Picture Valentine’s Day. There’s a warm crackling fire, a bottle of red wine and the object of your desire in your arms. All those things together can bring some real heat — your passion is flamed. But be careful you don’t get burned. Remember the 1970s rock ballad by Nazareth, “I really learned a lot, love is like a flame, burns you when it’s hot.”
In defining passion, we hear Webster’s say it’s “a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement.” Oxford says, “strong and barely controllable emotion.” Passion carries with it the concepts of obsession and of craving.
When assailed by passion’s arrows, one feels possessed, consumed by it, and everything else falls away. We are captured by the arms of love and don’t want to resist.
All kinds of biological and psychological things are happening when we feel those first twinges of attraction. We have these things called pheromones. Pheromones are chemical signals transferred between individuals. They excite or impel a response from the receiver. Think of Chanel No. 5 or Old Spice.
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Psychologically we are sizing up the other person with all kinds of unconscious clues. We are attracted in ways we do not fully understand. But we are quickly and surely mapping their history, their personality and their potential. The evidence of this is the powerful attraction that, three years later, turns into the same relationship with your spouse.
Passion can last, it can pull you through the tough times and it can change. Allow me to illustrate this by describing my love affair with Georgia Bulldogs football.
Fall football Saturdays mean too much to me. Generally, I’m a pretty low-key guy. But, like many of you, I’m passionate about my Dawgs. I’m already anticipating the season. The exhilaration and excitement rise as each game approaches and as it is played. As the clock ticks down, the pressure builds until time expires and we leap in the air in victory (we hope).
Time can change things, though. When I was younger every game was a big event. We were in Sanford Stadium or at parties for away games. But then the kids came. We went to fewer games and sometimes their games interrupted even listening to THE game!
And then there were the Goff and Donnan years. What that means for you non-Dawg fans is a desert of losses, a dry period when things just weren’t clicking. But I didn’t give up on my team; I’m a loyal and committed fan. You don’t lose interest just because your team doesn’t give you what you want.
Now that we are older, we go to one or two home games and sometimes an away game. The frequency may be down a little, but the passion is still there.
Yes, passion plays an important part in the liveliness of your coupling. But we have to allow for ups and downs, good times and bad. A little disappointment may let you down, but persevere, don’t give up and be filled with your own and your partner’s enthusiasm.