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Relationships

Can You Trust Your Heart?

Dr. David Hawkins
The Relationship Doctor

CBN.comA year ago my wife and I faced a very important decision. It was one of those decisions where we prayed for wisdom and insight, and still felt unsure of the right choice.

We were enamored by a quaint area near Seattle populated by artists, writers and creative folk. We had been drawn to this community over and over, always returning home wanting to live there someday. We kept a faint hope alive that someday an opportunity might present itself.

On one of our adventures, just driving around, my wife, Christie, convinced me to stop at an Open House-just for fun. While we decided we weren’t really interested in the house, we formed an immediate kinship with the realtors, Mike and Robin. We shared our love of the area, and hope of someday finding a home just right for us.  

Months passed when one Saturday morning Mike called, excitedly announcing he had found an adorable cottage.

 “It won’t last long… No pressure” he quipped.

Looking at one another, my wife and I wondered if we should even go and see it. What if we fell in love with it but couldn’t afford it, which was very possible. What if we were swept off our feet, and made an impulsive decision we later regretted?  

Always the dreamer, my wife made the decision:

“It never hurts to dream,” she said wistfully.

Long story short—we saw, we fell in love, we made an offer that was accepted. While the finances were a stretch for us, we felt in our hearts that this was the right decision for our future. We quickly weighed out the pros and cons, prayed more about it and took the leap. We trusted our hearts! It has turned out to be a very good decision, without regrets.

Does this mean we can always trust our hearts? Are our hearts infallible?

Listen to this story from a woman who wrote to me recently.

Dr. David. You’ve talked about listening to our hearts, and yet I don’t think it’s always best to listen to our hearts. Recently I fell in love with a man who I was convinced was, after just a few weeks, a soul-mate. Both he and I felt this way, and thanked God for bringing us together. We knew in our hearts that we were meant for each other. We dated for six months and were so sure of our love for each other that we started talking about marriage very early in relationship. Just a few weeks ago he suddenly told me that his ex-girlfriend had called and he decided to go back to her to give it a try. His decision doesn’t make any sense to me and I don’t understand it. How could I have been so foolish and deceived? Please help me understand this.

What happened in your relationship? Why did it happen? I have a few thoughts.

No one can fully explain why things happen the way they do, especially in love. There is a certain mystery to life; an unpredictability that occurs, even with our best wisdom and planning. When it comes to matters of the heart, there is impracticality to the whole thing. It doesn’t all make sense, or fit into a neat, little box. But, was it a mistake? Who can truly say that you made a mistake, though certainly your heart was broken? You took a chance in love and were hurt. Many of our readers will relate to your hurt.
Forgive yourself, again and again. You aren’t a robot. You are obviously a passionate, sensitive woman. You listened to your heart and risked it all for love. In time you’ll look back and consider it a valuable experience, albeit painful.

Now you must learn from your experience.  Is there a lesson or two in the experience you can take with you into your future dating? Can you go a bit slower and ask a few more questions? Did you allow hormones to dictate the speed of the relationship, rather than enjoying those heart palpitations while still taking time to really learn about this potential mate?

While it’s important to be vulnerable and honest in relationships, keep a meter on what is happening. Is there mutuality and equality in the relationship? Do you know how to notice danger signals when they arise? When there are danger signals, do you heed them?  

There is a balance each of us needs to find when it comes to matters of the heart: To listen to the stirrings of our heart, and to be open to what moves us emotionally, on the one hand, and yet to be grounded in practicalities and the realities of any given situation, on the other. We must allow ourselves to be vulnerable and open to possibilities, whether in love or other heart issues, but also use our heads. In all matters we are encouraged to use wisdom in our decisions—the practical application of knowledge.

So, can our hearts be trusted? There is always something to be learned from the language of your heart. Should our heart always be considered? Yes, definitely, though tempered with Godly wisdom. Will there always be matters of the heart that are mysterious? Yep.  


Dr. David HawkinsAbout the author: He is known as The Relationship Doctor. With more than 30 years of counseling experience, David Hawkins, Ph.D., has a special interest in helping individuals and couples strengthen their relationships. Dr. Hawkins’ books, including When Pleasing Others Is Hurting You and When Trying to Change Him Is Hurting You, have more than 300,000 copies in print.

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