Are You Seduced by the Clarity of Passion?

Are You Seduced by the Clarity of Passion?

Janie is a 45-year-old private coaching client who registered for my Passion Course, in which I provide 8 weeks of intensive personalized coaching, beginning online and moving offline.

After 3 weeks, she already found a guy she was excited about. Sure enough, he was quite a catch. Tall. Young for his age. Successful. Good writer. What she liked most was how he acted differently than all the rest of the online dating guys.

If you’ve ever had this experience of investing too much emotion in an emotionally unavailable man, keep reading.

If you’ve ever had this experience of investing too much emotion in an emotionally unavailable man, keep reading.

He called when he said he’d call.

He followed up after the first date.

He talked about a future from the get-go.

And when they kissed…? Forget about it. It was magical.

For 5 weeks, it seemed that the stars were aligned for Janie. And then, in the most predictable unpredictable fashion, he pulled away, without a word.

I’d like you to think about YOUR past relationships.

You had an amazing first month that quickly fizzled.

You had a passionate three-month relationship before he slowly pulled away.

You’ve been with him for 5 years and he still hasn’t proposed.

In each situation, you’re driven by your hopes and desires at what could be… instead of focusing on what really is.

It’s frustrating and unfair, but, so you know, men do the exact same thing.

Last week, I went out with a friend who is one year out of his divorce. He met his wife when he was in his late 20’s, and now, as he crosses 40, he’s trying to evaluate what went wrong.

In fact, he told me that he’s turning to online dating, but is moving slowly because he’s so particular about what he likes physically.

Uh oh! Instantly, my red flags started to rise. I decided to probe deeper.

We talked about chemistry, passion, and lust. We talked about his relationship with his wife, his relationship with his Mom. We talked about what he’s really looking for in a partner. After twenty minutes, he finally settles on this:

– A woman who makes him laugh.

– A woman who doesn’t always put her needs first.

– A woman who isn’t cold and uncommunicative when she doesn’t get her way.

– A woman who has the same vision of a family and future as he does.

The moral of the story is that, to make better decisions in love, you need to have a different perspective – one that doesn’t come naturally to smart women like you.

In other words, he’s looking for someone completely UNLIKE his ex-wife – even though she DID have the physical attraction he found so important. The very trap that led to his divorce will strike yet again if he puts attraction first and doesn’t recalibrate what’s important.

Thus, chemistry is what may bring a couple together, but it’s not what keeps a couple together.

I hope you realize that I’m not telling you to go without chemistry. I’m just telling you to look at what you ignore when you feel passion:

Did you put up with a man who insulted you?

Did you put up with a man who didn’t let you know you were special?

Did you put up with a man who didn’t make you feel safe?

Did you put up with a man who cheated?

Did you put up with a man who didn’t want marriage or children when you did?

If so, I hope you can concede this one important point:

“Passion doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t be together, but it does a great job of obscuring when you SHOULDN’T.”

This is what I call “the clarity of passion”.

You feel so strongly about a guy that you ignore all of these HUGE reasons why you shouldn’t be together.

And if you’re stuck on some man who, for whatever his merits, does not treat you well or share the same vision of a future, it’s YOUR job to LEAVE him. You should not expect him to turn around just because you feel passion.

Men are not great husbands simply because they’re cute, smart, funny, and successful. That’s just what seduces you.

Men are great husbands because of how they treat you. Yet that’s the first thing you’ve given up when you’ve felt that blinding passion.

The moral of the story is that, to make better decisions in love, you need to have a different perspective – one that doesn’t come naturally to smart women like you.

If you’ve been reading my blog and my newsletters for a while I hope you’re starting to have that shift in perspective.

You’re not gonna wrong once you know how to do things right.

Join our conversation (44 Comments).
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  1. 21

    Foolingmyself, your problem was you dated this guy for 5 years! You don’t date someone for 5 years if you want commitment and marriage, especially someone long distance.

  2. 22

    I’ve learnt that chemistry is not enough. I don’t know how many unavailable men i ran after because there was great chemistry. I’m learning to value myself and not to take anything. To date, I men one man who really persued me, loved me, but there was no chemistry, I gave it some time and there was still nothing. I’m now with another one, who is available, calls me every now and then, initiates dates, but the problem he has a girlfriend and he said its a complicated relationship. I’m willing to give it up, its been a month now and am giving him time to make up his mind. But one thing for sure, I don’t sub-par treatment anymore, gone are those days of weeping over a man, Im special and I know it, so is everybody else. I want the whole loaf too

  3. 23

    @ Zann #14,

    The breadcrumbs idea is worth considering.   One of the things that has me a bit gunshy about dating  right now is  I don’t entirely trust myself not to  go brain dead if the chemistry is  great.    I  really do not care to go down that road again.

  4. 24

    How do you identify a “crumbs” guy on the first date, so you don’t waste time getting involved, only to find out later he can only offer “scraps and morsels”?
    I have a bad on-again/off-again crumbs guy I need to get rid of.
    He used to berate me for my lousy job, and now I’ve been laid off for the last 2 months, he berates me for not being able to find anything better (I’ve been searching, but this job market is still in a serious funk).
    I have a feeling his ego is vested in being seen with a “successful” high income woman. I’m not sure why – he claims he makes plenty of money, so I don’t get a gigolo-vibe from him, but after 2 years, and I haven’t met any of his friends or family, I get the impression he’s ashamed of me? Which I think is pretty unfair, since I am a decent person, and my family is very nice (much less dysfunctional than his, at any rate!).
    Do guys harp on how much money a woman makes? Is that an issue for men now? I thought most men couldn’t care less how much money a woman makes, as long as she doesn’t make more than he does.
    Where does this desire for high-income Barbie dolls come from? I guess he’s just too ego-driven to be seen with an ordinary girl with an ordinary job??

  5. 25

    @ Vicki #24,

    I would kick that fool the curb.   EMK says men don’t care about a woman’s credentials; they want easygoing, sexy, fun, and nuturing.   I’m  not saying you aren’t those things, I’m saying that this dude is looking for  things about you to nitpick.   If he needs a high income woman, tell him to go find  one.   Sounds to me  like you are with one of those alpha males who  needs a smack upside the head.   If he hasn’t introduced you to his friends and family  at 2 years, he ain’t serious.   The last  thing you need right now  is to be beaten down anymore by this guy.

  6. 26

    @VIki 24, Why are you with someone and he hasn’t allowed you to meet his family and friends in TWO years? You know this is ridiculous, so why?

  7. 27

    Vicki #24

    What do you mean, “first date”? Generally, you can’t tell what a man is capable of after only one date. You, on the other hand, have now had 2 entire years to experience firsthand that this man isn’t treating you well. It really doesn’t matter what he “thinks, or why he treats you badly. You can certainly see by now that he’s a jerk.

  8. 28

    I think that the things that make you successful in the real world and in the eyes of other people don’t matter to men in general. But that doesn’t mean that having it as part of your overall package isn’t important.   And it is more important to some men than to others.   That isn’t the same as it not mattering at all.   It just won’t help differentiate you from other women.

    I   think that if a man doesn’t find you otherwise appealing, the fact that you are really successful won’t convince a man otherwise, whereas I think that a man’s success can make him more attractive to potential mates.
    I think women don’t get points for going to an elite university or working for a prestigious firm. But a woman weighing a choice between two men might lean towards the person with the brand names behind him.

    My guess is that this man for whatever reason has decided that you are a Miss Right Now and not Miss Right, b/c I think that if he really cared about you he a)wouldn’t put you down and b)would introduce you to people in his life as someone who is important to him.
    But that doesn’t mean that some men might prefer it overall if you are a winner.   And he would support you as you go through a really hard time.

    If this man thought highly of you and was worth YOUR time, then the things that you don’t have would matter less than the things that you do have.

    So I think that you will find men who might like the idea of the pedigreed, brilliant woman, but will settle for someone who is a bit less pedigreed, a bit less brilliant, if he likes the other things about her.   

    And while I think that in general, people of both genders do tend to stay within their educational and socio-economic circles when dating, I don’t think the fact that you are an “ordinary girl with an ordinary job” will matter in the long run.   It won’t matter to the right man who appreciates and cares about you.

    Of course, I don’t know your guy’s background. There are definitely people who want the pedigreed girl even if the goal is to have her stay at home.   Odd, I know, but I’d say plenty of people I know are like that. Even though their wives stay at home, they are at home with MBAs and JDs, and they’d never have married a hairdresser for example.   They just would not want to be out telling people that was what their spouse does/did and that she didn’t go to college.

    Why do you find it acceptable to spend 2 years with someone who hasn’t introduced you to his friends and family?   Do you want to marry this guy or anyone else?   Do you really think that a man who considers you to be his girlfriend and who wants a future with you would act this way?   

    I think you need to decide if you want to continue to settle for crumbs or if you want to find someone who’ll give you the whole cake.

  9. 29

    Sometimes it is pretty easy to tell on a first date if a guy is going to give you crumbs.   If he says that he only wants something casual/not too serious,   he is a crumbs guy.   The problem is women will often ignore it when guys tell them that — especially if the woman feels there is chemistry.    She will think if he really likes me, he will want something serious.   I guess that does happen on occasion.   I have found, however, if a guy really doesn’t want anything serious, it doesn’t matter how much he seems to like you, he’s NOT going to treat you like a girlfriend.

  10. 30

    Crumbs or a loaf? How hungry are you?

    This thread assumes crumbs are unsatisfactory.    Sometimes life circumstances such as divorce or economic strain mean crumbs are best for now.   I can not date at all, or I can have a little companionship with someone nice that might lead to more when we are both at a better place. (Tricky, since rarely will two people transition at the same time, but that is what endings are for.)

    The problems only come when one person wants more than other can provide. Realistically evaluate your appetite, tell your dating partner and let them calibrate their expectations or decide.

  11. 31

    Chemistry is natures desire for you to procreate with that man. High chemistry is natures over rides generally all true reality about how a man will treat you long term. You should follow natures desire for the SHORT TERM it will lead to the highest most amazing emotional  fulfillment.

  12. 32

    @ Bill #31,

    There are  consquences to following impulses and not always good.    That highest most amazing emotional fulfillment is quite easy to get addicted too and when it goes away then one has to find another source  for it.

  13. 33

    “You should follow natures desire for the SHORT TERM it will lead to the highest most amazing emotional  fulfillment.”

    Instant and temporary gratificatin does not equal emotional fulfillment.

    But it sure can be fun for awhile 😉

    The best scenario is to find chemistry and compatibility in a person who has the qualities for a life long, and fulfilling relationship.

    Now….where did I leave my magic lamp?

  14. 34

    @Bill #31, Bill if that’s the case, with the guy I like we would probably have 20 kids! Haha. As it is, he sees a baby in his future, but I don’t want any more kids.

    Do I need to say goodbye? (comments welcome from anyone)

  15. 35

    Margo… here’s my comment…
    To be honest, from everything you’ve said about this guy across multiple posts over the past month or so, I see little positive about him and nothing that leads me to believe that this is a man that has the potential for anything lasting.
    He drops in and out of your life, he has a Madonna/whore complex where he tries to have sex with women and then judges them if they did it too early, he has some mental illnesses (which maybe would be manageable if that was the ONLY problem he had), he wants kids and you don’t.
    So, uh, what’s appealing about him again?

  16. 36


    “So, uh, what’s appealing about him again?”

    I believe she said it’s what he has in his pants.

  17. 37

    Ah, I must have missed that post.   🙂

  18. 38

    Margo, I pity the woman that ends up with that guy for the long haul and the baby they subsequently make.   He’ll have them both emotionally screwed up.

  19. 39

    SS and starthrower, I’m attracted to  this particular guy  because he has a good heart, among other things…hehehe. 🙂

    Yeah, I know that isn’t enough. Sigh.

  20. 40
    Born Again Virgin

    Zann 14 – I absolutely love your visual of carrying around a baggie with crumbs in it . . . for a year.   I beat myself up nearly every day that I can’t/won’t let this emotionally unavailable guy go.   I got suckered into a “friends with benefits” situation, which I was willing to do because of circumstances in my life.   But, as I discovered, it is almost impossible for me (and maybe for most women) to have repeated sex with a guy and not become emotionally attached.   The funny thing is that he got emotionally attached but chose to withdraw rather than tell me.   Still, those scraps & morsels keep me hanging on.

    After I submit this post, I’m going to go get a baggie and look for some really pathetic crumbs.   I never thought about a visual aid, but it might just work.   Now, if I could only get some scraps & morsels to keep in a bag. . . .

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