In this blog post, I talked about how lousy I can be at listening to my intuition in relationships.
Some people (my mother and friends included) wonder how I can be so bad at hearing intuition in my own relationships, while I’m using my intuition to make a living.
The fact is, it’s easy to read for other people because you’re not attached to their situation, so the information comes through clearly. But when it comes to your own situation, it’s not always as easy. I’m not afraid to admit this. In this article, I’m going to talk about the three reasons why intuition can be difficult to hear in relationships and in dating situations. I’ll also give you some tips from my own experience to overcome these blocks to hearing your intuition more clearly in relationships.
Block #1: Neediness
We all have two voices that give us input in our relationships. The first voice is neediness. The second voice is intuition.
In relationships, intuition can help you to:
The role of your intuition in relationships is: to help you to get your needs met, while honouring yourself and your values.
Your intuition gives you feedback about your relationships mainly through gut feelings and impressions. Your feelings and gut impressions are fantastic input because they give you feedback about every single interaction that goes on and everything that is said between you and another person. You may not consciously register that someone has upset you in an interaction, but afterwards your gut feelings will let you know about it. Sometimes it takes time for intuition to come through clearly and give you a verdict, but it will, if you let it and if you’re not afraid to see the truth.
Hearing intuition in relationships is not complicated – you don’t need any fancy techniques, you just need to listen to your gut feelings and impressions, even if they don’t make sense straight away.
Listening to your intuition produces much happier results in the long-run. After all, the voice of intuition wants you to get your needs met in ways that don’t violate your personal values and don’t have negative consequences.
Your intuition cares about keeping you safe and happy in the short AND long term. It’s looking for the route that honours you. It’s not looking for the quick fix to patch up your ego. It’s looking to improve your life and make you happy in the long term.
That’s why it’s worth listening to.
Now let’s look at the voice of neediness. This is the complete opposite of intuition.
I’m going to give you a little scenario to help you to see the contrast between neediness and intuition.
Let’s say that you’re in a nightclub. Two weeks ago you were dumped by your other half. You’re feeling rather upset and have a bruised ego. You’re sitting in a secluded corner with some friends. One of your friends spots some people she knows, and she brings them over to your table. One of them is a charming, attractive and smooth-talking (actually quite creepy) stranger who singles you out, plies you with drinks and then asks you back to his/her house.
If you were the person in this scenario, how likely would it be that you stop and listen to your intuition telling you this person is a bit of a creep?
Not very likely. At least, not as likely as it normally would be.
It’s the classic rebound situation. Do people make good decisions while they’re on the rebound? No. The reason for this is that they’re feeling needy. And the voice of neediness drowns out intuition.
The voice of neediness (we could also call this your ego) looks for and grabs onto anything that will make you feel better in the short term. It’s well meaning but not very helpful in the long run. We all have a needy voice and it shouts the loudest when we have needs that are not being met. At times where our needs are far from being met, it is almost impossible to hear intuition because the voice of the need is shouting much louder. The voice of neediness also lives in scarcity, whereas intuition knows that there are a million ways to get our needs for love, community or intimacy met.
People find it most difficult to hear their intuition in dating and relationships, when they believe they need something or can get something from a partner. Those people might appear desperate to others. It doesn’t mean they need to be desperate – it just means they are so attached to what they need, that they will ignore what their intuition is saying in order to get a need met.
Another classic situation is when people think they need their partner so much, they turn an intuitive blind eye to their intuited suspicion that their partner is cheating. They are willing to do this unconsciously because they think they need their partner. Even if you think this sounds pathetic, you will have probably deluded yourself at some point in a relationship. After all, it’s human nature to hang onto something even when it doesn’t serve you, because you’re afraid you won’t have more good opportunities in the future.
Learning to Listen to Intuition Instead of Neediness
Here are some tips to do this:
1. Adopt an adundance mindset in relationships
Having an abundance mindset helps to distance you from your situation, so that you can see it clearly. The abundance mindset in relationships is one where you know that if you lose one relationship, there are billions of people in the world, so there must be many people you could be happy with. This helps to cultivate non-attachment and a clearer head to see your situation.
Things suddenly become much clearer when you know that whatever you seek from another person – love, good times, exists in abundance anyway, and does not only come from that one person. There are plenty of ways that you could get your needs met.
2. Know your needs and get them met
When I say needs, I’m talking about the need for love, intimacy, the need to be listened to – things like that. You don’t have to get needs like that met in a romantic relationship. Having a romantic relationship is one way to get many needs met at once, but there are other ways too.
I highly recommend a book called The Secret Laws of Attraction: The Effortless Way to Get the Relationship You Want (by Talane Miedaner) for working out what your dominant needs are, and finding ways to get them met outside a relationship. The idea behind this is that when your needs are being met, you make much better choices in relationships. And you don’t make decisions based on unconscious unfulfilled needs.
3. In interactions with people, practise distinguishing between the voice of your needs and the voice of intuition.
When you feel a strong impulse to do something, get into the habit of asking yourself if it’s coming from (a) Your neediness and desire to feel better or (b) your intuition.
If it’s coming from your neediness, it’ll be driving you to get your needs met without any thought for whether the course of action honours you and your values. For example, if the input is telling you to beg your disrespectful and abusive ex-partner to take you back, it doesn’t take a genius to see that it’s probably not your intuition doing the talking.
On the other hand, instead of asking you to get back with your abusive ex-partner, your intuition may direct you to join a club or read a book that will help you to get your needs met in the long-run. It may seem like irrelevant advice at the time, but in the long-run it turns out to be very helpful. The voice of intuition isn’t always followed, because it’s not always the most attractive solution or course of action initially. It sometimes requires effort, patience or self-discipline. It may seem completely irrelevant at the time.
In order to overcome the voice of neediness, it just takes some self-awareness and a dedication to see the truth – both of which you can cultivate, in my experience.
Now I want to talk about the next common block to hearing intuition in relationships. It’s a really common one among spiritual people…
Block #2: A Dedication to Non-Judgment
One mistake spiritual people often make when meeting people, is that they switch off their creep radar. As spiritual people, we pride ourselves on being open, accepting and non-judgmental. But just because you accept people as they are doesn’t mean you want to spend time with them or associate with them.
You need to retain the ability to feel the negative input that your intuition gives you. Sometimes your higher self will tell you someone is not that nice (i.e. a bit of a jerk or a creep). That doesn’t mean your higher self is bigoted or judgmental. It just means that as wonderful as that soul may be underneath, your higher self doesn’t think it helpful for you to spend time with this person. And you need to acknowledge this if you want to surround yourself with people who are supportive and loving.
I made this mistake when I was living in London and met a guy that my intuition told me was a creep and I felt very uncomfortable around him. Because I was naive and discarded all negative judgments I was having about people at the time because I thought it made me more ‘spiritual’, I didn’t allow myself to see that he was coming on to me in a totally inappropriate and horrible way (he was my teacher). I kept telling myself I wasn’t seeing the situation right, while my creep radar was blaring the whole time. It turned out the creep radar was right all along…of course.
Maybe you have had something like that happen to you too. No matter how accepting and non-judgmental you want to be, you still need to be discerning when it comes to who you spend time with.
Block #3: Overactive Empathy
Overactive empathy can be a big block to seeing clearly in your relationships.
In case you’ve not heard the term ‘overactive empathy’ before, here’s how I defined it in my last article:
You know when you get a glimpse into someone else’s emotional experience or their pain? You can really feel it for a moment and sometimes it might bring you to tears or motivate you to help someone. That’s empathy.
Overactive empathy, on the other hand, is when you have that experience of opening up to someone else’s emotions and experience, but then instead of coming back to yourself afterwards and being centered in your own needs and feelings, you remain ‘out there’ – absorbed in everyone else’s ’stuff’.
Why Overactive Empathy is Bad for Listening to Intuition:
Your intuition gives you input based on what is good for you – what serves you, what honours you, what helps you to meet your needs. On the other hand, overactive empathy takes into account other people more than it takes into account YOUR needs. When you are going around with empathy switched on all the time, you usually make win/lose decisions.
For example: you take a course of action that depletes your energy massively but helps someone else. This is because you can feel the other person’s pain/need so much, that it detracts from your own needs and feelings. Everything becomes clouded by the other person’s pain and feelings.
And you may think that the impulse to sacrifice yourself came from spirit or the angels, because God loves a giver, right?
Not really. Real intuition is actually balanced, sensible and grounded. It is aware of your own limits – in terms of time and energy. It will always recommend courses of action that are win/win, as much as possible. After all, everyone has their own intuition and spiritual support network (guides, angels, etc) and ability to look out for themselves. Intuition will not encourage you to sacrifice yourself either so you can help others. It is looking for a mutually beneficial solution for everyone involved.
I have written articles on overcoming overactive empathy already, so if you have this empathy problem in relationships, you can refer to those:
Have you noticed these blocks to intuition at play in your relationships?