We grew up hearing that passion is different from love. Pop culture books, films and songs try to explain to us what differentiates these two feelings, but they are not always successful. Defining something so subjective is a really complicated task and people have a hard time separating one feeling from the other. Do you know under what feeling your relationship is sustained? After all, what is the difference between love and passion ? I have separated some concepts that can help you understand this issue.
In today’s text we will address:
- What is passion?
- What is love?
- Why is passion extinguished?
- The break up
- The difference between love and passion according to science
- Main points of difference between love and passion
- Eternal love and passion
What is passion?
More than an emotion, passion is a strong motivation that drives us to satisfy the biological need to reproduce. Passion is insistent and difficult to disappear, and when it is reciprocal, we add emotions such as illusion. Passion is mixed with sexual desire, but it is very different from that. Many people confuse passion with a desire for sexual relief, but passion and the desire for sexual satisfaction are found in different areas of the brain.
What is love?
As the couple’s relationship lengthens, the passion begins to change, over time it calms down and becomes a deep and solid feeling. Strong emotions, ecstasy, excessive desire, obsessive thinking, intense energy are diminishing and even dissolving. Couples don’t spend all the time looking at each other and stroking each other. But the passion turns into feelings of security and comfort, a sense of calm, a happy union, in which the couple’s life is intertwined. The couple love each other in a different, warmer and more confident way. What persists is a very deep love and an intimate friendship, a feeling of connection for a long life. It is already possible to see the difference between love and passion.
Why is passion “over”?
If the passion in the relationship were eternal, we would spend years in the obsessive worship of the other, we could not focus on anything other than our partner and it would be detrimental to daily activities. We would die of exhaustion because intense passion consumes enormous time and energy. Therefore, our brain calms the storm of romantic passion and gives us tranquility, until we fall in love with another person and form a new bond. In fact, the sheer number of infidelities and divorces around the world is a consequence of our desire to fall in love again . But in our brain, impulses of peaceful and confident love develop to motivate us to remain emotionally connected with one another.
The break up
When the relationship becomes stable, comfortable and secure and the euphoria of passion wanes, most marriages become accustomed to a long-term relationship that does not have the pleasure of passion. Some go to couples therapy to try to renew their passion, others seek extramarital romance and many resort to divorce. Often, passion and love are not focused on the same person, you can feel great love for your partner for a long time and an uncontrollable passion for someone you have recently met. however, something much bigger to connect you and your partner and that is a big difference between love and sudden passion.
The difference between love and passion according to science
Although passion and love are different things within our brains, the first can become the second. A study at the University of Concord in Montreal, Canada, gave new elements to the explanation of how the brain processes love and passion, as well as the differences and similarities between these two feelings.
Scientists have found that love and passion are processed by different parts of the same area of the brain, the striated nucleus. Sexual desire activates the reward area, which processes experiences such as orgasm, for example. However, love activates another region of the striatum, associated with addictions and drugs. Thus, the end of a relationship leads to a series of symptoms similar to those of drug withdrawal.
And finally, it was discovered that eventually the areas in the brain that process both can overlap. This means that sexual desire can be transformed into love and that feelings are not completely separate.
How long does the magic of love last?
American anthropologist Helen Fisher in her book Why We Love explains that a recent study found that passion, a turmoil of emotions, usually lasts 12 to 18 months. “When the couple gets used to the daily life of the union, this fire starts to subside and is replaced by feelings of affection, serenity with the loved one.”
Main points of difference between love and passion
Although in both cases passion and love are wonderful feelings, the two are quite different from each other. The two bring a big difference in the sense that very little or almost nobody knows how to distinguish. You certainly want to know the differences to better define what you want in a relationship.
- It is focused on the person’s appearance and body.
- She is interested in sex, but not in conversation.
- He prefers to keep the relationship on an unrealistic level, without discussing real feelings.
- Either go out immediately after sex instead of sleeping in the embrace or having breakfast together in the morning.
- They are lovers, but not friends.
- He wants to spend more time with the person.
- You can spend hours talking without noticing the passage of time.
- He wants to know what the person feels to make him happy.
- He or she makes you feel a better person.
- He wants to meet the other person’s family and friends.
1. Destruction x Construction
There is a reason why this phrase is strongly defended: “I did it in the heat of passion”. Passion blinds. This can lead you to do irresponsible things like having unprotected sex or insisting on an abusive relationship, for example. Love, on the other hand, makes you think about things. Love involves looking for what is best for you and your partner instead of simply getting carried away by a wave of hormones without thinking about the consequences.
2. Passion comes and goes, love remains in the end
Passion exists in relationships based on true love, but passion almost always disappears. It may take weeks, it may take months, but eventually, when the couple enters later stages of love, the blind nature of passion disappears.
Suddenly, the couple sees defects in the other that they were previously blind to. At that point, only true love can move you forward.
3. Hormones vs. abilities
For passion to exist, all you need are hormones like oxytocin and vasopressin. Your brain takes care of the rest. For love to exist, on the other hand, you need principles and skills such as respect, honesty, communication and empathy.
4. Passion is immediate, love takes time to develop
Passion can appear right after meeting someone. You meet an attractive person and suddenly you want nothing more than to spend every moment waking up with them. In those moments you may even want to play the phrase “I love you”. However, make no mistake, this is probably not love, it is passion. Love is something that you develop with each other over a period of time filled with challenges and difficult conversations.
5. Perfection x acceptance
Passion is what you feel when you’re in a relationship with someone who looks perfect to you. Love is what you feel when you are still crazy about this person even after discovering that he is full of defects and yet is perfect for you.
6. Passion can exist with several people, love requires a very specific person
If you want to find the passion, just go to the bar and find the most attractive person of your favorite sex. You can do this in any city or country and “succeed”. Love, of course, is much more difficult to find. The person you love will have very specific qualities and values. Your life experience will be compatible with hers. It will be weak in areas where you are strong and vice versa.
Eternal love and passion
There are some long relationships in which the passion becomes intense again in moments of novelty or adventure, such as vacations or situations different from everyday life. But there are also couples who married more than 20 years ago and who are still together today. In them, not only love, but also passion keep them together for many years in a lasting union. They are companions, share their intimacy and also know how to balance autonomy well with proximity to the partner.
Despite the difference between love and passion, both feelings have their positive side. So if you are in love now, it doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing, that feeling can evolve into true love. Take advantage of all the strong emotions that this phase of the relationship offers and fight for it to become something deeper in the future.