Are you wondering if you’re with the right person?
How do you know if you’ve found a partner with whom you can build a future?
Most relationship advice tells you that you should listen to your intuition when it comes to deciding if you’re with the right person.
Relationship coaches say, “Listen to your gut!”
But is intuition really all it’s cracked up to be?
Take this relationship advice: Trusting your gut can lead to toxic relationships!
Hard to believe, isn’t it?
When it comes to relationships, your gut can lead you astray!
In this post, you’ll discover how a close examination of your partner’s attitudes toward your relationship — their self-awareness, their willingness to repair injuries and their commitment to making your relationship the most important thing in their life — will give you far more accurate information about whether you’re with the right person or not.
Fear vs Intuition in a Relationship
Marriage advice often says that in order to determine whether or not you’ve found the right partner for you, you need to be able to distinguish between your fear and your intuition. This advice states that if your worries about your relationship are driven by fear, then you shouldn’t give in to them. If on the other hand, your concerns are driven by your intuition, then by all means, you should listen!
Maybe you wonder if you’re just overthinking your relationship and scared of getting too close to another person. You may think to yourself, am I just afraid to commit? On the other hand, what if that’s your intuition speaking? What if your gut is telling you that you’re with the wrong person?
Here’s the truth.
Distinguishing between fear and intuition is almost impossible to do. That’s because intuition isn’t some magical compass that helps you tell the difference between right and wrong.
When scientists researched intuition, they found that people develop intuition because they’ve had years of experience doing something. It’s this experience that seems to give them direct knowledge about what to do in a particular situation without having to think about it rationally.
But what if you’ve experienced a lot of toxic relationships?
If intuition, meaning knowing directly what to do in a particular situation, is based on loads of experience being in similar situations, how do you think having lots of negative experiences in relationships is going to affect your intuition?
Your negative life experiences could make you think you’re in the wrong relationship when you really aren’t!
If you’re an airline pilot and you’ve had lots of experiences successfully navigating your way through storms, then that’s a good thing. But if you’re an alcoholic and you’ve had lots of experiences negotiating yourself to the next bar, that kind of intuition isn’t something you want to use to guide your life!
Relying on your intuition to avoid toxic relationships can get you into a lot of trouble.
What Shapes Your Intuition?
The fact of the matter is that your perspective on life in general and people in particular is colored by many factors outside of your conscious awareness. Dr. Stan Tatkin talks about how your perception is constantly being colored by your mood and your memory.
Let’s break this down because it’s going to teach you a great deal about where your intuition comes from. Lots of things color your perception in the present moment.
One of the things that colors your perception is your early life experiences with your parents. You experience your current relationship through the lens of your early experiences with your parents and other caregivers when you were little.
If you saw your parents fight a lot, then fighting might just be part and parcel of what assume relationships are about. But you might not even know that you’re thinking about relationships that way. The idea that relationships involve frequent conflict might just be so much a part of what you expect that you barely even think about these conflicts when they’re happening.
It’s like an intuitive sense that says, “This is how relationships go.”
Your State of Mind Changes Your Perception
Your perception is also colored by many other things. For starters, your state of mind in the moment that you’re considering the particular issue.
You may notice that if you think about how you feel about your partner when you’re in a good mood, you probably have a very different take on your relationship than you do when you’re not feeling so great.
So, if you’re in a negative frame of mind, it’s actually more likely that you’re going to call to mind memories that match your negative state. So, the time that he got ice cream for himself but he didn’t get you one or he showed up late to your cousin’s wedding, or the time that he rolled over in bed instead of reaching out to hold you.
Your memories of your partner change depending on your mood.
That only makes sense, right?
But that’s going to affect your intuition.
Something that feels right one moment could feel really kind of crappy the next.
It turns out though, that the reverse is also true. Your memories also affect your state of mind.
Memories Affect Your State of Mind
If you call to mind positive memories of feeling loved, seen, and understood by your partner, that’s going to have a positive effect on your mood.
And then you’re more likely to think, “Hey, this is a great relationship.”
So your mood, your early experiences, your memory are constantly influencing your intuition.
The conclusion is that the sum total of your intuition is made up of every positive and negative feeling, every memory, whether good or bad, and every beautiful, ecstatic, and horrible experience that you’ve ever had! All of this goes into this one moment where you’re trying to determine whether you’re with the right person or not.
For this reason, your intuition is not a compass.
But if you shouldn’t rely on your intuition, what should you rely on?
I suggest you rely on the facts!
Signs You’re Not Right for Each Other
There are certain factors that can determine whether this relationship is a no-fly zone or a get-me-to-the-church-on-time!
Now, there’s a lot to say about this topic, and for more information to help you figure out whether your relationship is viable, watch my video called How to Vet Someone For a Relationship.
For this post, I’m just going to focus on three important things.
If your partner demonstrates the following three problems, then it’s time to move on.
Lack of Self-Awareness
If partners are going to be successful together, then both of them need to be committed to understanding the ways in which they each tend to create problems in the relationship. It’s important that each person is curious and interested in themselves and how they contribute to the relationship difficulties.
Your partner doesn’t have to go back to school and get a Ph.D. in psychology. But if they’re not interested in knowing themselves and working on their part of the relationship problems you have then look out! They are likely to blame you whenever conflict arises.
For a deeper discussion of how to develop your self-awareness and use it to attract the right partner, please see my video, How to Get to the Second Date.
Unwillingness to Repair Injuries
Partners need to practice quick repair if they are going to avoid creating long term resentment and hurt. When the two of you go off the rails, how willing are the two of you to circle back with each other and repair injuries?
If your partner is consistently unwilling to admit that they’re wrong, to apologize for hurting you and try to understand and make things better, it’s time to leave the relationship.
Opposed to Putting Your Relationship First
This is a big one. If you and your partner have been together for at least a year and one or both of you is still on the fence about whether you should be in or out, it’s time to resolve that issue once and for all.
According to Singer and Skerrett in their book, Positive Couple Therapy: Using We-Stories to Enhance Resilience, part of creating a secure relationship means making your relationship the most important commitment in your life.
Secure relationships mean having a shared understanding with your partner that both of you are all in. It means having each other’s backs, and making frequent expressions of commitment and loyalty to one another.
You can learn more about making your relationship your number one commitment by watching my video, Put Your Relationship First.
Happy couples create healthy relationships through the values of self-awareness, a willingness to work on the relationship together, a willingness to repair injuries, and a commitment to one another.
Before you end up at a Vegas hotel getting married by Elvis because your intuition told you so, remember the things that really matter. It’s the facts on the ground.
Now I’d like to hear from you.
Share an intuition horror story where your intuition got you into trouble.
Where something really felt right to you, but then, later on, you could see where it just skidded out of control and you realized you had made the wrong decision.
Leave me your comments below, and I look forward to seeing you in the next video!
If you liked what you learned in this post, please share it on social media and comment below what you regarding how you know whether you might be right for each other or not.
And please check out The Power Couple Formula for lots more information about how to build a fantastic relationship.