Thursday, 4 April 2013

Just trust your gut

That feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when a new boyfriend says something that's sort of off. D'you know what I mean? It's like being punched in the gut by a tiny fist, which then twists around and sends adrenaline rushing round your veins, while your brain does an excellent impression of a fish being starved of oxygen. 

Mine with my last boyfriend was when he dropped this one on me after about four months of what I had thought was the perfect relationship: "I don't normally go out with people who look like you. My ex girlfriends have all been a size 8."

I was a size 12 when I met him. And was a size 12 when he pulled this lovely comment out of his ass. I froze and asked him what he meant? Did he mean I was too fat for him? Does he not fancy me? 

He naturally shut me down immediately and then carried on being his normal self, all charming and loved up. 

My inner dialogue was going apeshit mental by now: But he's so lovely and he isn't like that and he can't have meant it in that way and, SHUT UP telling me that he has just shown me exactly who he is. Just shut up. What I'm going to do instead is spend the next two years in an emotionally stunted relationship because I can't face the fact that the guy that I decided was my prince charming has the emotional range of a sprout.

You'll either know exactly what I'm on about or you're one of the ones who did actually meet someone who is genuinely nice and lovely and you're probably at home fucking right now actually and not reading the meandering ramblings of a very single woman. 

But that was The Moment when I should have just packed up my size 12 stuff, grabbed my toothbrush and waltzed out of his life. Because in that moment I knew everything I needed to know. But I had to suffer the next couple of years or ridiculousness. Of name calling. Of being made to feel like the fattest, ugliest woman who has ever walked the earth. Of being made to feel ashamed about everything, from my clothes to my pubic hair (see last post for more on that). 

But this isn't about what a cocknugget he was - and, no doubt, still is - this is about me not trusting myself enough to take heed of the voice inside me. The voice that was looking after me. And just walking away. 

And I definitely should have done so when he told me that the reason he cheated on me was because "You wear hoodies sometimes. I deserve a woman who dresses better." Yup. That really happened. By that point, sadly, I'd metaphorically chloroformed the voice inside me because I so desperately wanted to believe in what I thought I wanted. 

If I had listened then, I would have walked away after the fourth month. Interesting isn't it? Once you're out of the situation and nothing about it hurts you anymore and, in fact, all you feel is a kind of mild contempt, how easy it would have been to just walk away. 

Similarly, I've had a recent experience with a friend. Someone I thought was a good friend, and then my gut started telling me that actually she's most likely stabbing me in the back. But I ignored it for months because I don't want to be paranoid/uncharitable/a dick. Naturally, it all came to a head and I was right all along. So that was a good six months wasted in uncertainty and sadness when actually, if I'd just admitted to myself that yep, she is a dick, then I could have just walked away. 

This made me look back at jobs, at people, friends and boys and every single time they showed me who they were very, very clearly. Some of them even told me. And I still knocked that little voice unconscious and tried to make something out of nothing. 

Amazing isn't it? The clarity you can get afterwards. 

I have actually been putting this into practice on dates recently. Which has proved extremely time efficient. One date lasted 20 minutes, and that included small talk with at least four passing dogs. None of this waiting around business for me. My gut tells me within about five seconds whether I would ever want to do the naked dance with them and, if not, walk away. Boom. Easy. Friend makes you feel like shit for no good reason? Walk away. Gut feeling that the new guy might be a massive penis. That's right, WALK AWAY. Unless he has a massive penis. Then stay for a bit. 

At the moment my gut is telling me that I seem to take an inordinately lengthy time to learn very basic things about human nature, people and relationships. Most people probably had this figured out by the time they were on to their second relationship. But I'm a late developer, always have been. And, well, better late than never, eh?

1 comment:

  1. I'm sure I agree with all you say about instinct: but firstly it is something you develop & so it is bound to get better only slowly & as you get the experience to trust it more & secondly your blog shows you to be an optimist who gives people the chance & benefit of doubt which is a Good Thing.