Passion. You’ve read about it, you’ve fantasized about it, you may have even felt it with that one guy – the one that got away – or maybe just a few times and now you want it again. You’re sad because you had it so good with him and now you’re convinced that you’ll never find it again.

You are on an eternal search for that ovulating-at-first-glance, fire-igniting, electric, hot, do-me-any-and-every-where, effortless, be-my-baby-daddy, can’t-sit-across-from-eachother-at-dinner-because-I-just-want-to-rip-your-clothes-off, firework-starting, baby-making, 50-Shades-of-Grey-shaming…

PASSION.

You know how there are people that are thrill seekers? They’ve sky dived everywhere, climbed Mt. Everest, scaled buildings, ate bugs, dived off of cliffs into water that they didn’t know the depth of, hand-glided over hungry tigers in Africa, swam with sharks while on their period, climbed volcanos, bungee jumped from the highest elevation, crowd dived into a crowd of drunk people and basically have done everything that no amount of drugs, diapers or money could inspire me to even think about doing. You know who I’m talking about, those people who seem to get a high off of riding the edge, that get that one taste of thrill and then want more, more, more, now, now, now… Adrenaline junkies.

I was a passion junkie. I talk about my passion addiction like passion itself is a drug and I was an addict because to me, it is, I was, and now I’m clean. I’ve been clean off of the passion addiction for years now.

I always thought those thrill-seeking adrenaline junkies were psycho until I took a hard look at myself. I thought that it was okay because at least I wasn’t addicted to anything that was risking my life. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was passion hunting at the risk (and ultimate expense) of my destiny, my self esteem and my sanity.

I just wanted what I had read about, what I had seen Noah and Alli do in The Notebook; what I had always known that I should feel. My needs were simple. Every other girlfriend of mine seemed to either lie about how they had it all the time or wanted to have the same kind of passion that I wanted so I knew I wasn’t being that crazy in my belief that one day, I would find it.

Then one afternoon, time stopped. I met him. This tall, handsome, blue-eyed, dark haired, brief-case carrying, designer suit wearing, attention commanding, world traveling, every kind of door opening, butterfly inducing gentleMAN that seemed to have been born with the ON switch to my heart, libido, ovulation and PASSION that made the kind of “passion” that I had been looking for my whole life now seem like a family picnic.

I never knew that kind of passion existed before him and that I was even capable of feeling the way I felt and acting the way I did. It was so good but it was allllll ‘passion’ and chemistry. It didn’t work out after a few months. We didn’t have much else. I became annoying and unfair to him for assuming that his character would be on the same level as his ability to light my fire.

Time passed. Slowly but surely, my fridge started to look like a I owned a save-the-date magnet factory. My friends started to “settle down,” and that got me to thinking…..

Does “settling down” mean that I actually have to SETTLE? And WHYYY was I only attracted to and felt that ‘once-in-a-lifetime-passion’ with the wrong guys? Was there any kind of happy medium? Why did I only feel my fire start with guys that weren’t good for me?

I hate the term “settling down.” It depresses me. Why would I want to settle and, DOWN? No thanks. I would see these girlfriends of mine get married to guys that deviated so far from the guys that they had dated. I didn’t get it. They were all so happy though and I was like the wacky, adrenaline-junky crazy aunt they all knew except instead of jumping out of airplanes, I was on my passion search. Instead of Eat, Pray, Love, my life was: Passion, Drama, Fight, Have Passionate Make Up… Repeat x 184693847.

“Settling down” is still a weird term to me because it just sounds f*cked, but I have learned that it has absolutely nothing to do with “settling.” It has to do with finding and figuring out what real passion and chemistry is (and no, it’s not going with the “safe and boring” guy and being sexless and miserable but you do it because it “makes sense” and your clock is ticking).

If you’re only going for passion and passion is the highest on your priority list for a guy, it will more likely than not come with emotional unavailability, drama, and mind f-ing madness.

The big change for me came when (no matter how hot he was or how great of a time we had), I stopped labeling relationships where I was constantly needing validation and being disrespected as “hot,” “passionate,” & “full of chemistry.” 

Passion should never come at the cost of your self worth. “But I’m just looking for a casual thing, the sex is so good!” Okay, but that’s still not an excuse. I got to a point in my life where as good as the sex may have been, it immediately became bad sex if I was with someone that didn’t value or respect me. It’s kind of like how good looks are great, but they fade after a while when you realize that you’re dealing with a two-dimensional f*cktard.  

If you’re in a relationship and there’s this intense Notebook-style passion but there’s this little issue of him lying to you, cheating on you, not respecting you, etc., that is NOT passion – that’s bs that you need to sprint away from.

I used to have this grand expectation of having passion all the time, which is not only exhausting but it’s unrealistic. Yes, chemistry and sex are OBVIOUSLY important but I don’t spend my entire day trying to reenact scenes from Sex and the City any longer. I’ve become passionate for so many things. It isn’t so black and white any longer.

Valuing me, being there for me, matching your words with your actions without making an effort to, loving the people that I love and that love me, supporting me…. THAT stuff gets me going now. It’s much easier to work on amping up the sex than the IMPOSSIBLE task of trying to change a sh*t person out of being who they are.

The passion I’d get with the bad boy was never worth the pile of heartbreak that they came with.

I feel like there’s this universal, unspoken truth out there that passion can only be found with guys that give out bouquets of red flags instead of roses and the rest of the “safe” guys are boring and you’ll eventually have to “settle down” with one so you might as well just enjoy yourself now before you forgo a life of sexless, passionless existence. That’s BS. If we keep telling ourselves that only a bad boy can give us passion, we’re saying that we don’t have any self love.

I can tell you right now that being a jerk is NOT a part of what real passion will EVER be about.

There ARE really good men out there. But, you’re never going to know if you don’t address your self esteem and as it builds, only involve yourself with men that treat you how you treat yourself.

I used to actually believe that my happiness and passion only came from disconnected guys that I couldn’t trust and that didn’t value me.

Passion is NOT just about how many times you get off and in what position and what you feel between your legs.

Passion is not jealous and it’s not possessive. It involves making an effort, supporting each other, showing care, empathy, intimacy, laughing, showing up emotionally and physically, respect, and so much more than f*cking and arguing and make-up sex and playing detective to find out if he’s lying and who else he’s doing and empty promises.

PASSION IS NEVER DEFINED AS BEING DISRESPECTED OR UNDERVALUED. EVER.

“But Natasha, we’re different people you and I, I just can’t HAVE a relationship without passion.” Fine, but how do you define passion and what’s passion without a mutually loving and respectful relationship? What’s passion with someone that doesn’t give a f*ck? I get the whole friends with benefits thing but even then, don’t forget the friend part. An orgasm is never THAT good that’s it’s worth being with an as*hole that doesn’t treat you with respect.

For me, looking back, a lot of the “passion” that I felt with certain guys came from the drama, chaos and turmoil. Going from not knowing what we were to fighting passionate fights, to ending it and starting it 50 times over; from the breaking up to the hot making up. To me, that made me feel alive and I realized that part of me was comfortable in that dynamic because I grew up around a lot of chaos.

If you took all of that away plus the good looks that will inevitably fade with time, it’s really just sex with someone that doesn’t care to know your worth or get to know you. Most of the time I CREATED the “passion” in my own imagination. I CREATED the story in my head. I INFLATED the f*ck out of these guys and put them on a pedestal and my value came from extracting their time, attention and validation. It then became a game of how I could keep this poor but “passionate” relationship afloat in spite of the dude being a bag of douches.

Passion is important, but there are no healthy relationships out there where “passion” is the highest and only characteristic of the relationship. I’m not saying to discard passion, keep it on the table of course. Just don’t overvalue it and most importantly, don’t discard yourself.

Take it from me and my mistakes: You won’t find true passion and joy by doing the same thing you’ve been doing. Take a risk, not on a f*cktard that you have to wonder if he’ll text you back, take a real risk on a guy that treats you well. Date, have FUN and stop cornering yourself and being so rigid! Not every guy has to be “the one,” but every guy should be capable of respect and treating you no worse than YOU treat you.

YES I love and am passionate about who I’m dating, but I’m also really passionate about my friends, my family, myself, my job, my health, my life, my goals, Post Male Syndrome and so.much.more.

Like attracts like. You attract what you exude. Become passionate about and like yourself first. It will not only fix the “must find passion now.” dialogue in your head telling you that you need to have passion to be valid and to feel alive, but it will also allow you to attract REAL passion with a man because he will treat you as well as you treat you.

If you set the bar high by having boundaries, validating yourself and treating yourself well, you’d never put up with ANYONE that didn’t treat you as well as you were already treating yourself.

Once I started to treat myself better, I stopped being a short term passion seeker. Those few minutes of empty passion weren’t as exciting to me any longer because I knew I deserved a lifetime of it.

x Natasha

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+ other helpful posts: Are You Really Experiencing True Love Or Is It Limerence?

Daddy Issues: 15 Signs You May Have Them & Why

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9 comments

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Natasha this is amazing. Soon helpful and so insightful. We all need to hear this more often. Girl you are on fire

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I keep wanting to comment on every post saying “This one is my favorite!” Because they all are so amazing! Your blog is the best blog out there for all women! This post is so spot on with everything in my life.

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You and me both!

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I have repeatedly wanted my life to be sex and the city. For Big, that stupid asshole, to come in his sexy tuxedo, with his sexy tone, a sexy cigar in his mouth, and come sweep me off my feet.

I connected so much with this post, because I so entirely sought out this man who I thought I wanted, because of the hot passion we would create between us.. But it was wrong everywhere else. I always thought it was about first attraction and that is SO WRONG. It can be but shit that’s a dime a dozen. Where was this advice when I wasted 3 years in stupid exes that I did everything to hold onto!?

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“PASSION IS NEVER DEFINED AS BEING TREATED POORLY” going to print that and put it on my wall!!

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This is my achilles heel – mr heartbreak was the most passionate lover (at first) ever and I kept wanting to go back to that passion he threw down the first couple months. But he can’t maintain intimacy for too long with anyone (45 years old and never had a relationship longer than 1.5 years except w/a married person he slept with for 5 years because that works for him) he is so devoid of empathy he even admitted he was “stunted” but right after uttering those words pulled me in with his touch and masculine power and fuckin head trips. I didn’t listen because I wanted that passion like nothing else at the price of my self respect- beautiful man, the best clothes, more shoes than me, moto guzzi driving – sexy sexy man and I just lost myself in it. He seemed to have depth at first and passion for lots of things but as I got to know him more I see that there is nothing behind the illusion of those things but why I’m I in such pain? I packed this man’s entire apartment for him when he was at work and had to move on the fly and I cried the entire time because he had not been intimate with me for awhile because he said “he wasn’t feeling it.” He has issues for days and in the red flags article there are a couple including childhood trauma – if someone is not willing to work on their issues it’s never going to work for the relationship especially when they say “this is how I am this is how I will always be and you can’t change me.” Well there it is…I hope I get over this pain fast and I hope I never have another encounter with an emotionally unavailable, emotionally stunted, emotionally inept man ever again…ever

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I could not agree with you more. People can’t help but communicate who they are. You deserve so much more. Be thankful that you saw the red flags. xoxo

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Eva, this is astonishing – this is exactly what I am currently getting myself out of, except that I am 65 years old and have been in this mess for four years! Intensely passionate at first, had also never had a long-standing committed relationship since his divorce, always sought out married women (even SAID they were ‘less trouble’!), never made any emotional connection, never introduced me to his son or granddaughter, never phoned, always texted, admitted having issues but said he’d tried to work on them but it had been too difficult… the list goes on and on. Even the passion cooled eventually but I was never told why. Said he was comfortable but if I wasn’t happy I should be the one to leave. (On the plus side, he was very empathetic about any of my concerns that were not related to the relationship, very kind and generous to a fault – a real FWB). It has been amazingly difficult to extricate myself – at my age it’s also hard to imagine being alone for ever, so I kept making compromises. But I’m getting there! You will leave it all behind one day, as I know I will.

Natasha, your posts are incredibly helpful and spot on – thank you. Keep them coming! I realise that it’s never too late to learn!

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Thank you so much Glenda! 🙂 XOXO

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