“Trust your gut in dating.” We hear it all the time. You should listen to your instincts, embrace your intuition.
In theory, this advice seems relatively sane. According to pop culture, your gut often knows what’s better for you than your head does. But there’s a slight problem with this: when you’re anxious or insecure, your gut is far more likely to lead you astray.
Just a Gut Feeling- In Dating
It’s a romantic trope that we see all too often: “the moment I saw you, I just knew…” As though somehow, when we see that person, it will all become clear. The clouds will part, a heavenly choir will start singing, and you’ll lock eyes across the room. Wow. So this is love. But the Nervous Nora’s gut feeling is—well, let’s just say it isn’t exactly trustworthy.
The Nervous Nora love type tends to be an overthinker. She has a bad habit of falling hard and fast, despite her defensive skepticism about love. She’s sensitive, an empath, and sometimes creates an unrealistic image of someone in her head based on what she thinks they’re like. And unfortunately, this overthinking and projection can lead the Nervous Nora astray in romantic scenarios.
Should Nervous Nora Trust Her Gut Instinct?
I don’t know about you, but as a former Nervous Nora myself, my gut was usually in the wrong. In my 20 years of practice, I’ve found this overthinking and projection can typically manifest in one of two ways.
Maybe it’s the first date jitters, the feeling like your gut is doing somersaults and telling you to run as far as you can, as fast as you can. It’s the twisty-turny sensation that comes from wondering if your partner is upset with you and not understanding why. Or maybe it’s the complete opposite, and your gut is telling you to fall head-over-heels for someone you don’t really know. The certainty that you can read into them more than they are letting on, and that they just haven’t revealed themself to you yet, or that you’ll have a long and happy future together.
Regardless of how It’s using projection to create a false narrative about others – what they think, feel, say—or don’t say—how they act, and so on. This narrative can be manifested by anxiety on one side—or excessive optimism on the other, but either way, it’s not particularly healthy. When people advise others to ‘trust their gut,’ it’s built on the assumption that one’s gut is telling the truth – but unfortunately, “the truth” is highly subjective.
What To Do In Dating Instead?
It’s safe to say that following your gut is not always a realistic—or beneficial—path to follow. So what do the Nervous Noras of the world need to improve their dating lives?
Noras require security, stability, and clear communication to make relationships work. Unfortunately, because they overthink so much, they have a tendency to either whip themselves into an anxious panic or set overly high expectations for themselves and their partners. Neither is particularly helpful for a healthy, long-term relationship.
Instead, Noras need to regularly check in with themselves and ask: “what is the evidence that my thoughts and feelings are true?” It’s interrogating that gut feeling, whether your gut is saying something positive or negative. It’s learning how to self-soothe, keep calm in the heat of the moment, and remain in the present with your partner.
Instead of rushing ahead in your mind and envisioning the future of your relationship, consider the time you spend together as a journey to be enjoyed, not a pit-stop on the way to a destination. Conversely, don’t make assumptions about your partner, but instead, use observations. Be patient with yourself and your partner, and give your blossoming relationship time to unfold before jumping to conclusions, either positive or negative.
If all of this still seems too confusing to handle alone, why not try my Nervous Nora Dating Course? It will help you understand your ‘gut feelings’ better, and when you feel secure with yourself, it can help you feel secure with that special someone, too!
Dating is hard! But if you are a Nervous Nora or Nick, it’s easy to question and second-guess every little thing. Just know that you’re not alone. If you feel that your attachment style is giving you grief, there are strategies you can apply that will open up new doors to happiness.
Take our Love Styles Quiz to find out more about what makes you tick. And when you are ready to break up with anxiety and move on from overthinking, try one of our online courses and break out of the cycle.