What is a gut feeling? It’s that sensation you feel in your stomach, warning you there’s something to be careful about. Sometimes, it’s out of excitement but in other times, it’s a straightforward warning.
When you think about it, there’s no such thing as a decision based on pure logic. Whenever you decide to do something, your brain relies both on logical thought and emotions. It’s how you decide what to eat today, what to buy, what business to start, and what kind of relationship to get in.
The gut feeling is nothing but an instinct, which we use all the time.
The problem is that we decide to ignore it sometimes. We get into these thinking patterns and convince ourselves to do something opposite of what our instinct is telling us to do. And we’re not even aware of the process that’s undermining our happiness.
When it comes to relationships, it’s time for all of us to sharpen our intuition. Here’s how to listen to your intuition in relationships.
Understand What You Want
Do you want a big wedding but your partner doesn’t want one? Do you want an expensive jewelry but your partner doesn’t want to buy it? Or do you want time but your partner doesn’t think you need it?
Relationships are dependent on compromise. But when you compromise a bit too much, you’re abandoning your own dreams and goals for the sake of someone else’s aspirations for the future.
Jeannette Moore, a career advisor at UK Careers Booster, shares her experience:
“I had a manipulative partner who wanted me to pursue a career he chose for me. He started a business and he wanted me to be his personal assistant, so he wouldn’t have to hire another employee. And I agreed. I’m a career advisor; I should have known better, but I agreed. I went through two years being miserable, not doing what I wanted to do before I finally decided to put an end to it.”
Before you make a compromise, it’s important to realize what you really want. What does your gut tell you about this “deal” you’re about to make? What are you going to give up? Are those things worth giving up for a relationship?
Your body is giving you signals that you don’t always recognize. For example, your heart beats rapidly when you and your partner tackle a painful subject. It’s trying to tell you something.
It’s difficult to pay attention to these signals when you’re in the middle of doing something. That’s why you should specifically focus on them. Keeping a journal helps. It’s a method that re-establishes your connection with your deepest thoughts and emotions.
Just get your journal and write. Don’t even think about what to write. If you want to do it in the most private way possible, you can start an online journal.
It’s important to be honest with yourself. Write about different situations in your relationship and identify the signals your gut is sending. No one will ever read this; just you. So, there’s no reason to fake anything.
Make a Difference Between Thoughts and Intuition
When you’re over-thinking things, it’s not your intuition speaking. It’s your mind causing havoc. Maybe it’s just an episode of heavy thinking or maybe it’s full-on anxiety that may require treatment.
If your mind is not leaving you alone and it constantly makes up negative scenarios, I highly recommend you to talk to a therapist. There’s nothing scary about that.
However, if you’re getting those bursts of thoughts occasionally and they are mostly directed towards your relationship, you should learn how to distinguish them from intuition.
Focus on your feelings. Don’t try to rationalize them, just feel them. When you connect with your intuition, it will kick the mind into gear and it will start thinking realistically.
Recreate Your Days Before Going to Sleep
Have you heard of vairagya? It’s a technique that’s part of yoga. In its simplest definition, it means detachment from thoughts and emotions. The term expands to other aspects of life, too. But let’s focus on the thoughts and emotions for now.
Before you fall asleep, you can practice vairagya every night. Close your eyes and start recreating the day, moment after moment. You should see yourself waking up, going to the bathroom, and doing everything you did in a chronological order.
By doing that, you’ll feel like you’re watching a movie of a person doing the things you did. When you recreate important moments with your partner, you may trigger that gut feeling. Pay attention to it!
Instincts Are Important
When your body sends signals, you should stop and listen. Even if it’s nothing, you should never ignore them. Just respect yourself enough to listen to yourself. Intuition is a valuable asset that human species have managed to preserve throughout time. Are you going to lose it just because you’re in a relationship?