You know how when you first lay eyes on a serving of fries, you could almost always tell whether it’s going to taste good – just from that first look? Well, it was like that for me with the first man I ever fell for. From the first moment I laid eyes on him, I knew he was trouble.

It’s the same story for most men in my life actually – the trouble part, of course, but also the fact that I actually saw trouble written all over them since the first introduction.Their smile always a little too sweet; their dialogue always too smooth, too rehearsed; their eyes always too piercing. And a whole lot of other things that I picked up – all from that first encounter. It was obvious that these men were trouble. But it never stopped me, as I often decided that I liked dancing on volcanoes. So that was that.

There had also been instances where I couldn’t tell from just the first look. And the most recent incident hit me the hardest.

I got into a relationship with this man, who – at the time – seemed like the most perfect man in every single way. With my track record of trouble, I was ecstatic to have finally found someone decent.

Throughout the entire course of the relationship, however, I kept getting strange feelings. Like a vibe, that something wasn’t right. That there was more to it that I wasn’t seeing. Now, up until this point, I had always been a big believer of ‘trust your instinct’, and I prided myself for doing exactly that. But little did I know, when my instinct actually tried to speak up, I completely dismissed it. Here is how the conversation went :

Instinct : Hey, so you seem happy these days
Me : Yeah, I am! Isn’t this guy SO great!! Who are you again?
Instinct : Um, about that… I’m Instinct and I’m here to tell you he’s not as perfect as you’d like to believe.. In fact he’s…
Me : Duh! No one is perfect! But love is about loving the other person’s imperfections, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do, isn’t it wonderful!
Instinct : Ah.. Well.. I’m sure love is all about that.. But he isn’t …. this isn’t.. Love…
Me : What do you mean this isn’t love? Why are you trying to sabotage my relationship?
Instinct : I’m not… There’s just something you need to know..
Me : Oh my god! You miss trouble, don’t you? You miss hearing those sweet nothings.. You miss the thrill of it all! That’s why you don’t want me to be happy in this perfect and solid relationship!!
Instinct : No, it’s not that. Please, listen to me, I’m trying to tell you that you need to take a deeper look at…
Me : Stop! This is just insecurity talking! You’re scared I’m going to screw this up and so you’re just trying to get me to run !!
Instinct : No, I’m Instinct, NOT Insecurity! I’m trying to warn you! Please listen to me…
Insecurity : Did someone call me? By the way, what’s with this committed relationship business that you’re in? You don’t seriously think you actually have what it takes to make a relationship work, do you? Stop fooling yourself and go find some trouble, I’m bored!
Me : Shut up, both of you!! I am happy. I am in a healthy, committed relationship, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with him. Or me. So I don’t want to hear another word from either of you!
Insecurity : Booooooring
Instinct : No, please, listen. I know you think you’re happy.. But you need to..
Me : Shhh
Instinct : I just…
Me : Shhhhh!!

As you can see, that didn’t go very well. And I ended up ignoring my instinct and all of its warnings and red flags. Until six months down the line, my instinct brought out a hammer and hit me straight in the head – an act which I’m forever grateful for. And that’s when it REALLY hit me.

This man was not at all who I thought he was, and if I had listened to my instinct, I would have found that there was more to him than meets the eye, much more. I never could have in a million years suspected it.

It was painful and eye-opening, and I sunk into what I believe was my lowest point. And I came out of it with the biggest lesson in my life so far : Always, always, ALWAYS listen to your instinct! Even if it makes no sense. Even if you don’t understand it. Even if there’s no logic, no reason, no rationalization whatsoever. Listen to it. Especially when it keeps nagging at you.

I reconciled with Instinct afterwards, in case you’re interested.

Me : Hey… Instinct, are you there?
Instinct : Yeah, I’m always here… What’s up?
Me : I just wanted to say I’m sorry for doubting you.. You were right all along..
Instinct : I know. And for the record, I’m ALWAYS right
Insecurity : Cocky bastard!
Me : Shhh!