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Hemmings says on the whole, no: “Our intuition – especially women’s – is usually very good, although sometimes we don't trust it or allow it to be overwhelmed by other, more conscious factors.” These include ticking boxes like ‘wants children’ or ‘has a great job’ or mitigating factors like ‘he’s a friend of a friend’, and can be impacted on by your life stage and the relationship place you’re in – for example if you really want something to work.“But we very often return to our initial instinct – which shows how reliable this can be.” (I’m reminded of the time I really went to town on ‘giving a guy a chance’ by going on holiday with him.We broke up the minute we got back.) However, there’s no doubt that we can talk ourselves out of something decent.When I was single, even after getting over the first ‘actually-fancying-them’ hurdle, the most innocuous things could put me off pursuing a relationship.
It's very easy and almost instantaneous to make these calls, and know whether there’s any hope.” But are these instant decisions generally right – or are we (as Annoying Friend might suggest) being unnecessarily fussy, and potentially throwing away a good thing?
Looking back at my not insubstantial paddles in the online dating pool, I’d have to say emphatically YES.
I might have liked the look of your picture, exchanged a number of amusing messages, and even a pre-date call to eliminate an intrinsically annoying personality or an unforgivable laugh.
So why do we sometimes slip into this next level pernickety-ness and can we overcome it?
The fact that there is now so much on offer – via all the dating apps, events and websites – certainly has an impact.
In these cases I advise taking a ‘dating sabbatical’ to repair and regroup.” Generally women are pickier than men.