One of the big things people have been asking me about lately is the balance between desire and responsibility. We’re all trying to be responsible adults, yet sometimes people really want to break out of that box and be their passionate selves and just do the things they want to do.
Desire is one of the most fundamental driving forces that we have as humans. It is a powerful force that can totally blind you to the more “sensible” paths to being fulfilled, but is an absolutely necessary part of a happy life. So here are 3 insights to maintaining your healthy balance between being a responsible adult and a passionately fulfilled one.
1. Passion serves a purpose
Your desire exists as a sign to help you fill an unmet human need. While it may be more proper to be sexually intimate exclusively with your spouse, the desire you feel when you see that other super-attractive person could be an indication that you’re not getting everything you need out of your marriage. When desire pops up don’t ignore it or pretend it isn’t there. Examine it. Explore what’s missing. Ask yourself some probing questions, and if your relationship is strong enough, have your spouse do this with you.
How would I feel if I could have the thing that caught my interest?
What is it about that other person (thing, situation, etc) that really excites me?
How strong is this urge? How often does it show up for me, maybe in different ways?
Get super clear on what it is you really want. It could actually save your relationship by giving you insight into what you want and need, so that you can find a way to fulfill it without straying outside of your marriage.
2. Share your secrets
Want to know a really fun way to get your spouse turned on? Tell them what it is you REALLY want, in detail. Sharing the secrets of what you’re most passionate about is a way of opening up to let them see the real you, your inner world. That’s what real relationships are all about. And I’m not talking about your career passion, or your secret super-hobby. I mean get down and dirty with it. Talk about your sexual fantasies together, your deepest desires.
Vulnerability is amazingly sexy, and it also encourages others (who know and trust you) to be vulnerable with you. You might surprised to learn that they have a secret burning passion too, and you can start to explore them together.
3. Run responsible risks
Desire does not exist without risk, and everyone needs a little zing in their lives sometimes. The thrilling part of passion is that there is a risk, a bit of the unknown. It’s a huge part of the draw, and if you understand that you can consciously incorporate it into your passion-fulfilling prospects. I’m not recommending that you take major risks just for the sake of passion – don’t go doing it on the nearest park bench just to add a thrill for instance. But find ways to spice up what you’re doing and add a little risk factor in a way that even if the risk happens you’re still not in any major trouble.
For example if you want to try a threesome, find a way to do it that’s not going to negatively impact your family or friendships should it go poorly. If you want a dalliance in the wild outdoors find a spot that is totally secluded, not on the side of the road or on a hiking trail or the local park. Don’t do anything that would get you in trouble with the law if you are caught, and that won’t tear apart the life you’ve been building and investing it should your plans not go according to plan. Find the happy balance between reason and risk, and you will be able to fulfill your desires without it leading to disaster.
Remember: Denying your desire will make it build. Like pressure mounting inside a volcano, if you don’t release it you will eventually be so overcome with the intensity of your passion that it will force it’s way out and be released. That’s when you lose control of all reason and find yourself in dangerous or messy situations that ultimately are not worth the moment of fun. The secret to having balance between desire and being a responsible well-adjusted person is to dance with your desire regularly, and integrate it into your every day life. Pay attention to it, listen to it, and most importantly of all – allow yourself to enjoy it!
Welcome to being human.