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Trust Your Gut to Pick Your Partner

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PICK WRONG PARTNERS
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I met a guy on the golf course one morning. Turns out he was recently divorced. I asked him when he knew the marriage wasn't going to work. He said, "Walking down the aisle. Walking down the aisle...and I just kept walking!"

The next day I'm on the same golf course and get sent out with another guy. He's in town looking for a house to buy. I ask why he's relocating to Los Angeles. He says he just finished building his dream house in a very exclusive part of Dallas, when he met and fell in love with a woman not willing to live in Dallas. As I look at him, he shakes his head and says, "I hate L.A. But what are you gonna do?"

I don't know; pick from one of the 100,000 available women in the greater Dallas/Ft. Worth Metro-Plex. It's just an idea. I'm spit-balling here.

That's when I knew I wasn't the only one with a broken picker.

My Grandpa was married four times. My Dad was married five times. I've been divorced once. I come from a long line of Broken Pickers.

I was married for almost nine years to a good woman and we tried. It was our best effort and yet it still ended. After my divorce, I spent a couple of years lost, hurt and confused. I started asking my buddies, then strangers about their relationship choices.

The answers were different, but the stories were the same. It didn't seem to matter if you were a man or woman, what your sexual orientation or race was; the answer was the same: our pickers were broken. Some of the stories were funny. Some were sad. Most were both.

Most people have at least one story about a bad choice. Not just a bad one-nighter, but a real "I should have known better. There's a month/a year/ half my life I'll never get back" story.

That's where I got the idea to do a podcast; interview people about their worst relationships. (Check it out at mypickerisbroken.com and on iTunes)

As luck would have it, the woman I'm engaged to, Pamela Georgette, is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She could add some professional insight for our fellow broken pickers.

I'm a comedian, she's a therapist and this will be the second marriage for both of us. What could go wrong? We know...we've got a list.

One of the recurring themes our interviews found was that picking a partner would be easier if we learned to trust our gut -- our intuition -- our inner voice -- whatever you want to call it. I call mine Frank.

In the old days, Frank would send up a warning flare, "she's crazy," but my head would say, "but she's hot." Then six weeks later, I would have to sneak out in the middle of the night and change my cell number. I should have listened to Frank.

Now I listen to Pamela.

Here's what she had to say about trusting your gut:

This "gut feeling" or intuition actually has physiological basis. Our brain and our gut originate from the same tissue and remain connected by the vagus nerve. They are communicating in the subconscious and sending information to our conscious. Nature has given us our gut feeling as an important tool for survival. However, we are socially conditioned from an early age to utilize reason rather than trusting our gut, especially if there is enough time to analyze the situation.

We can learn to trust our gut. Just like anything else it takes practice. Becoming conscious of when your intuition is right will give you the proof you need to build that trust.

Here are three ways you can begin to practice trusting your gut feelings:
  1. Stay conscious: Through whatever means works for you; meditating, praying, walking in nature, pay attention to your physical body and the messages it is giving you.
  2. Check gut feelings out with a trusted friend: It often helps to get an outside perspective to assist with checking gut feelings for accuracy, especially when we are just beginning to listen.
  3. Wait: A wise woman once told me that if it is meant to be it can wait until tomorrow. When there is time, utilize all of your tools before you act. However, when a real emergency arises and there is no time for analytical thinking, it is wise to follow our basic primal instincts -- our gut feeling.

It's just that easy, right? No, of course not, be gentle with yourself. Keep trying; you'll get better at it.

How do we know? We just trust our gut.