There is no well-known recipe for passion. Grandma may have passed down to her successors the secret ingredients of her famous meat pie, but she most likely did not bequeath an index card containing (in perfect cursive) a tried and true concoction for sexual passion with a 50 year shelf life. After the initial stages of infatuation and seemingly endless romantic bliss dwindle away, many couples are left feeling sexually apathetic. What was once a spicy and sizzling duo becomes a bland and lifeless combination. Our concern with the evolution (or slow death) of the passion in our relationships can be owed to two things: we don't take the necessary steps to maintain a certain amount of passion in our lives and our expectations are unrealistic.
Fairytales, fiction, films, and music all contribute to our cultural mythology about true love and the perfect couple. We are surrounded by images, stories, songs, and legends about the eternally happy couple who keep those sexual sparks of passion kindled at all times. We tend to romanticize couplehood and to accent the good parts. For example, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, their pearly white teeth illuminating the glossy cover of a fashionable magazine, don't suggest relationship platitude. We don't envision Tom and Nicole up to their armpits in dish soap, dirty diapers, dog vomit, and cat hair, slogging day in and day out, fixing the car, unclogging the toilet, making lunch, going to work, coming home, picking up the kids, and collapsing ragged and wearied in bed. Instead we blindly see that they are smiling and beautiful, that they are hot-blooded lovers glowing with undying passion for each other. The imagination feeds on such stories of romance and torrid love affairs. And honestly, who would read a Harlequin romance novel about a 50 year-old couple enjoying a steady, but happy marriage?
Feelings of passion and infatuation affect us like some drugs do. We feel beautiful, sexy, interesting, and loved. We get rushes of adrenaline every time we replay a passionate scenario in our mind. The thumping heart, the fluttering in the stomach, the emotional intensity. During the initial stages of a relationship we don't have to eat or sleep. We forget our pain, our sadness, our work, stress, and responsibility. Special hormones race through our veins and we are on top of the world. We are consumed by wellbeing.
On a more insidious level, this wonderful intoxicant called passion can taint our judgement and warp our sanity. In the name of passion we may make decisions that are not in our own best interest. During the highly passionate infatuation stages of a relationship, we are blind to our partner's faults. We may not see that we are hurting someone else, and we certainly don't foresee a comparatively stale future.
We never forget the ecstatic delight of passion and infatuation. We read books and watch movies of poignant love stories that temporarily twang the same chords that our own passionate affairs once plucked. The rush of passion is deliciously inviting. Our romantic selves insist that if we were wrapping our arms (or legs) around some mysterious, flirtatious, and beautiful stranger (or acquaintance), that we could live a life of romantic bliss. Or maybe we don't see that far ahead and we just seek that immediate fix, that delectable taste of passion and the euphoria that accompanies it. Strange men and women flatter us, make us feel young again, and faint stirrings of passion tickle our loins. We feel that our old-shoe mate doesn't have the spark that once ignited such hot passion. We may feel that there is something wrong with us, that we aren't sexy or as desirable as we once were. Or we may think that something is wrong with our partner, that s/he doesn't pay us the same attention, throw us the same encouraging glances, sneak us the odd sly wink-all those little things that would once send us over the edge-and into the bed room. And if the passion wanes, we may think that there is something chronically wrong with the relationship. There is that sad possibility of missing out on a potentially wonderful partnership in the search for ephemeral thrill and short-lived erotic excitement.
While the media, unrealistic expectations, and a desire for new love and excitement can make our existing partnerships seem stale and wilted, we may be contributing to the wane of passion in other ways. There are certain levels of respect and special treatment for our partner that we may neglect as we move from the initial stages of infatuation to the later stages of comfort and stability. In fact, we all have noticed that people are much more polite with strangers, acquaintances, and friends than they are with their life long spouses. Maybe lackadaisical habits and attitudes spoil passion and sexual intimacy prematurely. Maintaining a happy relationship takes work, dedication, and communication. We know that relationships can last forever, that people do spend their lives in happy unison. Logically, no relationship can sustain a constant flow of molten passion. But a happy couple can surely enjoy highly erotic moments over the span of many, many years. Part of a couple's responsibility to each other is to work together to find that happy balance of passionate intensity and emotional stability.
QueenDom's survey on passion aims to find out all the ingredients of delicious passion. We will learn what makes a relationship a happy one, and if sexual passion is necessarily a part of this mixture. And we will discover, from thousands of real people in real marriages and relationships, how to maintain the sharp piquancy of sexual spice over time. QueenDom is doing the research to produce those tried and true recipes for passion that your Grandma never gave you.