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By Chandrama Anderson

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About this blog: About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and grief and have lived in Silicon Valley since 1969. I'm the president of Connect2 Marriage Counseling. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in ...  (More)

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Couples: “True love is a decision between the head and the heart . . .

Uploaded: Jun 13, 2018
. . . Not just one or the other.” - Ines Johns

I saw this in a novel I’m reading. I like it because we don’t live in the world completely by head or by heart (although around here, I see many folks who live a lot more in their head).

Head/Heart. Yin/Yang. Black/White. These are all constructs of opposition. Integration and balance are a much healthier way to live. The grey area may seem scary to you. But there’s tremendous value in the blending, of not being absolute. There is more opportunity for adventure and happiness. You may be more relaxed. There’s space for surprises (although some people don’t like surprises).

I know many people like the certainty of black/white. But if you sit quietly and search deep within yourself, please wonder if things are actually black and white or if it’s what you prefer because it feels or seems easier or safer. Not much in life is really so cut and dry. Look at and think about nature. It’s not black and white. Programming is 0s and 1s. That’s absolute, but look what comes of those: amazing things in technology. Yet humans aren’t technology.

You’ve all heard that you should follow your heart/passion. You still need your head to get you where you’re going. You need to be practical, make a plan and see it through. But maybe you get mired in the practical and lose track of your heart’s desires?

Is it lust or love? Because of the brain, the hormones get flowing when you’re in a new relationship. Those wane after six months to two years. Are you compatible? Are you willing to work on your relationship? It’s a choice, daily.

Here are some clues that it’s love (and not just lust):
- See and be seen on a deep level
- Really listen
- Look for red flags (don’t hide from concerns)
- Trust builds slowly by being dependable
- Follow through on commitments
- Makes you a better person
- Propels you on your spiritual path
- Differences become growth areas (not fights)
- You address issues (no sweeping things under the rug to get along)
- It’s safe to be your authentic self
- You play, laugh, have humor
- You meet emotions with empathy, not a rational response
- You do what you said you would, when you said you would
- You’re caring, transparent and honest
- You have integrity
- You act with kindness
- You’re loyal and steadfast

Work on balancing your heart and head. Then you will be able to trust your choice in a partner.

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