Are Relationships Ruled by the Heart or the Mind?

Are Relationships Ruled by the Heart or the Mind?

This essay brings to your attention the two very frequent scenarios of behaviors in relationships. A lot of people go through similar experiences and wish to change the situation. I suggest a different view at the problem, in fact, I shouldn’t call it a problem, rather an adaptive mechanism of your mind. This perspective shows you why your mind believes that it needs to apply the dysfunctional behaviors. The reason is the instinct of codependency which, if failed to terminate at puberty, prevents you from being self-sufficient. It holds the key to turning the situation around by fulfilling the critical needs of your mind and hence stopping the crippling codependency.

Let’s look at the two typical case studies:

1: Andrew:

So, I’m a control freak and I’d do anything to keep my power in the relationship. If I relax too much, it becomes too risky, the control of the relationship will move to the other side. It means I may become dependent, weak, rejected, abandoned and very hurt. No, it is not going to happen again, I’ll make sure I stay in charge. And if I feel I’m losing it, I’ll reject myself.  I’d rather feel guilty than hurt.

2: Jane:

I feel I’m taken for granted, not appreciated, I do so much for my partner, but they don’t seem to care much, it’s like a jug without a bottom, I keep investing myself and my love, but it’s never enough. And in the end I’m the one feeling bad and getting rejected and abandoned.

If one of these feelings is familiar to you, and you are looking for a way to change it, check out how your mind sees these behaviors and why it keeps using them. It turns out that in the present context of your mind these reactions make perfect sense.

Control, jealousy  – is a reaction of the survival system. When your mind senses that you are not safe, emotionally or physically, it pushes you to get out of this situation. You start feeling uncomfortable, insecure and try to get things under control to protect yourself from being hurt.

Anger – is a feeling which comes as a result of powerlessness. When you feel you can not change anything, helpless to influence the situation, your mind brings it to you in a form of anger. Why anger? Because it gets you to change things and try to get your power back.

Guilt – or self-blame comes as a response to inability to have success in relationship and other areas. When everything is done from your side, but the desired result is still not there, you start believing that you must have done something wrong. It is a response of the mind which attaches happiness and success to other people, situations or things.

Pleasing and neediness – when we please, we feel like kids trying to get some love and attention from our parents. We grow up and do the same with other people. For the mind it is a mechanism to get the precious love, attention, validation and guidance and protect you from being rejected, abandoned and hurt.

Fear of loneliness – loneliness is inability to be self-sufficient and happy on your own. When your mind sources guidance, love and attention from someone else, it is very fearful to lose this source.

Rejection – it’s hard to find something that hurts more than rejection, it is a powerful trigger of our survival system. Rejection from society, circle, unit equals a threat to life. At least that’s how it was in the ancient societies when this reaction has developed.

Judgment – is a direct precursor of rejection, thus is being perceived by the mind as a strong threat.

Low self-confidence, proving yourself – proving comes from feeling not good enough or not deserving. If your mind has created a belief that you are not as good as everyone else, it will make you work hard to prove the opposite. For your mind being worthy means getting love, attention and validation.

Perfectionism – comes from feeling not good enough. For the mind it is a way to make you achieve the state when you deserve appreciation, minimize the risk of being judged and rejected and avoid guilt and self-blame since you’ve done everything you could. Perfectionism ruins a lot of relationships because the ideal is normally unrealistic thus full satisfaction is impossible, which provokes anger and disappointment.

Living in the past or future, not in the moment – when your mind believes that the environment is unsafe, it puts you in a state of anxiety and alertness leading you to do something about it and protect yourself.  When you are unable to resolve it, your mind starts projecting these feeling to the future using it’s experiences from the past.

Each of the above feelings and behaviors are created by your mind in order to protect you from being hurt or because your mind believes it’s an efficient mechanism for your life. Most likely it was at some point of time in your childhood or youth and thus it remained and became a mistake in your present life. Mistakes of the mind are reparable, logic and behaviors can be revised and changed.

To learn how to do it, you can ask questions on this blog or visit



Leave a Reply