There can be a fundamental difference between what we need and what we want in life. When becoming romantically tied to someone, often our head can tell us one thing and our heart another. There is a constant battle to decide which one we should listen to, whether it be logic or emotion and it can be hard to separate the two. It’s so easy to get caught up in love or even lust; the way it makes you feel, the way it makes you think and somehow you can’t picture moving forward without this person in your life. Why do we desire someone so badly that we know isn’t good for us, doesn’t share the same values as us or someone who we know will probably hurt us as opposed to the safer logical option?
In our romantic life, following your head and remembering the facts is easier said than done as we don’t always apply these facts to the situation and we don’t know how to use our knowledge. Our mind can generate wisdom, it can advise us when is a good time to leave a relationship, stop and warn you before making a huge impulsive decision that could change your life and be negative in the long term. Whilst it can have these positive effects, it can also be your own worst enemy. It can stop you taking opportunities, talk yourself out of committing to a relationship and keep you in a destructive mindset.
The feeling of love is from the heart, it’s something we feel within that radiates from our body. It can make us react irrationally- it’s the option that poses the most risk as you act by impulse from your feelings without thinking about your decision fully. The head is supposed to know “what’s best for you” but if you feel this way how could the relationship be so wrong? Love can make us do wild things. Sometimes it pays off, you follow your heart and live a long happy relationship but other times it has the opposite effect, and things don’t work out and you maybe wish you’d listen to logic a bit more.
Psychologically we tend to remember something of significance, something that makes us feel (whether it be good or bad). We can explain the battle of the head and heart by looking at Freud’s theory of the psyche. Freuds theory states that the psyche is made up of three aspects; the id, superego and ego. The id is the primitive instinctive part which behaves directly and impulsively. The superego is the moral-compass that controls impulses and develops in the phallic stages of psychosexual development. Thirdly is the ego, this mediates and finds the balance between the desires of the id and superego. Relating this back to your heart and head; your heart is like the id - it has desires and follows those desires. Your head is the superego - the moral compass following logic. The idea is to gain a balance between the two, just like the ego battles the conflicts between the id and the superego. You need to battle the conflicts between thinking logically and thinking emotionally and find a balance which will lead to the most favourable conclusion.
The key is to find a balance; follow your heart enough to not close you off to opportunities but listen to your head enough to stop you making a mistake that could lead to a potentially negative situation. Sometimes things will be black and white, and the choice will be easy but at other times you need to draw upon the information you have and the way you are feeling and combine the two as true love is from the heart, but a good relationship starts from the head.
Freud, A. (2018). Ego and id. In The Harvard Lectures(pp. 21-35). Routledge.