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Head vs heart

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. 

References: 

Freud, A. (2018). Ego and id. In The Harvard Lectures(pp. 21-35). Routledge.

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Common Miscommunications in Relationships!

“He just does not listen… He doesn’t even try to understand me; let alone talk to me… I can’t talk to him anymore”.

“She says I don’t listen; I try to be supportive but it’s never enough. I constantly feel rejected, like I’m not good enough”.

Does this sound somewhat familiar? We all want to find a relationship with true compatibility and a deep connection of the body, mind and soul. I believe this is achievable although sometimes, we expect that connection to just happen, rather than realising that perhaps we need to put in a little work in order for two complete individuals to share that harmonious coupled existence.

At one point or another most couples will find themselves in conflict; not to worry as this is natural for the progression of any relationship. Early on in a relationship, conflict can occur for a variety of reasons, mainly because each is exploring whether they are compatible by means of expressing their values, drives, goals, beliefs, seeing if it fits with the other.

Conflict in relationships can escalate from something very simple, often a misunderstanding of the others perspective; It is important to remember that as an individual, you hold a unique perception and method of understanding. More importantly, it is crucial to bear in mind that men and women differ quite drastically in how they interpret certain situations. Therefore we sometimes have to step outside of ourselves and try to understand the other’s perspective rather than assuming everyone thinks with our own logic.

It is said that men are from Mars and women are from Venus, so I guess a clash in communication is bound to occur. Perhaps by understanding where the miscommunication arise, we can spot them, and prevent that awful escalation. So, let’s look at two examples of the most common forms of miscommunication that arise in many relationships.

Men in their caves

Okay ladies, if your partner is quiet, feeling down and does not respond to your support, then it is best to leave him alone and give him his space. According to relationship expert Dr John Gray, author of “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus”, when stressed, men often retreat into what he describes as a ‘cave’ – their own means of a quiet sanctuary where they can relax, wind down and recharge. What is important to know here is that wanting to spend time alone does not mean he is neglecting you or does not want to be with you. Men and women differ when dealing with emotions and stresses; women usually like to talk about their problems and be heard while often men prefer to pull away until they have managed to find a solution to their worries; that is not to be mistaken with neglect or disinterest. Don’t resent him or take it personally as fighting with your partner or trying to force him to open up will further make him want to retreat into his cave.

The Blame Game

Gentleman, here is something you should know by now: women like to talk! When stressed, women will express their frustration through talking; most likely to the person they feel most comfortable with and closest to - you.  Take this as a compliment and keep this in mind. Next, remember that they are venting their anger and frustration toward you, not at you – there is a big difference here that is often mistaken. As previously discussed, men like to solve problems. They don’t usually talk and express just for the sake of it – they have a goal in mind to fix the issue. Women don’t always share this same goal; talking is sufficient enough for them to feel better therefore by trying to ‘fix’ her, you accidently overlook her emotions and focus on the end goal, making her feel like you are not listening which in turn makes you feel blamed for her anger. Women just want to be heard and reassured, all you need to do here is listen and respond to her emotions, not her words.

 

References: Gray, J. (1992). ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’. USA: Harper Collins.