Is Following Your Passion Really the Best Way to Find Love?

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Dilbert creator Scott Adams blogged about passion a couple of weeks ago.

“You often hear advice from successful people that you should “Follow your passion.” That sounds about right. Passion will presumably give you high energy, high resistance to rejection and high determination. Passionate people are more persuasive, too. Those are all good things, right?”

Well, as you know from reading this space, there’s a downside to passion, too. Passion allows you to pursue something (or someone) that may not be good for you in the long run. But at least you have your PASSION, right?

That’s what I told myself when I was a struggling screenwriter in my 20’s. That’s what Adams concludes as well.

“It’s easy to be passionate about things that are working out, and that distorts our impression of the importance of passion. I’ve been involved in several dozen business ventures over the course of my life and each one made me excited at the start. You might even call it passion. The ones that didn’t work out – and that would be most of them – slowly drained my passion as they failed. The few that worked became more exciting as they succeeded. As a result, it looks as if the projects I was most passionate about were also the ones that worked. But objectively, the passion evolved at the same rate as the success. Success caused passion more than passion caused success.”

Every blue moon, I’ll get an email from a reader who “just knew” that her man was her “soulmate” because they had “electric chemistry” and “immediately slept together”, and here they are, 35 years later, and they’re still just as “passionate as they were the day they met”.

Sometimes giving up on your original passion is the key to opening up to true happiness.

This becomes the argument for following your passion. While littered at the side of the road are the THOUSANDS of people whose passionate relationships ended in tears, devastation, confusion, and frustration, causing years and years of heartbreak.

I, for one, am THRILLED that I gave up my “passion” of being a Hollywood comedy writer, and “compromised” into my current career, which, while not as lucrative or titillating as being Judd Apatow, provides me with a consistent income, no office politics, the ability to set my own hours, no commute, and the ability to make a genuine difference in people’s lives.

In other words, sometimes giving up on your original passion is the key to opening up to true happiness.

Read Adams’ blog entry here and share your thoughts on the power of passion below.

Join our conversation (63 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.

Comments:

  1. 41
    Josh

    You obviously put a lot thought and “passion” into your articles.
    But I respectfully disagree with your advice:
    You chose to be a dating coach.
    Let’s be honest: that’s not exactly the most “practical” career choice.
    Why did you choose this line of work?
    My hunch: passion. (BTW, I went after my passion as well and have never regretted it.)
    In regards to finding a mate: love is not the same as planning your 401 K.
    Chasing passion may risk disaster. But compromising passion for “stability” risks misery and ennui.  
    For every person I know who suffered from chasing their passion, I know another who suffered from settling for “stability” and “compromise.”  
      

    1. 41.1
      starthrower68

      Evidently this has to be repeated yet again that one is wise to strike a balance between passion and stability.   I have felt intense passion a couple of times in my life for certain men and there was no stability whatsoever.   Trying to continue on with them would have been like trying to herd cats.   All chemistry and passion means is that you might have great sex.   Doesn’t mean someone will want to sit in the rocking chair on the porch with you when you grow old.  

      1. 41.1.1
        Sarah

        I agree that there needs to be balance but I think you’re selling passion short starthrower68. Passion is more than just great sex and desire, it’s the compelling enthusiasm and strong feelings that propels someone to want to stay with someone until they are 81 and in that rocking chair. Inspires someone to strive to be the best version of themselves. What I think Josh is trying to point out is that is isn’t so black and white. Passion isn’t less important than stability. If you compromise against passion, isn’t your partner only your best friend then? Why not choose a roommate to grow old with instead? Why not choose one of those cats to herd? I know from experience that going after only the perfect guy on paper who would make a great rocking chair buddy doesn’t work out either. Passion is something you can lose so it is something you have to fight for. I’d take the feeling of being ‘in love’ with someone over just ‘loving’ someone because they get along well with you and you both can grow into stable complacency together.

        1. starthrower68

          Well the good news is, we are free to have however much passion vs. stability that we desire. 😉

        2. EmeraldDust

          I think that “in love” feeling fades over time, but the comfort grows.   I don’t think trying to make that feeling last for 50 years is realistic, but I do think it is important to have in the beginning, because even when that starry eyed feeling fades, you still have the MEMORY of it.   I think the memory of that starry eyed feeling can still bring a smile to your face, when you are an old comfortable couple sitting on the porch, holding hands & talking about the grand kids.   It can also trap you into staying with someone when the starry eyed haze of new love wears off, and you are an old beligerant couple having a screaming match over the proper way to hang a roll of toilet paper.
          I wouldn’t want to enter into a relationship with a complete absence of passion (or lust, excitement or   infatuation, or whatever term you prefer to use) but it doesn’t have to be through the roof.   I would rather have less passion and more comfort than vice versa, but I couldn’t get into a relationship without passion at all.

        3. Josh

          Hi starthrower68,
          I’m just trying to understand what you wrote.

          You wrote: “Evidently this has to be repeated yet again that one is wise to strike a balance between passion and stability.”
          That’s a given.
          But then you go on to contradict your last statement with: “All chemistry and passion means is that you might have great sex. Doesn’t mean someone will want to sit in the rocking chair on the porch with you when you grow old.”

          No offense but it doesn’t seem to me like you’re advocating a balance between passion and stability.

          In fact, you’re underplaying passion and suggesting a good relationship is all about stability.  

          BTW, homes for the elderly abound with rocking chair buddies, so, if were you, I wouldn’t be too worried about that.  

          Just teasing 😉

        4. Russell

          EmeraldDust,

           

          Completely agree that a relationship is going to change over time, and that is likely for the better.   I do however, think that thee can be some starry eyed passion even later in a relationship, but that it will depend greatly on the two people.   I also agree that for this to happen, there will need to be at least a fair amount of passion for each other in the beginning.   Maybe not through the roof, but still a fair amount of it.

           

          But things like staying in shape, minding your hygiene, being a considerate, patient and kind partner, can all help create a fertile ground for more passion, even if it isn’t the same as when you first met.

  2. 42
    Josh

    Hi starthrower68,
    I’m just trying to understand what you wrote.
    You wrote: “Evidently this has to be repeated yet again that one is wise to strike a balance between passion and stability.”
    That’s a given.
    But then you go on to contradiction your last statement with: “All chemistry and passion means is that you might have great sex. Doesn’t mean someone will want to sit in the rocking chair on the porch with you when you grow old.”
    No offense but it doesn’t seem to me like you’re advocating a balance between passion and stability.
    In fact, you’re underplaying passion and suggesting a good relationship is all about stability.  
    BTW, homes for the elderly abound with rocking chair buddies, so, if were you, I wouldn’t be too worried about that.  
    Just teasing 😉

    1. 42.1
      starthrower68

      Not a problem.   Many elderly enjoy retirement home living with the sense of community.   ðŸ˜‰

  3. 43
    Laura

    OK, so I made a comment on one of your posts (yesterday I think it was). And I was pretty judgmental of your character based on ONE  blog response you gave to ONE  individual’s question. And I don’t think that’s fair. I didn’t necessarily agree with you on that particular question, but I’ve been looking through more of your articles, and I’m actually enjoying them. So I wanted to say I’m sorry for being so quick to judge (which isn’t typically like me) and thank you for all of the great information you do provide. While I still think that response could have been more tactful, I can appreciate the fact that you have enough ambition, passion, and intelligence to put together this site, which is helpful in a lot of ways! A lot of interesting thoughts on here that are giving me perspective as a woman in a newer (but totally awesome) relationship! Anyway, hope that wasn’t too weird, I just felt a need to follow up.

    1. 43.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      It’s all good, Laura. The Internet is a weird place. People have their own perspectives and tend to key on a sentence that irks them – thereby creating a story about me that is rarely the whole truth. I don’t expect everyone in the world to agree with everything I’ve ever written. I do expect people to give what I say a measure of credence and refrain from personal attacks. People can agree to disagree, and still acknowledge each others’ truth and reality.

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