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Thursday, August 11, 2005

Sixth Sense

Dear readers,

I've talked about instincts before...and how usually women hope for the best from men and therefore are blind to reality. But there' s another side to it. Sometimes we see the writing on the wall...we know we're about to get tossed to the curb...and yet it's hard to believe.

I was dating a guy recently, let's call him Mark. Mark seemed like just what I've been looking for. Smart, funny, successful, warm. And as far as I know, he really is all of those things. I'll never really know, though, because he dumped me rather unceremoniously via email after a few dates. Here's the strange thing, though. Despite the fact that each of our 3 dates really was fantastic, and our second date even included a lovely bouquet of flowers, I somehow KNEW it was going to be over soon. Call it a dating sixth sense. I can't pin point a single real sign that he wasn't as into me as I hoped, and yet I can't say I'm surprised that it ended almost as fast as it began.

The problem with trusting this sixth sense is that it's the job of your family and friends to convince you that you're being ridiculous when you speculate about these feelings. "I just feel like something bad is going to happen," I said. "He didn't email today, and he usually does, maybe something changed?"

"Don't be silly," everyone says in chorus. "He clearly likes you. He just introduced you to his friends last night. He just gave you flowers. He writes you ever day. He must just be busy. Don't be such a pessimist." And no matter how many times my sixth sense has been proven right, I don't listen to it because I don't want to be a pessimist, and I do want to believe that I am just being silly.

So what is there to do about this? How do you draw the line between a real instinct for what's going on and needless pessimism? First, I think it's important to really listen to your instincts. If you really, truly feel it in your bones that something is wrong, it probably is. Even if your only signal is a day without an email or a call or a shorter than usual kiss goodnight. I can look and hindsight and see that there is a difference between the feeling I had just previous to being e-dumped by Mark and the feeling I get when I'm just winding myself up about someone. The key will be learning to tell the difference!

Second, perhaps sometimes it is wise not to tell absolutely everything to our confidants. It is their job after all to be optimistic for us. And sometimes optimism isn't really what we need. Instead we need a dose of cold, hard reality. Maybe if we let it percolate a little more in our own minds, without the sunny optimism of outside influences, we'll see things as they really are. As friends, maybe it's our job to occasionally just listen and agree with what our friend's gut is telling her.

In the end it doesn't really matter if we trust our instincts in these scenarios or not. Regardless of whether I was expecting the e-dumping wouldn't have stopped it from happening. But I suppose it at least would have kept me from being so hopeful in the first place. And maybe, just maybe, one day it'll help me avoid these situations all together. Or better yet preemptively dump the guy...via email of course!




Blogger ~The Goofy Ass Chick said...

I don't remember how I found your blog but I liked it and saved it. I really like this entry. I feel that you tapped into what I think to myself. Instincts can tell us a lot and I try to listen to them as much as I can. The bad part is their is fine line between instincts and just being a freakazoid paranoia.

I'll be sure to keep reading your stuff. :-)

6:33 PM  
Blogger madman said...

VIA EMAIL! what a jerk. At least I put a message on a machine. DAMN! I do like your blog--Mark was most likely intimadated by your wit--some guys are insecure around girls with a high IQ!

10:07 PM  

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