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How Important is "Passion" to you?


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Hey there ENA. Been a while since I posted, but I still read almost every day :)

 

Quick Recap: I am 2.5 years out of the toxic relationship that brought me here to ENA. Ex married within 10 months of the breakup - I am in 'no contact' and working on healing.

 

Last January, I met a new guy and we are soon to celebrate our one year anniversary. I need the advice of this forum again because I am feeling a lack of passion and intensity with this guy. It is a healthy relationship compared to the last. I will admit the communication could be better. But the major issue is our sex life is not what I would like it to be and I do not receive any words of affirmation from him besides the routine "I love you" before we part ways. If I can use the word 'spark' here, I simply do not feel it with him. He has mentioned before that he believes I am desperately trying to recreate the emotion and intensity that I had with my last partner. I can agree with this to a certain extent... but I am a passionate, loving woman who appreciates when a partner makes them feel wanted and beautiful.

 

Physically and emotionally I feel unsatisfied- but I enjoy his company, we laugh together and we have made many memories on countless adventures.

 

My question is would you stay in a relationship if this spark,lust,chemistry (whatever you want to call it) isn't there? I realize that this eventually fades for most long term relationships, but we never had it from the beginning - will this become a bigger issue as time goes on?

 

I worry that I am placing too much value on the bedroom, physical chemistry and loving words. Almost feels like a best friend. I do not feel he desires me and when he does, it is very robotic (we have never kissed passionately and I miss that SO MUCH). However, he is loyal, helpful, funny - and clearly likes having me around.

 

 

Sorry to ramble but I would love to hear some experiences and thoughts on this. Great group here and I appreciate reading every day. TIA!

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My question is would you stay in a relationship if this spark,lust,chemistry (whatever you want to call it) isn't there? I realize that this eventually fades for most long term relationships, but we never had it from the beginning - will this become a bigger issue as time goes on?

 

I worry that I am placing too much value on the bedroom, physical chemistry and loving words. Almost feels like a best friend. I do not feel he desires me and when he does, it is very robotic (we have never kissed passionately and I miss that SO MUCH). However, he is loyal, helpful, funny - and clearly likes having me around.

 

Sorry to hear that you are going through this.

 

Feel free to browse my posts about this same issue.

I married almost 6 years ago waiting for the passion to develop, and have learned the hard way that it doesn't. I am with a person who doesn't and never did like to kiss passionately or "make out".

I love her and we get along in many ways, but I have a constant yearning for more passion. It's very mechanical and honestly, I wouldn't have married her if I knew that she truly isn't into to kissing

and even holding hands.

 

Some people are just not wired that way.

If you can leave relatively unscathed, I would do so. Because IMO that passion will never come if it's not there now.

Life is too short to be kissed like a distant relative.

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Have you read the book Five Love Languages?

 

With all due respect Wiseman2 (and I usually resonate with everything you say for years), The Love Languages is an excellent book to find compromises and to accept a person the way they are.

However, when it comes to passion, that is for most people a deal breaker. Some people (myself included) live without a passion for their spouse and continue on.

I've reached my breaking point many times in the marriage and it's all because of this lack of passion. All I do is reminisce of past relationships where we kissed passionately (many years later in the relationship)

and had a mutually satisfying sex life.

I even envy senior citizens holding hands, because it's something my spouse isn't into.

 

If I could turn back the clock, I would.

 

So, if the OP's investment in the relationship is not too deep, I would move on.

 

Just my $0.02

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It could different things, but something to consider. You mentioned you were in a toxic relationship.

Dramatic highs and lows go hand in hand with toxic relationships and if we aren't careful when can confuse relative calm and the balance a new healthy partner gives us as something being missing.

 

Personally, I've experienced all types. The toxic, the dramatic, the flat lined. I stuck it out with someone I felt that lack of crazy intensity with. What I learned (for me) was that that intensity I was looking for wasn't healthy. In other words. it was drama. In return I have probably the most stable and fulfilling relationship I've ever been in.

 

In hindsight, those who I would previously consider my greatest loves where I felt the most passion and intensity were instead the most unhealthy relationships I had ever been in.

 

Not sure if this is your case. He may or may not be the right guy for you, but it's something to give some thought to.

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My question is would you stay in a relationship if this spark,lust,chemistry (whatever you want to call it) isn't there? I realize that this eventually fades for most long term relationships, but we never had it from the beginning - will this become a bigger issue as time goes on?

 

No, and yes, respectively.

 

I personally wouldn't continue to date someone with whom I'd never had a spark or chemistry, because (as I indicated above) I know it would indeed become a bigger problem down the road.

 

Compatibility across many areas is important for me in sustaining a long-term relationship, and that includes sexual compatibility. Sure, it ebbs and flows over the years and for different reasons, but if it's not even there from the beginning? That, to me, is someone I would prefer to be friends with. Not romantic partners.

 

There is a difference between the unhealthy highs and lows of a toxic relationship, and simply not being that into your partner. It doesn't necessarily mean you're trying to create unhealthy patterns in your new relationship. It could mean, however, that you're trying to shove a square peg into a round hole simply because you know the guy is good on paper and you "should" want to date him. It doesn't necessarily follow that he is right for you.

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Can you feel passion with someone who is stable, there for you, truly loves you? Or do you need to be kept on your toes in a bad way -meaning someone who runs hot and cold? Passion to me is essential. And knowing -feeling secure in knowing -that the passion if not there momentarily or even more than momentarily given life's situations/struggles -that it can be revived -believing that the core of it is still there. Yesterday I told my husband I was going into the shower (no it's not what you think) and he said reflexively "oh do you want me to raise the heat before you come out?" I was so touched -he's so busy, he thought of me, etc. Passionate would be "ooohhhh can I join you???" but I wouldn't have wanted that then -too busy lol - but the thoughtfulness, the caring -meant so much to me. But if I didn't know in my heart that we click passionately, we have chemistry (whether or not we're getting to have sex as often as we should/like to) then I would feel like I'd settled and I'd be dissatisfied.

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No spark for me would be a dealbreaker. I have plenty of good friends, so I'd require more from a partner because I'm monogamous. Friendships can hold different degrees of excitement and different friends can meet different needs. If I take up with a lover, it needs to be loving, not meh.

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Can you feel passion with someone who is stable, there for you, truly loves you? Or do you need to be kept on your toes in a bad way -meaning someone who runs hot and cold? Passion to me is essential. And knowing -feeling secure in knowing -that the passion if not there momentarily or even more than momentarily given life's situations/struggles -that it can be revived -believing that the core of it is still there. Yesterday I told my husband I was going into the shower (no it's not what you think) and he said reflexively "oh do you want me to raise the heat before you come out?" I was so touched -he's so busy, he thought of me, etc. Passionate would be "ooohhhh can I join you???" but I wouldn't have wanted that then -too busy lol - but the thoughtfulness, the caring -meant so much to me. But if I didn't know in my heart that we click passionately, we have chemistry (whether or not we're getting to have sex as often as we should/like to) then I would feel like I'd settled and I'd be dissatisfied.
I definitely dont miss the hot and cold of the toxic relationship. But I do miss the burning fire of someone missing me while I'm away, deep passionate kissing, sexual desire that involves touching and telling me I'm sexy. My ex was hot and cold.... but I cannot deny our chemistry in bed was incredible and I could feel my stomach flip when he looked at me a certain way. This new guy is very muted when it comes to expressing emotion in general and I'm finding it very hard to fall hard and deep in love because nothing else is 'hard and deep' hahaha
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I definitely dont miss the hot and cold of the toxic relationship. But I do miss the burning fire of someone missing me while I'm away, deep passionate kissing, sexual desire that involves touching and telling me I'm sexy. My ex was hot and cold.... but I cannot deny our chemistry in bed was incredible and I could feel my stomach flip when he looked at me a certain way. This new guy is very muted when it comes to expressing emotion in general and I'm finding it very hard to fall hard and deep in love because nothing else is 'hard and deep' hahaha

 

I get it. I think if you stay with him you will feel like you are settling. I broke two engagements because that was missing.

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Have you read the book Five Love Languages?
I havent read that book in particular, but I have done reading on love languages in general. I ty to be grateful and understand that he does show his love for me in other ways. He cooks beautiful meals, shovels the driveway... acts of service I guess they would call it.

 

But these acts of service are not carried into the bedroom.

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Sorry to hear that you are going through this.

 

Feel free to browse my posts about this same issue.

I married almost 6 years ago waiting for the passion to develop, and have learned the hard way that it doesn't. I am with a person who doesn't and never did like to kiss passionately or "make out".

I love her and we get along in many ways, but I have a constant yearning for more passion. It's very mechanical and honestly, I wouldn't have married her if I knew that she truly isn't into to kissing

and even holding hands.

 

Some people are just not wired that way.

If you can leave relatively unscathed, I would do so. Because IMO that passion will never come if it's not there now.

Life is too short to be kissed like a distant relative.

Thank you for your reply. I'm sorry about your situation as well. It can be very disheartening when all you want to do is express the love and attraction you have for someone and they seize up. The current boyfriend has stated outright that he doesnt think tongues belong in kissing. Nothing more than a peck. I'm finding it very hard to emotionally connect and attach on a deeper romantic level.
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My question is would you stay in a relationship if this spark, lust, chemistry (whatever you want to call it) isn't there? I realize that this eventually fades for most long term relationships, but we never had it from the beginning - will this become a bigger issue as time goes on?

 

Simple answer to question #1, speaking only for myself: no.

 

To me romantic compatibility is about three things: emotional, physical, and intellectual/spiritual connection. I might be in the minority, but I don't really believe these are things that can be "worked on." They either align, or they don't, and the first few months with someone—6-9, let's say—are about testing that alignment. The more aligned we are on our own, of course, helps with conducting that experiment with grace and honesty.

 

It's kind of like a rocket-ship before liftoff: one thruster turns on, then another, then another. If one is sputtering, you nix the flight, or at least delay it. If all are coming up optimal on the dash? You press the button, let the scaffolding fall away, and head off to space. There are still plenty of risks and uncertainty, of course, but you've covered the main bases for interstellar voyage. You know the ship is sound, capable; now it's just about how you two operate it in tandem as you head off into the unknown.

 

That's just me, of course. I've certainly gotten into relationships with a sputtering thruster—"settling," as its known—but never the one you're describing. I have friends I can adventure with and make memories with, watch TV with, laugh with. Can do a lot of that alone, so I've always required that the physical compatibility is on point from the start when it comes to romance. To me, it's kind of the chief difference between romantic relationships and others. I've had some very healthy loving relationships, and some toxic ones, but never ones where I'm yearning for "passion." My personal wiggle room for compromise on that has always been a flat zero.

 

As for your other question about this becoming a bigger issue over time: yes. Sounds like you're already there. That things you overlooked at month one and four are more grating at month 12. Simple math says that, come month 16 or 32, they'll grate harder, unless you can rewire your you-ness a bit to not need something you feel, right now, you need. Not sure that's possible, to be honest, though people try every day.

 

I can't help but get the impression that maybe you swung the pendulum a bit too far with this guy? Before him you had a "passionate" relationship with someone who was toxic, or "dangerous," and so perhaps in this man you opted for "safety," with the price of admission being a touch of self-deception, tricking yourself into not requiring something that you do, in fact, require for sustainable romantic harmony. Twelve months in the pendulum is drifting back to center—meaning you're inhabiting yourself, truly—and you're realizing the disconnect that, according to you, has always been there.

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You mention your ex quite a bit. It sounds like you're not ready to date this guy...or anyone else at the moment. Sadly you compare "an abusive" ex favorably to this new boring snow shoveling, cooking guy. Reflect on why you are pining for an 'abusive ex' and praising him this much. Very sad.

My ex was hot and cold.... but I cannot deny our chemistry in bed was incredible and I could feel my stomach flip when he looked at me a certain way. This new guy is very muted.
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You mention your ex quite a bit. It sounds like you're not ready to date this guy...or anyone else at the moment. Sadly you compare "an abusive" ex favorably to this new boring snow shoveling, cooking guy. Reflect on why you are pining for an 'abusive ex' and praising him this much. Very sad.
Doing everything I can to move on. We were engaged and it my first love- I've been working very hard for over 2 years to keep moving forward. But I cant deny it is difficult- especially when my feelings for a new great guy just dont compare with what I felt in such an unhealthy situation.

 

 

And I do reflect on why I "pine" for the last guy. It is because of the attention, affection and passion he showed me when things were good. I'm not saying the relationship was ideal or that I want HIM back, but there are definitely aspects of that relationship that I would like to share with someone new.

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but there are definitely aspects of that relationship that I would like to share with someone new.

 

Dig a little deeper and try recall those moments of intensity. I can honestly say mine were due to angst, making up after fights and the fear of losing and abandonment. I'd feel really low over the conflicts and passionately high over the reconciliations. That combined with everything always feeling at risk and fragile. You tend to hold on a little tighter.

 

I miss those highs but I also realize it was because there wasn't anything healthy creating them

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Dig a little deeper and try recall those moments of intensity. I can honestly say mine were due to angst, making up after fights and the fear of losing and abandonment. I'd feel really low over the conflicts and passionately high over the reconciliations. That combined with everything always feeling at risk and fragile. You tend to hold on a little tighter.

 

I miss those highs but I also realize it was because nothing healthy was creating them

The sex and lust was intense from the very beginning before any fighting ever started. The sex kept me longer than it should.

 

I simply miss feeling attractive and desired by someone. I miss them actually wanting to kiss me and touch me.

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I simply miss feeling attractive and desired by someone. I miss them actually wanting to kiss me and touch me.

 

To echo some of the responses about OP's past boyfriend....

There is often patterned behaviour of dating the same type of person over and over again.

Or after learning from mistakes dating someone very different than the last person to end the cycle.

 

Breaking the cycle from an abusive person is tough and very commendable, so OP ...good on you for finding it.

 

However, we all have our mental and written lists of:

 

deal breakers (ie: want/do not want children)

must haves, (good with finances)

nice to haves (healthy life)

 

Everyone's list is different and they can change a little with maturity.

 

This might be a good exercise OP. Just forget about your past experiences and really think through as you make your list.

 

Feeling attractive and desired by someone is pretty big, and if you took the time to come for advice on a forum, I would think it's a pretty big deal for you.

 

We get one life.

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The more you write it just seems like you ran in the complete opposite direction, as if "great sex" became something you equated with "bad relationship." So now you're trying write a dictionary where "good relationship" gets defined, in part, by "bad sex" or "not feeling desired." Maybe four years ago you were outlining relationship turmoil and then saying "But the sex is so good," while today you outline it and then add, "But he shovels the driveway and cooks for me."

 

Zoom out a bit and that's the same coin, just a different side. Might be worth thinking about.

 

Sex is a funny thing: so primally simplistic, so socially and psychologically fraught. Before we've done it, it represents some pinnacle of adulthood and maturity; then, once adults, it gets deemed almost "childish" or "immature" to value hot sex as much as, say, a shoveled driveway, balanced checkbook, or a good balsamic reduction. Breaking up with someone (or not getting into a relationship with someone) because they can't manage their finances or challenge your ideas about literature is seen as sensible, responsible; but doing the same because they don't get you off or open their mouth when you kiss can seem almost trite, high school stuff we're supposed to grow out of as grownups.

 

Not sure it quite works that way.

 

Maybe this all works out for you, and you're just shuffling through some complicated feelings, dregs of the past. I'm an optimist, and a romantic, so I hope so. But I'm probably a realist above all, and I get the sense that maybe this relationship, like your last one, has been essential in sharpening your compass, helping you see the full spectrum of what you're worth and what you need, while sadly not having the fuel required for the kind of journey you fundamentally desire.

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I believe the passionate relationship aspect is subjective and you have to decide for yourself.

 

if what you have never changed or was less, How would you feel?

 

for me, it's a deal breaker.... I get that it ebbs and flows over the course of a LTR and I would not leave someone over a drought for some reason....

 

but I definitely want sparks, deep kissing, affection, romance. without it, that's friendship.

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This reminds me of Goldilocks and the 3 Bears. You tried one chair and it was too hard. You tried another chair and it was too soft. You have to keep on until you find one that is just right.

 

Even though I was merely a few months shy of 15 years, I dated for the first time, and the guy thought French kissing was gross. I had no experience with making out, but even so, I quickly grew bored of this. I don't see this as you growing bored with an otherwise nice guy because you're subconsciously hung up on dysfunction. I'm reading it as he's just a bit too vanilla for your tastes.

 

Yes, you're settling. Sure he's has good traits, but like some of the others have said, they are good traits for a friend, but a passionate relationship should be a friendship caught on fire, and he's lacking for those sparks.

 

Passion never retains the level of the heady first months of a relationship, but great sparks still happen regularly between couples who are really into each other.

 

I wouldn't invest any more time into a relationship where you are regularly unsatisfied. Give yourself some alone time to move on, and in the meantime, make a must have list and deal breaker list and stick to it in your next dating experience. You'll feel better about cutting people lose a lot sooner, telling yourself you can't waste your time, and feel more confident of sticking with them if they match you in all the major ways. Good luck.

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Try not to hinge your value and existence around sex or how desirable you are. His sex drive differs from yours, you've known this for over a year.. So that is incompatibilities perhaps on many levels. Why not end things if you are unhappy?

He has now offered information that he suffers from episodes of mania followed by depression. Could this explain the wavering libido? I'm so frustrated- he has many great qualities in a boyfriend but I just dont know if I can live like this with zero passion.
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This reminds me of Goldilocks and the 3 Bears. You tried one chair and it was too hard. You tried another chair and it was too soft. You have to keep on until you find one that is just right.

 

Yes! It's important to grasp that most people are NOT our match. Some young people see peers coupling up and marrying, and they believe that that's just what they are 'supposed to' do. It takes years of experience to learn that most of those early relationships fall apart as one or the the other ages out of them, and hindsight teaches that at least 50% (I'd wager more) of those marriages end up in divorce court--with a big financial mess and their kids having the rug ripped out from under them.

 

Don't latch onto perfectly good people who are NOT your match. If you're not getting the kind of love you want, then chalk it up to a life lesson about allowing wrong matches to pass early, and go find your Self. From there you'll be on a much more grounded and stable platform for screening out bad matches before latching onto them just because they are 'nice'. Skip that. Hold out for the love of your life--with a clear sense that anything less is far less than you deserve.

 

True simpatico is rare, because love is supposed to be rare. If it were not, what would be so special about it?

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I enjoy his company, we laugh together and we have made many memories on countless adventures

 

What you describe there is a good friend , someone you can call , have a laugh with , enjoy days out with .... and there it ends . Don't be fooled by the fact that he is nicer then the last bloke ... I have also been in toxic relationships and it is easy to slip into something and be grateful because * at least they are not been abusive * ...

 

You deserve lust , desire , fulfillment and you don't have to settle or feel fickle because you want that ...don't settle .

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