If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend you skim through Part One of The Three Loves Theory: You Don’t Put a Ring on Lust, before continuing on with this post.
With that said, if you’re the type of person that likes to do crazy shit, like taking a pull directly from the milk jug without pouring a glass, then go buck wild, read away -- you little rebel.
Previously, we talked about my brother’s friend’s cousin, Chuck, who was telling me a story about how he had sex with a girl he was lusting after in a treehouse; which resulted in a bunch of splinters in his ass and their eventual demise.
This week we are going to talk about the second type of love, Passion, which should be taken much more seriously than Lust. Why? Well, because passion happens when lust, emotional chemistry and spontaneity of a new relationship morph into something beautiful.
Passion is when you see her and everything stops because all that matters in that moment is watching her exist. Passion is when you don’t wash his sweatshirt because his scent smells like home. Passion is when you stay up till 5 a.m. with your favorite person, naked in your bed, listening to vinyl and sipping craft beer.
But what you will find in this story, is that even passion isn’t enough to make love last.
My best friend dated a girl throughout college that I was certain he was going to marry.
I loved them as a couple because I loved the way she made him feel. They looked lovely together. She was stunning, a brilliantly gifted artist and head over heels infatuated with him. He was damn good looking (still is), sharp as a tack and thought she hung the moon.
Everything seemed to fall into place with the two of them. In the words of Anne Lamott, “It's not unlike finding a mate, where little by little you begin to feel that you've stepped into a shape that was waiting there all along.”
While the relationship was far from perfect, it was in its imperfection that something beautiful was cultivated.
He was an Adman, studying relentlessly to perfect his advertising genius. She was a painter, that had the ornate ability to turn a blank ordinary canvas into something the world fell in love with. He was a charming extrovert, born to own the room. She was a quiet introvert, a wallflower of sorts.
But something about their clashing personalities and passions drew them together like a pair of magnets in a child’s hand. Adversity and curiosity would pull them apart but was never strong enough to keep them separated for too long before they would snap back together.
They were passionate people and passionate about each other, and most importantly they loved each other deeply.
My best friend loved music. He was one of those who was created with it sewn into his soul and his girlfriend loved that about him. So, for his birthday she painted him a vinyl cover to store his favorite album in.
At night when there was no privacy in their apartments, they could be found in the car, parked in the back of a Dairy Queen parking lot, making love.
What they had was wonderful. Beautiful. Passionate.
But like I said earlier, passion isn’t enough to make Love last.
One day, he called me. And I felt my heart drop because I realized my best friend was crying.
The end of their senior year in college had crept up on them; like a sunset slipping into dusk, they didn’t realize it had grown dark until they looked out the window.
They had decided to go their separate ways.
Passion is Beautiful, But Love Demands More
And that is the tough part about passionate people. They dream hard and they love hard, and one day they are forced to choose. They are forced to choose between passions.
My best friend was heading to New York to work with one the largest branding agencies in professional sports. She was heading to Maryland, to pursue a fellowship in painting.
They were forced to choose, and they chose their dreams.
My best friend and his now ex-girlfriend would both tell you that they wouldn’t change their time together for the world. They would tell you they both grew tremendously, experienced beautiful moments and loved hard during their time together.
They don’t talk much anymore, leading separate lives in different cities. But they don’t hate each other, either. In fact, I think there is a part of both of them that deeply admires the other.
He has never let go of the album she painted.
I am sure you’re wondering, why? Why did they end? What caused their demise? If passion isn’t strong enough to keep love together, what is?
They loved each other, they were passionate about one another, but there was a very important element of their relationship that was missing, commitment.
Passion must exist to keep love magical, but it takes commitment to keep love together.
The greatest piece of advice on relationships I ever received was from my brother -- love is not a feeling, it is a commitment. Which is exactly what we will be talking about in Part 3 of The Three Loves Theory.
A couple years later, after my best friend and his ex had decided to go their separate ways, he had finally started dating again and met someone very special.
I received a text one night, while drinking a beer at Tin Man, a favorite pub of mine in my hometown, “I am trying to stay balanced through all of this, but I am falling hard for her.”
I smiled and put my phone down, it needed no response.
Love has a way of coming back around, I will be curious if this time it happens to grow beyond passion.
Regardless, there is something beautiful about it, love that is.