Passion and Intimacy
Those of us who have passionate love which flows both directions in a relationship, are very lucky souls. It seems that such a relationship is rare, and if found should be nurtured and enjoyed and never taken for granted. When love and passion only tends to flow one direction, the relationship can be very frustrating for the person showing that love and passion. That desire... that want to be there... that need to be held and appreciated, and that longing for the person you are passionate for, to willingly, show that passion back to you, on their own accord.
Some people do suggest that there maybe is only one person out there who would be an ideal match, and who is able to love you as much as you love them. In all other cases, love is often lobsided? I don't know if I fully believe that.
Love can be shown in many ways. Those suffering with PTSD from abuse, and other life events, may choose to only show love in limited ways - if at all. But what if the person who loves them, and who lusts for them, needs them to also show a longing and intimacy back towards them in return?
It is highly stressful and frustrating knowing that your partner, who you love so much, is unable, or unwilling to show passion voluntarily back towards you. Even if you know that inside, they do love you - more than anything else. Sometimes they may not be aware of this. Maybe they ignore it because the mear thought of passion and love, triggers anxiety or bad memories? But what course should the passionate one take, if they are not getting the passion they need in return?
This is a question that I have struggled with, and also a situation that a good friend of mine is struggling with. In the past, I have explored polyamory. An open, controlled relationship, outside of my 'primary' relationship, with approval from my partner. This would allow me to seek out love and passion elsewhere, while still retaining bonds with the person I love.
In my experience, this can really only be an answer in rare, super ideal cases. And those cases would typically involve a 3 person love triangle, which is otherwise closed to outsiders. All 3 partners would support each other, be close and trusting with each other, and provide for each other, everything that is needed. Can jealousy happen? yes... But in an ideal loving situation, where your partner would care about your own needs, and where trust exists, then it shouldn't be a situation which invokes jealousy.
Otherwise, polyamory is a shallow fix, and not a long term solution. As most people who seek a polyamorous relationship, do so for shallow sexual pleasures, and dating with no real strings. Deeper love is very hard to find in polyamory, as those who seek deep love, tend to want that 100% commitment, and focus on love on them. Understandably so.
Sometimes time and space will help. Someone who is committed to maintaining a relationship, may just need some time away from the stressors of a passionate relationship, in order to collect their own feelings, and deal with any internal struggles or problems that prevent them from contributing back into the relationship at an intimate level.
Another thought is therapy. Be it relationship counseling, or some other form of therapy, perhaps professionals have the answer to help a person discover their ability for passion again? I am unsure. Many doctors these days will push anti-depressants and anti-anxiety pills, to help regulate moods or deal with stress. Drugs to regulate moods, tend to have personality dampening side effects, and compound the issue when it comes to interpersonal interactions.
It has been my experience in observing relationships that people who have trouble showing passion and intimacy towards the person they love, can just 'settle' and take their loving partner for granted. Instead of continuing to passionately show their love, they just carry on with their lives once they settle in, and believe that their partner is loyal to them. But when that is challenged by someone else who seeks their partners attention, they begin to show intimacy again - or show anger for their 'prize' that they worked hard to acquire. In this case communication and imagination may be the key that is needed to re-spark a relationship. Typically in this case (of settling), the cause for the lack of attention isn't a psychological cause, but closer to just being described as a 'lazy lover'.
I am not quite sure really. Maybe my friend and I are just too needy when it comes to love and passion? But I advised him to tread carefully, and perhaps consider the fact that his girlfriend may not ever get better - and he should consider his own feelings, and needs long term. She likely does love him, but she is unable to show him love in return - and the distance between them makes it hard for him to be there to just... be with her. If someone can't provide those deeper needs and make you feel needed, and desired, and wanted, then maybe that isn't a person you want to commit to marrying or living a life with. At least until they are able to rectify that, and show you that they can love you back, the way you need to be loved. Sometimes it is worth being patient. But how long should someone wait?
I have found that requesting passion doesn't lead to actual passion. It isn't really something that someone can turn on and off just because their partner asks for it. Passion does tend to need to come from the heart, and be something that you truly want, and needs to show your partner. And a partner receiving passion, will typically be able to tell if the passion is forced or natural. Passion is after all an emotion, and there fore, it is a mental reaction that can occur and triggers a whole change through your body.
One thing I notice that some people are confused by, is the issue of sex vs passion vs intimacy? Sex, at least in my definition, is the actual act of intercourse. A human male penis, entering a human female vagina. Intimacy is more elaborate, and is the general act of touching, caressing, showing your love in a physical manner, and enjoying your partners body. Enjoying their touch on your body as well. Spending - sometimes - hours doing just that. Intimacy is physical closeness. And while intimacy often is a prelude to sex, sex isn't intimacy. Nor does it have to always be a prelude to sex. Intimacy is its own thing, and satisfies its own set of needs, and desires, separate from sexual urges.
Sex, on its own, without sufficient foreplay, tends to be a more of a stress and tension relief. It typically doesn't accomplish the deeper passionate needs that intimacy does. Passion also isn't sex. Passion is love. A very deep love. Yes, you can also be passionate in a hateful sense too. But for this purpose, passion relates to love, and showing of great love for ones partner. Passion also isn't intimacy. But Intimacy is a way of showing passion, more so than sex is a way of showing passion. Someone can buy sex if they are in such a need of it, but you can't buy deeper legitimate passionate intimacy.
In the end, we all typically want to be wanted and desired and appreciated by someone else. But we also need to consider our own health and well being too. That goes for both the passionate partner, and the unpassionate partner. It is possible that the unpassionate partner is unable to show that passion for a legitimate reason, but that doesn't always mean they don't love you. Tho, I would say that if they aren't actively trying to work out their issue after considering the above ideas, and aren't taking your own needs into consideration, then perhaps it is time to evaluate where that relationship is going to go long term.