According to Trish

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Ask Trish: When do I trust my gut?

It’s time for Ask Trish! But first, THANKS for your questions. I actually have a bit of a queue at the moment. How cool are you people? (Answer: Super cool.)

This week’s question is a follow-up from last week’s dating question. As a little update, our doubting dating diva from last week has reported that she’s doing the online dating thing and may even have a date coming up soon! Momma is so proud of her little chick!

But now our darling girl has another question. Let’s get to it.


Is it OK to just read a profile and go with the gut instinct that says no?

TRISH’S IFW (Infinite Fucking Wisdom):

I asked myself the same thing when I first got into online dating. I thought I should give everyone the benefit of the doubt at first. But now I don’t bother. I don’t think you should either.

Why? Your time is valuable. Online dating can be fast and furious. This isn’t Antiques Roadshow, where you might accidentally throw away a guy who’s secretly a real-life Disney prince. You need a sorting mechanism here. If your gut is saying no, listen to it.

I used to reply to everyone’s emails. If I thought they were an obvious no but still in the category of “normal human being,” I would send something like this:

Thanks so much for your message. While you seem like a very nice guy, I think [FILL IN THE BLANK].

The blank could be:

  • we just live too far apart.
  • our political leanings are too far apart.
  • we don’t have enough in common.


And then you know what would happen? About 1/3 of the guys would send a rebuttal. So now? Fuck that. I just don’t reply if I’m not interested.

But what about those guys who seem OK but something is just turning you off? For me, it’s usually the “nice guys.” Their profiles read like this:
I’m a nice guy looking for a nice girl. I have a good job and I’ll treat you like a lady. I like to go to restaurants and to the movies. I grill a mean steak and I love watching the Phils. 

All the boys like their beef with a side of anger, apparently.

Then there are the guys who have similar political leanings to yours, compatible media consumption, good jobs, interesting hobbies … but still. Something just feels wrong. Maybe you’re just being judgey. Maybe you’re not giving him a chance. Maybe you’re not that great either and you should wait to decide about this person until you’ve actually, I don’t know, met him?

Well, I’ve gone out with some those almost-but-not-quite guys. And you know what? I have never, ever, ever changed my mind once I was out with any of them.


The sniff test

Here’s another sorting mechanism I use. I ask myself if I would want to wear perfume on a date with guy in question. I discovered this little test on my way out the door for a first date last winter. I wasn’t excited about the man at all but we seemed to have plenty in common so I decided to give it a shot. As I left my room, I was going to grab the perfume but then I decided not to. I realized that I didn’t want to invite contact with this guy.

So now I always employ the sniff test before accepting a date.


Check yo’self

However, I have one caution for you: Listening to your gut is fine, but listening to your fears and insecurities is not. Dating requires leaving the house. Double-check yourself from time to time so you know where your no’s are coming from. Keep in mind, in the beginning it’s not a bad idea to say yes a little more than no so you can build your dating confidence. It takes practice.

Good luck and keep me posted!

Ask Trish will be on hiatus next week while I attend the Blogher Conference in Chicago. However, if you have questions that you’d like answered after that, send them to me at I’ll answer questions on any topic.

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