The #1 killer of passion and romance
Thesis: seeing someone too often is the #1 killer of passion and romance
And living together can be the final straw.
Counter acknowledgments and other notes
The benefits of seeing someone more often or living together may be assessed to have more value than the lost benefits of passion and romance.
A small percentage of couples, maybe 1%, are able to maintain passion and romance through decades of living together. I've yet to discover their secret.
The use of the words "man" and "woman" in this essay should be translated to "masculine" and "feminine" in applying to non-heterosexual relationships.
The soil that nurtures relationships of passion and romance
Romance and passion, almost always, develop under the condition of limited contact in space and time between a man and woman. Then, in wanting to have "more" of this great stuff and to decrease the sense of risk, we decrease the space and time, most often culminating in cohabitation.
The soil of cohabitation is sub-standard for maintaining passion and romance
Cohabitation does not create a sense of risk and missing each other that is necessary to create and maintain those feelings of passion and romance.
Special note: whatever I say about cohabitation applies also to seeing one another too often.
We need a sense of risk
During the initial stages of romance, a man may find himself uncertain about the woman's feelings and vice versa. The man then begins to seek ways to showcase his attraction and enhance his appeal. The woman, in response, may reciprocate these feelings or may demand further persuasion, which often heightens the man's interest. There are instances, though, where the roles are reversed.
This dynamic is essentially a dance of attraction. Many women I've spoken to have longed for that particular sensation they experienced when their partner was ardently pursuing them during the early phases of their relationship. They lament their partners' perceived distractions, be it video games, socializing with friends, or excessive work. Generally, men have a stronger inclination than women toward a sense of challenge or 'the thrill of the chase' to keep them engaged. While a man might appear pleased when she declares, "I'm yours," little does she realize that she's just brought an end to the exciting pursuit. In their quest for security, women often provide too much of it to their men.
However, it's possible to sustain this playful pursuit indefinitely, given that the necessary space is preserved, enhancing the dynamics of the relationship.
We need to stay hungry
In "Breakfast at the Victory," James Carse said, "The purpose of desire is to do away with itself." Yet, when we desire no more we dearly miss that desire.
In the movie "Dangerous Beauty," the mother, in teaching her daughter to be a courtesan instructs, "Just enough...to keep him wanting more. It's wanting...that keeps us alive."
When we cohabitate, it's like living in the kitchen with the food all day. Even if we don't eat the food so often, it doesn't appeal to us as when we had a chance to miss it, that is to miss him or her and get hungry for them.
Junko-san, how do you have passion for your husband?!
In 1998, while living in Hiroshima for three months, I hosted four Japanese women for lunch. They were all married, in their 40s, with children. We were talking about passion and sex. I could tell that three of the wives had uneasy, unsatisfactory partnerships with their husbands, just to "keep the family together." They were teasing the fourth woman about her passion for her husband. She was blushing. I asked her, "Junko-san, you've been married for twenty years. How do you still have passion for your husband?!" She told me that her husband works in another prefecture. He comes home to be with her one weekend each month.
They have their separate spaces. They don't step on each others' toes and end up tolerating each other. They have time to miss each other.
Losing passion and romance has been a major issue in my life
I've been married and divorced twice. For myself, although my wives and I had other reasons for divorce, the #1 reason for me was that all the passion was gone.
Before I discovered the joys of relationship distance, the longest I had passion in any relationship was six months, although we may have stayed together for years.
After implementing a "policy" of keeping hunger and distance in relationships, I've enjoyed one love relationship where we maintained passion for over twelve years!
Consider these proverbs from cultures around the world
"Absence makes the heart grow fonder."
"Distance creates beauty." Chinese "距离产生美"
"Distance creates longing" Arabic: "البُعد يَزيدُ الشوق"
"Long-distance love is the strongest love." German: "Fernliebe ist die stärkste Liebe."
"Love is stronger at a distance." Russian: "Любовь сильнее на расстоянии."
"Distant things are beautiful." Japanese: "遠くの物は美しい"
"Far from the eyes, close to the heart." French: "Loin des yeux, près du coeur."
Ways to enrich the soil even though you still live together
Sleep in separate beds, if not separate bedrooms.
Establish a regular weekly or bi-weekly date night where you each alternate surprising the other.
Engage regularly in the various exercises detailed in the XXI toolkit.
Practice regularly Fifteen minutes for love.
"Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other.
Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then."