It’s called ‘slow burn’. Love without the heart-stopping moment you see a text from him. Without the horrible paranoia that she doesn’t love you as much as you love her. It’s a confident love which is built on firm foundations. To some, it might seem boring. Could you consider a relationship like that? Love without passion.
We need to make a distinction here. Passion in the sense we are talking about is the feeling that you are irresistibly attracted to someone. That heart-stopping sensation when they walk into the room. Some might call it infatuation.
Passionate love is exciting for sure. Your pulse races, your pupils dilate, you can stop thinking about seeing him or her. You lose weight without trying. And you can’t keep the smile off your face. There are negatives though. It’s hard to work or study because your mind keeps wandering. You don’t see your friends so often. And anything to do with your family is boring.
You’ve never felt this rush before. You know you’ll never love this intensely again. So why do you feel so insecure? Why do you feel you have to drop everything else to be with that person? Are you afraid that they will get bored with you?
Your passion burns so deep it hurts. When he looks at you, you melt. When she strokes your hair, it feels like you went to heaven. When you make love, you are driven by desire so strong that nothing can stop you falling into each other’s arms. So why does it all feel so fleeting, so temporary? Because passion is not true love. Passion is nature’s way of ensuring the procreation of the species. Passion can disappear as quickly as it arrived.
Passion can destroy you and leave you in a state of grief. Passion can lie to you and treat you bad. Your passion might be their tool of manipulation. This passion is infatuation.
Some people cannot live without that spark. It’s what makes them energized and enthusiastic. A life without passion is like a desert devoid of water. Often this leads to serial relationships because it is that initial passion we are addicted to. Once it levels off, as most do, it becomes boring. So you move on.
Slow Burn Love: a Natural Progression
Love without passion is different. Sure there may well be many brief moments of passion, especially in the beginning. Yet, it’s not all-consuming. The relationship is part of your life; it doesn’t take over it. Love without passion is gentle. It grows on you, as you grow on each other. You might wonder if it is true love simply because you don’t feel like crying when he leaves to go home. And you don’t worry if she doesn’t respond to your text within 90 seconds.
But can a relationship without passion survive?
Passion makes you want to be with someone so much you want to consume them. That they are your very own. In a slow-burn relationship, it isn’t like that. You are two people who get on well, share common goals and interests, and have respect for each other. Love that begins as a friendship can deepen into a long-term relationship. But what if there’s no passion at all?
Jacob says that he and his wife met in their thirties. Neither wanted children, preferring to focus on their careers. He describes his work as his life’s passion, and his marriage as the stable base on which the rest of his life is built. He says his wife feels the same way. They are perfectly happy with their relationship and neither sees that changing any time soon.
Terri is unhappy. Her boyfriend, Sam, is about to move out. She says they used to be ‘madly in love’. They couldn’t be apart for longer than a few hours. People used to tease them about it. Two years on and Terri says the relationship is empty. Passion has gone and there doesn’t seem to be anything left to hold them together.
People Expect Passion in Their Relationships
During the last century and before, passion was rarely a factor in choosing a husband or wife. Decisions were based on more practical concerns about dependability, children, and future prospects. So what changed?
Popular literature, romantic songs, and movies increased people’s expectations exponentially when it came to relationships. We saw those heart-melting moments on screen and we wanted some of that. We still do. We all want to look into someone’s eyes and feel that intensity of emotion. But we don’t live our lives in a romantic dream.
When the passion fades, but we are still bombarded with those passionate images, all we feel is disappointment. Or tiredness. Or frustration that life hasn’t turned out like we expected.
Why Can’t There be Both?
Of course there are relationships, initially based on passion that morph into a deep, connected, respectful love. And they may well last a long time. In these kinds of relationships passion tends to ebb and flow in natural cycles. But we can’t all find that ideal balance. And relationships do change a lot over time.
Things That Are More Important Than Passion
- Mutual support
Coming to Terms with Love Without Passion
Often couples pass through the tough times when jobs and children seem to suck the passion out of an intimate relationship. They adapt and learn that there are certain things in life and marriage which are more valuable than passionate infatuation. They learn that deep love is based on sharing and co-operation. They may well feel disappointed that their previous expectations evaporated, but instead, they have gained so much more. They grew up. They formed a deep friendship.
When it comes down to it, relationships are as unique as the people in them. Love without passion works really well for some. Their relationship acts as a sort of bedrock. Their touchstone. Others cannot survive in a relationship without that spark of irresistible passion that keeps their hearts pounding and eyes sparkling.