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How Important is "Passion" to you?


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You have every right to emphasize what goes on in your bedroom. Everyone's different.

 

For me, it's down to "brass tacks" in my relationship. I want to know what everyday life is like with my partner and husband, in my case. Is life easy or difficult? Passion or love does not conquer all in my book. What I consider real passion is how everyday life is. Money being the big factor because financial security is paramount. Then there's good health, smooth, normal, predictable respect between two people, integrity when no one is looking over your or his shoulder and overall peace of mind.

 

The spark is still there because life is good. I'd say there is zero enthusiasm if "essentials" of everyday life were not secured first and foremost. If like is smooth sailing with an easy man to get along with, then yes, the love intensity is there. If life is a daily struggle, if there are personality and character conflicts, money woes, poor health and headaches, then my answer is 'no,' there is zero passion let alone brain space for anything else but serious worries.

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It depends on what you're looking for and your age.

 

If you're okay with a roommate type of relationship and you want company more than anything, then this is fine. Same if you're older (older than 50) and aren't too fussed anymore about intimacy or have physical issues with it. Then this would work well.

 

However, if you're still young and you still want a sexual relationship with lots of spark etc, then this will not work.

It might be sort of nice company wise for a short while, but it will become boring and even depressing before long.

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Wow, this is almost an absolute mirror of my own experience.

 

14 year horribly unhealthy relationship, yet unbelievably good sex.

 

Followed by a phenomenal companionship, respect and communication yet left unsatisfied in bed.

 

I was good for about two years in my healthy rapport but “beige” and infrequent sex life situation, and I ended up staying and “settling” for almost another four years. In hindsight, it would have been far kinder for me to end the relationship as soon as I knew I wasn’t going to ever be sexually fulfilled in it.

 

I don’t know about you but there was some fear about hurting my partner’s feelings when the interpersonal stuff was so easy and loving. There was some fear about leaving and never “doing better,” i.e. maybe I was being greedy and expecting too much by considering leaving her for unknown but potential options?

 

If I could do it all again I’d still date #2 and experience the healthy partnership...but I would not make any decisions based on fear.

 

Today I’m dating somebody loving and stable and we can’t keep our hands off of each other...

 

Good luck and lots of love, whatever you end up choosing to do!

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Read the article: interesting, no doubt, but I'm not quite sure it applies to this scenario.

 

OP is not a year into a relationship and longing for a "passion" that once existed between them, but for a kind of "passion" that has never existed. Eight weeks in she wrote a nearly verbatim post about things, updating it in June: more of the same, more of less. Six months later it's the same issue: not that things have changed for the worse, but that they've stayed the same. The foundation of this relationship is solid and consistent, in other words; it's what that foundation is made of that is the issue here. In another dynamic it would be a cause for calm and celebration that, 12 months into a relationship, things still feel much the way they did at 8 weeks.

 

It takes many people a fair amount of time and experience to learn that, by and large, what you get from someone is what you get. Let's say you meet a dude who is obsessed with craft beer and golf; well, it is unlikely that he will morph into a dude who wants to talk literature and philosophy over artisanal cheese if you just "give it some time." Similarly, a dude (or dudette) who is a bit "beige" on the intimacy front, to use Skeptic's excellent descriptor, is unlikely to get red hot if you're patient. That's like tending to a herd of cattle in hopes that they'll become jaguars if you give them enough grass and room to roam.

 

OP is 30, so quite young. Her adult relationship experience, best I can tell, is pretty limited: a scorching, combative love and now a low-octane, vanilla form of love. What she wants might be someone who offers components of both, which is not a moonshot, though it might mean there's a better match out there than this one.

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Terrific article . Sadly, this has been a problem from the beginning. Time to call it quits.

 

OP, you got the same answers about a year ago, why did you continue?

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Terrific article . Sadly, this has been a problem from the beginning. Time to call it quits.

 

OP, you got the same answers about a year ago, why did you continue?

 

Thanks to everyone for the great replies. Hollyj, you are right. It's the same issue that I noticed 8 weeks in and it's pretty unreasonable to expect someone to change. I stayed because I saw brief improvements here and there that were unfortunately temporary. I guess a part of me is just trying to push aside the needs I have when it comes to sex and passion because I felt I shouldn't be valuing that highly as I am.

I am sexually open and adventurous woman and I probably can't change the fact that this great guy is more vanilla than myself. I guess I have to figure out if it's truly a deal breaker. My unhappiness and unease would tell me it might be -

 

I had a lot of trouble leaving my last relationship too. The "people pleaser" in me hates the thought of making someone else uncomfortable and sad. He really is a great person. Just maybe not my best match.

 

Thank you all for the insight. I have learned so much about myself from this forum.

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Thanks to everyone for the great replies. Hollyj, you are right. It's the same issue that I noticed 8 weeks in and it's pretty unreasonable to expect someone to change. I stayed because I saw brief improvements here and there that were unfortunately temporary. I guess a part of me is just trying to push aside the needs I have when it comes to sex and passion because I felt I shouldn't be valuing that highly as I am.

I am sexually open and adventurous woman and I probably can't change the fact that this great guy is more vanilla than myself. I guess I have to figure out if it's truly a deal breaker. My unhappiness and unease would tell me it might be -

 

I had a lot of trouble leaving my last relationship too. The "people pleaser" in me hates the thought of making someone else uncomfortable and sad. He really is a great person. Just maybe not my best match.

 

Thank you all for the insight. I have learned so much about myself from this forum.

 

Natasha, have you considered therapy to work through the abuse.?

 

Thus guy is a bandaid, you need to work through your issues alone. This is empowering. When you are in a better place, you will not settle, and will find the whole package.

 

Time to address your past.

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Natasha, have you considered therapy to work through the abuse.?

 

Thus guy is a bandaid, you need to work through your issues alone. This empowering. When you are in a better place, you will not settle, and will find the whole package.

 

Time to address your past.

 

I spent a solid year and a half alone after the breakup and worked really hard with educating myself and took advantage of some online counselling as well. I thought I had worked through a lot of the abuse and honestly felt very ready to date. But this relationship didn't excite my soul and catch fire the way I expected or wanted. I definitely have some issues with suppressing my own feelings and needs for the sake of others. Working on self love constantly, and still read and listen to a lot of podcasts related to "narcissistic abuse".

 

I really want to heal fully but there's something about the way my ex replaced me and just married into bliss... just really hit me harder than I thought.

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"But lately I've been having a hard time with my boyfriend calling me names and talking down to me. He has become very easy to flip on me when I do something wrong, almost to the point where I'm afraid to screw anything up in fear of being called a 'dumba**' or 'stupid' (curse words are usually included in the name-calling).

I know he has a quick temper, and I fear that the longer we are dating, the more comfortable he is around me, and therefore the more likely he is to lash out at me. He also has a very hard time saying sorry when he does call me names and upset me. He gets very angry when I become upset (usually I cry, but noone likes to be called names, right?) and he has a very hard time dealing with me crying and it makes him even more angry. I hate it when he talks to me like that, and he's on other ocassions called me 'lazy' and 'stupid' -- both things which I know I am not. He's even come to the point of saying these things in front of our friends and even in front of his mother (who called him out for it)."

 

This was really bad, and you need to understand why you would miss any of it.

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Much as I am an advocate for reflection, therapy, intentional healing, and so forth, I don't think this is that complicated, or needs to be viewed through the prism of you still being severely wounded from your past and having "more work" to do. That may, in fact, give your past more power than it deserves at this point. As you said, you spent some solid time alone, working through stuff, processing, growing. Terrific. That's ongoing, until you stop breathing. Is every single thorn removed? No, and that might be the case a decade from now. That's okay. Life, as they say.

 

Relationships are experiments, in a way, and experience allows us to conduct those experiments with more precision. Sometimes we need a few to really clarify what we want, need, staying in something past its expiration date for that information to really surface. Been there! Bottom line is: when we're committed to someone who does not meet some of our most fundamental needs, it's inherently unnerving, destabilizing, regardless of where we've been before. No different, really, from living in a city when you really want to be in the country. It's not something in you that is "broken" that cringes at the traffic, or a "failure" to be unable to adapt to the frenetic pace; it's that you just need a different environment to feel at genuinely at peace and move around in your own skin.

 

This, best I can see, is the story here: an almost-match that has affirmed for you some of your own core needs—needs that you've suppressed in order to make this "work." Always tough to come to terms with these moments, but sometimes it's far healthier—and a sign that the self-work is working—to just call it that than to turn it into a verdict on your entire psychological equilibrium. In my opinion "toxic" is not merely high-low relationships where vases are thrown into walls as a prelude to hot sex, but any relationship that requires suppressing a core value to function, even if the day to day isn't all fire and brimstone.

 

What you want—a bit more fire, without the brimstone—is hardly asking for the moon. And if you had that? Odds are that the jab of your ex getting married wouldn't land quite as hard, because you'd be genuinely confident that you'd moved on, and forward, into something more enriching and sustainable and true, rather than something where "healthy" is defined primarily as safe, and where attachment is predicated on something inherently unhealthy: the suppression of personal truths. You'd be able to feel that jab and the joy of your relationship, in tandem, rather than the jab doubling as a surgical light exposing the missing pillar in the foundation here, if that makes sense. (And in case I sound like I'm making the case for "using" new relationships to negate the hurt of old ones, the same paradigm would apply to being happily single.)

 

Another poster suggested making a list of your non-negotiables. I second this. Start with "great sex," and then add in the less spicy ingredients you require. Did it myself three years ago, in the wake of a relationship ending. Wasn't long, but writing it out helped as a guide. I was 37, so had to live a good bit of life, stumbling about in various laboratories, to even be able to write that out. But it allowed me to let go of matches that weren't working, and keep searching for one that did, without making the misfires into more than just that: an experiment that ran its course, not evidence that I remained a mess from past lashings.

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Much as I am an advocate for reflection, therapy, intentional healing, and so forth, I don't think this is that complicated, or needs to be viewed through the prism of you still being severely wounded from your past and having "more work" to do. That may, in fact, give your past more power than it deserves at this point. As you said, you spent some solid time alone, working through stuff, processing, growing. Terrific. That's ongoing, until you stop breathing. Is every single thorn removed? No, and that might be the case a decade from now. That's okay. Life, as they say.

 

Relationships are experiments, in a way, and experience allows us to conduct those experiments with more precision. Sometimes we need a few to really clarify what we want, need, staying in something past its expiration date for that information to really surface. Been there! Bottom line is: when we're committed to someone who does not meet some of our most fundamental needs, it's inherently unnerving, destabilizing, regardless of where we've been before. No different, really, from living in a city when you really want to be in the country. It's not something in you that is "broken" that cringes at the traffic, or a "failure" to be unable to adapt to the frenetic pace; it's that you just need a different environment to feel at genuinely at peace and move around in your own skin.

 

This, best I can see, is the story here: an almost-match that has affirmed for you some of your own core needs—needs that you've suppressed in order to make this "work." Always tough to come to terms with these moments, but sometimes it's far healthier—and a sign that the self-work is working—to just call it that than to turn it into a verdict on your entire psychological equilibrium. In my opinion "toxic" is not merely high-low relationships where vases are thrown into walls as a prelude to hot sex, but any relationship that requires suppressing a core value to function, even if the day to day isn't all fire and brimstone.

 

What you want—a bit more fire, without the brimstone—is hardly asking for the moon. And if you had that? Odds are that the jab of your ex getting married wouldn't land quite as hard, because you'd be genuinely confident that you'd moved on, and forward, into something more enriching and sustainable and true, rather than something where "healthy" is defined primarily as safe, and where attachment is predicated on something inherently unhealthy: the suppression of personal truths. You'd be able to feel that jab and the joy of your relationship, in tandem, rather than the jab doubling as a surgical light exposing the missing pillar in the foundation here, if that makes sense. (And in case I sound like I'm making the case for "using" new relationships to negate the hurt of old ones, the same paradigm would apply to being happily single.)

 

Another poster suggested making a list of your non-negotiables. I second this. Start with "great sex," and then add in the less spicy ingredients you require. Did it myself three years ago, in the wake of a relationship ending. Wasn't long, but writing it out helped as a guide. I was 37, so had to live a good bit of life, stumbling about in various laboratories, to even be able to write that out. But it allowed me to let go of matches that weren't working, and keep searching for one that did, without making the misfires into more than just that: an experiment that ran its course, not evidence that I remained a mess from past lashings.

This made complete sense to me. Thank you. I agree that I am ready to let the past be just that and move forward- but I need to be clear about what I need and want to feel fufilled.
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I need to be clear about what I need and want to feel fufilled.

 

Get a pen and paper, and start jotting. You can cross some things out, underline others. Try to keep it brief and specific, but highlight places where there is zero room for compromise. Best thing is that there are no wrong answers, just the answers that are right for you. Suspect you'll find it a worthwhile exercise, and one that gives you perspective.

 

I get that your last relationship left a big mark, still healing. But subtract that whole chapter from your life story and, odds are, you'd be feeling much the way you do right now. You're simply undernourished, romantically. Guess that's what I'm trying to get at here. The issue isn't some faulty wiring in your mainframe, but that too many of your natural lights aren't being lit up.

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This post and all the comments are super hard for me to read - but necessary - because *I'm* the male partner who my girlfriend doesn't have sexual passion for, and we're probably going to break up because of it.

 

We've been dating for about 1 1/2 years, and the sex problems happened pretty soon. I have a performance anxiety that hampers my erections, but with my gf penis-shaming me from that time on, I basically developed psychological ED. (There's probably some physical aspects, too, like aging, but it's largely mental). And her penis-shaming stems in large part from her having a drinking problem and saying mean things about my sexuality when she's drunk, which is every time we get together. It also doesn't help that she often mentions her ex, and how great the sex was with him. That makes me even more insecure.

 

Now, I'm super nice to her, help with her life, and we have a connection and get along in most other respects. But she complains about the lack of sex. The more she complains, the less I can do it. The less I can do it, the more she complains. When I try, she resists, but then says after that my attempt was awkward.

 

We're going to a sex therapist / relationship counselor now in a last ditch try to save things, but it's not working. In fact, my gf is probably using the therapy as an easy way to break it off. We're on a "break" initiated by her, but I don't see how things can turn around, and there's a good chance that she'll break up with me. I should break up with her but just can't. I'm too attached. That's the subject of a full post awaiting moderator approval.

 

I know the OP's situation is different from this, since she seems a lot nicer about it. But I guess the commonality is that passion / lust / sexual spark is necessary. If it's lacking, for whatever reason, it's hard to make it a relationship. I'll continue reading these posts for any insight. All the best to OP.

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This post and all the comments are super hard for me to read - but necessary - because *I'm* the male partner who my girlfriend doesn't have sexual passion for, and we're probably going to break up because of it.

 

We've been dating for about 1 1/2 years, and the sex problems happened pretty soon. I have a performance anxiety that hampers my erections, but with my gf penis-shaming me from that time on, I basically developed psychological ED. (There's probably some physical aspects, too, like aging, but it's largely mental). And her penis-shaming stems in large part from her having a drinking problem and saying mean things about my sexuality when she's drunk, which is every time we get together. It also doesn't help that she often mentions her ex, and how great the sex was with him. That makes me even more insecure.

 

Now, I'm super nice to her, help with her life, and we have a connection and get along in most other respects. But she complains about the lack of sex. The more she complains, the less I can do it. The less I can do it, the more she complains. When I try, she resists, but then says after that my attempt was awkward.

 

We're going to a sex therapist / relationship counselor now in a last ditch try to save things, but it's not working. In fact, my gf is probably using the therapy as an easy way to break it off. We're on a "break" initiated by her, but I don't see how things can turn around, and there's a good chance that she'll break up with me. I should break up with her but just can't. I'm too attached. That's the subject of a full post awaiting moderator approval.

 

I know the OP's situation is different from this, since she seems a lot nicer about it. But I guess the commonality is that passion / lust / sexual spark is necessary. If it's lacking, for whatever reason, it's hard to make it a relationship. I'll continue reading these posts for any insight. All the best to OP.

 

I don't understand why you would stay with an abusive drunk.. Time to understand your choices in women.

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You need to get evaluated by a doctor and see a therapist alone for yourself. You also need to get your health in order including getting in shape and cutting out alcohol. Without appropriate physical assessments sex therapy is nonsense.

 

The general incompatibility, strive and disrespect are also factors. It would be best to get healthy and get rid of this gf, not just a break.

I have a performance anxiety that hampers my erections, There's probably some physical aspects, too, like aging

We're going to a sex therapist / relationship counselor now in a last ditch try to save things, but it's not working. In fact, my gf is probably using the therapy as an easy way to break it off.

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Oops, meant to reply with this quote: I don't understand why you would stay with an abusive drunk.. Time to understand your choices in women.

 

I'm staying with her for not very good reasons: shes's hot; I've grown attached; she has a career; we're in the same field; I've never broken up with anyone, just been broken up with; I've made so much effort with her (sunk cost fallacy); I think, probably incorrectly, that it'll get better with more talk, working it out, joint therapist. I just can't let go. All the bad reasons you see here on ENA. And yes, I've made bad choices like this before. I understand they're bad, but by the time I see that I'm too attached already.

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Oops, meant to reply with this quote: I don't understand why you would stay with an abusive drunk.. Time to understand your choices in women.

 

I'm staying with her for not very good reasons: shes's hot; I've grown attached; she has a career; we're in the same field; I've never broken up with anyone, just been broken up with; I've made so much effort with her (sunk cost fallacy); I think, probably incorrectly, that it'll get better with more talk, working it out, joint therapist. I just can't let go. All the bad reasons you see here on ENA. And yes, I've made bad choices like this before. I understand they're bad, but by the time I see that I'm too attached already.

 

Perhaps you're waiting for her to end it. Save you the trouble.

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You need to get evaluated by a doctor and see a therapist alone for yourself. You also need to get your health in order including getting in shape and cutting out alcohol. Without appropriate physical assessments sex therapy is nonsense.

 

The general incompatibility, strive and disrespect are also factors. It would be best to get healthy and get rid of this gf, not just a break.

 

I have seen a urologist several times, and apparently it's mostly psychogenic - not physical reasons such as blood flow, nerve damage, or other issues. I do agree that improving my overall physical condition is needed, for sexuality and general good health.

 

I also have being seeing my own talk therapist / counselor too for most of the time that I've dated this woman. It helps a little, but not completely.

 

It's correct that this is not healthy for me. But I just can't break away completely, I just can't. If she does it, I guess I'll accept it. I'm both terrified of her doing it, and wanting her to do it. It sucks, and I'm hurting alot.

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Perhaps you're waiting for her to end it. Save you the trouble.

 

f she does it, I guess I'll accept it. I'm both terrified of her doing it, and *KINDA* wanting her to do it.

 

I really want a miracle occur and everything will get magically better. This is fantasy, though. But that's why I'm more terrified of her breaking up with me than wanting it, because in this fantasy world, there's some small chance, 0.001%. That last infinitessimally small chance I'm hanging onto.

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Does your therapist recommend staying in this relationship? Does he/she think there's a "chance"?

 

My own therapist absolutely does not recommend staying in this relationship, not from what he's heard from me. I've known that for a long time. If only it were so easy for me as to following other people's sound advice!

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