Heart vs. Brain: Do You Run or Do You Stay?

by Melody Jean

Heart vs Brain Contemporary SeekerHeart versus brain, yes, it’s a battlefield.

The Battle Ensues

It happens most with matters of the heart. This of course makes sense seeing as it’s a struggle between the pulsating red glob of life and feeling, called our heart, and the gray matter scientifically dubbed the most intellectual part of our being; our brain. So hence a battle ensues – heart vs. brain.

Heart Matters

In love, my brain always wins when push comes to shove, that is. I always, always enlist the help of my dear friend that rocks my cranium. I used to believe it was because I tend to be practical and a realist in most elements of life. Certainly in matters of the heart.

I don’t like not knowing. I prefer to walk the safe path. Especially when the road gets rocky and it seems as if I may need to part ways with the other. At that moment as I wipe the tears from my eyes and hug my soul, I always have a choice – to remain connected or to cut it off clean.

When My Heart Won

I don’t understand those who remain connected immediately following a break-up. Especially if there aren’t any children or other legalities involved. I say this now because, yes, I’m guilty as charged. One time I did just that. Sixteen years ago, in fact. I was young, just 21 years old. Of course it was horrifically horrible and brought nothing but heartache.

Even though we were technically apart, I allowed the connection to remain and regular contact ensued. My heart was egging me on and it was comforting to hear because deep down I hoped we’d reunite.

Being so young my brain was in no position to battle my heart, let alone win. It couldn’t even be heard, so there wasn’t a shot in hell that my brain could convince me to break away clean. I often saw glimmers of hope. In fact, for a brief period we did rekindle. Yet the flame died as fast as it grew to light.

While it was more than 16 years ago, I can still go there. I can actually manifest the feeling of sheer agony running through my veins.

When My Brain Won

Looking back I think wow – so young, so foolish, but oh, so in love!

I remember after a year of allowing him to linger, I started to date someone new. I said to a friend, “You know, I just don’t care anymore – if this doesn’t work out, I’m going to be fine; just fine. You know why? Because I don’t think it’s possible to ever hurt the way I did or for that long of duration. I’m sort of like Pink Floyd says, “comfortably numb” in a sense. It hurt so badly, for so long and cut so deep that I vow to never feel that way again. If someone doesn’t want me now, they’ll never want me, plain and simple. So I’ll never stay and just suck it up, and move on.”  It was at that moment that my brain won.

Yet, now I’m beginning to believe that my brain has won the battle for good. Perhaps too this isn’t for the better.

The Fight of the Brain

The brain derives its “knowing” from different places. Most prominent are our personal experiences and from others, or society.

— > Personal Experience – Remembering  

To keep this in context, my personal experience conditioned my brain to remember the pain of lingering and holding onto someone from the past. So the minute that I hear those horrific words “take a break” or “break-up” my mind says – run, and run fast. It will bring nothing but heartache and pain, you can’t take that again.

My mind can even, as I said, recreate for a moment the feeling of the anguish I felt. It’s almost as if my brain is zinging the point home just in case I‘m not listening and may relent. Then it screams “Run – if he doesn’t want you now – he never will!”

I think it’s worth noting too, that the relationships I speak to are kind, loving and caring for the most part. I’ve been fortunate in that the men I’ve dated have been such. The break-ups tend to be over something, which now I think in some instances, not all, may have been able to be reconciled, but in time.

Yes, time. I already said I don’t like not knowing. I like the safe path. The safe route is to say goodbye. It ensures immediate pain, but I don’t have to worry about probable future pain either.

— > Society – Shame on You

Then there’s society. Ninety percent of the time we see people who break-up, make-up, get back together again, inevitably just to break-up one final time for good.

People generally look at those who fall back to their ex’s as fools for pain. Same mistake twice shame on you. It’s almost a comedy show to watch. I don’t mean to be crass – it’s the reality and clearly I’ve done it. I think that it’s the rarest of occasions when a couple reunites and makes it for the long haul – that is to the place where wedding bells ring.

Of course, yes, I know couples who proved the odds wrong and made it to the altar. I have to admit too that the ninety percent number of fatal make-ups I touted before? I pulled it out of thin air. Yet, that goes to show just how convinced my brain is that once you break-up, there’s no back to good. Ninety percent of the time anyway.

The Fight of the Heart

Ah, but then there’s our heart. This is the mushy, gushy place where our friends, hope and faith take residency.

Yes, the heart. It’s what tells us to hang on, take our time, and deal with the uncertainty of not knowing how it will play out. For there’s a possibility that everything will turn around, we’ll rekindle and live happily ever after.

I would probably guess that anyone reading this has remained in contact post break-up. So it’s no surprise and you understand what I speak to here. For most it’s the heart that keeps you there because it carries the biggest sword. It’s the victor more times, than not. I’m one of the few where the brain reigns superior every single time. Well, that is, since my debacle 16 years ago.

Loving in the Brain

I really didn’t realize until recently that there’s a huge flaw in loving in the brain. So recent, I’m talking within hours.

The number one issue with loving in the brain is that we run the risk of missing out on what could be. By over thinking and allowing past experiences or society to rule our emotions, we in fact, take fate into our own hands in some way.

I truly believe that it’s impossible for me to remain connected and completely get over someone. The splendid news for me <dripping with sarcasm> is that since my brain is in charge, I always have the strength to shut the relationship down. Wipe him out for good.

True story. I dated someone as long as two years and after the “break up” conversation I never talked to him again. Ever. Even until this day. I remember in the weeks following our demise someone asked, “Don’t you have the urge to contact him?”  I said, “Why? What for? It will just prolong the inevitable, the pain. Nope I’d rather take the hits now, ante up and move on.”

At that time I didn’t want to open a can of worms filled with uncertainty. It was safer to well, run, for lack of better words. I prefer my pain quick and powerful rather than slow and drawn out. It’s the not knowing if it will be, or if it won’t be, that’s the clincher. It’s a roller coaster of emotions for the duration that it lasts. If my 90 percent statistic has any bearing, which again my brain claims to be accurate, then it will end anyway. So basically I’ll endure even more pain when it’s finally over – for good.

Analysis of Moi and Love

As analytical as I am, naturally some of the time I like to think black and white – especially in matters of the heart. Where there’s potential for me to have it crushed and swallowed whole or I run the risk of “wasting time,” my brain assures me the situation is just not right. Yet, its baseline data is that of my past experience, my bogus 90% statistic above, and society. I actually googled the probability of a relationship working-out after a break-up, and you know what?

I couldn’t find one solid statistic, let alone 90%. It’s unknown, that’s why. It’s merely case by case based on the individual situation. With that, I’m beginning to think that my brain doesn’t know crap in matters of the heart.

The Road With Less Pain

I’m often applauded by friends in my ability to leave ex-boyfriends, cut and dry. I used to take solace in that, and think wow, I must be strong! Yet now I see just how much I have to learn. It just goes to show my brain is very influential and that in this battle, my heart doesn’t stand a chance.

In my need to know the answers now I search for the road with the least pain. For this, I look to my brain. It never fails and provides the same directions every time to that road. The one with the sign that reads “It’s Over”, which then takes me to “Dust Yourself Off” Avenue and I wind-up at “Start Over” Street once again. It’s safer you see. Lingering back, keeping ties, dabbling in the unknown – that’s dangerous.

A Leap of Faith – It’s a Whisper

Yet, sometimes I hear my sweet, little heart whisper, “Oh, but Melody, what if?”

It’s that whisper which I think now might be the key to unlocking my heart. It’s what will truly make me strong. Not some brain with a double-edged sword.

It’s high time I put my safety net to the waste-side. Yes. That’s it! I’m done being safe. I’m done thinking and over analyzing. I want to live, enjoy and gosh darn it, follow my heart for once. I might make mistakes and I might endure pain, but perhaps Bruce Springsteen says it best in his song, Human Touch, when he sings “Oh girl that feeling of safety you prize, well it comes at a hard, hard price. You can’t shut off the risk and the pain without losin’ the love that remains. We’re all riders on this train.”

So from here on out, I take a new vow overturning that which I succumbed to 16 years ago. Today my heart is the victor. Well that is, only if my brain promises to serve as its soldier. <wink, wink>

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }


“Heart vs. Brain: Do You Run or Stay? | Contemporary
Seeker” ended up being a relatively great post, .
Continue publishing and I am going to continue to keep following!

Thanks for your effort ,Zak


Melody Jean

thanks Zak — much appreciation. hopefully you stay (visiting contemporary seeker!) pun intended. have a good one!



I think that the heart is a LOSER and the BRAIN WINS


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