Passion in a Relationship
Why do we always have them with the wrong partners? At one point in my life, it seemed like passion could not exist without a toxic partner who I never felt like I fully “had.”
We all want a passionate relationship and are on an eternal search for that ovulating-at-first-glance, fire-igniting, electric, effortless, can’t-sit-across-from-each-other-at-dinner-because-I-just-want-to-rip-your-clothes-off, firework-starting, baby-making, 50-Shades-of-Grey passion.
Do you know how there are people who are adrenaline junkies? They’ve skydived everywhere, climbed Mt. Everest, scaled buildings, ate bugs, dived off of cliffs into water that they didn’t know the depth of, hand-glided over hungry tigers in Africa, swam with sharks, climbed volcanos, bungee-jumped from the highest elevation, dived into a crowd of drunk people and have basically done everything that no amount of drugs, diapers, or money could inspire me to even think about doing.
I used to be a passion junkie. I talk about my former passionate relationship addiction like passion itself is a drug because to me, it was. And now I’m clean. I’ve been clean off of my passionate relationship addiction for years now.
I always thought those thrill-seeking adrenaline junkies were out of their minds until I took a hard look at myself. I thought that being a passion junkie was okay because at least I wasn’t addicted to anything that was risking my life. All I wanted was true love. How bad could that be?
What I didn’t know at the time was that my addiction was risking my emotional life.
It wasn’t a passionate relationship I needed to give up on.
It was how I defined passion.
If you’re in a relationship where you feel intense passion between the two of you, but there are these little issues of him lying to you, cheating on you, not respecting you, and always having just one foot in… that’s not passion. That’s you defining passion as inconsistency that you need to be “good enough” to make consistent.
I used to have this grand expectation of having passion all the time. This was not only exhausting but it was unrealistic. Yes, chemistry and sex are obviously important but I don’t spend my entire day trying to reenact scenes from romance novels any longer.
Valuing me, being emotionally/relationally ambitious, matching your words with your actions (character and integrity), loyalty…. THAT stuff gets me going now. It’s much easier to work on ramping up the more superficial aspects than taking on the impossible task of trying to change a sh*tty person out of being who they are.
Looking back, most of the “passion” that I felt with certain guys came from the drama, mixed signals, and never knowing where I stood with them. It made me feel alive and I realized that I was more comfortable in a dynamic of unknown and having to perform because I grew up around a lot of chaos.
If you took away all of the good looks (that change/fade with time), it’s really just sex with someone that doesn’t care to know your worth or get to know you. Most of the time I created the “passion” in my own imagination. I created the story in my head. I inflated the f*ck out of these guys, put them on a pedestal, and my value came from extracting validation that they were only capable of giving a drop of. It then became a game of how I could keep this poor but “passionate” relationship afloat.
I’m not saying to discard passion, keep it on the table of course. Just don’t overvalue it and most importantly, don’t discard yourself.
Take it from me and my mistakes: You won’t find true passion and joy by doing the same thing you’ve been doing.
Become passionate about and like yourself first. It will not only fix the “must find a passionate relationship now” dialogue in your head, telling you passion equals pain and confusion, but it will allow you to get passionate about other aspects of your life.
And that is the most attractive quality – having a life outside of someone else.
Written by: Natasha Adamo