“Never apologize for trusting your intuition. Your brain can play tricks and your heart can be blind, but your gut is always right.”
All things considered, last night’s jaunt was somewhat tame. We ventured downtown for drinks with Aaron’s college friends who are now rockstar attorneys and biochemists. I can’t say I ever really recovered from the anxiety sparked by forgetting my daily email. After 101 days with a sudo consistent writing routine, this was about as far from comfort as I could get.
This morning—getting back into the swing of things—I took Piper for breakfast on the way to the cafe. As I peeled off my helmet and started to walk in, I spotted a familiar face…
Ms. Button Nose was having breakfast with a guy and—not in the mood to interface—I kept walking as she hadn’t yet seen me. While waiting for my bagel, I glanced outside and saw something on the ring finger of her left hand and realized why the guy she was with had looked somewhat familiar, I’m fairly certain it was her (not ex) husband.
As it turns out Ms. Button Nose is (quite likely) still Mrs. Button Nose.
This email isn’t meant as an attack on her character or decisions and I have no interest in validating my assumptions that they worked out their differences and decided to trash their divorce papers. She doesn’t owe me anything and I have no remorse about letting her go.
The chest tightening anxiety of the experience did prompt an interesting query and I have a hunch that writing about it will be somewhat cathartic. So… that’s what I’m doing now.
Since moving to Los Angeles, there’ve been four women that have gotten under my skin. Seeing that they’re all well aware: Katie, Amanda, Sarah, and Mrs. Button Nose.
I met Katie through a business partnership and later verified my hunch by discovering that she was six weeks out of a six year relationship. I met Amanda (five weeks out of a five year relationship) and Sarah (three months out of a three year relationship) on Tinder. As you’re aware, I met Mrs. Button Nose in the cafe and later found about her divorce filings.
These four women now belong to an elite club as they’ve all experienced a hidden facet of my personality whereby when I like-like someone… I turn into Nicholas Sparks.
Friendly and flirty are my default, but when that switch is flipped… it’s intense.
I courted each of these women for a progressively shorter period of time before I released the idea of them being a potential for a long term relationship. I was pursuing Katie for about four months, Amanda for about 2 months, Sarah for 1 month, and Mrs. Button Nose for a few weeks before moving her to the (almost) friend zone.
Each time I inevitably called it quits for the same reason, when I realized they weren’t emotionally available for the type of commitment I was interested in forging (with them).
I’ve become progressively more adept in my dating proficiency. Particularly, knowing what I want—in both short and long term timelines—and acknowledging the moment I realize the tree up which I’m barking isn’t going to bear that particular fruit. Last night Aaron and I compared the stark contrast of our dating methods. While we’re both making short term personal sacrifice in order to develop the foundations for the rest of our lives, we have a difference of opinions when it comes to short term relationships.
I suspect that this has something to do with Aaron being a Thinker and me being a Feeler. While he has the ability to casually carry a text conversation with someone he met on Tinder throughout the day, it’s challenging for me to find that mental separation. My current rule, if I’m not interested in something long term… don’t invest the emotional energy.
This isn’t to say I don’t talk to people, I just don’t get all Nicholas Sparks-y.
Seeing Mrs. Button Nose with another guy this morning triggered a tightness in my chest, my anxiety. Did I miss my chance? Would I be single forever? Should I settle?
The answer to all of these questions was a strong ‘no’. That was the fear talking.
Just because they weren’t “the one” doesn’t mean they didn’t get me closer to that human.
Katie, Amanda, Sarah, and Mrs. Button Nose have some things in common:
- they’re all creatives by profession (graphic designer, filmmaker, etc.)
- they could each be described as having a “supporting star” personality
- they are immensely independent and hesitant to be tied down
- they’re each smart, sassy, and slightly over-confident
- three of the four have button noses (it’s my “thing”)
Aside from the button nose, these are all traits we share. This is my “type”.
The more I can establish this profile, the more clearly the person who fits it will stand out.
Within the process of meeting each of them, there was a window of time in which I thought “this could be my human”… I inevitably was pushed to let go of that idea and for good reason. Pursuing something that wasn’t meant to be will only lead to heartbreak.
These declarations can each be stated with equivalent authority in the context of business.
The same energy that triggered the realization I needed to “move on” from each of these women was experienced when moving on from bad clients and partnerships.
Here’s the simple formula: 1 ) Acknowledge any “gut feeling” when you get one and greet it with the statement “isn’t that interesting” to create detachment and evaluate it’s origins or meaning. 2) Make the decision as to whether you will heed it’s advice or ignore it entirely. After taking action, 3 ) reflect back and see if this intuition was accurate or off base.
This process—exercised over many years—was how I learned to sort a gut feeling from a feeling of fear or anxiety. By leveraging my intuition, I have become more emotionally attuned and been able to make smarter decisions (e.g. leaving a bad partnership a full year before others identified it as such, and the need to jump into bed with PrimeMind).
How would you describe the relationship with your gut as though it was with a spouse?