What to Do When Your Brain Says One Thing But Your Heart Says Another

What to Do When Your Brain Says One Thing But Your Heart Says Another

I'm pretty sure we've all been in this situation before. Our brain says
I’m pretty sure we’ve all been in this situation before. Our brain says “this probably isn’t the best for you” but your heart yearns for whatever it is. Whether that be a job opportunity, a relationship, or an experience, we’ve all had moments where we have to make a big decision about our lives.
This resonates with most people regarding dating. Say you’re in a relationship, you love the person, but you know they’re not right for you, or you know the relationship has come to an end.
It could also be you’re waiting around for someone. Should you keep waiting and hope for the best, or cut them out of your life and move on?
Can you live with either decision?
It’s a battle between your brain and your heart, and sometimes we make the wrong decisions. I’m going to bring you through my experiences and how that may help you if you’re in the same situation.


What to Do When Your Brain Says One Thing But Your Heart Says Another

I’m currently in the “do I wait or do I go?” scenario I described above. There’s someone very special to me that currently is working on their own life. They want to better themselves and take time to heal from their pain and learn to be happy.

That’s a noble goal, right? Absolutely.

But we have a past. And right now they are putting their feelings aside to put themself first. I commend them for doing something so importantly selfish.

It’s rough for me, as this is someone I can see a potential future with, whether that be long term or short term, that’s up to us to figure out later.

Right now I have to choose whether to wait for them to finish their solo journey of self discovery or cut them off and leave while my heart is still in one piece.

What Does Your Brain Say?

My brain says that the logical thing is to cut ties. It’s been years of this weird and complicated relationship and I haven’t gotten much out of it in return.

My brain is trying to prevent me from getting hurt, and I appreciate that.

Thanks, brain!

It also doesn’t want me waiting around for months or even years until they figure out their own life. It wouldn’t be right for me to put my life somewhat on hold so I can wait for someone that may or may not work out. I need to live my own life and not have it dictated by a potential relationship that may not even be.

Relationships are finicky and you never know if the idea you have of someone is as great as the person themself. Your brain can trick you into thinking they’re so much better than they actually are. You idolize them or put them on a pedestal, even if you never meant to. That’s not only not healthy, but it’s never going to work in a relationship.
Catalog what your brain is trying to tell you. What is it trying to prevent from happening?

What Does Your Heart Say?

My heart says they are a wonderful person, and even the fact that they’re bettering themself and finally putting them first instead of everyone else is attractive to me. If I was attracted to who they were at their lowest, how much more would that be when they’re at their best?

I can see who they will be once they’re running at full steam and aren’t quite as broken as when I found them. I won’t go into details about things, but they were not in a great place when we first met.

My heart thinks we have a real chance at something if we actually just gave it a try. But that’s the thing, we need to both have healthy relationships with ourselves in order for that to even work.


Neither of us know when this is going to happen. It may never happen, then I’m stuck waiting for nothing.

Write down what it is your heart wants. Why is it keeping you from doing what your brain wants?

What Do Your Friends Say?

When you’re in the middle of a situation like this, the best thing to do is look for outside help. Go to a trusted friend who you know will give you the truth, even if it will hurt. Make sure they are completely honest with you.

Your friends are able to see things you can’t. They’re going to be a voice of reason and reality in your troubles.

My friend gave me their opinion which fell in between both my heart and my brain, which I think is a fair option. Give both of us some time, but I should focus on myself in the time being.

I will always suggest when you’re having a problem in your life where you’re at a crossroads, ask a trusted friend what they think. You don’t have to follow their advice, but having that outside opinion is a good thing to have.

Ask Yourself Some Questions

When you’re having a battle between your heart and your brain, try asking yourself a few questions:

Are You In a Bad or Dangerous Situation?

Sometimes we find ourselves in these kinds of battles where you’re in a not so great kind of situation. The biggest question you need to ask yourself is if you are in a bad situation. Are you in an abusive relationship? Is this relationship, situation, or whatever something that will harm you in any way?
That can be both physical or mental. Remember, mental health is just as important as physical health in these kinds of situations.

Can You Live With the Consequences of Your Brain?

If you go with the option of whatever your brain is choosing, can you live with that decision?
If the answer is yes, you’re on your way to figuring things out.

If the answer is no, make sure your answer isn’t just because it’s what your heart wants. Try to think practically.

Could I live with cutting this person out of my life? Yes.

Will I be sad? Absolutely.

Will this make a big impact in my life? Potentially.

And this is what’s preventing me from moving on completely.

How will this effect your life if you choose what your brain wants? Will this make a big impact? Will the end result be more than you’ll be sad for a while?

Can You Live With the Consequences of Your Heart?

Again, you have to think practically with these questions.

For me, I can live with waiting a little bit longer, but not too long. I think this person is worth waiting a little bit longer before letting them go.

I can live with the consequences of giving away 6 months to a year of my life for this person. I think they’re worth it.

But I’m also using this time for myself, so it’s a win-win in my opinion.

You’ll Know When It’s Time To Move On

You will know when it’s time to go with the brain’s option. At that point you’ll be frustrated, maybe irritable, you’ll have all the signs that it’s ready to go.

I wrote about that in my post How to Know When to “Let Go”. You’ll know when you’re starting to lie to yourself about the situation, when you know in both your heart and your head what the answer is, but you don’t want to admit it to yourself.

I’m personally not at that point yet.

What to Do When Your Brain Says One Thing But Your Heart Says Another


  • What does your brain want? Write that out
  • What does your heart want? Also write that out.
  • What do your friends say? Make sure they’ll tell you like it is.
  • Ask yourself a few questions
    • Are you in a bad or dangerous situation?
    • Can you live with the consequences of your brain’s side?
    • Can you live with the consequences of your heart’s side?
  • You’ll know when it’s time to move on. You should know when you’re starting to lie to yourself.


Have you ever been in this kind of situation? How did you resolve it? Let me know in the comments!

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