Singlestalk: Heart or mind?-A A +A
Saturday, October 12, 2013
Michelle: Christine, 24, works as a trainer in a call center and has two suitors: Frank, 25, who looks cute but seems to lack direction in life.
All his money goes to his gadgets. The other one is Dale, 27, who isn’t cute at all but seems to be more mature and stable emotionally and financially. Christine says that she likes Frank though. Should use her mind or her heart?
My answer: use both. Using one shouldn’t exclude the other. There is a quote from a landmark labor case of a teacher falling in love with her student that states: “The heart has reasons of its own that reason itself does not know.” Follow your heart, yes, but take your brain with you.
DJ: Oh, does that mean Christine should follow her heart and choose Frank then use her mind and take Dale too? But seriously, life’s choices aren’t always between circumstances or people who are totally bad or totally good. Almost all our choices appear good in some way. Just like Christine’s dilemma. It’s a choice between a dude who looks good and a guy who seems to be the better man.
My take? I suggest she better consider choosing someone as she would choose a friend: look at his character.
M: Sometimes, we hesitate to follow our heart because we have been hurt or disappointed before. What we’re really asking ourselves is “Should I trust my heart again?” In a blog I read, Jessica McGregor Johnson writes about the film Eat Pray Love, about a 34-year-old woman, Elizabeth Gilbert, who had reached a point in her life where she had everything a woman should want and yet she was miserable and how she learned to listen and follow her heart.
According to Johnson it is about “starting somewhere—even with a small step.” She wrote that Elizabeth Gilbert didn’t know where her journey was going to take her; she just knew she had to begin somewhere. To do that, we need to learn more about ourselves. What are your essentials in a man, Christine? For some good looks are not an essential but only a preference. But if looks are essential for you, consider this: yes, he is cute but yes, he also lacks direction. So the question is where will his good looks take your
DJ: Attraction plays an important role in a relationship. But a lasting committed relationship is not really just about physical attributes.
Feelings can change and deepen over time. It’s important for Christine to be able to understand what she wants and what she needs in a guy.
Wants are negotiable. Needs are not. Someone’s height, physique and shoe size are usually considered as wants. Needs are what matter to her the most like values, ambition and goals in life. And these are not often found by sharing a quick cocktail. It takes time to really get to know a person. I suggest for Christine not to rush and date exclusively just yet. She can go out with them as a group with her other friends, get to know Frank and Dale given her needs and wants and take it from there.
M: I understand that some want a boyfriend or girlfriend who is good eye candy. I mean, one wouldn’t want to go out with someone who looks like an ogre. But relationships aren’t just about looking good or trying to look good on the outside. Before entering into a relationship, the bigger question that one should consider is “Why do I want to enter into a relationship?”
A relationship is only as good as both partners willing to commit to it. If one is thinking that having a boyfriend will “complete” them believe me, it’s never going to happen. Be aware of what’s missing by asking these questions: How well do I know myself? What do I want from life? Am I giving it to myself? Am I letting myself know what I truly want? Answer these with your heart and mind and you will know who you should choose.
DJ: Whatever her faith and beliefs are, Christine’s situation and choice are not just about her. This decision will affect not just her life but also that of Frank or Dale’s and that of their love ones. See beyond the surface. Take a look at these dude’s values, generosity of spirit, their relationships with others and the integrity of their words and actions. It’s important that she prays about her choice too. In time, she’ll be able to distinguish who is the good idea, and the God-idea.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 13, 2013.