We are told in situations of potential danger to trust our gut, let it interpret the red flags. For many of us, whether we realize or not, being involved in a relationship can register as one of those potentially dangerous situations. Because of what we have been through and things we have learned, we trust that our instincts will steer us clear of possible pain. However, what about when our body isn’t being authentic with us? What if we are being led astray, urged to read further into things that don’t require it?
To put it bluntly, sometimes our gut is wrong. Our present reality is morphed by either what has already happened (the past), or what may happen but hasn’t yet (the future). Meaning, when we begin a new relationship, it’s far too easy to approach it from a jaded standpoint: thinking it’s too good to be true, you’ll get hurt like the last time, he/she surely can’t be trustworthy.
Whether we’ve been cheated on, lied to, manipulated, cast aside, these things leave us hardened. These things leave us skeptical, borderline paranoid in some instances, and tell our heart and mind that everything is a possible warning sign. If you’ve entered a new relationship hesitantly after recovering from a previous heartbreak, it may have been with a strengthened mentality: “I’ll never be that vulnerable like last time,” or, “I won’t miss those red flags again.” As a result, we can limit opportunities. We are guarded. We are unfair. We make judgments like, “all men are cheaters” or “all women are jealous,” and don’t actually get to know the person for who they really are.
Having this sort of complex jeopardizes our security (and potential happiness). We sabotage ourselves, wasting time convincing ourselves of negativity and cynicism. Strain is put on relationships, hurt is brought upon you and your partner. And all for things that have happened to us in the past, by a different person, in a different setting and point in life. We are not born as jealous individuals, suffering from insecurity and lacking trust. Rather, these are things we learn from experience or observation. Perhaps you naively invested your time and energy into someone that didn’t reciprocate, and now you’re holding back. Perhaps you saw a friend or family member’s seemingly perfect relationship fall apart, and that has shaped the way in which you now perceive the fragility of your own love life. Your gut tells you to be hyperaware in order to avoid the repetition of the same pain, which can be exhausting and detrimental.
I’m not saying that your intuition is always false or that it can’t be relied on. Trusting your gut, in most cases, proves to be effective. Simply be aware that there is beauty in sitting back and letting things happen, as they are. Without assumptions, without accusations, without interpreting the present based off of the hurt you have felt in the past. Be gentle with yourself. Give yourself the chance to approach your relationship innocently and free of inhibitions.
If you want freedom from insecurities, anxieties, and doubt, stop reading too far into things, and start looking at situations for what they really are. Stop assuming the worst of people, stop looking for proof of the demons that have clouded your optimism. In fact, stop looking for stuff in general (it’s called Facebook creeping for a reason). Stop comparing your current relationship to past relationships, or even to other peoples’. There’s a difference between being wise and being cynical. Stop denying yourself the right to feel good about a good thing.