Despite the fact that I’m hardly a dating authority, it amuses me that I get questions from both real life friends and readers of this blog whom I’ve never met, regarding the big questions pertaining to dating and relationships. I do hate to disappoint, but I don’t actually have the answers. I just have some viewpoints based on personal experience, and my own unique personality. You may be nothing like me, and find out that what works for me doesn’t work for you at all. :)

Nevertheless, I received an interesting note in the comments section from a young lady who is bothered by the fact that she’s spending time with a guy who always looks around the room whenever they go out together, and wonders if being bothered by this makes her too sensitive.

You’ve come to the right place for advice on this one, friendly blog reader. As it happens, I have a personal pet peeve regarding spending my time with guys who suffer from “wandering eye syndrome”.

Obviously, this habit of looking around all the time, turning the head or body away when an attractive woman walks by, not paying attention to a word you’re saying because the guy’s eyes are staring at someone else, or actually getting up and leaving you to talk to an available attractive female is unacceptable in a committed romantic partnership. However, I find it unacceptable behaviour in virtually any context, and that’s just how it is with me. I’m not going to allow myself to feel diminished by someone saying, via words or action, “I like your company, but I’m going to pay attention to someone who interests me more”.

I shouldn’t have to. Why in the world would I? My company is way more valuable than that, and I know it.

Most girls don’t, so they tolerate it. They worry that demanding more makes them bitchy or “oversensitive.” It doesn’t. It just means you’ve set standards for yourself, so kudos on that. I’ve ended up never going out with someone again or ending a friendship over some of these more extreme examples, because if there’s one thing I don’t enjoy, it’s being disrespected.

Certainly, there are levels of tolerance for this behaviour based on your relationship with someone. If it’s coming from a husband, fiance, or monogamous male partner, it’s way more of a problem than if it’s something that happens when you’re out with a platonic male friend.

However, there are many different types of relationships, and many different situations where “wandering eye syndrome” is a problem. For instance, if I’m on a first or second date with someone, I realise this person is obviously keeping his options open. However, if you’re that open that you can’t focus on getting to know me because you saw boobs walk by, you’re probably not for me. I’m not going to be calling you back, 100% guaranteed.

Likewise, if I am in an open relationship and have a secondary partner or “friend with benefits” in my life, I’m well aware I am not the only female in this person’s universe. However, when that person is spending time with me, I am. If we’re not in a monogamous relationship, you can do whatever you want (as long as you respect our agreed upon guidelines), but NOT EVER when I am in the room. Sorry, but I have to insist anyone I’m involved with, even if it’s not exclusive, or we’re not going to end up getting married and living happily ever after, shows me a certain amount of respect and interest. It’s freaking rude to hit on someone in front of anyone you’re currently sleeping with, and you have all the time we don’t spend together to meet other attractive women. This kind of relationship can be very complex and full of drama, or it can be very simple. I prefer to keep it simple, by having “relationship rules” that work for me. One of them is, “You may be seeing other people, and we may even discuss it, but respect me enough to keep that out of our time together.” If you don’t have the attention span, interest in spending time with me, or level of self-control where that guideline works for you, we’re not compatible, and probably should not have any kind of romantic involvement, period.

Of course, there are exceptions to the romantic relationship rule. You may be in a happily monogamous relationship with a guy who is a hopeless flirt, and it doesn’t bother you…except, the truth is, sometimes it does, but you don’t mention it. You may be in a happily poly relationship that’s going so well that it’s time for your primary and secondary partners to meet, and maybe they just happen to hit it off fabulously. In these cases, you’re just going to have to expect that someone paying attention to others is part of the package. But, for the most part, whether you’re committed, seeing other people, or just open; married or dating; on your first date or your fiftieth, you should expect that the other person has gone out with you to spend time with you and connect with you, not scour the room for other objects of interest. Of course, that’s just my personal opinion. I know other people who disagree, and are apt to categorise my way of looking at things as “high-maintenance” or “oversensitive.”

The place where it starts to get confusing, for many girls, is when it comes to spending time with male friends. I have some male friends I actually used to date or have hooked up with at some time in the past, some that I’ve been attracted to at some point, some who’ve been attracted to me at some point, and some where that kind of chemistry never once entered the occasion—and the disinterest in anything beyond friendship has always been mutual and obvious. So, whatever your past history or current feelings towards your friend, is it rude when your friend stops paying attention to your presence because someone else has caught his attention?

In a nutshell: yes. This doesn’t just apply to male friends, but all friends in general. If I’ve taken time out of my life to have dinner with you, I expect a little more regard from you than “Sorry, I didn’t hear you” because you were staring at something or someone else. I mean, I didn’t have to go out to dinner with you, and I certainly didn’t do so to feel invisible.

Again, there are exceptions. I’ve gone to singles’ bars with single friends, with the express purpose of helping them meet someone, and as a result, had to find my own way home. I invited an ex-boyfriend, a shy guy who hadn’t had luck finding any serious potential dates since our long-term relationship ended, to a party where he didn’t know anyone. He ended up leaving me as soon as we arrived to talk to a girl who caught his interest, and is now his wife. I can’t really fault him for that one. If the purpose of an outing with friends is to meet dating prospects or hook up, you can’t feel ignored, abandoned, or slighted when this happens…even if you have a huge secret crush on the friend you accompanied to the singles’ bar. (and why would you do that anyway?)

On the other hand, I’ve been on first dates where the guy I was with kept looking at the door like he was expecting someone the entire time. This clued me in that either he wasn’t interested, was a player, or was married. I’ve been out at a dive bar with a platonic friend who began rudely ignoring me to talk to a stripper who worked at the establishment next door, leaving me sitting completely alone and out of my element for some time. I’ve traveled 800 miles to visit a friend, who then pretty much ignored me the rest of the evening because he was more interested in talking to another single friend I brought out with me. I’ve gone to visit a friend in another city, attended a party with him where I didn’t know a single person, and had him abandon me for the night because I wasn’t as attractive of a girl as he was looking for, but he met someone who was. All of these were incredibly uncool scenarios where I ended up feeling as disposable and insignificant as the gum stuck to the bottom of someone’s shoe, while simultaneously knowing I deserved a little more respect and regard from anyone who called me a friend. And, incidentally, these are all examples of situations that occurred with male friends with whom I didn’t have a romantic or physical relationship. You can imagine how colourful some of the others are. :P

Time is a precious commodity, and we don’t have unlimited amounts of it. I generally look to populate my universe with those genuinely interested in spending time with me. If someone isn’t, is halfhearted about it, or is always putting the potential hook-up above friendship, I don’t know that I’m that interested in keeping the friendship as part of my life. I don’t really spend time going to dinner or having drinks or catching up with acquaintances. That’s just me. I’m kind of hard to get to know on a one-on-one basis, and while I know a lot of people, I’m not very invested in those I know socially. I know I’ll always see them around. If I’m spending time with you one-on-one, it’s because we’ve achieved a certain level of respect, friendship, and emotional intimacy. It’s because, for one reason or another, I care about you or you interest me in a way that puts you amongst a select group of people. Because of this, I tend to develop extremely strong, long-term friendships…but am very choosy about them. I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. And if I turn down your dinner invite, it’s not personal. :P

I used to be as bad about disrespecting friends and romantic partners as anyone on the planet. I didn’t have the “wandering eye” problem, but I’d go to a party with one person only to leave with another. I was so inconsiderate that The Guy I Am Currently Dating, before we were actually dating but I knew he was interested in me, offered to drive me to another guy’s house—as well as the other guy—because the other guy was too drunk to do so. I had a friend come visit me, declare his attraction to me, and in order to deal with the uncomfortable situation, I got drunk and made out with some guy I didn’t even know or like very well. I’d have friends invite me to lunch or for drinks, and incapable of introverted communication, would immediately turn the event into something I invited 5 other friends to. It is clear that genuine intimacy terrified the hell out of me at this point in my life, and I went to all lengths to avoid it…but I was really hurtful towards others throughout the process of growing up.

Looking back, I see how reprehensible this behaviour was, and how I generally had no respect for the feelings of others, or concern for anyone but myself. I really was honestly one of the most self-absorbed and callously hedonistic people you’d ever meet, and it took a swift kick in the ass from life to get me to grow up. I think this is why I judge this behaviour so harshly in others, and have very little tolerance for it. I see not just the behaviour itself, but the selfishness and disregard for others that lurks behind it…and no matter what our relationship, I tend to not have space for that in my world. It’s something that’s going to piss me off, make me cry, or leave me confused because I know I deserve better from people, but am not getting it.

So, in reply to the person who came seeking advice about the “guy who looks around the room all the time when he’s with me”, I can only say that I don’t know this guy or what kind of relationship you have with him, but you deserve better, too. If the relationship is romantic or physical in any way, take it as a “He’s just not that into you” sign. If it’s a friend you’re interested in, find someone else worthy of your interest. If it’s a friend who is a purely platonic friend, realise he’s more interested in looking for dating options than your friendship, and take it or leave it as you wish.

No matter what, it’s worth having a discussion about. I once considered not spending time with someone because whenever we were out, his eyes would constantly move around, or he wouldn’t make eye contact, and I’d feel I wasn’t being heard. I finally brought it up, and expressed my frustration. He apologised and explained he had ADD, and sometimes, it was hard for him to sit still and focus on any one thing, task, or person for too long. It isn’t always personal, so if someone really matters to you, don’t just jump ship before bringing it up.

However, if someone abandons you at a bar or a party, or you’re out on a date and you excuse yourself, only to find them elsewhere, talking to a hotter/more interesting/more sexually available person, just move on. If you’re dating someone who flirts with others in your presence, including your friends, to the point that it makes you uncomfortable, it’s probably time to move on. There are enough people out there who will assign you greater respect and value that you don’t need to try to make excuses for that behaviour. It hurts when this happens, but there are many people who will move heaven and earth to spend time with you.

Why not demand that level of value, instead of trying to convince someone who doesn’t see it that you’re worth it? You’ll never convince that person, whereas someone else may offer it freely, just because you’ve put it out there that you don’t intend to settle for less.

“Just for the record, one night with me and you’d remember it for the rest of your life. ”

“I’m sure I would. But, out of curiosity: how…exactly?”

“You’re a smart man. How do you think I landed such a rich husband?”

“I never really thought about it. You mean….”

“That’s right. I’m just that good.”

“Big Bang Theory”

Since today’s blog is about relationship advice, I will begin by saying that I am not a good source for relationship advice, unless you’d like to know more about the phenomenon known as feeling sad because you’re consistently being rejected by people you thought liked you. I am so good at this phenomenon, apparently, that my analytics tell me when people Google “You’re attractive, but you’re not my type”, they end up on this page.

I kid you not. Yesterday, I broke up with Domino’s. Today, I am now even being rejected by Google.

WTF, Google? This is how you let me know you don’t like me as much as I thought you did?

Anyhow, I’m blogging about love and relationships again today, because I came across one of those annoying articles on Yahoo! that people are so fond of posting, and women are largely fond of reading to remind themselves how they’re “working on their self-esteem” when truly, they’re looking for reassurance that “If I look hard enough, there’s a person out there like this that meets some of these criteria and will totally like me.”

Articles like this annoy the crap out of me, and I don’t know why, except there’s something formulaic and unrealistic about all of them. So, I’ve taken the liberty of rewriting the article to reflect my particular view on the “11 Things Every Woman (if you’re really a girl, you’re 16, and don’t need to be reading this article..it doesn’t apply to you.) Should Hold Out For.”

The first flaw in all these articles is that they’re written to a specific demographic, namely straight, monogamous, marriage-oriented women. No matter what your orientation or view on relationships, most women (and men, for that matter) want the same thing on a fundamental level: to be loved in the way they *should* be loving themselves (but probably aren’t.) So, I am replacing the typical “guy” with the more generic “person”. If you’re looking for more than one partner, the same criteria likely apply, and if you’re happily against the institution of marriage, never fear—”holding out” doesn’t mean waiting for the right person to marry. “Holding out”, in my definition, simply means not settling for someone who doesn’t bring the right things to the table because you’d prefer not to be alone. And, for all my poly readers, this applies to you, too: adding a secondary partner who is fundamentally incompatible with what you need from a relationship just out of novelty is demeaning to everyone involved. “Holding out” simply means knowing what you want, what you’re worth, and having a somewhat realistic view on human relationships untainted by chick flicks and advice columns. (hehehehehe…the irony!)

So, that being said, here goes:

1) A person who is truly interested in what you have to say. Every list you’ll ever read says a sense of humour is the best quality you can find in a person, laughter is the best medicine, and someone you find funny is much more endearing than someone you find smart, good-looking, or a great cook. Respectfully, I disagree. We live in a world of quips and one-liners, 140 character texts and “keeping things light”, and the result is that the more easy it is for us to connect, the less often we truly do it. If you find someone whom you find not only funny but intriguing, and who is willing to talk as well as listen, connect as well as superficially entertain, you’ve found a gem. This is number one on my list—if we can’t connect easily, or I find myself having one conversation and you’re hearing another, or you’ve shown you just don’t care about certain aspects of my life, my interests, or putting in the work necessary to click on some deeper level, it’s not going to work. Humour is a part of this, yes, but it’s like isolating one crayon in the whole box and saying it’s the most important. The whole range of emotion is significant in life. You want the whole box of crayons, even the garish neon colours.

2) A person who will “get” you. Sometimes, these articles get it right, and this one is on point. It’s not about finding someone who will laugh at your jokes or who can complete your sentences. It isn’t even always about finding the person who thinks just like you or feels just like you or acts just like you. That person may quickly drive you insane. When you’re on the same page in life as another person, it’s intuitive. You just know that you mesh, and it’s a step in the right direction. Nothing is more frustrating than a relationship where you’re constantly having to explain every thought or feeling. Innate understanding is cool. When someone “gets” you, you just know it. It doesn’t make it easy, but it’s a fundamental building block.

3) Someone willing to be involved in your life, and vice versa. “A Guy Who Will Attend Your “Lame” Things”? Really, Yahoo!? If you care about something, it’s not lame…it doesn’t matter if it’s your best friend’s wedding, a night at the ballet, a political rally, or whatever else you’re into. You should be proud of your interests and accomplishments, and you should run at the first sign that you’re with someone who minimizes them. Likewise, this requires you to be willing to be supportive and interested in someone else’s life. A relationship is not a fusing of identities, but it is a sharing of worlds. If you’re not willing to do that for someone, that person either just isn’t right for you (it can be really hard when you have absolutely nothing in common), or you’re not actually ready for the committed relationship you think you want. I remember once telling an ex-boyfriend, an architect, that I wasn’t interested in reading the books he gave me on the subject because they were “boring”. I realise now the level of immaturity that showed on my part (cut me a little slack here; I was 21 or so.) I also remember falling out of love with one person and immediately becoming infatuated with another simply because I met someone who shared my interests and cared about them, whereas I was used to someone stuck inside their own comfort zone. Bonding is powerful stuff.

4) A person who will do “nothing” with you…but will also expand his or her horizons. Some people are, by nature, less laid back than others. Some people need a certain amount of time to do nothing, where others always have to be on the move. Some people are constantly exploring, while others like a certain level of comfort zone protection. I’d argue that this goes back to finding someone who is on the same age as you are. However, if being around someone and not doing anything makes you feel nervous or awkward, or silence makes you feel insecure and unloved, you need to take a step back and evaluate your relationship. Are you really “connecting”, or just doing stuff together all the time? Trust me on this one. There’s a huge difference.

5) A person not afraid to express his or her feelings about you. Yahoo! says to hold out for a guy who will give you a gift or card, but years of reading on psychology has taught me this is BS. There are a number of different ways in which human beings express emotion comfortably, and in which they find it most significant to receive that emotion in return. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking for the person who was going to write me heartfelt and romantic letters, because that’s how I communicate, and that being constantly touched, hugged, or kissed didn’t evoke the same response from me. However, that’s simply a difference in how people communicate and feel love. Physical expressions of love don’t mean much to me; I largely distrust them. Yet, for others, they’re the cornerstone of a relationship. I wouldn’t discard someone who is a sucky gift giver in your eyes, because you value expression of love via objects. All it means is that person likely communicates love differently. Talk with your potential partner about how you communicate love, what you find romantic, what means something to you.

6) Someone who gives you a sense of security when it comes to being loved. Again, Yahoo! says “A guy who will say he loves you”, but it’s not always that straightforward. Some people are of the opinion that actions speak louder than words, and hearing “I love you” doesn’t create that level of trust and security. There are different ways in which different people express their love and ability to be loved. Knowing that about one another and understanding those differences is key. For instance, I don’t say “I love you”, and it’s difficult for me to hear. You have to know me better to know why. Does it make me any less loving or any less capable of being committed toward someone? Hardly. I’m one of the most loving people you’ll ever encounter. The fact I don’t say those words doesn’t diminish that in the slightest. It just means I have emotional baggage, and if you care about me, you should take the time to learn about that.

7) Someone for whom you have respect, and shows you respect on a daily basis. Most of the things people do to harm relationships annoy me because they’re plain disrespectful; lying, cheating, putting another person down, making someone feel insignificant, putting your own needs first all the time…they’re all synonyms for “I care about you, but I care about me more.” And while a certain little bit of that is healthy, natural human nature, too much of that means a relationship is becomes disposable, an accessory, something that exists for your benefit. It’s impossible to be in a healthy relationship with a narcissist. Don’t accept disrespect from anyone, because you can and will find someone who values and respects you enough not to treat you that way. And, certainly, don’t disrespect others, because taking advantage of someone else’s love is something that hurts you as much as it does the other person…and karma’s a huge bitch.

8)Someone with whom you have good chemistry. Like emotional connection, chemistry is elusive. You may want it to be there, but it just isn’t. When you gravitate toward another human being without wanting to know why, that’s chemistry. When you sense you want to sleep with someone you barely know, or aren’t even that attracted to on a physical level, that’s chemistry. Call it pheromones, hormones, biology, whatever..there are things that attract people to one another on a physical, intellectual, and emotional level. Beware any relationship where all three aren’t present. Chemistry is often the easy part. Understanding it and making sense of how it fits into your relationship with another person…well, that’s another thing entirely. There have been many people in my life with whom I’ve had chemistry, but the other pieces didn’t fall into place, or there were too many extenuating circumstances. That’s why I write poetry instead of mistaking infatuation for the love that’s going to come along and magically change my life. ;p

9)Someone who agrees with you on travel. This one, I have to give credit where credit is due. This has always been a HUGE problem in my relationships; I like a certain level of stability, but also the freedom to explore, travel, have adventures. I haven’t, in a very long time, dated someone who wanted to or was able to just get in the car one weekend and go on a random road trip. It has made me doubt all these relationships…because I know eventually, I don’t want to live where I live for the rest of my life. What a well-known personality tests calls “openness to new experiences”; well, I’m big on that one. Yet, I attract people who are very much the opposite. I almost always travel alone. It makes me a little sad; sometimes, I want that romantic vision of someone with whom I can see the world and share adventures. This is one of those topics that reinforces my worldview that perhaps I am the kind of girl who needs more than one “someone”.

10) A person with similar family goals. Anyone who jumps into a relationship where one person wants kids and the other doesn’t; one loves animals and the other is allergic; one has a family that doesn’t accept the other…well, it’s inevitably a no-win situation. Asking people to sacrifice fundamental pieces of who they are, or waiting for them to change, isn’t something you’re entitled to ask. There are people out there with similar views on these things, and you will inevitably find one. Don’t make the mistake of trying to mold yourself into another person’s idea of a soulmate. No relationship that works was ever built on illusion, or losing aspects of yourself in the process.

11) Yahoo! says “Wait for someone who sees you as you want to be seen”. I don’t know about this one. I’m with Victor Hugo, who said “The supreme happiness in life is the conviction that we are loved, loved for ourselves; or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.” You may want to be seen as the most perfect person to walk the planet, but it doesn’t mean your soulmate is one who is going to feed your delusion. :P While you certainly should never settle for someone who sees you as less than you are, being blindly idealised is also a recipe for disaster. (see: muses and manic pixies.) If someone can see through layers of artifice and protective walls and proper behaviour and posturing to make yourself look as good as possible, and love the spirit that lurks underneath, that’s someone worth waiting for. Don’t be disappointed when you discover it comes around rarely, as most people can’t see through that many layers of crap, and most of us don’t want to be seen in a way that leaves us vulnerable. Find someone who sees you as you are, as you once were, and as you’d like to be. It’s probably one of the best keys to finding a soulmate that’s out there.

Why, you might ask, am I an authority on relationships and romance, when my own life has been one of chaos and colourful stories? I’m not married. I have plenty of relationship woes and dramas and unwise choices that epitomise my life. Why do I think I know people better than Yahoo!?

Easy. You don’t get to be this colourful without learning a thing or two about human beings along the way. Trust me, if you really want love in your life, it’s going to have to be a lot less pretty and a lot less bullshit-free than every dating advice column you’ve ever read. Before you seek advice, just as before you seek love, the old dictum of “Know thyself” is more than apropos.

Oh, and Google? I can totally do better.

Intuition is a confusing thing. On one hand, it can be a positive guiding force that protects you in your life. Almost every time I’ve gotten myself into a really bad situation in my life, it’s because I didn’t listen to what my gut instinct was telling me about something. If I have a blind spot in my life, it’s to ignore the alarm bells that go off in my head and the doubts that cloud my heart, and to determine that I am in charge of my life, so intuition is irrelevant. Whatever I’d like to happen in my life, I can choose that…intuition has little to say about it.

Yet, for some reason, it just isn’t true. I don’t understand enough yet about myself and my spiritual nature and my place in the Universe to understand why, but when I start to get indications from life that I’m headed in the wrong direction in one way or another, yet decide I’m going to do what I want to do regardless, it’s a frustrating battle. It’s rather like being condemned to roll the boulder up the mountain, only to have it repeatedly fall backwards. The fact that this has happened so many times in my life has taught me intuition is something real and inexplicable, and while not everyone has it on an equally well-developed level, you know it when it hits you.

According to Meyers-Briggs, my iNtuitive nature is the most strongly expressed aspect of my personality. Despite the stories I tell about my psychic dreams and visions that look like flashes from the future, rather than memories from the past, or vibes I get from certain people or situations that make me extremely self-protective (I’ve been accused on more than one occasion of being a bit paranoid, only to remind people it’s only paranoia if nobody is out to get you, and almost every time, my weird feelings of suspicion and paranoia are justified.), I rely a great deal on my intuition. I struggle not to always let it affect my overly emotional nature or cloud my judgment, but what many people refer to as impulsiveness or following my heart is usually me following a sense of intuition. I sometimes feel that, in certain ways and at certain times in my life, I am guided in a certain direction and I may not even know why. I may have strong feelings, fears, the logical part of my brain that tells me intuition can lead me astray…yet I know that very rarely does that ever happen. Somehow, I end up where I’m supposed to be, even if it’s not where I wanted to be—even if it’s not how I wanted things to work out.

The things that throw me for a loop are the things I just don’t see—or feel—coming in my direction. They’re the situations for which I emotionally unprepared. I have a hard time coping with those, because my alarm bells never gave me the notice I needed. I’m not often shocked or thrown into a state of disarray, but when I am, it hits me hard. The situation with my ex-roommate was one of these. I knew I couldn’t trust him, that lending him money meant I’d never see it again, that much of what he confided to me as a friend wasn’t true, but his sudden abandonment threw me for a loop.

You see, I’m the girl who spent a weekend in bed back in her college days, watching sappy movies and crying because she knew her boyfriend was cheating on her…if not actually in a physical sense, then emotionally. I remember very clearly a relationship that devastated me because we were so close—but he had a female best friend he’d known for a very long time, who was an important part of his life. This didn’t bother or threaten me, until the day I met her, and first spent a weekend with her. After she left, I was so depressed I didn’t want to get out of bed, and played bitter angsty music and cried a lot.

I didn’t know why. My friends didn’t know why. Outwardly, he didn’t treat me any differently when she was around. She didn’t act as if they were secretly having an affair, and he swore to me they were not involved in any way, so nobody could understand why I was so upset. But that weekend, I knew it was over. My heart was broken, because there was something in the way they interacted, the way they looked at each other, that even if they were honest and trustworthy and nobody was cheating on anyone…he would just never love me the way he loved her. I would never, ever be good enough. I would always be competing with something to which I couldn’t compare, and it broke my heart.

It didn’t end right away, because I tried to tell myself I was stressed, PMS-filled, making a big deal out of nothing. But, of course, it eventually did end. Strangely, I don’t remember how it ended, or if it was painful…because all I remember is that weekend, which was one of the worst in my life, for no reason other than what existed in my own head.

A few years later, I saw an engagement announcement, and it hurt a little bit that he was getting married. What hurt the most was that his fiancee was this woman who’d been his lifelong friend, the one I knew the first day I met her was his soulmate. To this day, I believe he was a relatively good guy who treated me well. I believe that for a long time in his life, he just didn’t know. He didn’t see what I saw in one day.

I can’t explain why and how I see things that others do not, but I do. Sometimes, I know what others are feeling before they do, and I try not to let on, because I don’t want my intuition to influence their choices.

As a result, I have a lot of friends who come to me for advice on their romantic situations; people who are single and married, poly, monogamous, dating around…I have a lot of friends who want to know how I see their love life, what I would do in their situation, etc.

Today, I had a dear friend ask me directly, “Do you think I’m with the wrong person?”

I don’t know how to answer things like that, honestly. I don’t know what makes me any kind of authority, and I feel hypocritical judging anyone else’s relationship situation when mine is not at all straightforward, and I often ignore my intuition so that I can keep on with life the way I imagine I’d like it to be.

Yet, intuitively, I do know. I almost always know. I don’t want to influence anyone else’s choices with my judgment, or issue advice that’s clouded by my own lack of impartiality, but I know. Just as I know when a person I have feelings for is going to end up with someone who isn’t me—likewise, I have a pretty clear understanding of when another couple that’s happy and in love and discussing marriage and so forth shouldn’t be. I just am uncomfortable being asked by those who give my intuition too much credit.

Recently, I had a conversation with yet another good friend, in which I confided that I didn’t understand our friendship. On a surface level, it’s hard not to see all the differences between us, things that might preclude even a casual friendship, much less one that runs a bit deeper. Yet, the more layers you peel away from the surface, the more commonality there is, and the more it becomes obvious that there’s the potential for some significant type of emotional connection.

I confessed to him that I was a little shocked by my iNtuitive reaction to our relatively new friendship; it is rare for me to trust someone or wish to connect with them very quickly, unless I somehow sense we are in many ways the same person. In so many ways, this friend and I are not the same person. Yet, my intuition, upon spending time with this friend, told me that I had just met someone who was going to significantly impact the course of my life. It even sent me a random, nonsensical vision that didn’t make any sense, and still doesn’t…but I can’t help but think that years from now, it might.

I do not know if the impact this friendship will have is positive or negative, I do not know how it will manifest itself, and I do not even know what kind of connection it is. What I do know is that it *is*, and it’s been awhile since I had that reaction to another person. It’s the kind of thing that happens perhaps once a year, sometimes once every two years. It’s a rarity.

What shocked me even more was that my friend, also a highly iNtuitive personality, had a similar confused reaction to spending time with me, and phrased his viewpoints on the situation in exactly the same way. All I could say was, “I don’t always understand the connections I make–or don’t make—with other people. I just know when they are there, they’re there for a reason. Perhaps I’m just going to let life point out what that reason is, because it has a way of doing that.”

Over the years, almost everyone that iNtuitive connection has brought into my life has been a major, irreplaceable piece of my life’s puzzle. Some have been friends, some have been lovers, some have been enemies, some have been all of the above at different points in time. But one thing they all have in common is that they’ve been in my life through seemingly difficult odds, through complicated emotional situations, through personality differences that clearly point out a certain level of incompatibility. That intuitive voice that has helped protect me from danger and has helped alert me to things others don’t always see…well, that seems to trump everything when it comes to my personal relationships.

There’s a point to this seemingly long rant, and it’s not “Always trust your gut instinct”. Yesterday, I heard news that my father was again extremely ill and in the hospital. This is the 5th time in a little over a year, so to say his health isn’t good is an understatement. For those who don’t know me well, I am not close to my father. For much of my life, he has not really been a part of it, except in the way where he’s influenced a number of the issues I have with abandonment and seeking approval from men who are not able, available, or interested in giving me the validation I need to feel positively about myself. Knowing he is ill has brought up a mixture of emotions, and many of my doctors have suggested it’s been the breaking point for my anxiety, the reason I finally needed to seek help for something I always dismissed as a personality quirk. Apparently, I have a lot of feelings about my father’s illness that I do not process, or understand, a rarity for me. In fact, most of the time, I feel like a bad person because I don’t really feel much about it at all—and this from the girl who cries at Hallmark commercials, puppies cuddling, and when a friend ignores me or an enemy levels a criticism. I have feelings about *everything*, but something as significant as a parent who is ill (and we’re not talking about minor stuff here, we’re talking about my mother receiving calls three different times telling her she might want to prepare for the worst.) gets no reaction.

Part of it is my own emotional issues, I know. But another part is intuition. Even when the doctors said, “Perhaps you might start wanting to make some final arrangements” last year, a voice in my head told me to not be distressed, because he was going to be okay.

I feel that way this time, as well. I am grieved for my mother, and her level of distress and worry, but I don’t feel it. I don’t even feel sad. I feel a certain level of confidence that somehow, things are going to work out for the best–and I am someone who rarely believes that about anything.

I suppose believing in the power of my own intuition gives me comfort, or protects me from the harsh reality that I have no emotion left for a parent who—like so many—was never able to offer me what I needed when I was young and vulnerable enough to need it. But I’d like to think that I just *know* I am not upset because I don’t need to be.

Yesterday, one of my very close friends told me she was expecting her second baby (which I suppose I can write about, because she posted about it on FB). Before she had her first child, I not only had a dream in which I saw her baby as a two-year old, and so knew it was a girl, part of the dream involved my friend saying “We can’t go on vacation around St. Patty’s Day because that’s the weekend we’re celebrating the baby’s birthday.”. My friend has a lovely two-year old girl that was born a week after St. Patrick’s Day. Pretty cool, no?

Anyhow, my first reaction was to tell my friend she was going to have a baby boy this time, and she said “That’s what everyone says”. Yet, probably because it was in my mind, when I went to sleep last night, I had a dream where my friend was in the hospital and was holding her baby. This baby was smaller than the first one, seemingly a little more fragile, a little less spirited than the first one.

In the dream, my friend and her husband told me they named the baby Amelia.

I do not know if everyone is mistaken in their certainty my friend is going to have a baby boy, or I had a dream with clouded intuition, but it seems my friend is expecting a tinier, more delicate baby than she might be prepared for…perhaps suggesting the baby will be born earlier than predicted…but that this baby, one who looks like an Amelia, is most clearly not a boy. :)

And so there might just be a third one after all….*laughs*