17 Oct Don’t listen to dating advice: listen to your intuition
Sometimes when we’re anxious over a situation, we turn to other people for advice. Dating blogs (like this one), friends, family, therapists, or the Uber driver who’s giving your drunk-ass a ride home.
But the problem with listening to too much dating advice is it can cloud your judgement. Everyone has their own opinion, ranging from “ignore him/her” to “just be honest and tell him how you feel”.
It’s ironic that I’m saying this when I write a dating blog, but it’s true: sometimes tapping into your intuition is the best guidance you’ll ever get. Ignoring it is actually what makes you feel anxious inside, because you went against your gut. And when you go against your gut, that’s when you start to feel bad.
You don’t always feel bad because of the situation per-se; you feel bad because of the anxiety you created by talking to different people. And different people all have different opinions.
You’re anxious in the end because you didn’t do what you wanted to do. Before you know it, you’re blaming the person who gave you advice and thinking “I should’ve just done what I initially wanted to do”.
But how do you tap into your intuition? Here are some tips for knowing what your gut is telling you:
How to follow your intuition
What would you tell a friend to do?
Remove yourself from the situation a second. Imagine a friend is sitting there over coffee, relaying the whole story of how this guy keeps showing up all hot and heavy and then disappearing. What would you tell her to do?
It’s always easy to dish out advice, but it’s not so easy for us to follow our own advice. Try to detach from your own situation and look at it objectively.
What was your first thought?
Sometimes it’s our first thought that’s the most powerful one. Try to observe what your initial thought is when you receive a text message. All too often, we feel a certain way, but instead of expressing our boundaries, we go along with something because, well, we really want to see that person.
Here’s an example:
Say it’s you decided to invite a guy over to dinner at your place. You were cooking anyway, so you thought it might be something nice to do together. He messages back and says he has plans to go for a drink after work with his buddy but he’ll try to make it work.
The first gut thought that springs to mind is, “he’s probably going to be out for hours and I don’t want him showing up late after a few drinks.”
Instead of relaying this to him and saying “Since you have plans and I don’t want it to get too late, let’s wait till we’re both free”, you decide to be accommodating and say “text me when you’re finishing up.”
This is one example, but there are many scenarios where we try to be too accommodating instead of stopping and thinking, “well actually, I don’t want to do that.”
Pay attention to your gut
Sometimes naturally we can’t really explain it but our “gut” just tells us to go do something. Have you ever decided to stop in a bar on the way home, only to find someone you know already in there?
Have you ever NOT wanted to do something, for some strange reason? For example, you’re supposed to go on a weekend away, which you’ve been looking forward to for ages. But at the last second you have this strange, anxious feeling that you just don’t want to go?
Sometimes we just feel it in our gut – a strong feeling in the stomach or even a sickening feeling. Pay attention to it.
Meditation can really help calm your mind and help you tap into your higher self. Sit still. Focus on becoming aware of your breathing, your temperature and the way your body feels. In this moment of clarity, ask yourself what you should do.
Accept that sometimes you’ll be wrong
There’s a difference between instinct and intuition. Sometimes we go with instinct, which is very primal. We double text, when really we know we shouldn’t. Intuition is more of a sense of inner knowing. It’s that little voice inside us. But sometimes we get it wrong and we confuse our intuition with something else, or we choose to ignore it.
Don’t beat yourself up if you’ve ignored your intuition in the past. But next time, stop and think to yourself, “what is my intuition telling me?” Breathe before you respond to anything, sometimes you have the answers.
The object of your affection should fall in love with you, not someone else. If you’re saying all these things because you read them in a self-help book, you could be denying that person a chance to fall in love with the real you.
Read self help books, read blogs, but at the end of the day, try to go with what’s best for you.