As women, we’re raised to believe the love we’re looking for is what we see in movies. That passion that can’t seem to be tamed. Where we throw caution to the wind and blindly follow our hearts, because after all, it’s love. This is where I have to bust your bubble. That’s not love. That’s passion. Yes, there is a difference.
Passion is that innate, untameable force that lies within us, that “animal instinct” if you will. However, passion only burns for a limited time. Once that passion calms, you will either find love, or you’ll find a person on the other side who you don’t want to be with anymore simply because your eyes have opened to their flaws.
Those flaws were there all along, you just chose not to see them because you were swept up in your emotions. Does that make it wrong? Not at all. Think of it like this, a woman goes on vacation to an island to relax and unwind. She finds a man there doing the same. They engage in a torrid, but albeit, brief tryst. Their passion for each other ignites a flame that they can’t extinguish. In the end, they part ways and move on with their lives. Sounds like a movie right? Well, add the other dynamic. They try to stay together after this tryst. She realizes he doesn’t have any serious life goals, or he has anger management issues. He realizes she’s jealous and controlling. Now what?
That passion never escapes us. We just start waking up. Now that couple can decide to accept those flaws in each other, or they can decide to part ways for good. Are you thinking “but wait! That’s not what happens in the movies though”? You’re absolutely right!
We’ve been so conditioned to believe that the perfect man, or the perfect relationship is out there for us, when in fact perfection is a facade. If you show me a person that seems perfect, I’ll show you a person with a mask and a lot to hide. If you show me a perfect marriage, I’ll show you a couple with secrets. There is no perfection! To be honest, if your relationship was perfect, there would be no need for you to grow. Think about it!
We grow more than we realize in relationships. It’s where we learn to compromise in a relationship. It’s where we learn to sacrifice. Where we learn to challenge the limits of our communication, etc. Passion doesn’t challenge us to do that, love does.
Shortly before I was getting married, I remember having a conversation with my dad. He asked me if I could name some flaws in my soon to be husband. Not fully understanding the line of questioning, I named a few. He then asked if I could live with those flaws without trying to change him. After a few minutes of thinking, my answer was yes, I could live with them. Would I like those flaws? No. Would he always like mine? No.
My dad said if you would have said you weren’t able to point out his flaws, I would’ve told you to think about waiting because you haven’t experienced the real love with him yet. He explained his take on women and emotions, and how we often allow our feelings to lead, where most men often allow their brain to lead. He said that’s why so many women become hurt by men. Not saying it doesn’t happen the other way around. Just saying it’s more often this way. He told me to focus on one day at a time. His lessons saved me from heartbreak time and time again.
In relationships and even marriage, it won’t always be what you see in movies. There will be times when it can even seem lackluster, and we have to find that passion that existed once before. Am I saying that in order to have true love, you have to forgo the passion? Not at all. They often go hand in hand. I’m telling you that once that passion fades, you meet the real person. You can move forward and love that person and accept everything about them, but just make sure your eyes are open. The movies teach us that once we fall in love, we’ll get our happily ever after. Life teaches us differently.
Never do we see the days where the Prince gets on the Princess’ nerves just because he’s breathing. Or the times when the Princess leaves toothpaste in the sink, and it annoys the Prince. Or when he comes home from a long day and leaves his stinky socks in the middle of the floor. If you’re looking for the love we see in movies, honey, it’s not there. It’s not real! It doesn’t exist! I’m not telling you to settle, but don’t base your ideology of love on something that was scripted.
Love and passion can and often do go hand in hand. They also take work to maintain, and a realistic, healthy view of it. If you have both love and passion in your relationship, wonderful! Keep nurturing it! If you don’t, reevaluate your wants and needs from a relationship, and decide if the one you’re in is best for you. If it is, be willing to do the work to reignite that passion and love that drove you to each other in the beginning. All in all, accept the flaws in each other and accept the fact that you can’t change him, and he can’t change you. There’s always room for growth though.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to share your stories on love and relationships.