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  • Writer's pictureDr. Karin Anderson Abrell

Love Smarter, Not Harder

I’ve been in love 5 times in my life. We’re not talking about crushes, infatuation, or short term bfs.  I mean the truly, madly, deeply kind of love.  And in some of those love affairs, I wasn’t all that smart.  The heart wants what the heart wants, after all. And being “in love” is almost the antithesis of being smart, right? Wrong. Yes, I know our brains go bonkers when we’re in love. Dopamine levels increase—we feel euphoric.  Serotonin levels decrease—we get obsessive.  Oxytocin surges—we bond.  The list goes on.  Some experts, Dr. Helen Fisher for example, even compare love to an addiction. But just because we experience physiological changes when we’re in love, doesn’t mean we lose every ounce of common sense. Unless we choose to listen to our heart as opposed to our head. Which is what I sometimes did in the past. Because when I fall in love, I fall hard.  And I’d use the intensity of my love as an excuse to make dumb decisions. “But I love him sooooooo much,” my heart would plead. "So what? You’re not an idiot,” my head would warn me. And every time I “followed my heart” to make a stupid decision in the name of love, my head begged me not to.  Despite the neurological and physiological fireworks, my head still knew better. But I didn’t listen to it.  And I always regretted it—every single time. Loving hard was never the problem.  Loving smart was. P.S. The happily ever after to this post is that I finally met Dan and fell in love harder AND smarter than ever! 


Photo credit:  Georgia Bateman

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