Heart and Mind at War
Q: Two plus years ago when I was a senior in high school, I was introduced by one of my friends to this lovely girl who took my breath away. We began going to school dances and she even asked me to Sadie's (where the girl asks the guy to the dance). Now this year at college I ended up being in a class with her but we don't even talk or wave or even look at each other. I don't say or do anything because I feel she probably disliked me before and now she doesn't want to get to know me anymore. I just don't want to ruin her day by trying to re-introduce myself to her. She was the nicest and kindest girl I've ever met. My heart tells me not to less this great moment pass by, but my mind tells me to think logically that she won't be interested in me at all. I just need some advice, please help. -- Robert, 20
Dr. Susan: You're pretty unsure of yourself, aren't you, Robert? C'mon, be brave, say hi to this girl you've gone out with in the past. Don't assume she disliked you. That's so unlikely, since she even asked you out once. She probably thinks you're ignoring her. If she's as nice and kind as you imagine, she won't hold it against you if you make friendly overtures to get to know one another again. The worst that can happen is she won't show any interest, in which case you won't be any worst off than you are now, miserably mooning over her in private. As for the battle between your heart and mind, you're a little confused. It's almost the reverse of what you're saying. It's your sensible brain that's telling you not to let this moment pass by, and your insecure frightened emotional self that says, "No, hold off, she won't like you, don't take a chance, the world will end if she says no, don't reach out!" This is one of those cases where you should follow your mind.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.