Dating and Mate Selection — 23 October 2003
How to follow your intuition in love

We all have an inner voice of wisdom- also called intuition. Stray from
it and you will regret it. Follow it and you will thrive.

In courtship- we know who is right or wrong for us. ” I knew walking
down the aisle that I was making a very big mistake. It was too late to
cancel the wedding, too many people would be inconvenienced”. ” I knew
early on that it won’t last, but hoped that I was wrong”. Those are the

words of the people regretting that they did not heed their inner wisdom.

A decision making process entails three parts: cognition, emotion and
intuition. We need the approval of our logical mind, our emotions, and
our intuitive support to succeed in our choices. When our mind, heart
and gut are not in unison, there is a greater chance for a failed
outcome. Logic and emotions often declare their positions well and
clearly. It is the intuitive voice that we sometimes unwisely overrule.

This inner voice belongs to the intuitive wisdom within you. The sage
advice is drawn from a source that has your best interest at heart. It
knows you well, wishes the best for you, and can predict the outcomes of
your conduct.

This wise inner counselor guides you in all aspects of your life
including your relationships. You often know instantly when you just
said the wrong thing, you also know what is likely to get you in trouble
or gain you favor with your partner. Yet, we often lend a deaf ear to
this inner wisdom, only to suffer the predicted consequences.

It is important to distinguish the guiding voice from an impulsive
desire. You may be drawn to an activity that appeals to you, fascinates
you, and captures your enthusiasm. That is not necessarily wise or
supported by deep insights. It may be a “want” not necessarily wise or
correct choice for you.

The inner guide’s advice springs from a deep, secure and safe “knowing”.
Most people may not know how they “know” something to be good or bad for
them, but the “knowing” is deeply felt and unquestionable.

In your love relationships, you may recall prior dates whom you “knew”
were not suitable as life partners, even though you may not have been
able to fully articulate the reasons. “She was nice, kind, attractive
and intelligent, but not for me.” “Something was always missing for me
with him, which to date I can not name”. Those people wisely pursued
other partners.

Some people allow their passion, desire for the right connection, fears,
and insecurities, to ignore their intuitive warnings.
I have listened to people tell me of the early cues, which they were
aware of early in the relationship, only to rationalize them away. ” I
noticed he drank a lot but thought it was only because we dined out
often”. “She seemed to be very moody and easily angered, and I was
initially frightened by it, but trusted that after we married, she will
calm down”.

Individuals, who deny their early concerns, minimize their discomfort
and doubt their instincts _ may lead themselves right into the arms of
lifelong discontent. If it does not feel right _ it probably isn’t!

It is important to allow yourself to record the inner voice’s concerns
early, before you fall in love. Once you are smitten, you lost your
objectivity, and may become swept away by emotions. It feels so good to
be cherished, that the wish to have it last forever, may cloud your

I have never met partners in a troubled marriage, who have not been
aware of their problems early in their courtship. Had they listened to
their inner wisdom and addressed their difficulties then, they would
have spared themselves years of tears.

The inner wisdom keeps instructing us throughout the phases of a
relationship. Our inner sage guides us about behaviors that will
displease, hurt or alienate our partners. Yet, we proceed, at times, to
fall into our own traps. “You could rectify last night’s fight by just
getting her some flowers”, your inner voice tells you. “No way, I think
she needs to apologize first”, you tell yourself as you pass by the
flower shop. The marital chill lasts another night, and you both lost
out on an earlier reconciliation and tender making up.

If you listen carefully to your inner sage, you will heed the warning of
any action that may jeopardize your well being and follow the cues
toward a good partnership.

If love and intimacy are universally sought by all of us and we have a
free love-coach, shouldn’t we be grateful and heed his or her advice? Follow your inner wisdom:

  • Pick a mate who gets the affirmation of the intuitive wisdom within you as well as your mind and heart.
  • Listen to your sage’s warnings. Have the strength to change your.
    course when needed.
  • Follow the advice of your inner wisdom in terms of positive actions.
    Abstain from overruling it due to pride or stubbornness.
  • This inner voice does not come from your parents. It is your own
    creative awareness and thus need not be rebelled against.
  • Honor your inner “knowing”, even if you don’t know how you came about it.
  • Welcome the gift given to you by this added sense _ it is always on
    your side.

Someday we will have a greater scientific clarity as to the nature of
the inner wisdom. For now, it suffices to honor its contribution and
follow its advice for happier, more effective life.

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About Author

Offra Gerstein, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in clinical practice in Santa Cruz, California for over 25 years, and specializes in relationship issues for couples and individuals for improved quality of life. Her work includes: mate selection, marriage, long term relationships, gay and lesbian couples, work relationships, parenting issues, family interactions, friendships, and conflict resolutions. Offra has lectured extensively to various groups, conducted support groups for several organizations, and has been writing a weekly column "Relationship Matters" for the Santa Cruz Sentinel since 2001.

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