The Dating

Ever heard the expression, "Go with your gut feeling"? As you probably know, it doesn't have anything to do with an actual cramp or ache in your belly. It's intuition, an inkling that something isn'

Jul 12, 2000 at 2:06 pm

Ever heard the expression, "Go with your gut feeling"? As you probably know, it doesn't have anything to do with an actual cramp or ache in your belly. It's intuition, an inkling that something isn't quite what it seems. When it comes to boyfriends, I could have saved myself a lot of heartache if I had gone with my gut feeling instead of suppressing or ignoring my radar trying to tell me that something was wrong in dateland.

Sometimes a gut feeling gets a little stronger if accompanied by a little bit of evidence. I don't know how to tell if a woman is married because I've never dated a married woman. But I imagine the telltale signs of the married status cut across gender lines. The few times I've ended up with married men, there were several elements present in each instance.

I never knew the guy's home phone number. I'm telling you, ladies, if you don't have the home digits, he's married. You can have his cell phone number, pager, email address and his work number, but it all means nothing without the home number. He may tell you some crap like he has a roommate who sleeps odd hours and the phone ringing may disturb him. The newest lie is that he uses his cell phone so much he doesn't have a home line hookup.

Lies, lies and more lies. In your heart, in your gut, you may already know he's married. If he refuses to give you a home phone number, that confirms it. I know that if I was going to step out on my husband, the very last thing I'd do is reveal my home phone number.

That someone, male or female, refuses to give a home phone number may be building on another lie: They aren't who they say they are. After all, it is terribly easy to find out someone's phone number. But it isn't so easy if you don't have your lover's real name. Now I've made up names for one-night stands, but I'm not smart enough to maintain a separate identity for longer than that. I wouldn't even bring it up if it hadn't happened to me. On and off for over a year, I was seeing a guy — fake name Ken, real name Greg — who I felt, yes in my gut, was deceiving me. It wasn't until he was dumb enough to leave his pants in my bedroom while he took a shower one night that I was able to snoop through his wallet and get the goods on him.

The payback was satisfying. I just showed up at his house one day, and he damned near gagged to death on the apple he was eating when he saw my face. Then again, he got the last laugh. We kept seeing each other, and one night he left me at a video store. Just up and left. One of the few times I didn't get the last word. But that which doesn't kill me makes me a stronger diva.

A gut feeling can come into play in many areas of your life. You may pull an outfit out of your closet and wonder if it is appropriate to wear to work. If your gut feeling says it's not right, go with that feeling. In fact, I say always go with your gut feeling. That worst that can happen, if your intuitive radar has a little rust on it, is a little embarrassment. I've never heard of anybody's relationship destroyed because they heeded their gut.

On the other hand, ignoring the feeling may lead to some serious hurt feelings or worse. Your lover wants to borrow money, but your gut says don't do it. Then don't. Worst case scenario: He or she is pissed. But at least you're not broke. Think you're not the only one your lover is seeing? I betcha you're right. Better to be a tiny fool now than a bigger one later.

My mother used to tell me I didn't have the good sense to come in out of the rain. Common sense, like good intuition, is something you're born with, and like any talent it can be developed to greater advantage. For those of you who don't have it, you're going to get screwed over a lot. Of course, you can then make friends with someone who does have good intuition to guide. Or at least find a friend who will open up a can of whupass on the lover who does you wrong.