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Passion of the…passion?

Part of my last post sparked some discussion, so I think I’ll reply/elaborate on my own thoughts in a (hopefully short-ish) post.

First off let me say that I respect all replies and comments that I’ve heard, either online or offline.  There are many different ways to think about “passion” and relationships in general; frankly if we all felt the same way  (maybe/theoretically) relationships wouldn’t be as difficult to get started in the first place.  Human interaction with one another can be fascinating yet utterly, utterly frustrating at times.

But anyway, let me separate the three elements I’ve heard talked about most: lust, passion, and friendship.  Lust is a visceral word that really brings forth to mind all the intentions inherit in the feeling.  Lust is also the easiest of the trinity to sate, and as such I feel one of the quickest to fade.  As it pertains to a relationship, lust happens.  In the early stages of a relationship I feel that it may (major emphasis) lead to a more fulfilling relationship, but I agree that it can’t really be the basis of a long, stable relationship.

Passion.  That is a word that brings up many, many different thoughts and images.  That’s in part because there are many different kinds of passion, even in a relationship.  Yes, it could be the physical kind of passion that leads to bedroom activity and “boot scenes” (ask later if you don’t know the reference).  But it could also be the passion to be near someone, to cuddle with them on the couch, to talk about their day and yours, to go places and do things, to watch TV or share thoughts on something mutually read, etc., etc.  It could be a passion to make/do something, either for someone or yourself, because making/doing something even for yourself can make you feel better, which in turn strengthens the relationship.

Passion can be applied to nearly anything that you have some inner feeling about doing.  But so often the word gets intertwined with lust that it gets…dirty.  Wrong.  Not right.  Does a relationship need passion?  Yes, I think at some deep down point a relationship needs some level of passion.  But, and I mean this in the best possible way, some kinds of passion, especially the physical kind, will eventually ebb.  That does not mean that just like a wave the passion doesn’t eventually rise up again, but…

Look, I lead a fairly interesting life.  I have my times that I’m up, and I have the times that I’m down.  There are times that I’m extremely busy, and times of peace.  There are times that some people need me, and times that I need others.  That was before I even got into a relationship, before I fathered a daughter, etc.  When you add it all together…  There are just going to be times that I don’t feel… well, you might just stop there.  There are times I just don’t feel.  Sometimes it goes on for a while, sometimes it’s only a moment.  I just keep going, getting things done, doing what I need to do, but the passion for the physical side of the relationship…well, I ignore it, because it takes time and energy.  Some people may say it’s effortless, but I call bull.  When you get up in the morning and have to deal with a cranky daughter, stressful work conditions, then come home and have a pile of things to do…don’t tell me it it’s effortless.

Some people link passion with want and desire.  I agree and don’t agree.  When I’ve been stressed out and have issues, or I’ve been so busy I’ve barely had time to think, what do I want?  What am I passionate for from my partner?  More than anything:  support.  Second to that would be closeness, to be near the other, to talk, to share experiences.  I desire my partner during those times, but not in the same way that “desire” is generally used.

That is where the third and most important part of the three comes into play: friendship.  My partner and I have to be friends.  As I said, lust happens, but it comes and goes (no pun intended).  Passion is there, but it morphs and changes form all the time, and occasionally in periods of doubt (which happen in every relationship) you wonder if it’s there.  So what keeps me going?  Friendship.  That deep down, I like being with my partner, sharing time with them.  Passion and lust ebb and flow, and let me make this clear:  waiting for one or the other doesn’t work.  You have to actively keep them a part of the relationship.

But what is the effortless part?  What part is just there and I don’t have to think about it?  Friendship.  Some people term this affection.  Some term it caring.  Some call it love.  It’s all part of the same thing.  Love.  Heh.  What a word.  People use the phrase “I love you” in a relationship and try to make it mean so many more things than it needs to.  It simply means that a caring connection exists between you and another.  That’s it.  You, and only you, can make the effort to put the other parts of the relationship in, the commitment, the passion, the time and everything else.  At its core, all friendship has some component of caring, some component of “love”, though society places too high a emphasis on the word.

So yes, I think friendship is the key to a relationship.  If I don’t care about the other person, if I don’t want to just be around them in general, then on the day that doubt sets in and the other stuff fades what am I left with?  True, the doubt may be short lived.  I may just be having an off day.  Or maybe I’m having an off week.  An off month.  Who knows?  What I know, though, is that I care deeply.  My friendship with my partner is rooted deep.  As I said, it’s one of the things that is just there.  It’s the one effortless part of the relationship.

OK, so it wasn’t that short of a post, and I was rambling again.  That’s what happens, I guess.  :)

{ 1 } Comments

  1. Jess | August 21, 2012 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Like I said, thanks so much for bringing this up. It is so cool that so much has grown from your original post. I feel like we have all kind of fed off each other and it’s led to some nifty stuff. :)

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