3 Times In Dating When You Shouldn’t Trust Your Gut and What To Do Instead

BY: - 24 Jan '18 | Relationships

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You meet a guy who’s great on paper and things are going well. He’s handsome, has a stable job, and by all accounts, seems like someone who has potential to be a great partner. You should be happy, but you can’t ignore this nagging feeling in your gut that makes you wonder if you can trust him. Is this a gut feeling you should trust?

Relationship experts are always telling women to trust their instincts when it comes to choosing the right partner, but in my coaching practice, I’ve seen far too many instances when smart women made the wrong choice because they were following a gut feeling. I want you to have crystal clear clarity on what it means to follow your instincts and when you should ignore that pit in your stomach. Let’s explore 3 times in dating when you shouldn’t trust your gut and what you should do instead.

First, what does it mean to trust your gut? This saying refers to relying upon your intuition or your inner voice when making a decision. Instead of looking for a rational explanation for why something doesn’t quite add up with the Mr. Great On Paper, you simply have a feeling that something isn’t right. Psychologists suggest that your intuition is made up of your subconscious thoughts and  past experiences and feelings. So if you’ve been burned by a liar or cheater in the past, you’re more likely to identify potential cheaters in the future by your instincts.

Simply put, past experiences can shape your intuition. And that’s why I believe you shouldn’t trust your gut in the following 3 dating scenarios:

1. It’s been a long time since you’ve been in a relationship and you’ve met someone new

The modern dating world changes faster than you can download a new dating app, so you shouldn’t rely solely on your instinct because you just don’t have enough experience navigating the dating world.

For example, Karen was divorced for 10 years and had 3 dates during that time. She’d married her high school sweetheart and didn’t have a lot of experience going on dates. Her expectations that men should make their intentions to marry her early on (like the first date) were way out of step with how online dating has made more options available for men and women. Even when a man was marriage-minded, he wanted to take things a little slower before bringing up the M-word with her.

She kept dismissing really good men left and right because she told me her discernment was sending off alarms. “These men are playing games,” she told me. But when we dug deeper into the story, her discernment was really suspicion. Her divorce was due to infidelity, so she was always on guard to make sure she wouldn’t get hurt again. She was misinterpreting men’s behavior through the lens of her unhealed past. In short, her instincts weren’t reliable!

What to Do Instead: Trust an Expert

Karen had to re-educate her instincts by trusting an expert who could help her properly interpret men’s approach to courtship. As a result, Karen is now married to a phenomenal man she met online!

2. When You’re Getting Closer To Him And You Start To Feel Afraid

My client Shannon was easing back into the dating world and was enjoying meeting new people. One of her suitors really began pursuing her, making it clear that he was serious about a future with her. Shannon started to freak out! She’d always wanted marriage and kids, but now that it was a serious possibility, she started pushing him away by picking fights, telling him she needed space, and suggesting that something was off with their chemistry.

“I have strong instincts,” she told me.“I know something isn’t right.”

A quick look into her relationship history told me that her gut wasn’t reliable when it came to love. She was crushed by a broken engagement in her 20s. Her family warned her that this guy wasn’t a good fit, but she defied them and stayed in the relationship until he broke her heart by breaking the engagement. She spent the next 10 years beating herself up for that bad decision and vowed to never let it happen again.

I pointed out that she had a strong commitment to never making a mistake in love. What she thought was a voice of empowerment was really just her fear getting the best of her. I was able to help her relax and let the relationship unfold without trying to control the outcome.

What To Do Instead: Trust Yourself To Bounce Back From Bad Decisions 

Instead of trying to protect yourself from choosing the wrong person, trust in your ability to bounce back no matter what happens. Your life is bigger than a bad date or even a bad relationship.

3.  When He Comes On Strong and It Just “Feels” Right

My client Maya reconnected with a old flame from college. Their chance meeting online felt like fate. Within weeks they were planning a wedding and she got swept up in his high-class lifestyle. He promised she’d never have to work another day in her life if she didn’t want to. Everything just felt right.

Her gut told her he was the one, but a friend told her to do a little bit of research on him before she said yes to his proposal. A quick internet search uncovered this man was leading a double life. How could she have missed so many red flags?

What To Do Instead: Trust Your Negative Feelings

During our coaching call, I asked Maya if she’d noticed anything that would have told her this man wasn’t telling the truth. She thought for a second and replied, “I often felt insecure with him. He could have any woman in the world. Why would he pick me?”

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I told Maya that she needed to learn to ignore the amazing “feel good” emotions with a guy and trust her negative feelings. Feeling insecure can be a big sign that something isn’t right in a relationship because security is about feeling safe and secure. If you’re always worried about where you stand with him, that’s a major sign that something is off and you need to check in with your partner. Maya did ask him questions and instead of answering them, he disappeared. Her negative feelings were correct. She needed to learn to trust them!

Your instincts can be a powerful GPS for your life and relationships, but only if they’ve been purified from the residue of your past so that you free yourself from fears that can sabotage your love life.

BMWK, how do you know if you can trust your instincts? Have you ever been wrong? Comment below!

About the author

Aesha Adams Roberts wrote 178 articles on this blog.

Dr. Aesha is a matchmaker, dating coach, speaker and author of the book, Can I Help A Sister Out: How To Meet & Marry The Man of Your Dreams. After years of making painful dating mistakes, she met & married her husband in 11 short months and has made it her mission to help women and men find and keep the love of their lives.


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3 Crazy Things People Do to Solve Their Marriage Problems and Why They Won’t Work

BY: - 26 Jan '18 | Communication

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At the beginning of a marriage, many couples take time out to celebrate the start of their lifetime journey by heading off on a traditional vacation called a honeymoon. It is a time for them to strengthen their relationship and establish a strong physical bond. The time is private, intimate, and purposefully special.

Eventually, however, the honeymoon is over and they head back to real life. They begin to establish habits and patterns in their relationship that can either deepen or damage their bond. Unfortunately, when the relationship is damaged, couples begin to establish other patterns…crazy patterns, in an effort to solve their marriage problems.

Rather than pursue avenues that could potentially enrich their relationship, they opt for ones that could unhinge their love and are impractical for a lifelong commitment. Some of these choices, like the following, may not seem too far outside of normal under certain circumstances, but they have no place in a relationship meant for a lifetime and that’s what makes them crazy.

Crazy Thing #1 – They Issue a Hall Pass

Have you ever seen the movie, Hall Pass, starring Owen Wilson? If not, here’s the quick 411. Hall Pass is a movie about a couple whose relationship is seriously struggling, so they agree to give each other a ‘hall pass’. So, what exactly is that? Well, a hall pass is when one spouse gives the other spouse permission to have “sexual relations” with other people. Yes, you read that right.

The rationale behind this is that it is believed that this will prevent an affair from happening in the marriage when you give your spouse temporary permission to explore. Well, to each his own.  But, I am going to add the ‘hall pass’ to my long list of crazy things people will do to solve their marriage problems.

Why it won’t work

Couples who try implementing a ‘hall pass,’ may very well have good intentions.  But I think it’s a bad decision because you never know what types of emotional attachments or dysfunction they will introduce into their marriage with the ‘hall pass’. The potential threat to their relationship is tenfold which makes it an insane choice for a solution to your problems.

Crazy Thing #2 – They Ignore Their Problems Away

There’s a game young children like to play with others that’s a little funny. It’s the invisible game. They close their eyes and believe that the person they are playing with can’t see them. “You can’t see me,” they say. They think that because their eyes are closed, they are now invisible to anyone in their vicinity.

Some couples treat their relationship problems this way. They think that if they don’t talk about and just ignore it long enough, neither their partner nor anyone else will see that they’ve got issues. Their hope is that by ignoring the problem, it will eventually go away. What actually happens is that one or both of them ends up adding issue on top of issue until the problems begin to drive them what…crazy. Before you know it, somebody blows a gasket and the relationship sinks even further into oblivion.

Why it won’t work

Just because you close your eyes to the problem doesn’t mean it’s not there. In fact, you only worsen the situation by pretending the problem doesn’t exist.Relationship problems don’t just fix themselves. Each partner has to take an active part in talking through issues and finding workable solutions to problems as they arise. To expect anything else would just be, well, crazy.


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Crazy Thing #3 – They Get Biased Advice

I’m all for getting advice. But we’ve all heard the phrase “consider the source.” Unfortunately, some people only want to be proven right when they are in conflict with their partners. They seek out like-minded individuals who will reinforce their convictions whether they are right or wrong.

It’s one thing if their friend offers up some tough love that leads them back to their spouse. But if what they have to say furthers the split in their relationship, I believe it’s time to seek more unbiased counsel.

Why it won’t work

If I have a drinking problem, I won’t be going to my alcoholic father to fix it. In the same token, there are so many successful relationships out there that it would be wise for couples to find a person who is actually in one to help them navigate the problems they are facing in their marriage. That couple is doing something right and leaving the crazy out of their relationship.

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You know, to each his own. When it comes to their relationship, people have the right to make whatever choice they want to help solve their problems. But if you make crazy choices, expect crazy results.

BMWK, what kind of things are you doing to solve relationship problems?

About the author

Joann Fisher wrote 154 articles on this blog.

Joann Fisher has been a writer and editor for both print and online newpapers and magazines for the last 10 years. She now serves as a Writer/Editor at BMWK and lead Editor for The Joy Network.


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