Losing Your Mind In Love? Sense, Logic, And Seeing Reason
By: Corrina Horne
Updated August 28, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Debra Halseth, LCSW
The term "falling in love" is ubiquitous. When you hear the term, you immediately know what it means. You know a literal fall isn't involved in the process, but given the number of unwise decisions people make in the name of love, it does seem as though there is a fall involved when you begin to love someone: your sense of reason falls tremendously.
Sense and logic can also affect how people fall in love. People with higher IQs and, arguably, a more notable dedication to high-minded pursuits are less likely to find romantic partnerships or even friendships easily and maybe alone far longer than people with average or lower IQs. Sense does not just fall at the onset of a romantic relationship; it can even determine whether or not a relationship happens at all.
Why Does Love Often Equal Lack of Sense?
The most common reason behind the loss of reason in love is the number and type of chemicals released while you are in love. The chemicals are all pleasure and bonding chemicals. While bonding chemicals are designed to keep you attached to your significant other, pleasure chemicals are actually similar (if not identical) to the chemicals released during drug or alcohol use. These chemicals are similarly responsible for lapses in judgment and are often used to explain the behaviors people with addiction engage in.
There is some suspension of disbelief required to fall in love. Because falling in love usually involves some amount of planning for a future, you must be able to suspend belief in what you currently know, so that you can more accurately imagine how your future might look with your partner. This suspension of disbelief could be one of the factors contributing to your loss of sense when you fall in love because you are looking at the possibilities of your life, rather than the reality of your life. This is a good thing, in the long run, but could lend itself to the development of poor choices in the short-term.
Your sense of focus is also affected by love, which can lead to you seeming to have lost your sense. If it seems that, while in love, you seem to lose your keys more often, or forget important appointments with increasing regularity, that may be the case. Love encourages you to focus far more energy and attention on your partner initially, which can lead to you letting go of other interests and pursuits for a time. You might seem more forgetful and less focused, as your brain is concentrating its interest and functions on navigating the beginning of a new relationship.
Love can also cause other mental and physical symptoms that encourage poor decision-making. Love is frequently associated with a decrease in sleep duration, and lack of sleep is frequently associated with poor decision-making and decreased impulse control. Over time, lost sleep can become an actual health hazard, and has been linked to numerous health problems, including weight gain, unhealthy eating habits, and decreased motivation.
Not Losing Your Mind in Love
To a degree, everyone loses their minds when love is fresh and exciting. There are some ways to keep your wits about you, though, to make sure you aren't making poor decisions about yourself, your future, or your relationship. Like most illnesses and other conditions, prevention is the best medicine.
Rather than allowing yourself to be beholden entirely to your emotions and feelings of attraction, take some time to determine what it is that you want from a partner and a relationship and do not deviate from these standards. Now, these standards should not be narrowed down to the exact letter, as there are far too many factors at play to create a "perfect" person and search for a laundry list of traits. Instead, this exercise is used to make sure you are only moving forward with relationships that fulfill your list of requirements, so any decision-making within those relationships will remain within the parameters you've set for yourself.
Once you are in a relationship, taking some time to yourself is an important aspect of retaining your logical, reasonable side. Spending every waking moment with your partner might be tempting, but it can also thoroughly cloud your judgment. If you never give yourself time to reflect on your relationship and how it makes you feel, you can easily get caught up in the whirlwind of a new romance. Tempting though it may be to become each other's worlds, taking a decent amount of time for yourself will help keep you both accountable, and will help you keep a good head on your respective shoulders while navigating a romantic relationship.
Creating boundaries will also set the stage for a healthy, logical forward progression in your relationship. Boundaries can be as numerous or few as you prefer and can cover a range of topics. For some, setting boundaries around time spent together is ideal, and a few other boundaries are necessary. For others, setting boundaries around phone time, the number of dates attended, the types of conversations engaged in, and even more can be useful to take the relationship slowly, evaluating your wants and needs through each step.
Engaging in self-love and self-care are also excellent ways to keep your wits about you when you've fallen in love; prioritizing your needs will provide something of a barrier between you and toxic or unhealthy relationships, which are often the types of relationships that cause you to lose your head. Taking time to reflect on your likes and dislikes, evaluate your needs, and identify your strengths, weaknesses, and your ability to utilize both aspects of your personality will make you a better partner and will help you stay firm in your decisions and convictions.
Maintaining Sense In Love
Falling in love does not have to mean losing your mind and sacrificing your sense. Falling in love can be a healthy, legitimate experience, in which both parties are able to maintain their separate identities, senses of self, and functional decision-making. Although the biological processes involved in falling in love can be overwhelming and extremely compelling in their impulses, you are not entirely controlled by them. With some planning ahead and dedication to your own health, you can successfully navigate your romantic entanglements without losing yourself and your health. Falling in love can be an extremely tricky business, and one or both parties involved can find themselves engaging in unhealthy behavior and habits, including letting go of previous commitments, abandoning prior preferences, and devoting all time and attention to one another. While many of these things are lauded as being romantic at the beginning of a relationship, the truth remains: these types of behaviors have the potential to become unhealthy extremely quickly, and should be avoided if possible.
If you are struggling to develop a healthy sense of self and strong boundaries, you can enlist the help of a mental health professional on your own, or you can involve a mental health professional in your relationship. Therapists frequently possess the ability to provide insights into your own needs and wants and may have the tools to help you layout your own boundaries, hopes, and desires with regard to romance and the long-term outlook of your life. Creating a definitive plan is an important part of being in a relationship, especially if you hope to continue your relationship long-term. If one half of the relationship is hoping for a fling, and the other half is hoping for a lifelong commitment, it may be tempting for one or both parties to give up their preferences to try to "make it work." Romantic relationships are unlikely to go smoothly if the two of you are just "making it work," however, as this outlook can easily breed resentment and confusion.
Although people who are naturally more logical in their decision-making might find it difficult to find a long-term romantic partner, it doesn't mean that individuals with high IQs and a more sensible leaning are doomed to live without romance; instead, it means that they may be more readily equipped for a mature, healthy sort of love, even amidst the confusion and overwhelm that so commonly accompanies the beginning of romantic love.
Falling in love doesn't have to mean losing your mind. Setting boundaries, taking care of yourself, and taking time to reflect on your wants and needs can all go a long way in making sure you keep a strong foundation for yourself while navigating the throes of new love, and can help keep both of you accountable as you move forward. One of the most important parts of keeping your wits about you when entering into a new relationship is communication and making sure you communicate openly and honestly with your new partner. You might find that the two of you are powerfully compatible, or you might find that the two of you ultimately want different things. A healthy, sensible relationship would recognize the futility of staying with someone who does not share your values and hopes and will have the strength, sense, and wherewithal to move on instead of making concessions.
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