Falling in Love is like Shopping at Macy’s

Although this thought process I am about to talk about has been around for centuries, I believe it needs some revamping. One of the biggest problems I find when talking to people is their imbalance between emotion and logic. For instance, if someone is highly controlled by their emotions they are more likely to make decisions based on illogical reasons. Like someone who buys a dog because it looks sad sitting in its cage at the pound. This is simply not a logical decision. There are YEARS of picking up doo-doo and buying dog food that comes along with a decision like that. On the other hand, being too logical can keep a person from following their heart and feeling the emotions that come along with life. All too often logical people put up a defense against the outside world because, logically, it is in their best interest to avoid feeling negative emotions. No risk, no reward. So, what’s the solution?

A logical approach to emotions. Since emotions, by nature, are out of control and logical is all about control, a delicate combination of the two is best for achieving happiness in life. To illustrate the value of such an approach, consider the following:

I’m sure at some point in your life you have allowed yourself to have stronger feelings for someone than you meant to. This is an emotional decision, and is therefore out of control. I mean, why else do they call it falling in love? Now, with a divorce rate of over 50% in this country, it seems that a lot of people make the mistake of following their emotions, without logical consideration of important details. The saying, “love is blind,” illustrates this point perfectly. Allowing yourself to be completely blinded by your emotions is like walking into Macy’s, closing your eyes, and buying the first thing you put your hands on. Is it going to fit right? Will you even like it when you open your eyes? Is it worth the hassle of going back to the store to return it in two weeks? Most of the time, it’s not. So why do it? Why not open your eyes, walk around, and select what you want based on certain criteria? THEN make the decision to buy, or to fall in love, in this analogy.

My point here is that the vast majority of the bad decisions we make in our lives are emotionally driven. Rarely does someone look at a product in a store, decide they do not like it, and buy it. It’s emotional. So why do we still approach decisions in this way? If logical considerations are made before one commits to something, then most problems can be avoided.

So, how does one do this? Well, I assure you, it is not as hard as it seems. First, you have to have an awareness of your own emotions. When approaching a decision involving them, one should always ask themselves: What is driving my decision here? Would I advise someone else to do what I’m going to do? If the answers to those questions are “emotions” and “probably not,” then you should really reconsider what you’re doing. Stepping outside of YOU and looking back is the best way to see the logic in the decision that’s being made. Before driving away, check your mirrors, strap on your seatbelt, and know where you going. Then… just enjoy the drive.

8 thoughts on “Falling in Love is like Shopping at Macy’s

  1. it seems like you are off balance and only telling one side of the picture you are trying to paint… what would be an emotional approach to logic?

    • thank you for your comment. i agree that my point of view may be from one side. but in my experience logic should usually precede emotion. most of the regrettable purchase decisions, for instance, i have made in my life were a result of an impulse buy. to answer your question, an emotional approach to logic is very hard to describe. this is because emotions usually occur in response to, or after, some stimuli or thought process. usually a person sees something or thinks about something and feels an emotion. they don’t elicit the emotion themselves without any provocation. would you agree with this or am i still on the other side here?

  2. hello chad.

    so what if you’ve already made an emotionally rash decision, walked into Macy’s blind and bought something off the clearance rack and at the time it was perfect. But now, years later, you’re not sure if it still fits right…

    what are you supposed to do when you’re not sure if your happier with someone or without them? how do you know that once you’ve lost them, you won’t realize how much they really meant or how great they really were?

    • If you have already left the store and had your, “blouse” well say, for quite some time, then the question of whether it fits should be handled just the way it would with a blouse… Does it fit or not? Do the shoulders hit where you want them to? Is the stitching holding up? Does it FEEL right when you have it on? The answers to those questions should bring with them some obvious conclusions for your love life.

      If you are not sure if you will be happy with it or without it, as cliche as this sounds, you probably need to go back to the store and look around. You don’t know what you don’t know, until you find out. You don’t know what you want, until you see it hanging on the rack. BUT, you won’t see that perfect thing hanging on the rack if you aren’t looking. So my advice to you is to go shopping, and find out.

      Fear of losing someone is a very common reason for people to stay in relationships they shouldn’t. To which, I respond with the following thoughts from The Alchemist, by Paolo Coehlo:

      “When we are in love, we strive to be better than we are.” -If the feelings you have are not making you want to be the best version of yourself, then perhaps they are misplaced. If they are making you feel like a worse person, it is time to reevaluate.

      “Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is far worse than the suffering itself.” -The fear of losing someone is far worse than actually losing them. This is because, with the “losing” process, comes other positives, if it is the right decision for you. Each day may be filled with some sadness, but like ice in a glass of water, eventually it will melt back to its original state- happiness.

      Finally, I would like you to contemplate this: Even the longest of journey’s can begin with a single step. Now, where will you place your first?

  3. There must be some value in emotional decision making otherwise we would have evolved out of it by now. Maybe it is driven by chance, when logic tells us not to do something, but emotion wants the high risk and high reward. I am prone to logical decision making, but i have felt good in times when I surrendered control to my emotions just to experiment with the boundaries of my belief of what was possible, and accepted the outcome because I knew what I was getting myself into by making an emotional decision in the first place.

    • Sean,

      I agree with you. Since I wrote this blog, I have come to change my perspective a bit. I think that when it comes to love, which is in itself an incredibly strong emotion, some logic should be applied earlier rather than later. I didn’t mean to say that all emotion hinders decision making… Just that sometimes when that emotion may cause you to get a little carried awaywith yourself, logic should come first. What do you think?

  4. I agree, but there are times when logic fails as miserably as emotion. To put a blanket statement over decision making: trust your instincts and accept the outcome.

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