Your Heart Doesn’t Choose Who You Love—Your Gut Does

Sometimes you know something is wrong. Something deep down inside. Something that says he is backing out of your life. Something that says he is on his way out. You can feel it in your gut.

“Gut feeling” is that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach when he doesn’t call, text, or ask you out as often. It is an inner voice that echoes urgent words of caution that he might be cheating. It is the niggling feeling that something is off in your relationship. None of this is metaphorical.

Gut feeling is a primal response system that warns you of coming danger or prompts you to act in positive ways. It stems from an amazing network of 100 million cells, along with chemicals and hormones, in the tummy that is often called the “second brain.” It sends constant messages to and from the brain in your head on everything from stress to relationships. Its express goal is to help you make decisions that keep you out of trouble.

When something feels “off” in a relationship, we often do not want to listen to our gut. We prefer to listen to our hearts. This is the emotional equivalent of disengaging the smoke detectors in our home.

While I was in my last relationship, I remember the constant tenseness in my tummy. It was like every moment of every day I was going to be pushed out of an airplane. I could not eat. I tossed and turned at night. I struggled to stay focused at work. I was anxious and immobilized. Was this relationship, into which I had poured myself, slipping away?

At first my heart spoke up, “Of course not. Everything is fine. You’re just imagining things.”

Then my gut would jump in and start debating my heart.

“Something’s not right here. This relationship isn’t progressing. In fact, he’s pulling away.”

My heart lashed back. “The relationship is still intact,”

“No,” argued my gut. “It’s breaking into pieces.”

My heart searched for any signs of love from him, but my gut knew he was no longer interested. My heart was spinning a Happily Ever After fairy tale, while my gut was saying that this is not how your story will end.

The heart is stubborn. It wants you to believe that you should go on loving even when that love is not being returned. It wants you to continue fighting even if you are the only one fighting. It wants you to want someone who does not want you back.

But here is the reality: Your heart does not choose the one you love, your gut does. Your heart does not make the difficult decisions about the relationship, your gut does. Your heart does not recognize whether someone is good or bad for you, your gut does. Your heart does not wave red flags, your gut does.

Even when it is hard, you must listen to what your gut is telling you and move on before you endure any more pain. Your gut is giving you a heads up on how your relationship will unfold or is not working out to your best interests. If you ignore your gut, you will be missing out on someone who will love you in the way you deserve to be loved

When you finally feel sure that you know what to do, your gut will support you with this amazing sense of relief and renewal. You will realize that the best days of your life are still ahead. You will meet someone who loves you just for being you. And very soon, you will look back and wonder what you ever saw in him anyway.

So it is time to trust your gut and act accordingly. Your gut has reasons that your heart has no way of understanding. And your gut is always right. It is the only thing telling you the truth.