Head and heart
Have you ever gone skydiving? Even if you haven’t, you can probably imagine the experience — a thrilling adrenaline rush, the exhilaration and freedom of flying like a bird!
Some people can’t imagine life without this rush even after going skydiving just once. Other people just watch with excitement as spectators, and still others believe the experience is not worth the risk one must take to have it. However, almost no one is indifferent to it!
What a rush! But can this kind of exhilaration be successfully achieved without the necessary preparation and an understanding of one’s own condition of readiness as well as an understanding of the possible scenarios of a jump? Of course not! It would be utterly stupid, careless, and irresponsible for one to make a jump without these preparations. In such cases, the chances of a jump ending in tragedy would be extremely high! To minimize the risk of carelessness as much as possible requires good preparation!
Have you ever been truly in love? Excitement, exhilaration, freedom … what a rush love is! However, can it be fully experienced without the proper preparation, a good understanding of self and the foresight to see potential problem areas? It’s highly doubtful! Though common sense and wisdom are on the side of thoughtful preparation, it’s surprisingly not so common for couples in love to take an objective, analytical approach to evaluating their relationship. Some say such an approach stifles romance and ultimately kills love — that it makes love feel too calculated with about as much exhilaration as a pony ride instead of a jump from a plane! As a result of not being analytical enough in matters of love, a great number of marriages, families and destinies have been broken and have suffered great pain, stress, and unhappiness.
For centuries people have believed that it’s difficult or nearly impossible to understand love logically. Many societies have continued perpetuating the idea that love and logic are entirely incompatible and that any attempt to logically analyze love would be in vain. Let’s try to understand why people tend to separate feelings from logic — heart from head.
Psychology says ‘feelings’ are a stable, emotional, human experience that appears in the process of communication with the world around us. Feelings reflect the meaning of certain phenomena, things, events, the human soul, needs, and motives.
Some British scholars have said that logic, intellectus — meaning understanding — is a feature of the mind that consists of an ability to adapt to new situations, an ability to learn on the basis of experience, an ability to understand and operate abstract concepts and an ability to use knowledge to manage one’s surrounding realities.
Both cases show how human beings communicate with the world. Through our feelings or heart we experience a first impression of something, someone, or an event and then we use logic to adapt to new circumstances and even change them.
Logic and feelings — head and heart — they are connected! One can’t function fully without the other. Compare this to the human body for a moment. Is vision more important than hearing, legs more important than arms and hands, or brain functions more important than pumping blood? All of these are important and necessary for the body to be fully functional and healthy.
Why are people so opposed to an analytical approach to love and believe it stifles feelings and romance? How does logic stifle feelings?
We can all remember as children lying in bed and seeing what we thought was a monster in the corner of our bedroom, only to discover with the lights turned on that the ‘monster’ was simply a jacket lying on a chair and contorted in a “monsterly” kind of way! What relief we felt when we saw the ‘monster’ with the lights turned on! Something very similar to this happens in love, but when “the lights are turned on,” the discovery is often quite a surprising disappointment instead of a moment of relief. At first, we see a prince on a white horse (or a princess in all her royal finery), but when “the lights are turned on”, the prince or princess is revealed to be a real person, with their own imperfections and shortcomings! What a big disappointment!! How upsetting and revealing it is to understand the power and tendency of our imagination to create the most desirable picture of our beloved with no basis in reality! How painful it is to let go of the fairy tale when the lights come on in the relationship! After the disappointment of reality sets in, what are we to make of an analytical approach to love?
What exactly happens when “the lights come on?” Our brain receives new, objective information about our partner that is different from our original, ideal picture of them drawn by our imagination. That’s the logic behind taking an analytical approach to love. However, when we are in love with someone, the feelings we have for that person are so wonderful and hard to come by that we try not to think too much in order to preserve our ideal image of the person. So do you want to live in a fairy-tale for a short time and then be disappointed or would you prefer to analyze your relationship the right way from the beginning, make wiser relationship decisions, and experience long-term satisfaction in love?
If you prefer to ‘keep the lights turned off’, you are choosing a lie. Yes, a lie, and a most unpleasant lie because you lie to yourself. You also lie to the person you made into a prince or princess! There’s an old proverb that says, “The one who lies is the one who is afraid” by G. Senkevich. Telling a lie makes life easier because there’s no need to accept imperfections in each other. People more often find excuses and blame others for their failures. Choosing the lie means you take no real responsibility for the relationship, and it can ultimately hurt not just the couple, but also their close friends, children and relatives. However, evaluating and testing your relationship more logically and objectively demonstrates the kind of responsibility necessary for the success of a serious relationship!
So what if you choose to ‘turn on the lights’ and face the reality of yourself, your partner and your relationship in an honest and open way? That requires a lot of effort, a lot of internal work on yourself, and to have the right goal in mind. However, it also allows you to build a relationship with your partner that is sincere and free of doubt! “Love exists only when your emotions and feelings for someone are balanced with a calm mind and a deep respect.”
— Rey Short, PhD Sociology — University of Wisconsin
Taking an analytical approach to love will allow you to understand what kind of person you really need, what kind of problems you can face together, and how those problems can be solved. This objective approach will also allow you to evaluate the risks of your relationship and help you to understand if you are ready for them. Not only will you feel more deeply for your partner, but you will also know more confidently why you love that person. If you are well prepared from the beginning of your relationship, you can avoid the disappointments and unfulfilled expectations that are so harmful to relationships. Good preparation will also bring about significant understanding and transparency in your relationship without fear, doubt, distrust, and jealousy. You’ll be able to open up completely to your partner without holding anything back and will be free to fully enjoy love with your beloved, the way it was meant to be!
Getting physical in love is easy, but are you ready to get rational? Then spread your wings — the wings of deep feeling and thoughtful analysis — and enjoy love’s flight!
Feel, Think, Love!