Three dates, an awkward beer in my garden, and his tears.

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There are endless articles about when to break up. A quick Google search comes up with signs pointing to a breakup, weighing options on when and how to end a relationship. And rightly so, because quite honestly, breaking up is a big step.

These articles talk about the importance of connection, congruent values, and matching life goals. In short, everything there is to say on the subject has already been written. However, something was missing in all of them.

How do you know if you have to break up in person? At what point are you obliged to explain reasons…

I didn’t ask for advice, feedback, or your explanation

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Being a woman is exhausting. It’s exhausting to shrug off mean comments, harassment, and attributions coming my way. It’s exhausting to fight off constant unsolicited advice, feedback, and other comments.

I get comments on my weight. I am being asked about my relationship status and when I will start having kids. At night, I avoid certain streets on my way home because they are not well lit and accept a detour. I am regularly not taken seriously in meetings and experience how men use my arguments and then pass them off as their own.

The truth is that as a…

According to research, looks are more important than we’d like to admit

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What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about your dream partner? Chances are that you talk about their sense of humor, kindness, understanding, and maybe lastly, looks.

But, for some reason, we tend to describe our dream partner in terms of personality traits rather than appearances. My guess is, this is due to our fear of coming across as superficial. I am just as guilty of this since I have always thought that I explicitly chose to focus on meaningful connections with people instead of falling for looks.

Just imagine you meet the sweetest…

Make sure you know what you’re in for

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It’s shocking how many people go out on a first date without knowing for sure if it actually is a date. I’ve been there before, sipping on my beer, not really knowing where this “date” was going. It felt like wasting my time.

That’s why, before I go out on a date, I make sure it’s a date. I want to feel the anticipation and nervousness before meeting someone I am interested in. And I want the person I am meeting to know that. …

I guess I will have to get three times better — or leave the workforce altogether

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The more you practice, the easier it gets. I always told myself that if I constantly improve my skills, I will get noticed and promoted. Here is why I was wrong.

“Phoebe, I think as a young woman, you just have to accept that you are not being taken seriously,” my friend Jennifer said while we were discussing current work-related issues. “It’s about weathering the storm — at some point, they will recognize and appreciate our talent and competence.”

This still doesn’t sit right with me. But I’ve come to realize that when it comes to promotions and recognition in…

I stopped chasing someone who doesn’t exist

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Most people are trying very hard to find the one and are failing. For the longest time, I was struggling to find someone too. Nobody seemed to be interested in me, and nothing I did ended with great dates. Some dates didn’t work out, I was stood up, or the timing was off. Nothing, literally nothing, worked in my favor. Whatever I had tried to accomplish during that time, I am sure that I had it all wrong.

Instead of looking after myself, I was looking for someone.

By shifting the focus away from myself and how I wanted to…

Thoughts on the current tsunami of articles about writing stats

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Generic advice on consistency, writing every day and finding a niche pop up almost everywhere I look. It feels like my feed overwhelmingly shows me that type of content, and I’ve read enough of them. It’s like watching another influencer apology — if you’ve seen one, you’ve sort of seen them all.

I don’t care for your stats. I want to know what matters to you.

There are already fantastic writers who reveal great ideas and new facets of blogging and writing terrifically. They illuminate new aspects of writing, reveal surprising facts, and give actionable advice, things I would have…

When it comes to relationship commitment, timing is everything

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Timing makes or breaks a relationship. I’ve come to this conclusion after discussing past relationships and “almost” relationships with my boyfriend. To him, timing is a crucial aspect of dating. He went on to say that he had met a girl, and they started talking and had great chemistry. However, at the time, she was still involved with someone else. They both were single by the time they met weeks later — but the chemistry was no longer there.

Ever since, I’ve been asking myself if something similar had happened to me too. Off the top of my head, I…

If I had known that, I would never have put my heart into it

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Three years ago, I was in an affair without my knowledge. Although his behavior was at times off-putting, I didn’t suspect that he was hiding a relationship from me. That is until his confession shattered everything I believed to be true.

I’ve always believed in being honest and empathetic with each other. That, whatever the challenge in life may be, clear and open communication is key. Some things work out, and others don’t — it’s part of the dating game. Moreover, I am convinced that people I meet have a purpose in my life and that some don’t come into…

How I fell for simplistic relationship advice online

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Just the other day, I stumbled across an old course I once bought online from a self-proclaimed international relationship expert. He said he was going to teach me what love truly is, how to find a good man, and how to speak the language of men, among other things.

But what this course taught me instead was that I had preconceived notions about love that made me fall for his absurd advice. I wound up buying his book because I was eager to find easy answers to tough questions.

Instead, his course was all about exploiting my fear of staying…

Phoebe Kirke

Feminist, activist, sister, but above all, hurt. Writing is my path to living life to the fullest.

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