Of all the “logical” things in this world—love isn’t one of them.
It’s been said that we never love in the same way twice. While that’s true because each person is different and so is the way in which we care about them, what it boils down to is: Do we love them with our head or with our heart?
This isn’t an issue of one way being preferable over another, but there are differences in authenticity, longevity, and depth that each just naturally exudes.
It seems that for many of us our first—or first few—loves are based more in our heads than our hearts. It’s not to say that we don’t actually feel genuine love for them, but it’s usually a logical love, even if it is profound.
For many of us, as we age we don’t really grow up, but rather grow out of the boxes that we either were placed in as children or placed ourselves in to conform. When we’re young and not yet developed into our authentic selves, we tend to believe that love is a choice of convenience and reason.
We chose partners based on what we felt we wanted or needed, and to help fulfill the role that we believed we had to live up to in society—and perhaps we even felt that we were happy.
It’s a love that makes sense, that doesn’t challenge our place in the world, and through our decisions, we fulfill the roles that we feel compelled to.
Loving with our head may even be satisfying—but it’s not soul-enriching.
Very often, we will believe ourselves to be content because our ego is comfortable in that love. It knows what to expect, and it feels good because others approve of our path and the partner that we have chosen to stand with in this life.
Yet, loving with our heads won’t ever be that “once in a lifetime” type of love.
It feels more like a well-worn pair of jeans than fireworks on a hot July night. For many, that is fine, but for those that crave those powerful sparks, then it is only a matter of time until the heart begins to budge its soul from the comfort zone that it has grown so accustomed to.
And that is when we usually find ourselves discovering the maddening joy from loving someone with our full hearts.
Many of us are more experienced in life and more comfortable with the person we are now than we were in the past. We have been able to test out the life that others expected us to live and, through that experience, we have made our own decisions about exactly what feels good for us.
Often as we become more mature, we start to break with societal expectations and travel a more unique path. We stop trying to control the picture of our lives that we created and, instead, open up and leave room for the unimaginable.
The thing with falling in love when we are young is that we can only imagine what true love and happiness feels like. Yet often what is in store for us is so much better than those naïve early attempts. But we can’t actually get to that point until we decide that maybe something greater exists.
To love with our hearts is often inconvenient and differs greatly from the comfort present when we love with our heads. It’s the kind of love that comes on like a distant, summer storm. We hear the rumbling far away and sense that something is coming, and while the winds pick up and the rains begin to fall we don’t actually know we’re in it until our hearts are beating just as fast as the thunder that surrounds us.
Soon we begin to wonder why we only ever taste something that continually leaves us wanting more.
This is the kind of love that knocks the wind out of us and spins us around until we don’t know which way is up. It’s challenging because in order to actually follow our hearts, we have to leave behind everything that we had expected to be true about love, and, more importantly, we have to trust that we’re on the right path even if we can’t see where we are heading.
Loving someone with our heads is a choice that we make—yet loving someone with our hearts is a choice that is made for us.
We can attempt to control the floodgates of emotions with the futile blocks of denial and self-sabotage, but the only thing that this love does is grow stronger. When the heart knows what, or rather whom, it’s meant for, nothing can stand in the way.
Our hearts tend to grow into love with someone who will help us question our own lives and belief systems—the type of person who will, through our own experiences with them, help propel us further along our own paths of self-development.
There isn’t a love that is better than any other, but sometimes we just have to truly understand how we love before we can actually allow our hearts to lead us to where we are meant to be.
After all, if we still expect love to be logical, then we might just miss the love of our lives.
Author: Kate Rose
Image: Unsplash/Jared Sluyter
Editor: Travis May
Copy Editor: Leah Sugerman
Social Editor: Sara Karpanen