This one actually happened a few months ago. I haven’t written about it yet because I needed time to really process the experience and figure out how I wanted to share it. But here goes…
How it started.
We met at a party of a mutual friend. He approached my friend and I, got us champagne and in conversation I slowly started to realize that he was checking off my list of things I look for. Career driven, outgoing, travel junkie, plus he was cute and just seemed nice. Also, turns out we lived two blocks away from each other. For the first time ever, I had a thought jump into my head, “is this it??”
My gut feeling
Fast forward a few weeks, after several phone conversations and dates, and I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was OFF. It was weird to me to even feel that way because he was, by far, the nicest guy I had dated–treated me well, complimented me, listened when I talked (I mean really listened and remembered what I said).
But, I kept having this thought that I was the other woman in his life, and I felt like it was only a matter of time before the other shoe dropped.
(insert horrified emoji)
It made no sense to me why I was thinking this. For some time I thought the fact that I had never been with someone so nice was making me paranoid that it was fake. Sad right?
The truth comes out
Finally, after weeks of feeling this way, I asked our mutual friend about him (honestly, I should’ve done this in the beginning, lesson learned). Turns out, he used to be married, something he never mentioned. To top it off, it was unclear to this mutual friend if he was divorced or separated (they weren’t super close), but it was rumored that his marriage ended because he cheated. Supposedly, he has a reputation for being a womanizer.
You can imagine how I felt after finding all this out. For one thing, I felt embarrassed to have even been involved with someone with this history; and another, I kicked myself for not asking this mutual friend about him BEFORE we started hanging out (I mean, DUH).
Firstly, I forgave myself for not asking this mutual friend sooner rather than later. Honestly, when you meet someone organically like that, I think its normal to assume that they must be ok.
Second, I will never, EVER, question my gut feelings ever again. I’ve dated some terrible guys in the past, and never have I ever assumed that I was “the other woman”, until now. So needless to say, in a way, my gut was on point.
I’ve always believed that a woman’s instincts are not only her strongest guide, but also her best source of protection. Now, I’d like to add that no matter how ridiculous your gut feeling may seem, you have to listen. It’s not scientific and there’s no rhyme or reason as to why certain feelings come up, but when they do, you owe it to yourself to pay attention. Acknowledge that the universe is watching out for you, and tread carefully.
Ignoring my instincts in this situation would have delayed me asking my friend for her opinion, which in turn could have delayed my finding out the truth. Imagine all the potential time wasted and heartache to recover from.
Whether you’re a seasoned dater or just starting to put your toes in the water, trust what you feel and trust what you sense. I don’t think experience is necessary to hone your instincts; I think honing your instincts comes from simply listening to them.
When you feel something is off–accept that it probably is.
When you think someone is lying to you–don’t be afraid to ask more questions.
If you feel unsure about whether someone is right for you–give yourself all the time you need to figure it out.
Don’t force yourself into a situation if you’re feeling uncomfortable just for the sake of being with someone.
Be aware–pay attention to the situation, and your response, and protect yourself
Be strong–and walk away if you have to
Be Brave–and ask all the questions that pop into your head. The sooner you have answers, the sooner you’ll know how to proceed. No time wasted 🙂
Photos shown courtesy of Unsplash