A hate letter to my gut instinct

Emily Eaton, Columnist

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






“Trust your gut,” they told me. That make-believe conscious in our stomach we’ve conjured up is supposed to be looking out for your best interest, protecting your heart and revealing the truth you’ve blatantly ignored. It’s a trap. Turns out, my gut instinct is my closest frenemy.

If my gut instinct had any ability to sense truth, then why, for the sake of my sanity and everyone else’s, would it tell me that I was going to marry my cheating high school boyfriend? What genius part of my subconscious thought that could possibly be a good idea?

I digressed shortly after as I relived the delicate pain of that memory, and then I thought I’d give my gut instinct a chance at redemption. Flash forward a few years and many men later, and that gut of mine is still clueless.

After realizing that the only logical explanation for my gut instinct being so inadequate is that the idea of it making your decisions is just a bunch of psychological hoopla, I couldn’t help but wonder: will meeting a new man always bring about a surplus of unwanted surprises? Will I always be doomed to be shocked by the slime balls during my search for the one, or will I finally see it coming before it’s too late?

I’m not wrong about many things, but the thought processes of men is where my knowledge falters. Not all of us are born with unbelievable capabilities to tell a man’s true intentions. After years of dating, I finally decided the only possible solution was to go completely against my gut instinct by dating the men it told me precisely not to date.

He approached me at a bar and laughed so loud that I jumped and dumped some of my water. Luckily for him, an old ex-boyfriend of mine was behind me, so I decided to forget that feeling that was telling me to politely send the man with the startling laugh back to his table, gave him my number, and got coffee with him the next day. He wore cowboy boots and was playing the Jonas Brothers’ “Year 3000” when he picked me up. He also missed the Michigan U-turn three times. I never called him back.

You pick up on the traits of the people you surround yourself with, and I think my terrible luck with men has worn off on me and onto my friends. My friend started dating a guy who ended up not only hiding his girlfriend from her, but also forgot to mention his adorable little child. We awed at the baby pictures.

Sometimes, you just don’t know who someone is until they either stop hiding it, or you figure out their intentions for yourself. Lately, however, I’ve decided there’s a third option too: not hunting for problems.

You’re never going to foresee the drama you’re getting yourself into, so let that gut feeling go and replace it with the butterflies of a new date. He just might be good. You might want to take a U-turn before you even get the coffee, or maybe he’ll take you to “Year 3000”.