After a bad break-up, it is common to doubt your ability to judge someone. Some of us have a tendency to be particularly hard on ourselves and wonder how we could have ever made such a stupid mistake being with an inappropriate partner. But the fact is everyone has at some point or another let someone into their lives that they should not have, and the real question is whether getting involved in the beginning made sense with the information available at that time.

Dating is an exercise in gathering information: (1) who is this person? (2) what is this person’s background; and (3) where is this person heading? As soon as your gut starts to tell you this is not a good fit, trust it and move on. There is no point in wasting anyone’s time, money or emotional energy. As soon as I realize, I could be better entertained reading a book at home, or deep-conditioning my hair, I know it is time to eject. Our time off the clock is precious, and we should be picky about who we choose to share it with– it should be someone that we enjoy and are at peace with, someone that can make us laugh and comfort us during trying times. A partner in life that you could see yourself with every day is an incredibly special role that not just anyone will be able for fill.

The longer you have been playing the dating game, the more in tune you are (I think) with what you want and what you cannot stand. Malcom Gladwell’s Blink helped me understand that those decisions I make in the blink of an eye should not be dismissed as rash, rather I should give credit to the fact that a lot of experience has gone into my ability to judge people quickly. For over a decade, I have heard the most initimate secrets in people’s lives, and I have had to decide within one hour whether I want to work with a person or not through one of their worst moments in life. My professional skills can be carried over to my personal life, and honestly I am done apologizing for the fact that within 30 minutes I am either going to decide that it is time to get the check or order a second round. So my advice today for my peers in the dating world is to trust your gut, and cut yourself some slack.