Mind Over Emotion: The Woes of Loving the Intellectual Man

| 07/05/2010 | Comments (12)

Discussion of the differences in communication and perception styles… those motivated by their emotions vs. those that perceive the world and even love through their mind. In this He Says/She Says discussion, Alix and Raz debate an issue most often considered to be a gender divide.

He Says:

Overly Emotional people [can be] constant complainers [Vengeance Prone, Unstable,manipulatice, controlling etc.] as much as over-analytical people. The EXTREMES are the Devil.”

It’s almost as if you believe those that “Just Exist” and let things “just happen to them” because they FEEL a certain way have some superior ability to handle life. That is such an understatement. Again , the Extremes of each are the challenges, and a combination of HEAD and HEART in it’s proper ratio are whats needed to healthy navigated the difficulties and dissapointments of life. Nice try. I can’t buy the “analytical people are more dangerous” idea through this story however.

That has not been my experience. I feel I have a throttle…..somewhat. Emotions are fleeting, they come and they go. It’s the choice to keep some that makes the difference. The HEAD and HEART are integrated. At least for me my Resident Contrarian.

The overly intellectual types still FEEL emotions. Now when you say you FEEL love I’m not sure that the feeling is love itself. Those emotions are byproducts of love, and to some degree I’m more convinced they are more based on infatuation (a rush of oxytocin and dopamine, and phenyltethylamine. I’m not saying that we don’t feel love at all, but the feelings are just one small fickle component and true love is grounded in more than just those feelings. I say love is a choice and not a feeling. FEELINGS are very FICKLE.

Problem is that in this culture we’ve bought in to this Disney bullshit that love is this touchy-feely things as opposed to a conscious choice that sometimes is accompanied by warm fuzzy feelings but is mostly predicated on commitment and respect.

She Says:

Loving is a feeling. Whether you show it or not, or analyze yourself out of it, or run away from it … well all those actions are a choice. But loving itself is a feeling and you don’t control that. What you manage is how you exhibit your feelings, but the feelings are the same. You FEEL anger so you either throw something or you hold it in and get a headache or ulcer, or you write about it in your diary. But you still FEEL it. You FEEL love, so you can either tell the person, keep it a secret and hold it in, show it by touching or rubbing … See or you can just write poetry or write about it in you diary. But you still FEEL it.

You don’t control the intensity either. Once can merely try to control how it is exhibited. I agree that either extreme is not healthy but more often than not guys love to talk about ‘over emotionalism as if that is the worse state of mind someone can have.  What about the emotionally disconnected? The emotionally unavailable?  These are the basic traits of your bargain basement psycho and sociopaths those that eventually turn into your Jeffrey Dalmers, Ted Bundy’s your serial killers.

People (especially men) who are in denial of their emotions, who don’t even handle their emotions and who view ‘feelings’ as a weakness are not healthy people.  They most definitely are not empathetic either.  I wouldn’t want someone who has Head over heart mentality in a relationship; that wouldn’t be compatible with me. People who live in an intellectual tower often make poor intimate partners because they fail to make an emotional connection with their significant other and they are dismissive of other peoples’ feelings.  They scoff at people for having feelings at all as they tend to devalue them.

These types of men often have miserable women partners who may seek to have that intimate emotional connection elsewhere. Men in the ‘intellectual tower’ think that emotions only matter in the ‘thinking self’ and they are dismissive of the ‘feeling self’ because it’s not logical to them. They rarely make good listeners because they tend to cut you off and start trying to problem solve and be logical.  Sometimes the person just wants empathy and a good understanding listener. But people in the ‘intellectual tower’ can’t give this sort of support because they are not in touch with their own emotions and have walled them off.

What they don’t realize is that you can’t ‘think’ about a feeling/emotion you have to actually ‘feel it. People who function from the intellectual tower are emotionally distant and they subconsciously keep everyone else at a distance even without even realizing it.  However they don’t’ think it’s a problem.  To them they are rational controlled and thoughtful human beings, it’s everyone else who is ‘too emotional’ that have the problem and to the intellectual tower person, their threshold for emotional display is very short so any sort of show of emotion is too much for them.

This plays out in all aspects of their lives.  If their little kids run to them for comfort if they fall, they’ll tell them to stop that crying, then show them how not to fall and put more focus on that (rather than offer  emotional comfort), if their SO comes to them to talk about an issue, they have little tolerance for listening with empathy and will immediately start giving unasked for advice on what their SO can do to solve the problem.  These people don’t realize that there is such a thing as emotional intelligence that is just as important to the makeup of people as the IQ that they pride themselves on having.

My advice to women is if you are with men who come from the intellectual ivory tower, mentality you may find someone who lacks feelings/emotions and ability to make emotional connections. They are emotionally walled off (to varying degrees some more than others). Depending on the severity of their emotional disconnect, they can break your heart as they never put the emotion into the relationship that you do. Women often feel drained dry.

This type of emotional disconnect of the intellectual guy was most likely formed during the formative years long before men reached adulthood much less the dating world. Many of them experienced emotionally unavailable parents so this dysfunction perpetuates itself..  Parents who are emotionally available/disconnected from their kids raise kids who are the same way. But one doesn’t have to stay in that vicious cycle.

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Music lover living on the East Coast that enjoys spending time with close friends, reading and writing.

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  1. Kate says:

    I always get frustrated when I hear this: “an issue most often considered to be a gender divide.”


    Is there any reliable evidence that this man/logic–woman/emotion generalization is true? Sure, there may be a trend, but even if it could be objectively demonstrated, I doubt it is thoroughgoing and pervasive enough to warrant discussing it as if there were no overly logical women (like myself) or no melodramatic men.

    Why can’t you just consider it an issue of people and personalities, not genders?

  2. LarryJackson says:

    I think this is a false premise. One is not intellectual or emotive – the emotive stuff precedes the intellectualization of the issue at hand. The way a 7 yr old and an adult receive disappointing news exemplifies the point. The former might cry while the latter will “understand”. The problem is some are short on useful self-reflective intellectual prowess and use their emotions as a crutch. Shoulders to cry on are nice, working out your own issues is better.

    • Larry, the fact that you used all these words to analyze then discount women’s FEELINGS about men opting to go “mental” and then stay in their head shows you are a perfect example of the type of man the article is written about.

      Sigh. In essence, your retort merely proved what women have been saying all along — men want to THINK and refuse to FEEL because you fear it. All you do is make your woman feel lonely and abandoned in a relationship with you.

      • tman says:

        “those that perceive the world and even love through their mind”

        the section that love is a feeling really got to me since i convinced myself you can love through the mind…

        am reading this because i’m in a relationship and this is exactly what we have. i’m very disconnected…i’m not even sure how to not be disconnected… my emotions feel like a bother to my life, an obstacle to my being. I like being “neutral” on the emotion scale. my gf gets upset when she calls for emotional help (though an intellectual im not dumb 😉 ) i just cant give that to her. like, i dont even know what to do…and it makes me upset/disappointed. but my solution to it is that she should leave me…sounds like the best option…dont you think?

        the one time i experienced “love” i freaked out. i loved this girl but my mind rejected having a relationship with her…i went with my mind…
        …I’ve been with this girl for more than 2 years and i dont “love” her but i’m with her and i’m fine…ironically i know it’s not “normal” to be with someone you dont necessarily feel much for, but i’m fine in it.

        i broke up with a gf because she broke my mind lol; everything was great but she did something that i mentally could not accept…it wasn’t a big deal like a lie…but i “forgot” her and the good times are so stripped of the good feelings, i almost cant tell the difference if she wasnt in my life…sad i know

        the more and more i realize it though the safety that i get from logic/reason is as protective as one that women get from emotions & feelings, tell me if i’m wrong.

        • There is no safety nor protection for those that live connected to their heart and feelings. They are the brave ones, willing to put themselves out there and risk it all for the richness that love can bring. Those that fearfully hide their feelings behind a wall of logic and reason like Mr. Spock are actually the cowards. It’s easier for those that aren’t willing to take risks. It’s also less scary to say what you THINK rather than say what you FEEL.

          So don’t try to be even more cowardly by giving yourself a cloak by comparing your cold logic to feelings. Feelings bring passion, longing and joy, but they can also bring heartbreak, pain and total devastation.

          Those that live in their heads will never experience either.

        • Raz says:

          tman: “i just cant give that to her. like, i dont even know what to do…and it makes me upset/disappointed. but my solution to it is that she should leave me…sounds like the best option…dont you think?”

          I think if I were your gf, I would have been gone long before 2 years. She stayed 21 months too long with an emotionally walled up person. Anytime I am in a situation that doesn’t make ‘me’ happy, I bounce. My happiness comes first. If a dude isn’t doing what he needs to to make me happy time to leave and go be with someone who will. The world is full of men, surely there are some out there who are in touch with their emotions. Who are ready willing and able to give and receive love. No woman needs to stay with an emotionally damaged man, that will slowly destroy her. She needs to leave. Stop waiting for her to break up with you. You break up with her. Stop staying there milking the situation for what you can get out of it. Let it go. Perhaps you should find a woman who is just like you a Miss spock to your Mr. spock. Why is it men like you aren’t drawn to your own personality type?

        • Female_2 says:


          I grew up in a very emotionally disconnected home. I would tend to have logical relationships only and when I felt things were moving in a more serious direction I would walk away. I have since made friends and learned though life that it isn’t always logical to walk away. Also, that some point in my life I would want someone to share life with. Now, I AM the 2 year GF clinging to what I know is a great relationship with a man who seems to constantly want to break things off because he thinks we are not a “good fit”. We enjoy each others company and things are always more enjoyable when we are together. I try to understand that he needs his time and that things can’t always be cuddly cozy.. but in your mind isn’t there a little bit of room for comforting? At almost 40, doesn’t logic tell you it may be time to accept the one who loves you(the way you are) for who they are. Compromise is an excellant tool for both the mind and the heart..

          • Raz says:

            Female_2 “Now, I AM the 2 year GF clinging to what I know is a great relationship with a man who seems to constantly want to break things off because he thinks we are not a “good fit”We enjoy each others company and things are always more enjoyable when we are together. I try to understand that he needs his time and that things can’t always be cuddly cozy.. but in your mind isn’t there a little bit of room for comforting? At almost 40, doesn’t logic tell you it may be time to accept the one who loves you(the way you are) for who they are. Compromise is an excellant tool for both the mind and the heart.”

            You mind should be telling you Female_2 that you can’t make someone want to be with you if they don’t want it. you can’t cling to someone who has already told you he doesn’t think you guys are a good fit. Your times together can’t be all that enjoyable otherwise he wouldn’t be trying to break things off with you. A man who enjoys being with a woman doesn’t try to break up with her. Wake up and stop fooling yourself. Believe him when he said that. And don’t waste another minute of your time ‘clinging’ onto a man who has already said he doesn’t want to be with you. Have enough self respect to leave. Regardless of your age 40, 30, 20, logic should always tell you, that ‘You’ should accept that you can’t force yourself on someone who has already expressed you are not the one he wants.

    • AintMisBehavin says:

      Larry: “I think this is a false premise. One is not intellectual or emotive…

      For all of Larry’s “intellectualizing”. He has poor reading comprehension skills and lacks ability to make logical inferences too. No where did the article say one had to be either ’emotional or intellectual’. So where did he come up with this premise? Then he uses a poor example of someone either behaving like an adult or a 7 year old when met with disappointing news. (something that probably truer with most men when met with ‘rejection’ than with women, as men tend to commonly handled rejection poorly).

      There should be a balance. Ladies avoid your ‘Larry types’, men like him will make you wish you were dead by killing your self esteem with their emotional detachment and inability to empathize or understand that emotional intelligence is very important and critical to having a healthy relationship.

  3. Mystia says:

    I am an “overly intellectual” type young woman. I grew up this way because my parents were such people. Crying or any “excessive” display of emotion garnered nothing but heavy scolding. So now most of the time my emotional expression–even to myself–is quite muted, and when I can’t control the feeling I’m having (as does happen sometimes), it scares the crap out of me.

    Due to the lack of emotional intelligence (which, believe me, is what I recognize is really important to succeed in this world, as humans are social and emotional creatures and need to relate to each other), I have been unable to sustain a real friendship or relationship of any kind outside of the family. This really hasn’t affected me much, other than the occasional bout of loneliness, until maybe last year, when someone started showing interest in me.

    For some reason, this person appreciates me for all I am, emotionally stunted and all. But even though I can appreciate the appreciation (if that makes sense, lol), I find that I can’t really appreciate him. I’m so used to feeling nothing that I feel the same apathy toward him as I do for anyone else. And I don’t know what to do about it, other than to cut him loose and lose the opportunity for a potential friendship. But I am beginning to see that I will do more harm than good for him in my current emotionally disconnected state. I really want to change and stop hurting people…

    • Raz says:

      Mystia one thing that people such as you and others who suffer such emotional detachment and disconnect could do is to volunteer yourself. Put yourself in a position that requires you to ‘engage’ your emotions. Go work in a place where people have profound disabilities. Maybe you can volunteer your time in a children’s cancer ward at a hospital, or work as a reader at a place for people with mobility disabilities. This will tax your emotions. Emotions can be built, but because you haven’t used yours, they are not developed. Doing things that require you to engage your emotions in a big way (maybe start small and work your way up to those venues) will help you use your emotions. Right now they’re all shriveled up from disuse.

  4. Aabaakawad says:

    I’ll try to get the comment ball rolling. I am a recovered (recovering?) ivory tower man, and I used to react to strong emotions, or talking to connect rather than to convey information, in the same dismissive fashion you describe. Totally imprinted by my father. But time eventually ground into me the inadequacy of that way of living.

    I really had to work to change. Deliberately chose jobs that required empathy in order to succeed. Learning to swim by jumping in the water. I am still more intellectual than emotional, but I am close enough to the sweet spot now to live well.

    I’m lucky I still have some time left.

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