITH AND JADA PINKETT SMITH

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett have for the longest time been considered the most powerful couple in Hollywood, owing to just how successful these two are. Will has been called “the most powerful actor in Hollywood,” and has been considered by Forbes to be the most bankable star worldwide; owing to the success of the films he has played leading roles in.

Jada, on the other hand, is a successful actress who has starred in films such as Set It Off and Menace II Society and appeared in successful franchises such as The Matrix films and the Madagascar animated films.

These two have been married for 21 years, and they’re here because so many people have claimed they’ve both been unfaithful to each other at some point. One incident mentioned in the tabloids claimed Will caught Jada and Marc Anthony in their family home— claims which everyone involved refuted. These two have continued to be strong in their relationship, despite the pressure to give up and break up.

 

10.DAVID AND VICTORIA BECKHAM

Since it’s common knowledge that many celebrity relationships and marriages don’t last, David and Victoria Beckham are unique in that they’ve been married for the last 18 years and are still going strong. What makes the relationship even more amazing is that both of them are huge celebrities in their own right. They have the type of celebrity marriage that hardly lives past a few years.

The main reason that they make it to this list is because of a woman named Rebecca Loos, who purported to have had an illicit fling with David back in 2004 when she was his personal assistant. At the time, David was still married to Victoria, and the media had a field day reporting the incident making Rebecca one of the most famous women in the world at the time.

David and Victoria should have split at this time, but they stuck together and overcame the shame and negative publicity which resulted. David admits he has made mistakes in their relationship but has never confessed to being involved with Rebecca in the way she claims he was.

 

9.SARAH JESSICA PARKER AND MATTHEW BRODERICK

Since 1997, Sarah Jessica Parker and Mathew Broderick have been married to each other, and by the way things are going, these two will spend the rest of their lives together. It’s so amazing when two successful actors can stay married for more than 20 years, despite their hectic acting schedules, which often separate them for long periods at a time.

Although these two always look happy, they’re on this list because Matthew allegedly had a secret fling with an unnamed woman while his wife was shooting the film Sex And The City. When the news broke, Matthew, through his spokesperson, didn’t deny the allegations and refused to comment on the issue.

Although this secret relationship should have been the end of their marriage, these two chose to remain together and overcome this challenge. These two have said many times they love each other, and since they’ve gone through so much together, we have no reason to doubt them. They have three children together.

 

8.BILL AND HILLARY CLINTON

Bill Clinton was the 42nd president of the United States, and he served as president from 1993 to 2001. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, has held several powerful political posts as well, and when she ran for the presidency in 2016, she won the popular vote but lost the presidency to the incumbent President Donald Trump.

These two have been married since 1975, and chances of them breaking up now are slim to none. However, they make it to this list because their marriage would have ended back in the ’90s when Bill was still president. Several women came forward accusing Bill of misconduct, with Monica Lewinsky’s case coming close to ending Clinton’s presidency through an impeachment because he was accused of perjury.

The allegations, scandals, court case, and all of the things that resulted were possibly the toughest period for their marriage to survive. If these two can survive so much humiliation, then couples all over the world need to work harder to save their marriages.

 

7.DAVID LETTERMAN AND REGINA LASKO

David Letterman was initially married to Michelle Cook, but their marriage ended in October of 1977. Before getting involved with his current wife, Regina Lasko, Letterman had a serious relationship with Merrill Markoe for ten years up until 1988. Letterman’s relationship with Lasko started in 1986 when he was still living with Markoe, and they were in a relationship for 23 years until 2009 when they officially got married.

This marriage would have ended as soon as it began because in 2009, barely six months after they exchanged vows, he was caught in a scandal, which forced him to apologize to his wife in one of his shows. He announced to his viewers that someone had tried blackmailing him by threatening to release information which suggested he’d had inappropriate relations with several colleagues if he didn’t offer him two million dollars.

Although the information was true, Letterman went to the authorities and the perpetrator was caught and his confession worked towards mending his almost breaking down marriage. However, his marriage to his wife continued to this day.

 

6.NICOLE KIDMAN AND KEITH URBAN

Nicole Kidman used to be married to Tom Cruise, and the two adopted children together during that time. However, five years after Tom left her, she married Keith Urban in June of 2006 in Sydney, and they’ve been together ever since. They have two children of their own. In 2015 during an interview, Kidman claimed she and Urban didn’t know each other well when they were getting married, but they got to know each other in their marriage.

These two make it to this list because, in addition to the many problems couples go through when they’re married, they had to survive rumors of Urban’s alleged unfaithfulness. Amanda Wyatt claimed she was repeatedly involved with Urban when he and Kidman were engaged and added she felt sorry for Kidman.

For over a decade, this couple’s marital troubles have hit the tabloids, but it’s safe to say they’ve reduced in the recent past. Such accusations, whether true or false, sure strained the relationship, and Kidman and Urban chose to stick together through that storm.

 

5.DAVID BOREANAZ AND JAIME BERGMAN

David Boreanaz is an amazing actor, most popularly known for his role as Seeley Booth, an FBI special agent in Bones, a comedy-drama series, or currently as Jason Hayes, in SEAL Team. His wife, Jaime Bergman, is a model and an actress who has appeared on several magazine covers and in a number of Playboy videos. These two got married back in 2001 and they have two children, a son called Jaden and a daughter called Bella.

These two have made it on this list because back in 2010, David acknowledged his involvement in a secret fling with one of the women Tiger Woods apparently betrayed his wife with a woman named Rachel Uchitel. In addition to admitting he strayed from his wife, text messages concerning the relationship surfaced on the internet, an embarrassing situation that should have broken this marriage up. What’s even worse about the timing of the whole incident was that his wife was pregnant with their second child.

 

4.SNOOP DOGG AND SHANTE BROADUS

Snoop Dogg is one of the greatest and most influential musicians we have today, and he has developed a huge fan base since starting his music career back in 1992. Throughout his career, he has sold over 23 million albums domestically and 35 million worldwide, making him a very successful musician.

He has so far released 14 studio albums and holds 17 Grammy award nominations. Despite breaking into the music industry with hip-hop, funk, and gangsta rap, he’s currently doing more of reggae, after converting to Rastafari back in 2012.

In 2013, Snoop told Queen Latifah that he took his wife through turmoil on his journey to success, and at the time he didn’t understand just how much he was hurting her. He further explained how he decided to start loving his wife and children by reprioritizing his life. Back when he was placing his career before his wife and children, his marriage should have ended, but the good thing is that they’re still together.

 

3.PINK AND CAREY HART

Do you know two people in a relationship who appear as if they’re wrong for each other, owing to the amount of drama they cause? If you’ve followed Pink and Carey Hart’s relationship for the 12 years they’ve been together, you will obviously think these two don’t belong together.

Since they got married back in 2006, they’ve officially broken up twice, and even picked up divorce papers to end their marriage in 2008 when they were just two years into it. Although we’re not quite sure why they broke up the first time, the reason they split the second time was due to their hectic work schedules, which would force them to spend so much time apart they would hardly have any time to deal with issues in their marriage.

Pink went out of her way to win back her man, and her effort paid off because they’re still together. Both confess that their marriage isn’t perfect, and was it not for their desire to hold on to what they have, their marriage would have ended a long time ago.

 

2.NAYA RIVERA AND RYAN DORSEY

Naya Rivera is popularly known for the role she played in Glee from 2009 to 2015, a cheerleader called Santana Lopez. For this and many roles, she has received numerous awards and award nominations since she’s a highly talented actress and musician. She married Ryan Dorsey in 2014, and although these two have been married for just four years, they’ve had to overcome issues some couples who’ve been married for decades have never experienced.

In November 2016, barely two years into their marriage, Naya filed for divorce, but they called off the separation in October of 2017, meaning they lost a year in the split. In November of 2017, authorities in Kanawha County, West Virginia arrested Naya for domestic battery. Apparently, she hit Ryan in the head and on the face during a disagreement. After she was released from jail, she refiled for divorce, and we’re waiting to see what will happen. This relationship should have ended a long time ago, but these two have a chance to mend it.

 

1.KOBE AND VANESSA BRYANT

If you love basketball and have watched a few NBA games, then the name Kobe Bryant is not new to you. Bryant is one of the best guards in the history of the NBA, and many people have even claimed he was greater than Michael Jordan was. With the Los Angeles Lakers, he won the Championship five times and was the NBA’s MVP in 2008, NBA Finals MVP in 2009 and 2010, and he won an Academy Award for his short animated film Dear Basketball just this year.

However, Bryant and his wife are not on this list because of the great achievements in basketball, but because they went through one of the toughest challenges a marriage could ever go through. In 2003, Bryant was arrested for allegedly assaulting a 19-year-old at a hotel in Eagle County, and the case that followed tarnished his reputation and he not only lost many of his endorsement deals but many of his fans.

During the course of the case, his marriage should have ended, but Vanessa stuck with him. In December 2011 she filed for divorce but called it off a month later, and we can only assume they’re happily married today.

 

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Dating and Relationship Advice – Couples with Successful Marriages Have These 13 Things in Common

Not surprisingly, there are some things that successful marriages have in common. So, for people who want to have a successful marriage, these are the things they need to focus on. They will work for every person in every relationship and just need to be applied to work.

Ready? Here are the 13 things every successful marriage has:

1. Have Realistic Expectations

Notice this article is about what “successful” marriages have, not perfect ones. That’s because there’s no such thing as an ideal relationship. Every relationship will have good times and hard times, and those who are in successful ones know that it’s not always going to be butterflies and rainbows.

Setting realistic expectations for the relationship, however, is not nearly as important as setting realistic expectations for partners. If a person sets up unreachable expectations for their partner, they will always be disappointed since their partner can’t meet their expectations.

2. Have The Right Motives

When two people get together, their best chance of success comes if they’re together for the right motives. Not wanting to be alone is not the right motive for getting married, and neither is following family or religious traditions.

When two people are together because they genuinely love each other and want to spend every moment together, that’s the right motivation. When two people are together because they’re ready to do whatever it takes to stay together, that’s the right motivation.

3. Are Two Successful People

A successful marriage always has two successful people, and that’s not to say they’re both at the top of their career tracks. It is to say that each partner is mature, healthy, and able to say that they are successful on their own, that their success in life is not tied to their marriage.

When a marriage has an unhealthy member, that person will always look to the other for support and validation, and the healthy person then has to work twice as hard to keep the marriage working right. When both individuals are emotionally unhealthy, it just gets worse.

4. Be Completely Honest

The worst thing someone can do in a marriage is to reach out to someone outside of their marriage when they have a problem with their marriage. The only person that can solve that person’s marriage problem is the person they’re married to, so that should be the one they’re going to with a question.

The more painful a subject is, the more critical it is that it be brought up to a marriage partner rather than anyone else. Part of that honesty means both partners need to be trustworthy and open to hearing harsh truths. Only then can they be worked through successfully.

5. Respect The Other

Even more important than communication is respect. Every successful relationship has two people who respect each other in every imaginable way. If a person loses their respect for their partner, it usually isn’t long before the relationship starts to fall apart.

In successful relationships, each partner respects the other for who they are as a person, what they believe in, what their interests are, and what their dreams and aspirations are. They recognize that they won’t always agree on everything, but they still respect each other.

6. Have Good Fights

The measure of success in a relationship does not come from how infrequently or even how gently a couple of fights. The truth is that couples that fight more often (and sometimes even more loudly) are more successful than those who don’t fight.

The key is that they both allow the other person to express themselves and say what they need to say, then they resolve the problem. Sometimes, it’s not entirely settled as a compromise can’t be made, but what’s important is that it’s left in the past when it’s over.

7. Feel Genuine Forgiveness

Even more important than fighting is the forgiveness that follows in successful relationships. When a successful couple forgives each other, it means complete remission, which means wiping the slate clean and not allowing the offense to affect their relationship.

Something that successful marriages don’t do is keep bringing up old fights and hurts because they have genuinely forgiven the other person and no longer allow those things to come up. Forgiveness is the only way for couples to keep moving forward without allowing past hurts to hurt their future.

8. Have Rules

Although it seems strange for a loving, thriving relationship to have rules, these are incredibly important for making sure that both partners are on the same page and will prevent a lot of conflicts, frustration, and problems.

Relationship rules should be written out and cover everything from finances to how often a couple goes out on dates. Successful relationships stick to these rules and allow them to improve their lives and their relationships by encouraging them to keep their relationship healthy, open, and consistent.

9. Have Space Between Partners

Without some space between two people, it can be complicated to be able to enjoy each other since they don’t spend any time apart. It can often lead to co-dependency as each partner begins to need to get everything from their partner alone.

Having some space for each person to pursue their own interests and have their own friends allows each partner to get social interaction and personal fulfillment elsewhere that they can then bring into their marriage. It also gives them something to talk about.

10. Embrace Changes

Change is inevitable, and successful marriages continued to love, accept, and support their partner through every type of change that life may bring. It could be as something small as a haircut, or something as major as a change in religion.

As people go through life, they’re going to change, and in successful marriages, both partners accept the change that happens and are willing to fall in love with the person their partner is becoming because they recognize that marriage is a lifelong commitment.

11. Focus on Little Things

Little things in marriages always add up to big things. This can be positive or negative, depending entirely on what little things are happening in the relationship. Successful couples pay attention to the little things because they know what can happen if they don’t.

Snarky comments and little insults will add up to resentment and big hurts. Washing dishes and kissing before leaving the house will add up to mutual contentment satisfaction. When it’s little negative things, the sooner they’re dealt with, the better.

12. A Lot of Sex

Of course, the frequency of sex varies significantly from marriage to marriage, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, it’s something that many couples miss the importance of in their relationship. But, when there is an emotional disconnect or a hurt, lack of sex is often the first sign.

Some couples have even used sex as a way to repair their relationship when things are feeling a bit dry. They merely commit to having sex every day for a week no matter what, and immediately feel closer to each other by the end.

13. Surfers

A surfer rides the waves of the ocean as they go up and down, and can be stronger or weaker. In a successful marriage, both partners surf the emotional waves that naturally come. They recognize that sometimes will be better than others, but they stick with their partner no matter what.

Sometimes, these waves come in the form of feeling a lack of love towards a partner, something that can last for a few days or even a few years. But in a successful marriage, that partner sticks with it, rides it out, and rediscovers their love that they would have missed had they bailed.

 

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Dating and Relationship Advice – Five Legitimate Reasons Why Marriage Should Be Abolished

When you are young and free, the summer is a time to be off school, travel, and lament that you aren’t beach-body ready. But once you get a bit older, summer means one thing: Wedding season. Just, so many goddamn weddings. Whether it’s traveling to a destination wedding, sitting through an hour-long mass, or just hanging out in someone’s backyard, you are expected to be there, smile, and bring a gravy boat for the happy couple that will undoubtedly never be used.

But … what if we just got rid of the institution all together? Don’t worry, I’m not some bitter spinster, I’ve been happily married for ten years. But bear with me here, because for millennials, it might make more sense to just stop getting married once and for all. Here’s why.
1. Society Is Failing At It
Let’s say you’re in high school and you really, really suck at math. You never get better than a D on any of your tests. But you decide you want to study math in college. Then you want to go on and get a master’s degree, and even a PhD. Everyone around you is trying to talk you out of it: your friends, your parents, your creepy guidance counselor that keeps touching your knee. But you are insistent. How crazy would that be? Now pretend math is actually marriage. Because society is totally failing at it, yet we keep trying to make it work.

The divorce rate in America is estimated to be between 40 and 50 percent. For millennials, it might end up being even worse thanks to all the divorces our parents went through. If your parents got divorced, you are up to 60 percent more likely to get divorced yourself. It’s called “intergenerational transmission of divorce,” and it means that your parents pass on divorce to their kids just like they do other terrible things like heart disease or ginger hair.

Then there are the infamous “starter marriages.” These are marriages between people in their 20s that usually last less than five years and don’t involve children. The problem with these is that getting divorced once means you will probably divorce again. 67 percent of second marriages and 73 percent of third marriages end in divorce. A recent survey of millennials found that 43 percent of them would like a starter marriage that could be either “renewed” or easily dissolved after two years. 36 percent thought that marriage licenses should be treated like mortgages, on fixed year terms that have to be “renegotiated” once they run out. If this is how we really think marriage should be approached, why have it at all? Why not just live together for as long as you want, and if you break up there is no legal aspect involved?
2. It Fixes Some Legal Issues With Other Types of Relationships
Remember way back in the hot summer of 2015, when it seemed like Obama would be president forever and gay people finally got the right to get married? It was the end of a decades-long slog toward equality, and there was every chance it wouldn’t happen. Until the decision was released, people still thought the five conservative judges might block marriage equality. Fortunately, one of them flipped. But it is easy to forget just how long and hard the fight was, and how close it came to not happening.

Within hours of the decision, think pieces appeared on the “next logical step”: legalizing polygamy. Now, we’re not talking about weird old guys in cults forcing dozens of underage girls to marry them. This is about three or more consenting adults who want to be, for lack of a better word, a couple. Is there really anything wrong with that? If there is anyone out there who loves to cook and clean and maybe knows how to fix cars, I would gladly welcome you into my marriage. In 2015, only 16 percent of people found polygamy “morally acceptable” but that was more than double the 7 percent who thought so in 2001. But it will be another long hill to climb before any case on polygamy gets to the Supreme Court. The simplest way to fix this? Take the legal aspect of marriage out of the picture entirely.

This will work for millennials as well, who are more likely to be in polyamorous relationships than any other group. According to one poll, only 51 percent of people under 30 say that their perfect relationship would be completely monogamous. This is compared to the 70 percent of people over 65 who only want to bump uglies with one person at a time. If we get rid of marriage, millennials can form lasting relationships with any number of people and have them all be equally important.

3. It Ends The Wedding-Industrial Complex

You can’t spend an hour online without finding some millennial talking about the unfairness of student debt. And they’re right, it sucks to start adulthood with negative money if panhandling wasn’t your dream in life. Now that you’ve graduated, you’re right in the sweet spot, age wise, for marriage. Time to bust out the calculator.

According to a survey of 13,000 brides and grooms who got married in 2016, the average American wedding now costs over $35,000. That doesn’t even include costs like the engagement ring, the honeymoon, and the interest you will be paying for years. And sure, some people’s parents pay for their big day, but not everyone is that lucky, which is why a full one-third of couples go into debt to pay for their wedding.

That is worse than it sounds. Money is the biggest cause of stress in a marriage. According to a study of 4,500 couples, money arguments last longer and are more intense than fights over anything else. And if you fight about money issues early on in your marriage, the same study shows you are more likely to end up divorced. One older study found that 10 percent of people broke up mainly because of financial problems, and a whopping 57 percent said it was a primary cause of their divorce. Suddenly that $35,000 party you put on your credit cards isn’t looking like such a brilliant idea.

Look, I get it. Women especially are conditioned to want the big day. I used to buy wedding magazines with my friends and have fun imagining. If you are madly in love with someone you want to show everyone just how huge your love is by proving it with an even bigger wedding. But why do we need to prove anything? If you love someone and are a happy, functional couple, you are proving how committed you are to everyone already. We don’t need weddings to do that. You don’t need to put yourself at the risk of divorce if you never spend the money and never even get married. You can still stay together as long as you want, and have an even better chance of lasting if you don’t start off with money issues and fights about whether or not you invite your fiance’s racist uncle.

4. We’re Already Putting It Off Longer Than Ever

Marriage ages for millennials is already higher than any other generation. These days the average woman gets married at 26.5 and the average man at 29. But that is just the average. In some places, as many as 81 percent of young people are single.

And this might not change much according to one study. The researchers determined that unless marriage rates changed drastically in the near future, up to one-third of millennials will never get married. And those that do find it less important than other generations. Gone is the time where you had to be married to live with someone, or even have a kid with them.

Millennials are putting off marriage for lots of reasons. Some have no money to pay for a wedding (see the wedding-industrial complex above.) Some want to be able to own a house. Others want to live with a partner for a few years first. That might all sound fine, but there are dangers if marriage is still your final goal. Living with someone prior to getting hitched makes you 8 percent more likely to get divorced than people who don’t. And if you put off marriage for too long the same thing happens. Your risk of divorce rises by 5 percent for every year you wait after 32. You know how to avoid divorce? Don’t get married. If we are putting it off for so long already, and so many people will end up single anyway, why not just end the institution once and for all?

5. It Might Be The Natural Way

Thanks to Marilyn Monroe everyone knows about the supposed seven-year itch. But surely that was just made up for a movie, right? No way does everyone want to cheat on their spouses after being tied down for less than a decade.

Wrong. It just takes even less time than seven years. One study looked at animals and found that many of them are serial monogamists. They stay with one partner just long enough to have and raise their children, and then once they fly the nest (in some cases literally) they move on to another mate. Then the same researcher looked at humans and found that in more primitive societies, the same thing often happens. Once a child is four, and is weaned and old enough to be looked after by older siblings or grandparents, the parents move on and find new partners. Biologically, this is a good thing, since having children with different genetic makeups means at least one is likely to be healthy enough to make it to adulthood.

And our biological urge to split up after four years carries over into more advanced civilizations. The study found that four years is peak divorce time for couples. Something about that time makes us want to run off and find a heartier mate. So why tie ourselves down for life when our biology might be telling us to end things much, much sooner? We could take the idea of the starter marriage, get rid of the legal aspect, and expand it throughout our lives. You could find one person to party with in your twenties, then someone more responsible to have kids with, and finally someone fun and financially stable to enjoy your retirement with. It won’t be slutty if we all start doing it.

When you think about it, no other area of life expects you to stay in it forever. Friendships come and go, as do jobs. Why are we expected to legally bind ourselves to one person for life? No one should have to smell the same person’s farts for that long.

I hope this was helpful. I’d love to hear your feedback on this subject.

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

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Michelle – Thanksgiving Weekend Visit

I loved writing this post.

I know that Michelle is going to be visiting the area for Thanksgiving. She’s been in Delaware mostly with the collective families, but will come to Philly for one day to meet up with friends. (See: Michelle – A Brand New Day) She texted me to let me know she was flying in and that she’d maybe be available for an hour or so on Saturday. I said possibly, but that I may not be around. She normally texts me on a weekly basis. She always asks me about what I have planned for the weekend and I do the same.

The last few weekends I’ve been spending time with Cherie. But I haven’t said anything to many people about her, including Michelle. So I’ve been telling Michelle that I’m not really doing anything, just hanging out. But in reality I’ve been spending Saturdays with Cherie. Michelle flat-out asks me if I’m seeing someone. I tell her I don’t want to jinx it. But she knows me really well and she guesses who it is. She really wants the inside scoop, so since she’s an old friend of nearly ten years I tell her a little bit about Cherie.

She says she’s happy for me. But there always seems to be a twinge of something there. I spoke to this cool psychiatrist that comes to the salon, and ran it by him. He said the reason Michelle stays in touch with me, is there’s something her husband isn’t giving her. Keeping me a secret from him gives her a life line to a possible escape if he fails her again.

I don’t know. I just want Michelle to prosper and be happy.

I really mean that.

My work is done.

I tell her Cherie has to work Saturday and won’t be down until around 5:30 so if she still wants to hang out, I can. She says she’ll text me and let me know.

So I did all of my domestic, bedroom babe lair set up Saturday morning, and I’m just picking up a couple of last-minute items for tonight. Just snacks and some bottled water. It’s around 3:30. Michelle says she’s finishing up with a friend at The Bards, the Irish Pub on Walnut. I drop off my stuff at the apartment and head up to Rittenhouse Square.

I head into the park. The Christmas tree is up but not decorated yet. Every holiday season they decorate the a big tree and hang lights from all of the trees. It’s really a beautiful time of year in this part of the city. I know the Bards is at 20th and Chestnut so I know she’ll enter the park at the northwestern entrance. I obviously go to the statue of the lion and the serpent.

French sculptor Antoine-Louis Barye helped establish a 19th-century school known as the animaliers, artists who focused on animal subjects, frequently as stand-ins for human emotions. Barye’s portrayal of a lion subduing a serpent illustrates his fondness for dramatic animal battles.

The lion, however, is not an ordinary beast. It represents the French monarchy, and the serpent is a universal symbol of evil. Hence this sculpture convinced the French king to name Barye to the Legion of Honor.

Just sayin’. Pretty cool place for me to meet her since I’m a Leo. I’m waiting and she’s taking forever. Which in German time is like fifteen minutes late. I’m standing there and people are coming by to take photos. I’m assuming they’re visitors or tourists. I start telling them the story that I just wrote above. They love it, but all seem a bit tipsy. It’s the holidays so I expect that. One drunk guy thought for a moment that I was part of the display! Then I started talking.

Day drinking!

I’m standing there and waiting and then I see Michelle as she enters the park. She’s approaching and then suddenly sees me.

She starts running toward me.

Running.

I love Michelle.

If you’ve made it this far on this journey, you know that Michelle and I have an extremely rich history. So running is almost a requirement when we reconnect. She comes up and hugs and gives me a safe peck on the lips. (because she’s married!) But she is exuberant and so am I.

It’s Michelle.

We’re a legendary couple in this city. I met her almost ten years ago and she looks just as beautiful as the day I laid eyes on her. But she’s grown so much. I always called her the emerging Michelle. She has emerged and flourished. She’s better today than ever before.

I think in that moment if she had stayed with me here back in Philly she would have descended into a dead-end series of empty drunken weekends of bars, movies and whatever else. It was elegant and we both grew through it but ultimately didn’t work for her. She was younger than me and wanted a husband and kids. I had already burned through that years ago. Knowing that, the relationship was doomed from the start.

I once told my late father the entire story. He had a similar experience. There are people you meet, and they are the loves of your lives. Sadly, we sometimes ruin our partners for future relationships even though we’ve saved them in the process. I helped fix her. When I met her she was a beautiful girl that everyone loved but didn’t really know. She was covered in armor that was impenetrable by any suitor. I taught her that it’s okay to be herself.

I was the first man that she felt safe around in her whole life. It’s okay to cry. You don’t have to be on point all of the time. When she learned to cry her tears rusted that old armor and it fell away. I taught her that she still had her armor but was no longer sheltered and hidden by it. She had a new power that was an armor she could apply in the real world. Most of all she would be heard and was safe.

I brought Lorelei into this world. No big deal. Anybody can make a kid. It’s easy.

But being a parent. That’s the tricky part. But to help build a person that’s already here is something special. If you can help fix or save a person…. that’s comething.

Even if it’s only one person, you’ve changed the world. I felt that I had that with Michelle.

She was never a project. I loved her madly and will always love her.

There’s a history we have than no one on Earth can take from us. Michelle is family I will take to the grave.

But I want her to live a happy and healthy life. She’s made the life decisions that she feels are best for her. I think that’s admirable. As fun as our life seemed in my writings you can’t always be that couple. Everybody either settles down and gets married and has kids or you break up.

That’s life. I’m up to a thousand words right now. Writing about a one hour encounter with my love, so you can see what that does to you.

I’m editing it now again so it’s perfect for my Michelle. I don’t have to do this. I know it’s fine, but I want it to be right for her.

I’m happy she’s married and living a prosperous life. That’s what Michelle chose and that’s where she is now. She set a goal and attained it. Michelle emerged like I said she would and I’m honored to have been a part of her life for the time she allowed me to be in it.

It was absolutely magical.

All of it.

As you can tell I do what I do and live on. Sometimes I think I’m done but love comes  for me and takes me again. But I know we’re only here for a short time. Why settle for mediocrity? I’ve done it many times for all of the wrong reasons and the results have always been the same. Most people date, love, fail, settle and marry and then kids.

I did it. But I was able to continue to grow and evolve and learn from my mistakes. We should always be evolving. If we don’t we die. A comedienne once said I can be lonely some times or be in a committed relationship and be frustrated and angry. I have felt all of that but I still believe true love exists.

Many couples have it. Most don’t. They settle into grinding mediocrity. For some it saves them. They live a happy sober life. That’s so good. Settle down and fall into domestic bliss. But for me I’ve been in love many times.

It’s glorious.

To fall in love is like heroin.

I’ve never done it but falling in love is like playing rock on stage and people cheer for a song you wrote when you were heartbroken in your bedroom.

So I choose the latter. I will keep hoping for love but if I don’t find true love I’ll at least die trying. But you never know. Love could be on the next bus that stops at your corner.

Never give up.

But I digress… Ha ha! Michelle and I walked around Rittenhouse on that overcast Saturday together.

Two old friends with an amazing history that belongs to no one but themselves. Passing the spots we once commanded.

Drinks flowing and people loving us. Dancing through the streets of this city and making it our own. Only for us.

We visited her old apartment that she lived in when she first came to Philly. (No we did not try to break into it) Her apartment on Spruce, and walking down Delancy and lovely Addison St. with all of the trees decorated in lights. We talked and reminisced about our lives.

In San Francisco she and her husband are being priced out of the market in regard to real estate. They’re going to have to move back in the next year.

She has a fantastic job that she’s earned and it pains me that she should have to leave it, but life is what it is.

We were doing a tour and about to go look at our first apartment on 18th and Kater when we both got texts at the same time from our significant others.

Her husband was wondering where his bride was. She got paranoid and said she had to go. I assured her she didn’t do anything wrong. (She’s already done way worse. That’s my girl!)

My text said Cherie was looking for parking. So I had to go too. I will always love Michelle, but I need to take care of Cherie…

 

 

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

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Dating and Relationship Advice – The Number 1 Predictor of Divorce (and how to fix it)

After four decades of research, a clear pattern emerged

The number 1 predictor of divorce (and how to fix it)

John Gottman, Ph.D, author of The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, is one of the world’s foremost marriage therapists. He’s spent four decades studying couples at The Gottman Institute in order to determine what really causes a rift between two people — and how to fix it. After all that research, Gottman noticed a clear pattern among couples that didn’t stay together, identifying what he says is the number one predictor of divorce.

It’s contempt.

Yes — as in eye-rolling, disgust-feeling, negative-thinking contempt. Many of us have felt it for a partner before — but even if you’re feeling it right now, it doesn’t mean you’re doomed to separate. Here, Gottman Institute expert Mike McNulty, Ph.D., LCSW, breaks down what every couple needs to know, including why contempt is so detrimental to a relationship, how to spot it (in both your partner and yourself) and — perhaps most importantly — how to stop it.

How contempt occurs

It’s normal to feel annoyed at your partner or to disagree on things, but when you allow yourself to reach a level of contempt or disgust for them, that’s when McNulty says it becomes unhealthy. Every couple fights, and every couple has issues: “All relationships involve ongoing, perpetual problems that will resurface,” says McNulty. But it’s how you handle them — either with kindness or contempt — that can make or break you as a couple. “Partners who do not handle discussions of these problems well are at the most risk of divorce,” he says. Imagine discussing a recurring issue, such as a difficult mother-in-law or major difference in libidos.

The number 1 predictor of divorce (and how to fix it)

“Partners who are headed toward divorce have the following tendencies: They become angry and use what we call the ‘four horsemen of the apocalypse or negative patterns of communication, which are criticism, contempt, stonewalling, and defensiveness,” says McNulty. “This leads to something we call ‘diffuse physiological arousal’ or ‘flooding’ [which involves] one or both partners’ bodies releasing hormones as heart rates accelerate, muscles become tense, the skin becomes hot or sweaty, and the stomach feels nervous.”

Sound familiar? If you’ve ever experienced a “heated” argument in which you felt your voice or blood pressure rise, you know that this mental state isn’t conducive to a civil conversation. “In this state, partners cannot take in new information and they lose their senses of humour and creativity,” explains McNulty. In other words, you’d be better off speaking later when you’re both feeling more calm. “All of these factors make discussing the important ongoing problems totally unworkable,” McNulty says.

The good news about anger

Even if you and your partner have been having some heated arguments lately, it doesn’t mean you’re headed for disaster. “Relationships die by ice rather than fire,” says McNulty. “Some couples eventually stop trying to have a dialogue. They find working on key conflicts to be too difficult or painful. They give up. They grow more distant, and live more like roommates than spouses. In the end, emotional disengagement is truly the ultimate sign of a relationship headed towards divorce. “If you’re both still arguing you haven’t yet reached the point of surrender,” says McNulty.

What to watch for

Rolling your eyes at something your partner says is one of the most common ways people express contempt. “Besides the eye roll, another sign is the lifting of the upper lip to make a sneer,” says McNulty. “It’s an overall attitude of disgust at one’s partner and/or a sense of superiority.”

Sometimes it’s subtle: “For example, when discussing how to keep their home [tidy], one partner may say to the other, ‘In my family, we cared more about our house.’ The unspoken ending to that sentence is, ‘…than your family did.’ The implication is: ‘My family is superior to yours.'” McNulty adds that people who are perfectionists can easily fall into this trap.

How to handle conflict better

Now that you know how harmful contempt can be, here are five things you can do in your relationship to handle conflict better:

  • Be on the lookout for common no-nos, like rolling your eyes, sneering, or making passive-aggressive comments.
  • Give your expectations a reality check. Remind yourself that your partner is a different person with different opinions and a different set of fundamental needs. You will not agree on everything, and you have to learn to be okay with that in order to maintain harmony.
  • Turn the issue around on yourself. When something really ticks you off, “Think, ‘Why does the behaviour bother me so much? Can I learn to live with it?'” If not, you can seek counselling to learn some coping mechanisms, but as McNulty points out that “in marriage, we have to learn to pick and chose our battles.”
  • Instead of feeling anger as your partner is speaking their mind, challenge yourself to listen more deeply to your partner’s point of view.
  • When it’s time to voice your feelings, remember to “complain gently without blaming the other person,” says McNulty. Talk about your feelings, and how you feel, versus blaming or criticising their actions. “These shifts in behaviour are fairly simple but really do make a difference.”

 

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

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Dina – 2011 to Present – In The Vault

“These clowns come in and are fans of Prova and act like crazy drunk, loud assholes. I fucking hate that. I literally want to call the cops and say these middle eastern looking guys were talking about taking flying lessons and not landing lessons and there was talk about the new Comcast tower being built.

They were that annoying.”

I crush it at the salon on a Saturday because I’ll be gone for 3 days. Dina, my friend and broker and I meet up at 1518 Bar & Grille. She’s 4’11” and adorable. She also has the metabolism of a bee. She loves Smores, fried chicken, Oreos, and ice cream.

Dina orders a lemon martini. I’m on my 2nd straight up with a twist and Asha the bartender hooks me up with house but it’s Ketel One.

She looks hot.  Boots, dark jeans, and custom leather jacket. Cute as hell. Dark curls tumble about her shoulders and of course that hot pouty mouth of hers.

I introduce her to  her to Prova the bartender. (See: Prova – 2015 to Present – Glow of the Sun) She looks amazing as always. Those dimples!

These clowns come in and are fans of Prova and act like crazy drunk, loud assholes. I fucking hate that. I literally want to call the cops and say these middle eastern looking guys were talking about taking flying lessons and not landing lessons and there was talk about the new Comcast tower being built.

They were that annoying.

Dina is amazing. She’s such a no bullshit girl who is so sure about herself. I love her plus she looks 18. I always knew she was too good for any life or job i saw her in. I’m also happy her husband is such a chill solid pup he doesn’t mind his hot wife hanging out with the Dark Lord and having drinks.

We need to get out of here. These Indian guys suck. So loud and annoying. I can’t think straight.

We close out and I let the staff know that there’s no hard feelings but that’s why we’re leaving. We need to talk and I need to hear her. I miss my friend.

We never go out on Saturday night. It’s all young drunk people around city. The women are extraordinary though.

We decide to check out Square 1682 but the staff sucks and we head to Sofitel. Liam is on and so is the waitress who likes to go topless when she gets drunk. Let’s just call her Tulip. I usually do a rock trivia thing with Liam but tonight I have a different one.

“You wake up and look out your front door and see the sun rise out of the Atlantic Ocean. Later that day, you walk out your back door and watch the sun set in the Pacific Ocean. Where is your house?”

Tulip looks great and I intro Dina to the crew. The bar is full so we sit and a quiet table in the lounge, which is glorious. Tulip brings a snack tray for Dina because as we all know, she loves to eat.

Dina’s happy and we order wine. She’s hungry, so more food is on the way. I got the drinks at 1518 but I know she’ll cover everything from here which is clutch.

We catch up on my life. Daughter Lorelei, the fitness center I should be opening in Rittenhouse in the next 60 days, and what’s happening with this blog, the book, and TV series we’re developing about it. Dina and her husband just settled on a house in Rittenhouse so I love that they’ll be in the neighborhood with us.

Liam is texting me solutions to my puzzle and they’re all wrong.

She says she has a strange story about a former colleague of mine. This person has since cut me off a couple of years ago for no apparent reason, but he likes to keep weak inferiors around him, and I hate his friends and wife anyway so its no loss to me. We could have been mighty but he never did what he was supposed to do with the business so now it’s just a trust fund baby’s way to play work. I loved the guy, but he has to make the juvenile choices he needs to make.

She tells me about this dinner she had with this other dude, I used to know that always had a thing for her. He’s harmless. We all still think he’s a virgin, so there’s that. He’s a really smart guy that is always super excited about everything that is before him, and it comes off as childish. I like the guy, but to me he’s just a bore.

If he would just get laid he’d probably chill out and get a different perspective on everything. I hate to say that, but that would probably fix his ass.

She goes to this dinner with this guy, as a friend or a wing woman or whatever with my former colleague and his horrible wife. I remember Everybody hated this guy’s wife years ago. She’s awful. She’s kind of hot. But only in the sense that if I were marooned on a desert island with her I would bang her for a few months but it would only be a matter of time before I became so annoyed with her that I would eventually kill her and eat her to survive just to not have to listen to her endless bullshit.

So they have their awkward dinner, little virgin guy gets an UBER with Dina back to Rittehouse. He gets in the car with her and says:

“So they are separated. She wanted it.”

I know this guy has a pre-nup so he’s well protected in regard to his daddy’s loot.

“Really?”

She thinks the wife is awful just like the rest of us.

“Yea, he went to an event and told her he could only get one ticket because they were really expensive, but he went with is new editor.”

“Oh wow. That’s a shame.”

“Yea, and his wife is living at the house, (because she doesn’t earn shit) and he said he’s living at a hotel but he’s really living with new editor girlfriend at an apartment somewhere.”

I am not shocked about this news because I knew he was miserable with that harpy years ago. She cheated on him in college and is crazy. She has destroyed property at the house, assaulted people at concerts, fights with him all the time, withholds sex all the time, has flushed his weed, and cigars, and is just an all around child who behaves as if she has fetal alcohol syndrome. Thank God she never wanted kids, because he dodged a huge child support bullet and should just cut that beast loose.

But he’s cut me off and I take that as a smite to me. I loved the guy and we were tight. I don’t know hat’s happened to him, but I’m sure he’s in a world of pain right now. I hope he gets through it okay, but I’m German and so is he, and if you read this dude, then schadenfreude is a bitch baby.

Karma can be a real fucker. You reap what you sow. You make bad life choices and that shit comes back on you like a hurricane. I just hope he can cash her out and flush her from his life and hopefully move on with the new mistress he’s fucking.

Dina and I eat and drink like Gods at Sofitel and I’m happy just to have her in my presence and hear her voice. I adore her. She’s so sound as a woman. I wish I could replicate her into five more to hang out with. Maybe a lawyer, and accountant Dina would be a start.

I go out for a smoke and she pays the bill. (Love her!) We both trust each other implicitly with all of our honesty and the relationship is wonderful. She takes care of my money and knows how to keep her mouth shut. Obviously we discuss everything that’s going on in our lives and it’s so intimate that I can’t talk about it here but maybe someday if this becomes a TV show our characters can talk about children, and marriage, but I can’t divulge our secrets here. Don’t worry’s it’s not that exciting, but this is a dating blog and not a forum for right and wrong.

We decide to head out and Dina needs Ben & Jerry’s. Of course I stand and put her leather jacket on her slight frame. You have to be a gentleman 100% of the time with everyone, guys.

We step out into the night. It’s stopped raining and the street is wet and the air is cool.

Happily there’s a store half way down the block from the hotel bar and it’s still open. I’m a wine, cocktail and carb guy. I’m just not really into sweets or dairy anymore. It doesn’t agree with my physiology. Middle age. But she’s 28 and looks 18 and loves sweets. She says we MUST stop there. I’ve walked by the place a hundred times and have had no desire to ever climb the steps and go in. (Even on National Ice Cream Day, where they give away free cones all day!)

We go in and this is alien to me. I never go into ice cream parlors. It’s clean and bright. I like it but prefer a dark bar.

The kid with the hat and dreds and tie-dye shirt is sweet and articulate. He knows his products. I always admire that. Dina knows this place so well that if she asks for endless samples of every crazy flavor combination they will let her put them in her mouth endlessly. I have this arrangement with Prova but she does it for me with craft beers so I get it. The ice cream flavors seem delicious, and she devours a few samples lovingly.  She encourages me to partake in the samples but I know what rich dairy will do to my colon so I only do one. It is some sort of chocolate, vanilla, cookies and nuts and crushed cone concoction. It is exquisite in my mouth.

I get it. But there are things in my life now that are far sweeter than any frozen treat can match.

Dina decides on some lethal combo and they put it all on a sugar cone. This is actually a really sweet moment in my mind. I adore Dina. I trust her with my money and my secrets. She’s one of my favorite people in my life.

I’m not getting an ice cream cone but this reminds me of some of the sweet romantic moments of my young life. Getting an ice cream cone with a young pretty girl on a Saturday night. She manages my financial portfolio and is a trusted friend but in this moment I am just happy to walk her home.

She’s loving her ice cream cone as we stroll through Rittenhouse with me walking on the inside so she doesn’t get splashed by a passing car.

I love this.

I like walking her home to her stoop and giving her a hug goodnight. We promise to keep in touch and have a lunch in our future. She unlocks her door and goes back to her husband and her little dog Lily.

I light a cig and walk home. The streets are wet and slick. They reflect the lights and sounds of the city. I’m happy after a long day at the salon, and a sweet night with a feiend.

I look forward to tomorrow.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish Monday through Friday at 8am EST.

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