Your Gut Knows Best

6th sense. Woman's intuition. Gut feeling. Call it what you like - your inner GPS that steers you right when you are about to go wrong.

I don't always have these feelings, especially in the vortex that is online dating. How do you get vibes from a profile that was likely edited 400 times and/or written by someone else? How can you forge a connection with words on a screen in a few short emails? How can you tell that someone is kind after looking into their eyes in a hipstamatic iphone photo?

You can't. 

But being human we sure as hell try. We judge and make assumptions with the teeny amount of information we glean from a dude's profile, his emails and texts. It's in our nature to decipher things we don't understand, to break them down until we do. Sometimes we judge right sometimes we judge wrong.

So here's a little story about my inner GPS:

Two weeks ago I was supposed to have a date with a guy from Match. We'll call him Daniel. Unfortunately I was sick with a mysterious summer cold and cough and in no shape to meet a new person. So when Daniel texted me to confirm the day before I had to cancel. I told him I was sick and how about next week?

He responded with a vague statement about next week being "touch and go" (like an ICU patient?), and what days am I free.

I can't explain what happened, only that my GPS shouted: "Stop the car. This guy sucks." Was it because his message lacked sympathy? Because he failed to acknowledge me being sick with a simple "sorry you're sick" or "hope you feel better" (whether he believes me or not)? Was it because I added this text up with the boring short completely devoid of humor emails we exchanged? Whatever the reasons I was hesitant in rescheduling.

But at the same time because online dating is so horrible and inhuman, I decided to sleep on it and answer in the morning. When I woke up my brain silenced my GPS and shouted: "Stop judging on this one text message! What kind of person are you?" And because I always want to the best person I can be, I responded and rescheduled our date for the week after. I counteracted his curtness with a very nice "thanks for being flexible. How about next Wednesday?"

Fast forward to the weekend (three days before our date). On the way home from a relaxing day at the beach my GPS was back in action shouting again. "Cancel. Don't waste your time." This time I listened. I cancelled via text (again), saying I had some personal issues to deal with and best of luck with your search. I know I flaked out but I have to do what is right for me and not worry about what some stranger thinks. I won't lie, I felt relieved.

Several hours later I received this text: "Who is this?"

He knows who I am. He has my number. He texted me first. Clearly, my GPS steered me right.

Sometimes we struggle with online dating because it's a game that is constantly changing where the players behave unpredictably and aren't ever accountable for their actions. But what never changes is your inner self, your instincts, your gut feelings. Go with them and you won't go wrong.