How Safe is your Heart from Your Brain?

“When you fish for love, bait with your heart, not your brain.” -Mark Twain

Print    It seems to go against every rational thing we tell ourselves. Listen to our brain. After all, it’s perhaps the most important organ in our body, without which death is guaranteed within seconds. Just as equally important, however, is the blood-beating heart. Of course, I’m speaking metaphorically. Virtually every organ in our bodies is of vital importance and must work concurrently to sustain life. Except for the appendix…. I mean what’s the deal with that?

Joking aside, all too often we find ourselves in relationships, rather reciprocated or unrequited, in which our brains are in constant conflict with our hearts. The practical brain points out the drawbacks, the disadvantages, the problems, and the conflict of giving in to this relationship. Meanwhile your heart sees the wonderfulness, the opportunity, the rose-colored glint in an otherwise gray world. Both of these forces are extremely powerful and are perpetually duking it out in a “battle royale” to be the sole victor.

But brainwhy does there need to be only one winner? Why do we feel obligated to choose either a relationship full of hardheaded nagging from our overprotective brain or else a sunshine-and-daisies demeanor stemming from our heart, oftentimes subjecting ourselves to the disappointment of facing reality? The truth of the matter is having a disposition on either extreme is simply not the best way to approach the search for love. The key to any successful pursuit is to find a healthy balance between the two. And maybe even more importantly, don’t think with the appendage between your legs… at least until you know for certain the relationship has real potential.

As the hopelessly hopeless romantic I’ve branded myself to be, I generally don’t follow my own advice. Personally, I can recall a multitude of times that I allowed myself to be blinded by the gilded promises proclaimed by a rapidly beating heart that was being encouraged from a barrage of butterflies fluttering about my tummy. Needless to say, those relationships were never seen to fruition once the calculating, matter-of-fact brain set in to do its work. If the two components had worked simultaneously to devise a plan of action and develop a comprehensive dossier of what my true feelings were from the get-go, perhaps one of my past relationships would have been my forever relationship.

Now I realize that up until now, I have neglected to mention perhaps the most important part of the body one should heed special attention to, that being the gut. There’s a lot to say for the intuitive, well, gut-instinct of the gut. Whether it holds a combination of the ingredients attributed to the brain and the heart, respectively, or it possesses a unique conglomeration all its own, the ever wise gut knows right off the bat how something is going to end. Even still, reliance on gut instinct alone is not enough. Time and time again, first impressions have been changed for better or worse.

So what, then, do we listen to if not the brain, nor the heart, nor the gut, nor our fun little friend down below? What we must listen to is a combination of time, respect, experience, and wisdom. Add a dash of romance, a pinch of practicality, and a smidgen of hope and you have yourself a genuine cocktail overflowing with the potential to finally find something worthwhile in a partner. I hate to disagree with such a celebrated and well-known author as Mr. Twain, but hey, take it from the hopelessly hopeless romantic. After all, I’ve spent a considerable amount of time pouring over love stories.

Can you think of any other parts of the body, whether metaphorical or literal, one should pay close attention while interacting with a romantic interest? Sound off in the comments below to share your stories.

Heart Lock

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