Do you often feel frustrated that you haven’t connected with potential partners in the ways you want while dating? Do you tend to rely on the opinions of others too much when evaluating whether someone is the right partner for you? At Center for Shared Insight, in Denver Colorado, we often work with clients who feel this way and, among other strategies, our therapists work with them to tap into their inner knowing or intuition when dating.
Sometimes, this tendency is due to being too attached to a predetermined vision of how things should look when dating without being open-minded enough to the art of what’s possible, by trusting how you feel more than how things look from the outside in. In this post, we’ll explore three ways to more effectively rely on your intuition when dating.
Get out of your head
We live in a world that makes overthinking and overanalyzing an easy trap to fall into. You can search for advice on the internet, text a number of friends for input simultaneously, read too much into “red flags”, and keep your eyes on dating sites to compare and contrast the qualities of potential partners. It is so easy to look externally for advice and direction when dating. It is important to get out of the over-analytical, linear, logical, and rational mind to effectively connect with your more expansive and insightful intuition when dating. In fact, it isn’t possible to be intuitive about dating if you aren’t connected to your body’s sensations, including what you are feeling in your core or “gut” and your breath.
Here are some key ways to consciously get out of your head so you can better tune into your intuition:
Notice the sensations around you and actively tune into those. What do you see, smell, hear, and feel (including temperature)?
Notice how you feel in and around your body. What and where do you notice feelings of ease, tension, anxiety, peace, etc.?
Do something physical that requires your full attention and allow your brain to continue to process a question or situation while you are moving. This could be walking, running, skiing, dancing, or any repetitive movement that clears your mind.
Try writing or creative outlets including music and art. Many times you’ll have an aha-moment related to whatever is on your mind while enjoying these activities.
Try meditation, mantras, affirmations, or general relaxation exercises. These exercises can provide clarity and therefore new insights about whatever you are struggling with in your dating life (or otherwise).
So often, you know the best next step for yourself when dating but it might be a hard step to take, or an unconventional one. Far before you are willing to act, if you are attuned to your true feelings about a situation, you know what you need to do based on your intuition. Trust yourself. You know what you need.
If you need confirmation about the right next step, notice how your body reacts or how you feel after spending time with a dating partner. Do you feel drained, full of gratitude, energized, frustrated, calm or a combination of these feelings after time together? Trust that that feeling is telling you something even if you can’t put your finger on the “why” quite yet. There is wisdom in your body that you can’t always articulate through thinking and words.
As another way to stress test your decision, try imagining yourself in future scenarios. For example, if you are contemplating a breakup, imagine life with or without someone you are dating. Visualize how you feel in each scenario and notice where you feel more relaxed, complete, and at peace.
Lastly, notice if you are making decisions in dating due to your past, your previous relationship trauma, childhood experiences with family members, or even your attachment style. Work to separate this from your intuition (by relying less on your analytical brain) or at least be aware of how and when you are reacting to your own patterns versus the situation in front of you.
Don’t let your desires take over
Sometimes your desires will override both your analytical brain and your intuition. It can be easy to ignore your intuition because you want to be in a relationship so bad. You may not want to be alone, so you tell yourself a story to explain your partner’s behavior (e.g., “It’s because they are going through x,” or “It will get better when y happens”) rather than admitting that the relationship isn’t good for you based on what your intuition is telling you. In these cases, often your brain is overriding your intuition, and if you suspect this, tap into the exercises above to get clarity.
Doing the thing and making the decision that is aligned with your intuitive knowing is often not the easy thing. Get the support you need to both tap into your intuition and make more intuitive decisions by working with a therapist to help you identify these important opportunities for looking at things differently. Contact us to learn more about how the therapists at our practice in Denver, Colorado can help.