Passion Vs. Comfort: Do You Have to Have Fireworks to Have a Successful Relationship?

romantic couple close together at the beach

Passion vs. Comfort. This is a post you don’t want to miss, inspired by a discussion on my (500) Days of Summer thread. Here’s the gist of it. Reader Lori writes:

I have been with a man who loves me, and has loved me, as close as one can get to unconditionally for over 13 yrs…. I was never totally madly in love with him, but he knew he wanted to marry me the minute he met me. I married him — BECAUSE he was a great guy in so many ways, minus the sky illuminating fireworks. Don’t get me wrong, intimate moments were always adequate…even pretty damn good at times. But never, well, you know…crazy great. Almost fourteen years later, I remain married and faithful, but with an empty space in my heart. And wondering if I aspired to mediocrity and lost out on the amazing feeling most of us have felt at some time, of true selfless love. I love him….but I’m not ‘in love’ with him. And that is what has happened to EACH AND EVERY married friend I have, (male and female) that married simply because of the reasons you mention… many have strayed, the others are simply living there…yet nobody’s home.

Because if you take as gospel what she says — “passion or bust!” — you might have a long and lonely road ahead of you.

Everyone I know that married because the partner seemed a great choice, would be a great dad, etc. ended up divorced or unhappy. The FEW couples I know who are happily married — still love to hold hands AND ‘make-out’ — THEY married someone they felt intense chemistry for & vice versa…and of EVERY one of the divorced friends, several who are dating but have not found love, only ONE tells me she made the wrong choice leaving. The rest say they would rather be alone, than with someone and lonely.

Please know, I am not a cynic. I have SEEN & BELIEVE IN great love & marriage, but it SHOULD NOT BE treated as a business decision — it sounds great in theory — but it just brings way too much misery for way to many down the road — you better be pretty damn sure you wanna come home to this person, sleep with this person, and walk on the beach holding hands with this person 50 yrs later…because divorce.. from what I have seen… hurts. And living in quiet desperation…hurts.

Listen, I’m a 37-year-old dating coach who’s been married for less than a year. As such, I’m not going to sweep Lori’s points under the rug or deny her 13 years of pain. She feels what she feels, she’s seen what she’s seen, and it’s perfectly valid. In fact, it’s very persuasive.

However, without negating Lori’s take on things, I’d like to try to balance it out a bit. Because if you take as gospel what she says — “passion or bust!” — you might have a long and lonely road ahead of you. And I’d rather you have a happy relationship instead.

Unfortunately, while I’d like to appeal to emotion (as Lori did), I have to appeal to logic. So first of all, let’s acknowledge that Lori’s working off a small sample size, and, like most of us, she finds evidence to support her existing worldview. Whether Lori knows them or not, there are plenty of happy couples who did not have instant magic and chemistry. I’m in one of them. It’s dangerous to extrapolate from five divorced friends who regretted their choice of husbands and conclude “this is how the world works”.

People who are generally satisfied in life are satisfied in marriage. People who are generally dissatisfied in life are dissatisfied in marriage.

Next, Lori’s making the assumption that every woman who didn’t have that ga-ga, giddy, wobbly-kneed feeling about her husband feels as empty as she does in her relationship. This is not the case either. People who are generally satisfied in life are satisfied in marriage. People who are generally dissatisfied in life are dissatisfied in marriage. This is further explained in “The Paradox of Choice”, by Barry Schwartz. I can’t say what the right reasons are to get married or what the wrong reasons are. Nor can I say whether you or your friends truly settled. What I can say is that it’s really easy to envy others based on what you think they have in their marriage. The reality is often quite different. Yes, even for couples brought together by passion.

A movie called “Serendipity” illustrated this point well. In it, John Cusack envies his best friend Jeremy Piven’s perfect marriage…until he learns near the end that Piven’s getting a divorce. Who’da thunk it?

Envy is always a sin, and grass is ALWAYS greener. Seriously, Lori could sacrifice her marriage to pursue her dream man. The fact that she doesn’t means that there’s something compelling keeping her married — and it’s not simply the kids. I suspect she realizes that even if she doesn’t have the divine spark, being single in your 40’s is no cup of tea, and perhaps a kind husband is not so bad after all.

Reader Sophie follows up on Lori’s comment with this question:

Can you give me/us an idea of how many of your friends you think/know married people they weren’t in love with?… I’d like to know what percentage of people aren’t in love on their wedding day. I don’t want to “settle” but I think it would make it easier if I knew that it’s what a lot of people end up having to do.

For what it’s worth, I think MORE people are “in love” when they get married than not in love. Unfortunately, that “in love” feeling one experiences is often an illusion that masks severe cracks in a couple’s long term compatibility. Thus, being “in love” – what some might call passion or chemistry – is not necessarily correlated to a happy marriage. Doubt it? Look at all the times you’ve felt passion for someone, which, ultimately, amounted to nothing.

That leaves a certain percentage of people – fewer than the passion-seekers – who go into marriage without blinders on. I would guess most of them love their partners – much like Lori – they just don’t feel that THING that makes you feel like you just KNOW. These marriages have a greater likelihood at lasting, but only if these folks can get out of their “grass is greener” thinking. Once they go for greener grass, as Lori acknowledged, they find themselves in the same morass as every other single person – wondering how to find that elusive partner that gives them EVERYTHING, consistently disappointed that everyone’s falling short. If you’d rather be single and alone, well, congratulations, you’ve got your wish.

If you’d rather be single and alone, well, congratulations, you’ve got your wish.

I didn’t arrive at these conclusions from a textbook. I arrived at them as a newly married man, as a dating coach, and as a student of all sorts of dating and relationship advice. In short, I’ve long been asking the same questions that you have. After dating half of Los Angeles over 15 years, I didn’t rush into marriage — and I wanted to be sure that it felt the way it was supposed to feel.

I remember talking to Dr. Pat Allen, author of “Getting to I Do”. When I asked her how marriage was supposed to feel, she held up a blank index card to me. “On this side, you have passion.” She flipped over the card. “On this side, you have comfort.”

“Choose one.”

Yeah. It hit me like a ton of bricks, too. But I got it instantly.

It’s not impossible to have ANY passion with comfort or ANY comfort with passion. It’s that the two don’t coexist easily. The very thing that ignites passion is friction and instability. Once again, look at your past. Passion is usually brief, intense and rocky. Comfort, on the other hand, tends to be softer and more nurturing.

Comfort, therefore, is not nearly as exciting, but it tends to last longer. Studies say that passion usually dissipates in 18-24 months. Which is why people who expect their passion to last for 40 years, in essence, are trying to defy the laws of nature.

In marriage, you’re not making a decision for the next six months. You’re making a decision that’ll last the next 30 years. And just like one might choose different career paths for passion or comfort, people choose partners for similar reasons.

Consider the 45-year-old struggling actress who still thinks she’s going to be the next Julia Roberts. Guess what? She’s not. But kudos to her – she followed her passion, she followed sher dreams, she never settled. She showed them!

I use the Hollywood metaphor because I was a screenwriter in my 20’s. I pursued it for 7 years because I knew that SOMEBODY made it in this town, and dammit, I was as good as they were. Agents, managers, execs, contests and film schools all agreed. But after writing 13 screenplays before I turned 30, and not making a consistent living at it, I made a conscious and difficult decision: I was going to put passion aside for comfort.

Due to some combination of unrealistic expectations, Hollywood fantasy, and human nature, we seem to think that all our dreams should come true.

I could have been the penniless 40 year old guy who continues to take a 1-1000 risk with his life…or I could get a new career. You know what I chose.

I have absolutely NO regrets.

Hey, I admire those who refuse to compromise – especially that tiiiiiiiiny portion who finds both passion AND comfort in work or love. But make no mistake, it’s rarely that simple. Passionate couples fight and divorce more readily than comfortable ones. Successful writers run cold, and are forced to find new careers. It’s easy to envy everyone else; it’s just foolish to do so.

All of this talk reminds me of a favorite Billy Joel song, Vienna, from 1977. In it, he wrote:

You have your passion, you have your pride, but don’t you know that only fools are satisfied?

Dream on, but don’t imagine they’ll all come true.

Due to some combination of unrealistic expectations, Hollywood fantasy, and human nature, we seem to think that all our dreams should come true. Why?

Because we want them to. Because we’re good, deserving, people. Because SOMEONE has fantasies come true, why not ME?

I don’t begrudge you the right to your dreams. But at what point do you start to live in the real world, where people make compromises because they’re prudent?

Chances are, you’re compromising at your job — with your pay, your hours, your co-workers, your location, your status, your very career itself.

The alternative to this compromise is called unemployment (or, maybe, self-employment). Either way, it’s a lonely road.

Which is just my way of saying: think twice before you toss out that sweet, generous, good-hearted, loyal, honest partner of yours.

You might think you’ll be happier alone.

I think it’s debatable.

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  1. 1
    Ronnie Ann Ryan - The Dating Coach

    Evan – I am blown away by your response. You are SO COMPLETELY ON THE MONEY. It’s a shame we are so impacted by the media and movies about what love should be. The “grass is always greener” is a tough mentality to kick. However it is faulty thinking that creates suffering.

    A good follow up to your advice is “COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS!” Being grateful with what you have and what is working can sometimes counteract negative mental chatter that makes people feel crummy about their life and choices. If the grass is always greener else where, then you are actually already where the grass is greener according to others!

    Lori – count the positives and see how you feel which may help close that empty spot in your heart. Fill it with gratitiude and see where that takes you.
    .-= Ronnie Ann Ryan – The Dating Coach’s last blog ….10/1 CT Event Convention for Reinvention Westbrook =-.

    1. 1.1

      Great point. Wow!

    2. 1.2

      I’ve been married twice and I’ve experienced both sides of the coin. My first husband was a lovely man, what is called today ‘a nice guy’. I loved him all of the 17 years we were married, however the passion wasn’t there, for me anyway, but I never looked elsewhere. He was a good man, the best.

      After he died I met my 2nd husband who I felt a lot of passion for, I was like a moth to a flame. We fought a lot and yes the make up sex was amazing! It was a toxic relationship and we should never have married. He admitted he was always chasing the chemistry.

      Now I’ve been single for quite awhile and I’ve been chasing the fantasy. Chemistry is a potent aphrodisiac and I do think you need a certain amount of chemistry to form a relationship in the beginning. After all we have to be attracted to someone to build a life together.   But whilst the spark might burst into a flame eventually it will settle down into glowing embers and that’s what love is.

      So whilst I’ve been chasing the fantasy I’ve been repelled by guys who want instant sex. It turns me off. I’ve come to realise I want what I had with my first husband. A solid good nice man who would take care of my heart choose what


      1. 1.2.1

        Awwww that’s so nice.   I’m like that with the chemistry thing.

      2. 1.2.2
        Miss Romantic

        Oh my god, this last sentence made me tear up! “I’ve come to realise I want what I had with my first husband. A solid good nice man who would take care of my heart…”

        I loved your story because this is how I see my life playing out as well. I am 40 years old now, and engaged to a wonderful, caring and nurturing man, whom I will call “Mr. Kind Eyes”. I picked him five years ago because I decided for the first time to choose something good for me, for once. I have been that typical person always chasing the chemistry and passion or that intriguing person, and those experiences have led me down a huge rabbit hole that in the end have left me feeling empty, exhausted and extremely drained and aged.

        My last crazy roller coaster ride ended when I was 32. It was then when I made a decision to end my bond with a certain relationship that had all the feelings and chemistry, but left me yearning for love. After ending that relationship, I spent four years single, reconnecting with myself, and getting to know me. After four years single, I met my now fiance, Mr. Kind Eyes. When I met him, I distinctly remember experiencing a warm feeling in my heart caused by the sweet gaze of his kind eyes, and his down-to-earth demeanor. I wasn’t attracted to him in the same way that I had been attracted to the men of my past, but there was something special about him.

        I should disclose that the night that I met Mr. Kind Eyes, an old crush was also present (Mr. Old Crush), and with Mr. Old Crush I had experienced ALL the feelings, to the point of actually believing that he could be my soulmate. But of course, the old crush was as toxic as toxic can be, and also a chemistry/passion chaser, an impulsive liar, and a compulsive cheater. So, needless to say, I was intentionally trying to stay as far away from the old crush as possible, and instead trying to get to know this wonderful new individual that I had just met.

        After (quite) a few drinks, Mr. Kind Eyes and I kissed, and boy was I crushed. I felt absolutely nothing! I was devastated because I wanted to feel everything with him, and yet I didn’t. But, since I was drunk, we continued making out, I think, primarily, because I was scared that if I ended up alone, I was going to end up with Mr. Old Crush. In hindsight, I wonder what would have happened if I had just gone home that night. In the end, not much else happened because Mr. Kind Eyes turned out to be a complete gentleman, and since I was a bit inebriated, he very politely simply took me home, and went along his merry way.

        After that night, a part of me was really impressed at what a gentleman Mr. Kind Eyes had been, and at the same time, I was really hoping he would never call me again, and that all of this would fade into the abyss the way many of those nights do. But, as luck would have it, it did not.

        Mr. Kind Eyes reached out the next day, and was completely smitten. He wanted to get to know me and date me, and I just wanted him to leave me alone. The kissing had been so lackluster, I didn’t think it was worth trying. But he insisted, so I said to myself, why not? One date. He’s actually a nice guy (and smart, attractive and shares my beliefs and values), give him a chance. So I did. And so the big inner struggle began…

        Disclosure #2: before Mr. Kind Eyes, I’d never had a real relationship. My first “real” relationship lasted 9 years, and was with someone who was way older than me, he could have been my father. He was controlling, manipulative, and toxic. I wasn’t even in love. It was one of those situations where I got involved out of curiosity. I was 18 years old when it began. Besides that, my longest “relationship” was a four year long-distance incredibly passionate romance with someone living on the other side of the country who I idolized and venerated. He was seeing other people, and supposedly I was seeing other people too, but I was too crazy in love to think of anyone else. My first actual “healthy” relationship was when I was 33. I dated someone younger than me (like 8 years, I think), and it only lasted 3 months. The relationship had great sex, and the guy was nice, but that’s it. We had nothing in common, and I didn’t really respect him. I ended it when he told me that he was paying for our dinner date with his grandmother’s credit card. So there you have it. All the dysfunctionality, briefly summarized.

        When I met Mr. Kind Eyes, it was different than anything I’d ever experienced. First, I instantly felt safe around him. I also felt very comfortable with him, and that I could be my true self without judgement. He always called when he said he would. He was straightforward, and didn’t play any games. It was a breath of fresh air. I loved it! But there was one problem: I simply was not feeling the feels. Usually when you have a crush on someone, or you’re smitten by someone, you feel so excited that you can barely sleep, or wake up feeling happy, like you’re walking on cloud nine, etc. I didn’t quite have these feelings with him. And yet, at the same time, I was incredibly attracted to these other feelings of safety and comfort. I clearly remember that during one of our very first dates, toward the end of the night, I was actually quite bored. One of his traits is that he’s not much of a talker, more of a doer/nurturer. We had run out of things to talk about, and I was bored. BUT, I also didn’t want to leave his side. In fact, I remember that all I wanted to do was go home and cuddle with him. It was SO WEIRD to me!

        The feeling of attachment was so strong that the more I saw him, the harder it became for me to break things off. And it’s not that I didn’t enjoy his company, I did. He made me laugh, and he was sweet, but the lack of chemistry made it really hard to feel completely comfortable. I struggled for many many months, and was even having dreams where I would hear voices telling me to leave him. I would wake up crying in the middle of the night arguing with those voices, telling them to leave me alone, and feeling that I simply could not break his heart that way. We ended up dating for three years, until we finally broke up. It was during the third year when he confessed that he didn’t want any of the things that I wanted: marriage or kids — he didn’t even want to live together. I was shocked and crushed!

        You see, here’s the thing: even though the chemistry wasn’t there, and I was having all the doubts, I somehow convinced myself that Mr. Kind Eyes could do no wrong, and that he was serious about me, and was going for the gold: marriage, kids, house, etc. And that scared me! I was so convinced that this was it, that he was going to propose after one year, that I think I managed to freak myself out. Marriage scares me. That level of commitment always has because I have always equated marriage with a loss of liberty and independence — I come from a very patriarchal and chauvinistic culture where women are expected to be submissive caretakers. So, now that I think about it, this may also have been the reason why I was not feeling the chemistry. I was projecting too much instead of just enjoying the ride and letting things happen on their own.

        Anyway, you can imagine my surprise (and relief) when he said he didn’t want to get married and have kids. To be honest, I was more shocked and crushed. I saw that as rejection: he didn’t want to do those things with me. But it was also the perfect excuse to finally end this exhausting struggle!

        When we broke up, I did cry a lot, and missed him very much, but I also began to enjoy my freedom again. I had just launched my band, and was singing at local restaurants, and reconnecting with friends, and really enjoying my freedom. Soon, I began chasing the passion again, and who would show up, if not Mr. Toxic! We hooked up, and boy, did fireworks fly! We were on fire! We were so on fire that even in my dreams I was seeing silhouettes of lovers burning passionately against red sunsets. I felt so alive! I hadn’t felt this alive in years! It was insane.

        But a lot of things were missing with Mr. Toxic: love, safety, trust and deep compatibility. Despite the strong chemistry, I simply did not see myself with him. I knew that this was just a great fling to let loose and feel alive again. At some point during the romance, we decided to take a week long trip together. It was such a fun trip, and we had a great time, but I do recall at some point feeling that I missed Mr. Kind Eyes. Once the fire and passion waned a bit, I began missing the dependability, the safety, the nurture and the peace that I would have with Mr. Kind Eyes. I began to feel that I wanted to go home and not be with Mr. Toxic who was too overwhelming. I wanted to cuddle with Mr. Kind Eyes and fall asleep in his arms, feeling safe and loved. I was still confused!

        After six months of breaking up, Mr. Kind Eyes came back, and proposed, and a month later, I said yes. Despite all the doubts, and all the fun I had while being single, I couldn’t say no. And I tried. I remember asking him to come over to my apartment so I could gently let him down, and just as I was about to, I saw my life flash in front of me. I saw myself standing by the ocean, overlooking the water, alone, thinking about my past and remembering my time with Mr. Kind Eyes. At that moment, the pain of losing him forever hit me so strongly that I began to cry uncontrollably and inconsolably. I felt this exhaustion that one feels after having lost so many people that once meant something to us, and now are gone forever. I didn’t want Mr. Kind Eyes to be one more person in my life that had come and gone. I wanted him to stay. I hugged him, and I didn’t let him go. Shortly after that, I said yes to his proposal. That night I experienced a severe panic attack. A month later we agreed to move in together, and a few weeks after that, he experienced an intense panic attack that sent him to the hospital.

        We’ve been living together now for a year and a half. And I must say that I am impressed at how perfect we are at living together. We have gotten to know each other so much more, we have been so patient with one another and worked out our differences, we have both confessed to each other that we have doubts about our feelings, and that sometimes we don’t feel like marrying each other, but we are because we can’t imagine our lives any other way. He is even more loving and nurturing then he was when we first started dating. And has become more romantic. We are great friends, great partners, we respect each other, support one another, and we both feel safe with each other. I love him and want to see him succeed and be happy. I genuinely do!

        But one problem persists: the chemistry in the bedroom. He’s great in bed, don’t get me wrong, but my chemistry is mostly not there, and yet every now and then, it does spark. And when it sparks, it’s great! But those moments are too rare. And it breaks my heart. He knows that I have been having “issues”, and he’s being patient. I feel guilty, because I feel like I’m lying to him.

        All these feelings ignite my doubts again. Once a month, right around my time, the doubts begin to creep back up, and I begin to freak out again. And I begin to google anything you can possibly imagine to try to find an answer to my inner struggle. I wonder, what if I’m lying to myself? What if he’s not the one for me? What if I’m missing out on my real true love? What if I’m settling?

        But what if I’m just scared, and I simply am not familiar with real love because I’ve never had it, and I’m freaked out, and that’s why I don’t feel the chemistry?! I tend to have a very powerful mind, that usually works very much in my favor, but also means that it easily gets the best of me. What if I’m allowing my mind to play tricks on me?

        I tried seeing a therapist, but they were not very helpful, and I haven’t looked for another one again. But on days like today, I begin to feel desperate — exhausted from the struggle, and mostly tortured by my own emotions. So I try to look for the voice of reason. And for whatever reason, I tend to gravitate toward logical thinking like Evan’s. It’s funny, when I was going to therapy, I would walk into my therapist’s office feeling like I wanted to end things with him, ready to take the leap, but when she would say the words, “I strongly advise you not to break up with him,” I would feel a sense of relief. I would walk out of there feeling lighter and more centered, and more in love with him. It really was a very strange feeling.

        Anyway, I decided to share all of this because Diane’s story made me see myself: enjoying the chase for a while, but in the end, realizing how good I had it, and how much I’d miss him.

        I have my moments when I do feel that I love him so much, and how lucky I am, and what a wonderful life I have, but they don’t last. Immediately, I fall back into the darkness of doubt that weighs heavily on me with no answer in sight.

        1. Julz

          I recognize myself word for word in what you wrote. I cannot begin to tell you how similar our stories are. I was diagnosed with Rocd. I don’t know when you left this comment but hopefully it helps you or someone else

  2. 2

    I feel like I’m one of the lucky ones, but then again I think it’s because I’m predisposed to feel happy and lucky in all areas (whether I actually am by other people’s standards or not).

    But I would suggest that relationships are skill-based as well as emotion-based, and there are a lot of things that you can do to bring zing into a comforting relationship.

    Take a class together, learn a new hobby, visit all the crazy touristy things in your hometown that you’ve never been to, travel, move to another city, become vegetarian, join a kickball league, plan surprises for your partner, try new restaurants (especially authentic ethnic cuisine you’ve never had before), have a two-person book club where you read and discuss things you’ve never read before (or take turns sharing your favorites with each other), tell yourself out loud, every day, all of the reasons why you are lucky (there are lots of studies that show that positive out-loud self-talk has a huge impact on how you feel about something – also works really well if you don’t feel especially attractive, this is how I convinced myself I’m gorgeous!), learn more about his love style and yours and how you can best give each other what you need, read erotica or watch porn together, buy (or make up) sex games that lead you to try new things, have an honest conversation about what turns each of you on.

    I think it’s easy to say that a relationship doesn’t have the “zha zha zhu” (as Carrie on SATC would say) when at least part of what is happening is that you’ve gotten into a rut with regards to your entire life. This happens to everyone, but there are tons of things you can do to switch things up, as my very short list above shows. Even things that you do “purely” for yourself, such as joining a gym/getting a personal trainer, going back to school for another degree (even if it’s just for fun and not to advance your career), or switching career fields will energize you in ways that give you a new perspective on your partner.
    .-= Honey’s last blog ….One Super Important Thing I Learned From Dating Three Chicks At Once =-.

    1. 2.1

      @ honey, i think this is the most mature post on here and i 100% agree happiness can’t be achieved with another person unless you are happy with yourself, I think evan makes great points in this article and i agree with him. Passion and comfort can both disappear and reappear to those willing to put forth the effort. putting forth the effort with the mentality of “it won’t happen” is not the partners fault, it’s that individuals.   I know it is not always that clean cut, but nothing is, at some point in some way, there is a compromise, that’s what the positivity is there for, to help you realize why you made that compromise. Expecting a partner to be perfect is unfair because nobody is, usually the people expecting it. I am predominantly a cynic, and have found so much growth in the emotional department since i’ve started the positive thinking and positive self talk.

  3. 3

    Evan selected certain passages from Lori’s posts to support his position. I’ll submit some others I found particularly poignant.

    #15 Basically, I just wanted to put it out there from the womans side of marrrying mr. close to perfect it doesnt come without its pitfalls as i told my husband, he lived his life able to feel what it feels like to feel intense passion for a woman , i will probably never feel the same for a man.

    # 24 after 5 yrs of dissecting the issue, aspiring to self awareness w logical choices, there is no perfect answer. Its a choice. Ive chosen a life (truth be told) of acquiescing, w the tradeoff of stability for my children. If it makes any difference to even one young passionate reader, think carefully forever is a really long time to love someone. To live safely, without love and passion, is.. in my experience..a life unlived..

    #30 i knew i was not crazy in love w/him, but loved him enough, knew he d be a great dad, handsome etc. never felt intense chemistry, my friends think he’s great, ask jokingly if they can have him if i ever divorced. Before marriage I dated lots, had great boyfriends. At some point, I felt time was right to settle down. wanted kids & he was a good choice. I had no idea of the capacity to love/be loved at that time. If i had a magic wand, id wish to fall in love with him, rather than leave and make him sad. Ive tried everything short of the wand. Without that indescribable passion for another person that little something missing becomes a very big something.

    #38 tried counselors & self help short of a magic wand (or hypnosis), you cant force yourself or convince yourself (or anyone else for that matter) to fall in love. To male readers: movie star looks have very little-nothing to do w/ it, ive felt great sparks w/some ok looking men & ended relationships w/handsome, successful men. All my friends agree: it is something you cant put your finger on charisma & chemistry.

    So it’s wiser to choose Comfort over Passion because passion fades? It seems that comfort can become less comforting over time as well. So in the end, does it really make a difference which you choose?

    1. 3.1

      “To live safely, without love and passion, is.. in my experience..a life unlived..”

      You’re assuming that love is some exciting, passionate, and emotionally intense experience that will last forever.   If you’re aspiring to live a life of passion, then you’re going to need constant change in your life to keep things exciting.   ALL  passion  will  fade.   We are all wired to habituate to everything in our lives, including our love interest.

      I’m not saying that comfort is going to be our savior.   I’m just saying that it’s naive to think that you can live a life full of passion.   That’s a very naive way of thinking.

      I’ve been in both “comfort-only” and “passion-only” relationships and both have their drawbacks.   When I was in a passionate relationship with someone, I enjoyed the time we had together, but I was mostly always miserable because there was no security in our passionate relationship.   I would never really know if they would be in my life a week from now.   It was great in those brief moments that we were together, but for the most part it was distressing never having any security.   

      About a year ago I met a guy that I was fairly attracted to.   We started dating and during the first year our relationship was great.   We had both passion and comfort – we always looked forward to being with each other on our free time and even planned for the future together.   We were like best friends and also passionate lovers.   After the first year the passion started disappearing.   We’ve been together for 2.5 years and although the passion is pretty much gone, I stay with him because he offers security that no other guy has.   He’s  always there for me when I need him.   He’s the time of guy that would literally do anything for me.   I’d have to be stupid to give that up so that I could spend the rest of my life looking for brief passionate encounters.

      No one is saying that comfort is going to be what makes you happy.   I think what the author is suggesting is that realistically it might be the best thing we can get in a long-term relationship.   

    2. 3.2
      Jeanette Leisegang

      I agree with you that passion is very important to the health of a relationship..ive dated a man I felt no passion for and it was lacking so much,, it ended thank goodness but it was still painful   I need passion and comfort and love, you can have it all

  4. 4
    Evan Marc Katz

    Actually, I chose certain passages, Selena, for space purposes – to synopsize what she was saying. But yes, it’s a viable question: does it make a difference which you choose? There are issues with both, as pointed out in The Post-Birthday World and The Paradox of Choice. I think, over 30 years, comfort makes a little more sense, unless you wanna be fighting with your husband when you’re expecting him to drive you to chemo. But reasonable people can disagree. Thanks for your contribution.

  5. 5

    Evan, your premise is “…if you take as gospel what she says – “passion or bust!” -you might have a long and lonley road ahead of you. I’d rather you have a happy relationship instead.”

    What Lori describes is not something I would exactly call a happy relationship.

    And neither marrying for passion or comfort would seem to be any guarantee of having someone driving you to chemo 30 years hence. Fighting or not fighting. ???

  6. 6
    Midlife Dating Coach Annie Gleason

    Evan, You’re absolutely right. In my coaching practice, the vast majority of my divorced female clients in their forties and fifties left their husbands to be with a man with whom they felt amazing chemistry. They knew in their hearts that they were leaving a boring, routine marriage to be with their true soulmate.

    And, guess what? After six months to a year of reality, these relationships fizzled. And after a couple of years of being alone and dating, most of them wished that they’d worked on putting the sizzle back in their marriage instead of leaving.

    You can create passion by being attentive, doing something new together, or flirting in a different way with the one you love. Helen Fisher’s studies show that you can bring chemistry back to a relationship by doing something novel or risky together–whether it’s something as mundane as taking a trip to somewhere you’ve never been to, or as exciting as skydiving.

    Lori — it’s really hard for many single women in their forties and fifties. It’s difficult to appreciate how valuable a loving, supportive long term relationship with a good man is until you’ve lost it for good. Passion is easy to find–and lose. Long-term love and compatibility is much more complex and rare.
    .-= Midlife Dating Coach Annie Gleason’s last blog ….Why MidLife Men? =-.

    1. 6.1

      My girlfriends drove me to chemo–after I went through a horrific divorce from my “comfortable” husband who ended up a narcissist/abuser.

      1. 6.1.1

        lily I think the question is what you choose if you have a very good the relationship but the passion lacks not when you have boring AND overall bad relationship.

        I believe that much as with the body image, media/society has created an unrealistic standard for relationships and people feel confused when they are not able to achieve it.

    2. 6.2


      I cannot agree with your reply more. As someone who was in a non-passionate marriage and found passion with another person, left said marriage and the passion fizzled and that relationship died, I am living proof that passion comes and goes – support, compatibility and long-term love is complex and rare.

      I have been dating for 2 years now and have had people passionate for me and me passionate for them and none of them work out. In my experience, passion is great for 6 months, but if you’re not compatible you will allow passion to cloud your better judgement and stay in a relationship that is not necessarily happy, good, compatible etc. If you are in a loving relationship, passion can be created, it takes a lot of work sometimes, but it can be created and sustained. Love and compatibilty are much harder to create and sustain.

      So, if you find someone you are compatible with and there are feelings there but maybe not passion – go for it. Create the passion because the what is there is rare.

  7. 7

    Yeah, I agree with Selena here. Evan, you are arguing a point no one is really disputing – most people on these message boards are quite mature and do realize the importance of overall compatibility.

    Only Lori is NOT happy, she does not even want to be with this man, and would rather never have sex with him if that were an option. By what standard is this a good, comfortable marriage?

  8. 8
    Evan Marc Katz

    You’re making this about Lori. It’s not about Lori. She’s just the one who inspired the post. Plenty of people have good marriages that didn’t have fireworks. That’s all.

  9. 9

    I am friends with several people who are having long term relationships. Some began with passion, some not. They don’t look much different after several years although, there seems to be more angst in the ones that began with passion because those folks didn’t really know each other very well– too busy doing other things.

    Passion, unless a whole lot of things meld in very specific ways, can be the source of a lot of pain. I don’t think the same can be said for comfort.

    There are no guarantees–and no guarantee you would find someone else that would ignite that spark and also want to be committed to you and your children. If it were all that easy we wouldn’t have thousands of people on the online dating sites and we wouldn’t need Evan to steer in this effort to find love. He can’t offer us any guarantees either—- just logical, unadorned good sense.

    I’ve seen some people make some really stupid choices for passion and be very sorry later. (uh, one of them would be me) Might the prince arrive? Sure. I wonder what the odds are……..

  10. 10

    Maybe you should dig up these people and have them post?

    Something like:
    “Elyse and I weren’t what you might call ‘passionate’ when we decided to marry. We knew we both wanted a home and family though, and found in each other shared values and mutual respect.”

    “Now after 20 yrs. of marriage we are still happy as clams when many of our friends who married for passion have long since divorced.”

    “Sex? Well no. That was something we did in the early years in order to have our family. Once we conceived our little Timmy and Janie, we didn’t see the need.”

    “Sex really is overrated. Elyse and I enjoy having separate bedrooms, we both sleep more soundly.”


  11. 11

    Honey @ #2,

    You made a HUGE point in your opening line; you are happy in your relationship because you are happy overall in your life.

    I think we sometimes go into these situations expecting the other person to GIVE us all the feelings we want to have, when really, those have to come from within ourselves. It’s not so much finding that person we want as BEING that person we want. I think that what we should really be looking for in our relationships is JOY. As Evan says, an intensely passionate relationship is usually fraught with tension and instability. It’s very dramatic knowing that you and the other person could split at any time. Comfort is good to have in a relationship, but I think sometimes comfort makes us very complacent and we don’t put the effort into the relationship that could make all the difference.

    I think it would benefit Lori, and others in the same situation to take a look at why they feel empty and unfulfilled. It may not really be the marriage. It might be a matter of doing and finding the things that bring you joy, be it a relationship with God, a favorite hobby, etc. Ronnie is spot on about having a heart of gratitude.

    So maybe finding a person with whom we experience JOY rather than passion or comfort might be the best compromise.

    1. 11.1

      Very well said and so true!

    2. 11.2

      Totally agree. We have to be whole beings to be able to share that happiness with someone else. However, seriously, how many of us can really claim to be this whole perfectly balanced beings? Perhaps some of you will say you are, well, congratulations. I wouldn’t be so quick to judge the others though. I hate it when people say “Your relationships don’t satisfy you because you are dissatisfied with your life.” Even if it’s true, that’s a very harsh thing to say to someone, especially if we don’t know the battle people are going through because being dissatisfied with your life SUCKS. There are so many things behind it, so much pain and sadness, so much despair, I think Lori’s situation is really sad. I am in a relationship in which I do not feel passion, but I’ve felt it before, and it’s horrible to not feel it again. I don’t know that I want a “rational” relationship in which I do not feel that intense spark that makes it imposible for me to keep my hands off my partner. I think that’s the way it should be…:(

      1. 11.2.1

        I agree with Maria.   I dated then married a woman mostly out of comfort.   She was smart, good job, cute, i knew she probably would be a good mother and i could trust her.   Weve been together for 8 yrs but the last 4 yrs there has been no intimacy. Ive tried talking to her about it, telling her i wasnt happy, i felt that we were roommates etc. Ive been in my own bedroom for 2 years now.   We get along like good friends but im now disconnected mentally and physically.   We separated for a time and i started seeing someone else and both know about the other.   Ive been with the other woman for a year now and she is amazing and like my best friend in everyway.   Now my problem is i dont want to leave me kids.   Im at a lose on what to do or expect

  12. 12

    I liked all of Honey’s suggestions. You could also think about what things attracted you to your more passionate partners, and see if they would fit into your current relationship. For example, does a certain men’s cologne, way of dressing, hairstyle, etc spark your interest. Those could be good gift suggestions for your man (Honey’s suggestion of planning surprises for your mate) if he is open to trying new things. And maybe you would like a new makeover as well, to feel differently about who you are in the relationship. Sometimes, people just feel stifled and might not realize that they are stifling themselves.

    1. 12.1

      Its good conventional looks that attracted them to their “passionate” partners. Often this fact is obscured by terms like chemistry but then chemistry is something they feel with men who are almost always conventionally.

      So for the most part there isnt much a man can do to increase chemistry,attraction and passion. These things are very natural and effortless

  13. 13

    I think a lot of people look solely to their marriage to make them happy “in life.” It’s like they forget the things that made them happy before they got married, or think they can’t enjoy those things any more because they got hitched.

  14. 14
    Evan Marc Katz

    Thanks for the sarcasm, Selena. Very constructive. So since you don’t seem to believe me, how about I post on behalf of those happy compromising people that you don’t think exist:

    “I always thought that fireworks were the most important part of a relationship. For years I had short-term girlfriends where I was so enamored that I couldn’t imagine being with anyone else. Unfortunately, those women dumped me because there were parts of my personality they couldn’t accept. And I really decided that I wanted to be with someone who loved me in full. When I met my wife, I wasn’t infatuated with her. I didn’t call her ten times a day. I didn’t tell her I loved her until six months in. Yet I have yet to meet a better human being. Nobody is cooler, more fun, more generous, and kinder than she is. Oh, and we’ve got a great sex life. In other words, I’ve hit the wife jackpot. Do we have the same sizzle that I’ve had in past relationships? No. Do I have a relationship with a person who truly understands the meaning of cliches like “unconditional love”, “partner in crime” and “’til death do us part”? Hell, yeah.”

    Feel free to pity me for being completely happy in my relationship. I can take it.

    Just don’t make the mistake of assuming that compromising means getting 0 on the passion scale. As I’ve said, if you get a 7 in chemistry and a 10 in compatiblity, it’s far superior to a 10 in chemistry (that FEELING!) and a 5 in compatibility.


    1. 14.1

      Thank you so much for sharing this. I really needed to read this. I am with my ideal mate right now (personality-wise). He is the best person I’ve ever met and he is my best friend.   We get each other completely and are both very comfortable. We literally never fight, and are always happy together. Yet, I’ve been fretting about our “passion”. I’ve tried to talk to friends and my sister about this, but nothing has helped. I have also talked to him 3 times about us not always connecting in the bedroom.  

      What’s going on is that we are great sexually, but not incredible. Before him I was with a guy that I had THE MOST INCREDIBLE sexual chemistry with, and I had not gotten over it (still forcing myself to let it go). I kept thinking I needed to be with him, but the reality is… he is judgmental, moody, arrogant, and selfish. I tell myself this constantly, but I can’t get over how much we turn each other on, I mean it’s UNREAL! The passion is unlike anything I’d ever felt before, even a year after fooling around and sleeping together.   We started off as roommates and grew so sexually attracted to one another when we finally gave in, it was intense and explosive. Anyway… I thought I should be with him due to that passion, and although he admits he feels the intensity and it’s the best sex he’s ever had and then also tells me I’m everything he could ever want in a woman… he somehow said he didn’t see a future with me. I always wondered why he said that, it’s not like he gave “us” a chance to know that, and I don’t believe him anyway.


      1. 14.1.1

        You should believe him.   How can you have a future with someone “judgmental, moody, arrogant, and selfish”?   At some point in the future your parents will get sick, or his will get sick, someone will get made redundant, you’ll get ill, or pregnant,  one of your kids will get  into trouble.   Is   sex   going to help you then?
        Still, I get that you can have great sex with difficult people (or outright aholes).   I  wonder if  it’s  a psychological interplay where the drama and emotion makes the sex more  exciting.       I doubt that it’s sustainable over the long time without increasing the drama quotient , eg he goes from just being “selfish” to cheating or gambling away your house.  

      2. 14.1.2

        although he admits he feels the intensity and it’s the best sex he’s ever had and then also tells me I’m everything he could ever want in a woman”

        Its likely that he told that to other women as well.
        Many men can feel that great sexual chemistry with a variety of women and the women dont have to be anything special either. Just know a lot of hot players and studs.

      3. 14.1.3

        I was in  the same situation a month ago,   but can I or YOU be with a man that knows you and him have chemistry so he dont even need to try to keep you.   hes so sure that hes got you that he dont even lift a finger coz he’ll know you’ll always be there.   Then it makes me wonder is it both sides.   look back at your lifetime have u ever met a man that liked you and u were like O BOY im not into him or hes 50/50.   so how do u know that he really feels this passion on the same level as you.   think! if you love a guy u wanna do everything for him.   Dont forget a man is the same so if he loves u like you loved him he WOULD bent over backwards for you.   the fact that he aint bending backwards for a woman he feels this great heart pumping love for  for is a major alarm bell AS is a alarm bell if your dating the great guy that you dont have Passion for.   So could it be that the guy whom u have a passion for THIS CHEMISTRY THING could it be that he knows how u really feel and hes felling it ONLY sexually so emotionally he dont bother to treat u good coz emotionally he dont really like you the way you like him.   So even though u got chemistry, isnt his lack of LOVEEEE for you a MAJOR alarm bell.   Whats happens if hes just being a man in this situation and saying GOSH this chick loves me soooooo much the sex is good the passion is good this is only sex to him.   being in a relationship that a guy only sees u as sex and never does anything to make u feel like a Queen.   My question to you is how long will it take until you start to feel as your heart in sinking and  your loosing every bit of woman that u spent years trying to achieve the standards you put throughout your lifetime said  to yourself even as a child or teen “if i eva   fall in love my man will treat me like this and that”   HOW LONG will it take till you realize u get nothing from a man just sex and HOW LONG will it take till you crumble emotionally and start to feel cheap, start to feel like a woman from the Ghetto where you’ve lowered your standards sooooooo low that u dont expect flowers you dont expect dinners you dont expect a MAN to treat u like a queen.   When one day you wake up and realize your standards are sooooo low that all u expect from your man is get on the bed n open your legs.   i guarantee that will not last loong as a woman to another woman we got this thing built in us that we demand respect and soon, very soon u will feel this sick feeling in your gut and hatred will build towards him and you will be so  angry that YOU YOU YOU chose him and you will be so angry that YOU let a man treat u so poorly and YOUUUUU will be so angry at HIM at HE could treat you as a woman who is sooooo loving so great so strong so much respect for yourself so much to yourself as a woman that HE dont even notice.   YOU will start to hate him your sex will fade and you will be angry that HE never could treat you like your worth something and that he treated u like nothing.   Trust me im 32 i met him the Chemistry man.   The first time i EVA felt this passion but after him treating me worse then every woman i knew in a relationship every woman i could think of.   i realized i deserve better i deserve more.   my guy was selfish and it was all about him.   We had the best chemistry we would text and i would be GONE lol he knew it smart guy and didnt treat me real good WHY coz he knew he didnt have to coz i would always come back to the great sex.   Now im not with him a month and truthfully i look back at how he couldnt even be non selfish for a woman who loved him LOVED HIMMMMM and it makes me feel sick.   i look at him and i think he is such a loser.   Any man that can seen a woman loves him and they dont feel the urge to treat her SOOOOOO good  for the  love she has for him, he’s  a waste of time.   He is not man enough and now our chemistry is dead coz my eyes are wide open and i deserve better i deserve a man that will see me as a woman not just an legs open girl.   So if you find Passion and a guy that treats you like a Queen then stop reading this and marry him lol.   But if you got Passion and he’s a useless selfish guy what a waste of time.   He needs to man up big time and you beautiful women need to raise the bar.

        Go find yourself a REAL man.   coz real men know how to treat a woman real good always remember that.

    2. 14.2

      Sorry, Evan, you may think Selena was sarcastic but that is my marriage to a T. Someone posted about people wishing they would have tried putting sizzle back in the marriage instead of walking away, but the kind of comfort marriage relating to Lori and to myself and others is that there was never any sizzle in the first place, so there is nothing to try to put back. I’m disappointed that all who are “comfortable” and are happy being that way automatically describe all passionate relationships to be rocky and unpredictable. That is not my view. I was not ever passionate about those “bad boys” or irresponsible type or those incapable of commitment…there were a couple of wonderful guys I had intense passion with and they were wonderfully good stable men, but I was too dumb and naive and let them go because I thought there were specific commonalities I needed to be happy in marriage. So I married that instead and now have the life Selena described. I will stay in my marriage because I believe in sticking to my vows and so does my husband. But I remember the feeling and knowing I sealed my fate to never feel even a sliver of that ever again, because even if I could somehow change, he’s never had a passionate or romantic bone in his body. And that’s what I crave…now that I’m no longer young and stupid and realize what I gave up. That look in his eyes. That barely contained intense desire. Gosh how I miss kissing. No, I married a roomate and no one who knows me has any idea we sleep in separate rooms and very very rarely have sex. To make matters worse I have the same domestic problems with him that all my friends who did/do have intense sparks with their spouses have. So I don’t see how my decision was any better. I think I would rather have had those intense two years and then just knowing he’s capable of those feelings be comforted that with the right effort I could bring it back out again.

    3. 14.3

      Evan, from all your accounts, you and your wife share  a great bond that includes respect, appreciation, friendship, love and sex. These are the necessary ingredients for a great lasting relationship.

      I think readers get confused with the difference between “discovery of a greater level of satisfaction leading to  happiness” with “settling for some stable features instead of finding  a great bond”.    I choose the word bond because it better describes what takes place when you see a deeper (and, yes, more exciting!) level of love that includes all of the necessary ingredients.

      When we know we are settling, we start from a place of compromise and some level of dissatisfaction. If a deeper bond develops based upon appreciation for the amazing, unique qualities your partner  possesses, as well as your shared experiences, great love can follow and the former dissatisfaction evaporates.


      Conversely, if you feel great initial “chemistry” and attraction to someone, yet  a deeper bond and appreciation does not develop, (or if you have opposing attachment styles–the psychological basis of attachment in relationships developed early in life), your once big bang of attraction quickly fades.

      Life is very short. Follow your heart while using your mind. People reveal themselves to you. Observe carefully. Know yourself, honor your needs and desires and choose wisely.   When you are happy with yourself you are far more likely to be happy in your relationships.

      One caveat: Everyone is capable of making a bad decision. If you find you have, and decide to move on, know this: You both deserve a fulfilling relationship. Moving on may lead to a better relationship for both. Don’t listen to the fear stories. Dating is always a challenge, but people who know themselves and know what they want and need as well as what they offer,do find great relationships after divorce.

      No one person will offer you everything you desire. Nor will you offer everything someone else desires. Evan, with all your experience, you know this and lived this. You found what makes you very satisfied and happy in a real relationship with a great bond versus an ideal of a relationship without the necessary ingredients for a great bond. Bravo.


  15. 15

    A few lucky ones are able to get both, I am thankful I was one of those. Perhaps when you are very young and grow together it is easier because you aren’t so jaded. The intensity fades, but it turns into “compassionate love” and you realize that is more valuable that the chemistry ever could be. That doesn’t mean the sex isn’t still good and like anything you have to put some effort into keeping it good.
    Now I am widowed, I look for someone who could be my best friend, lover and share common interests, some chemistry too but not necessarily off the scale. Thank you Evan for giving me the tools to know the difference and never giving up!

  16. 16

    Evan, I would submit to you that you have found JOY which is what I think people who believe they want fireworks are really looking for if the truth be told. They may not have yet learned the difference. I would also submit that those who have a more balance passion vs. comfort situation will tell you the slow burn is much better than the heady rush.

    1. 16.1

      Excellent insight (!)   My impression is that we all have a really poor understanding of what  our possible specific, differentiated  emotions might be (Joy, Passion,  Compassion, Contentment,  Pleasure, Clarity, Gratitude, Sincerity,  Peacefulness, Relaxation,  Strength, Appreciation, Beauty, Intimacy, Bliss, etc.)   . . . how we  value  various possible  combinations personally  . . . and how we would recognize them  manifesting in relationship.

  17. 17

    May I ask a personal question, Evan? Does your wife know she is in any way a compromise?

    I was also wondering about Lori’s husband if the man has any self-respect. :-/ She tells him openly of all her feelings (or, rather, lack thereof), yet he is happy just to have her in whatever capacity he can. (!)

    Granted, I am a woman, and I absolutely must feel desirable in a relationship, but is it really that different for men?

    1. 17.1

      No. Not different. Even a man has to feel desirable.

      who doesnt want to feel desirable by the opposite gender. thinnk. women ignore this

  18. 18
    Evan Marc Katz

    Juju and Selena,

    I respectfully submit that you are stuck in absolutist thinking.

    If you choose to compromise, there will be NO passion.
    If you make practical considerations, there will be NO joy.
    If you don’t hold out for every single thing on your laundry list, you will be consigned to a sad lifetime of longing.
    If a man thinks for one second that he is not absolutely perfect in the eyes of his wife, then he has no self-respect.

    These statements are patently untrue.

    What you’re failing to recognize is that EVERYONE who gets married compromises, in some form or another.

    Ask the passionate woman who find that her husband is a workaholic, or emotionally unavailable, or a cheater. You get one thing, you give up another. Anyone who tells you otherwise isn’t telling you the truth.

    So let’s not reduce my relationship, JuJu, to something as crude as “does your wife know she is a compromise?” That severely diminishes the intensity and joy of our marriage and reduces my wife to an object, which she certainly is not.

    But does she know that I gave up certain things to be with her? Yes. As I know that she gave up certain things to be with me. As I know that anyone who marries you, JuJu and Selena, is going to have to compromise on something, too. To think otherwise is both arrogant and naive.

    I respect your desire to hold out for the perfect guy, in the perfect, passionate relationship. I would request that you respect others who understand that life isn’t perfect and choose a different way of doing things. When Lori says she was unhappy with her compromise, she speaks for herself, not for all of us.

    So let’s get away from this irrational absolutist thinking, which suggests that compromise is a bad word.

    Because in marriage, it’s the ONLY word. No compromise, no partnership.

    Have a lovely weekend, y’all. I’m getting some sun.



  19. 19

    @Juju and Selena, I’ve heard stories about sex fizzling in the way you describe as well, and think it’s important for folks to realize that someone’s sex drive during the first year or so of a relationship is not necessarily reflective of their actual sex drive. It is entirely possible for one person to have a higher sex drive in the “honeymoon” phase and then have a very, very low sex drive for the remainder of the rest of the relationship. This is one of the reasons I think it’s important to date for a long time before getting married, because this is something that people have not always been in long term relationships enough to even know about themselves.

    I know that her lack of interest in sex was one reason the BF ended things with his ex, and now he’s in a relationship (with me:-) where he is the partner with the lower sex drive (though I wouldn’t say it’s “low,” just lower than mine). While some of it is about attraction, there are things that affect sex drive in addition to attraction, and those things are just as important to know.
    .-= Honey’s last blog ….A Love Styles Exercise =-.

  20. 20
    Mikko Kemppe - Relationship Coach

    What a great debate!

    Evan, I think you are misunderstanding Selena’s and Juju’s points and perhaps vice versa.

    I think you are attributing the word passion a different meaning, which is at the heart of this misunderstanding.

    Let me illustrate by sharing a recent story from my own life:

    I am currently going through a separation. I was married for about two years. My wife is a beautiful person and I still love her very much. I would describe our relationship to have also been passionate in many ways. She would have made a great wife and mother. Yet, we are going through a divorce. Why?

    In my heart I believe it is possible to love someone, yet realize that this person is not the right one for you to share the rest of your life with. Based on my personal experience, I believe there is such a thing as being able to just know in your heart whether someone is a right person for you. However, to be able to just know is not as simply as it may sound. For you to have the ability to just know, certain preconditions have to be met. To fully understand what I mean by these preconditions, read my blog post that I selected below.

    But my point here is that there is a big difference in having a passionate relationship and having the ability to have a knowing in your heart whether this person is the one you are meant to share your life with. I think in the case of Lori, what she was trying to communicate is that although she loves her husband dearly, in her heart she feels like he is not the right one for her. This sometimes may or may not correlate with having passion or sex in your relationship. And I think this is where the confusion has entered to this debate.

    Evan, I completely understand yours as well as many others logic behind the idea of compromising to have marriage based on comfort rather than passion. And I think your arguments are well presented and very logical. I am fully aware of and completely understand that to make any marriage work you have to compromise, no marriage will ever be perfect. And to think otherwise would be na ve.

    At the same time, I know that for me, the one thing I cannot compromise is to do what I feel is the right thing to do in my heart, no matter how much I would try to rationalize it otherwise. And I think that is what Selena and Juju are also trying to point out.
    .-= Mikko Kemppe – Relationship Coach’s last blog ….How Do You Know You Have Found The Right One? =-.

    1. 20.1

      No offence Mikko but you realize that in “your heart” is jut blood and muscles? Everything happens in your head. To me it just sound like you didn’t bother you understand yourself.

      1. 20.1.1

        Actually, I think it is amazing to hear a guy talk about things in his heart. If the figure we call our heart when it comes to emotions was only muscles and blood, we would be animals. There’s something inside us that makes us have these emotions. I agree with you Mikko, sometimes you just know.

    2. 20.2

      I have a strong hunch you’re going to end up like my former husband. We had a long run (20 years) of great sex and compatibility, until he decided he needed to be single and experience many women. He is now one of the most miserable people I’ve known and also physically ill. Lives with constant regret. I’ve moved on and found a wonderful man.

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