Follow Your Passion To Create More Passion in Your Relationship
One of the biggest mistakes we make when we enter into a long term relationship is giving up our passion. Not the passion in the relationship (though this is often a by-product), but the thing or things that really touch our soul and give us drive and motivation in our lives.
Sometimes, particularly early in the relationship, because our desire for our new partner is so strong we don’t feel the loss of our previous passions. Often the time we devote to the new relationship means that we give up some things that had previously been really important to us. We usually don’t miss them too much because we’ve simply replaced one passion for another. And we all know how powerful the intensity of a new relationship can be!
The chemicals and hormones released when we first fall in love are highly addictive, and drive us to think of little else but our new beau. This new love is exciting and captivating. Often other things in our lives diminish in importance as we give all our focus to our new partner and the relationship. Whilst this is hugely important in creating a strong and lasting bond, it can also create a dangerous precedent for the future.
At some point these chemicals will revert back to normal levels, and that intense passion will recede. You might still feel a strong love for your partner, but you may question where the passion has gone. So you may decide to re-discover your old passions, however your partner may feel confused and neglected as they begin to see a different side of you and feel that their importance in your life has diminished.
‘People who follow their passion have higher levels of life satisfaction and deal better with stress and conflict’
If your partner tries to deliberately prevent you from following your passion then resentment will usually quickly follow. But even if it is your choice to not do those things that give you pleasure, unconsciously you may still blame your partner as the reason you are feeling unfulfilled. You may even begin to wonder whether you would be better off on your own so you would once again have the time to do whatever it is you would like to be doing without any feeling of guilt hanging over you.
It may be your career, a hobby, sport, music – whatever it is that gives you enormous pleasure, if you are not doing it then in some way you will likely blame your partner even if they aren’t actually stopping you.
Studies show that people who follow their passion have higher levels of life satisfaction and deal better with stress and conflict. In a 2015 study published in The Annals of Behavioural Medicine, researchers found that participants who engaged in hobbies were 34% less stressed and 18% less sad during the activities, and for some time after*. Lack of direction and passion is often linked to mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.
Every great relationship has a healthy mix of togetherness and independence. The happier you are within yourself, the more likely you are to inject that happiness into your relationship. Doing those things that give you joy and pleasure outside of the relationship are just as important as those things within the relationship. But they must be done with the consent and blessing of your partner, otherwise there will be an uncomfortable feeling of disconnection.
Problems can also arise though when you don’t know what your passion is. This often means that you rely on your partner as your source of passion, which is quite a hefty expectation to place on them. Then, when your need isn’t being met by your partner it inevitably leads to frustration and resentment.
If this is the case it is important to sit down with your partner and work together to find your passion. Perhaps you need a change of career to something that aligns more closely to your values? There may be something that you used to do that you loved prior to the relationship that you could resurrect. Or perhaps together you could try some new and different things to see what fuels your passion.
Of course there are limits though. We still need to keep our relationship a priority and not neglect it for the sake of following our passion. Any great relationship is built on mutual respect, so it is vitally important to also respect the needs of your partner as well as yourself. For instance, your passion may be golf, but unless you are a professional golfer earning your living from the game, then spending the entire weekend playing golf isn’t likely to be healthy for the relationship. You need to negotiate together how you can fit your passion into your lives without negatively impacting your relationship.
Once you have found and are pursuing your passion outside the relationship, invariably this will help rediscover the passion within the relationship. And seeing your partner happy and fulfilled may well be the spark you need to fall back in love with them!
If you feel you could do with more passion in your relationship you can book a free introductory consultation with Happy and Healthy Relationships. Please contact Matt on 0416 211 424, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://happyandhealthyrelationships.com/