Highest of Highs, Lowest of Lows and the Quest for a Middle Ground

A sermon I heard recently uncovered some ideas about the link between passion and connection that I hadn’t thought about in a long time. The pastor’s argument was that two very passionate people can have a great marriage in spite of constant fights because of the deeper connection caused by the discovery of the other person’s hidden thoughts and emotions during these intense arguments.

I’ve dated both very impassioned men and men who were extremely logical and level headed. Those spirited individuals who exuded a magnetism that was irresistible to me in a lot of ways, tended toward violent and emotionally abusive behaviors. During the highs of those relationships, I was lost in a euphoric denial where I believed there was nothing more perfect than the blissful love we shared. Then, when the bubble burst, I was met with an equally extreme low that made my entire life almost unbearable.

On the other hand the even-keeled men lacked the mysterious appeal of the passionate, albeit crazy, men. They also seemed complacent and, at times, indifferent toward me. The relationships hit that comfortable stage fairly quickly and the connection born out of the conflict and subsequent making up of the intensely amorous and volatile affairs were nothing more than a flimsy bond based loosely on a few common interests.

So is passion just another trade off in a relationship? We either get all-consuming love with soul crushing conflicts or polite, healthy fondness that lacks depth? I’m hoping this is not the case, that the men I’ve dated just happen to lie on either extreme and that there are those who lie in that happy middle ground.

The more I explore this idea in my own mind I think that is exactly the case. I’ve come to realize the ardently romantic men, weren’t necessarily passionate about me. They just discovered they could use this illusion of profound love to control me and manipulate my emotions with expressive mea culpas designed to trick false feelings of love and trust out of each moment of atonement.

Now that I’ve come to this conclusion, I’m finding that I constantly have to remind myself of this fairly new development in my understanding of love. I’ve found myself in situations where I will continue pursuing someone who I don’t feel a deep connection with because I’ve been convinced for so long that a deep connection automatically leads to hellish extremes. Perhaps it’s the hopeless romantic in me, once again, rearing its ugly little head, but it seems to me that a true connection will coax passionate moments out of the most level-headed of men without the need for the agonizing low points.