Before your blood starts boiling this is not a misogynistic piece. Stay with me. Screw political correctness for a moment; dating and relationship equality is not a good thing. Socially, economically, and in every other way, yes there should be equality between men and women.
Every human being regardless of gender or creed should have the same opportunities.
That said, we’ve all heard of the sexless marriage and the fact that passion eventually fades. So what does that mean, should things be equal or unequal?
In relationships equality is an awful thing. It means there’s no polarity between the masculine and feminine energy. This doesn’t mean there should be INequality in a relationship.
It means there should be two distinct different energies: masculine and feminine.
That’s not inequality. Think of it more like yin and yang.
They’re complementary and they need each other.
We know that you can’t build a relationship solely on passion. That’s true, you can’t build it solely on passion. Does that mean that it has to be one or the other? That there’s only a stable long term relationship with little passion or short relationships with all passion?
There’s a middle ground there.
That’s hard for our culture to understand sometimes since so many of us want to simplify things. We want everything binary. Right or wrong. Black or white. Passion or comfort.
Esther Perel encapsulates the problem in her book, Mating in Captivity, that encapsulates the problem:
“Romantics value intensity over stability. Realists value security over passion. But both are often disappointed, for few people can live happily at either extreme.”
This sums up the problem. Neither is happy. It always feels like you have to give up one for the other. Why can’t we have both?
You can be in a secure, intimate, and happy long term relationship and still have passion. There’s different ways to have that, but one thing is for sure:
it doesn’t come naturally.
Long term relationships past 5-7 years aren’t biologically natural either, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have them. They can still be one of the most fulfilling things in our lives.
A great long term relationship can be one of the most fulfilling things you experience.
It takes emotional intelligence from both sides. Something we rarely learn to improve or that we even think we can improve, but we can.
It also means learning and understanding that polarity is essential for a relationship to remain passionate.
This means there has to be strong feminine and strong masculine energy.
Usually masculine energy is the man of the relationship and feminine is the woman, but in some cases it can be opposite. It doesn’t matter who has what energy, but it’s important that they’re both there and both people embrace that.
The problem we have in relationships is that we tend to become like our partner if we’re not paying attention. We get closer to the middle.
What this means is that the feminine will turn more masculine and vice versa. This is usually when the passion disappears to almost zero.
When there’s no polarity there’s no passion.
That’s why there are so many marriages and long term relationships that are more friends than they are lovers. It’s important to be close friends but it’s also important to be lovers. Most of us let it disappear into just close friends. We let the passion disappear.
This is what naturally happens over time, which is why you have to be conscious about it.
It’s also why they say a good marriage takes work.
That statement can easily be changed to having a passionate relationship takes work. Keeping the passion does take work.
When we start dating it’s very passionate and it feels amazing. Love grabs you and you feel powerful. It feels like you’re on the best kind of drug.
Then you start becoming more attached so you have more to lose. You try to make it more secure because you’re uncomfortable with the uncertainty. You make commitments, you call each other boyfriend and girlfriend. You eventually get married. You have routines together. All these things secure the relationship (at least that’s what you believe).
The irony is that trying to control the risks of passion take it out of existence.
Trying to control everything and trying to create certainty creates boredom. Spontaneity dies and so does passion with it.
Passion thrives on uncertainty, the unpredictable. That’s what passion is.
Think of the most passionate times in your life and they were likely times when things were far from certain. It was unpredictable.
That’s why break-up sex or make-up sex is so hot. It’s more passionate than it was during the relationship because the unpredictability is back briefly. That’s one of the reasons emotionally unhealthy couples make-up and break-up so much, it gives them that passion they were missing. That unpredictability that they crave.
How do we change this? How do we keep the passion in a healthy way?
It’s not an easy thing to change because we have to embrace some uncertainty. As much as we like to think of ourselves as spontaneous, most of us value routine and comfort more than we care to admit.
If we can shift our mindset and realize that this permanence we think we have in our relationships is an illusion, then we’d be more accepting of the uncertainty that we need for passion to thrive in our relationship.
Tony Robbins said it best:
“Passion in a relationship is commensurate with the amount of uncertainty you can tolerate”
One thing is certain, zero uncertainty is bad for any relationship.
Zero uncertainty=zero passion
The amount of uncertainty that you want or can handle depends on you and your relationship.
If you’re tolerance is very high than there will be a lot of passion, but sometimes it will feel more uncomfortable because of the uncertainty. If your tolerance is lower then the amount of passion will be less, but you’ll feel more secure and comfortable.
It’s a give and take.
You need to figure out how high or low your tolerance for uncertainty is and how high or low your partner’s is. This is why self-awareness is so important before starting any relationship.
It’s also why emotional intelligence is so important.
If you don’t understand or can’t communicate on an emotional level with your partner it will be very hard to stay in that ideal zone for your relationship where there’s passion but you also feel secure in the relationship.
It’s hard to find someone you want to be with your entire life and even harder to have it be a passionate, happy, and fulfilling relationship. It’s not easy, but no one said that it should be easy to find. Like most things in life that are hard, you’ll realize it’s worth it when you have it.
First published on Thrive Global