We’ve all heard stories—or worse, experienced it firsthand—about that girl who met a great guy and then found out he wasn’t quite single. Or about the blind date where the guy has completely misrepresented himself in his online profile. “People are increasingly becoming wary of the typical ways of approaching dating—online dating and speed dating, for example—the novelty period has passed,” says Kate Opashinov, an intuition teacher based in Toronto.

It’s partly due to these reasons Opashinov has seen an upsurge in the number of people taking her intuition courses as a way to improve their dating life. “People are feeling a need to have an internal mechanism that is more accurate than outsourcing the screening process to a third party that has a vested interest—given that you are paying that matchmaking company,” she says. “The business of dating has inspired people to take the power back into their own hands.”

What is intuition, though? It’s not about reading subtle physical cues that might reveal whether he is going to pay the bill or go for a goodnight kiss. “There’s a difference between reading body language and knowing what’s coming using your intuition,” says Opashinov, who’s been teaching intuition for more than 10 years in Toronto and at workshops held around the world. “Body language might confirm what you saw, but intuition involves figuring things out before you even go on the date,” she says. “Intuition is the ability to gather information from non-regular, unseen forces—you’re using a heightened level of awareness.”

Here’s how you can tap into your intuitive side:
• Before your date, set aside some time and find a quiet spot where you can relax, almost to the point where you’re feeling dozy.

• Ask yourself questions about your date, such as: What are his intentions? Does he want a serious, committed relationship? Will I be interested in a second date with him?

Want more intuition tips? They’re all on the next page …

• Now—and this is important—don’t rush to answer these questions. Take time to sit with and sense the response. Don’t guess. “It’s something you’ll learn to sense energetically. If you’re guessing, you’re searching and reaching out, not sitting still. Guessing is opposite of what you should be doing. When you guess it’s because you start panicking as you want to make it up and want an answer,” says Opashinov. What you want to do is sit still until it comes to you and the answer unfolds, whether it’s an answer you like answer or not.

• One of the most important steps to becoming more intuitive involves recognizing what thoughts and reactions are a result of your own personal fears and ideas. Say, for example, the feeling you get is that the date is going to go badly and he’s going to reject you. But is the reality that you’re scared of rejection and have been burned recently? Try your best to be a blank slate and to let go of your beliefs, ideas and biases.

How will you recognize that intuitive feeling? Say, for example, you’ve asked yourself whether this guy is going to be an active, sporty type; while sitting there you start feeling full of energy, and feeling a sense of strength within you. “These are signs that they guy works out. Chances are 20 to one that you’ll get to your date and he’s going to be physically fit,” says Opashinov. “It’s all about waiting for the information to come to you. Ask more questions and then enough info comes that you can start interpreting it until you have a more complete picture.”

Opashinov compares using your intuition to using Google. “You ask questions, define your search, refine your search and then narrow down the info you’re seeking. The information that comes to you is coming from out there from vast sea of info, you’re not making it up, and with time you get a feeling. It takes practice,” she says.

And practice can be as simple as testing out your intuition with your friends. Ask if they mind you tuning into them, and then take time out of your day to think about your friends and jotting down the sensations you experience (perhaps one morning you focus of your BFF and have a sense that she’s feeling stressed, or one evening when thinking about your running buddy you get a feeling that he is angry) and then checking in with those friends if your intuition was accurate. Practicing your intuition can be more difficult, however, with people you already know well, so consider throwing an intuition party where everyone has to bring someone new to the get-together so you can truly tap into your innate intuitive skills.

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