Passion is the flame that keeps relationships alive. But what do couples do *or don’t do* to douse that previously sweltering flame?
When you hear the word passion, the first thing that pops into your mind might be those tacky oil-painted, Fabio-centric romance novel covers. But that’s not the only concept that encompasses passion in relationships.
Passion is what makes you and your partner’s eyes sparkle. It’s what makes you feel warm and fuzzy, or hot and bothered. It’s different for everyone, but it exists in each and every romantic relationship. If it didn’t, you would be better off having a passionate affair with a sandwich.
Is there still passion in your relationship?
There are many obvious signs when the passion is running high in your relationship. Passion covers all aspects of your connection to one another.
It is simultaneously charged by physical attraction, sexual and mental chemistry, as well as an innate sense of caring. Take one of those out, and all you’ve got is intensity, which is not the only thing that you’re aiming for in a long-term relationship.
The question that you should be asking, however, is “is it still there?” Are you and your partner still passionate about each other? If you want to know if you guys still have it, here are some factors that you need to look out for:
#1 You still want each other. This is true, physically or otherwise. It’s not a very deep question. It’s instinctual. You either want your partner or you don’t. You want to kiss them. You want to see them. You want to spend time with them. They should also feel the same way about you.
The best way to know if this is true is to observe how you interact with each other, even if you’re the type of couple who doesn’t show much affection.
#2 You don’t question your relationship. You have no doubts about how you and your partner perceive each other, whether it’s your attraction or your treatment of one another. It does not mean that everything is always fine and dandy. It just means that no matter what you go through, you’re confident that you and your partner will always pull through.
#3 You still feel the love whenever you think about your partner. Life keeps us busy, so it’s too much to expect that you’re thinking of your partner 24/7. But when you do think about them, you still feel the same way you did when you first fell in love with them.
What happens when the passion isn’t there anymore?
Passion sometimes sneakily slips off into the night, leaving you wondering where that burning flame went off to. Through years of being together and handling the most rudimentary relationship tasks, you might end up realizing that you’re no longer as passionate about each other as you once were. If you’re in doubt, here are the signs.
#1 You don’t want to have sex. There is a big difference between not being able to have sex and not wanting to have sex. The former happens when you’re too busy, there’s no right time to do it, or extenuating circumstances like distance and health reasons that keep you from doing it. The latter happens when you can’t feel any sort of sexual urge or attraction towards your partner for no apparent reason.
#2 You don’t want to know about your partner’s day. You coast. You don’t care. You know things are happening in each other’s lives, but you just don’t give a damn about whatever it is.
#3 You envy how other happy couples feel, not what they are going through. This is dangerous thinking because it means that you are looking for something that a relationship cannot provide. You are no longer passionate about what you and your partner share. You want to be just as happy as other couples, but you are not willing to change how your current relationship is progressing.
#4 You don’t feel attracted to your partner anymore. When you realize that you don’t find your partner enticing anymore, it’s time to admit that you are no longer passionate about them.
#5 Everything else is more important than fixing your relationship. You’re already committed, which makes it that much easier to ignore the fact that your relationship can disappear at any moment. When you ignore your relationship in lieu of other concerns, you will feel the effects sooner or later from the lack of passion and intimacy.
No matter how difficult life gets, you still need to take some time to evaluate your relationship. Otherwise, you’re just left with a label and nothing or no one else to fight for.
What kills passion?
There are many reasons why the passion fizzles out of relationships. I don’t believe that it happens naturally or that it is inevitable. It is the job of the couple to keep the flames of passion burning. You can’t just let it sit there and revel in the fact that you once had it. You have to work to keep it going.
#1 Letting yourself go. Don’t bite my head off about this because you know it is true. Yes, your partner will inevitably see you at your oiliest and grimiest, but that does not mean that you should embrace it. Physical attraction is not a priority, but it needs to be maintained. That goes for both of you.
#2 Being complacent. Letting things run their own course can be good sometimes, but it can also be damaging in the long run. When things don’t feel right, you need to investigate and fix the issue. Never let problems stew, and never let your connection lose momentum.
#3 Letting work get in the way. Always remember that your relationship is as much a job as the one you hold in the office. Just because one pays the bills, does not mean that it is more important than the other. Like with your job, you need to clock in your hours with your partner as well.
#4 Blaming the kids. Everyone knows it’s hard to raise children, but there are ways in which you can delegate your attention. Ask for help, know your limits, don’t take on more than you can handle, and never forget that your family is essentially the most important relationship you’ll ever have in your life.
#5 Skipping sex. The most ideal frequency of sex for busy people is at least once a week. Let it go lower than that and you’re going to start giving up on the idea altogether. If you have issues in the bedroom, resolve them. If your issues outside of your home are affecting your sex life, fix them.
#6 Foregoing the affection. If you’re not having sex yet, it is still important to have some semblance of intimacy. Be caring and kind. Hold hands. Make out. Kiss your loved one on the cheek. Tell them you love them every day. Embrace your humanity by connecting with your loved one on a primal and intimate level.
#7 Resentment, contempt, jealousy, and other negative feelings. Passion in a relationship should be intense and positive, making you feel like you can take on almost anything. But in some cases, it can be overshadowed by intensely negative feelings that might be just as passionate. Nip those bad feelings in the bud before things get out of hand, and don’t allow it to get to the point where no amount of damage control can save your relationship.
When you don’t do the necessary things that keep passion alive, you will end up with a relationship that only exists on a day to day basis. No matter how secure you think you are, a passionless relationship can self-destruct at any moment, or go on forever until you forget how it ever felt like to want each other.