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The Dilemma of Love: Should Dating Be Passionate or Practical?

If we don’t feel chemistry right off, we feel like we are settling, but too much passion can cloud our rationality. Should dating be passionate or practical?

Should Dating Be Passionate or Practical

Should dating be passionate or practical? This is one of the never-ending debates in the world of dating. Should you reach for the stars and hope for a love story like what is portrayed on The Notebook or Titanic? Or should you forego the passion and appreciate the other parts of dating, like intellect and conversation?

If dating is practical, it can feel like you’re settling for less than the romantic love story of your dreams. But, if it is passionate that could be all you have going for you.

Passion often clouds your judgment when it comes to dating. If there is a high level of chemistry and attraction right off the bat, those feelings can override your rational side. You may overlook red flags in favor of that strong whirlwind-like romance.

But, if it is all about practicality, you can feel bored or like you’re forcing a friendship to become more, at least in the beginning. So, which is better? Which is more likely to lead to a long-lasting relationship? Well, it depends. [Read: Don’t ignore these subtle red flags on your first date]

What is passionate dating like?

You know those romantic movie scenes where after one date, a couple is ripping each other’s clothes off and orgasming in under five minutes? That is dating founded on passion.

It is an overwhelming feeling. And it feels amazing. It causes a rush of adrenaline and serotonin in your brain that makes you feel excited and happy.

It can often be confused with love or love at first sight. A strong amount of passion right after meeting or dating someone can take over your other more rational traits. You may be a practical person. You may always think things through. But, passion often takes over your sensibilities.

It can be so strong that it leads you to make reckless decisions or act out of character.

[Read: The clearest ways to know if you’re feeling lust and not love]

Have you ever seen that couple that fights constantly, is jealous, and dysfunctional, yet they stay together unhappily because of the passion?

Now, this doesn’t mean passion is bad, not at all. Passion is magical and amazing when balanced with rational thought. It is what gives you butterflies and the ecstasy of romance.

Passion can lead to a successful relationship in many cases, as long as it isn’t all you have. If you are dating someone you find immensely attractive, that’s great. Maybe the sex is off the charts. That’s also great.

But if you can’t talk to them about your life, your opinions, or anything else, it would be very difficult to sustain that relationship. [Read: 15 ways you’ll experience what real love truly feels like]

What is a practical dating like?

When you hear the words practical dating you probably think, BORING! You might think of the nice church boy your mom wants to set you up with, or the sweet but shy woman from accounting that you know has a crush on you.

Practical dating is probably not what you dreamed of as a child. It is not sexy or exciting. But, practical dating does not have to mean boring dates, low sex drive, and a lack of chemistry. Practical dating often starts with friendship. [Read: How to keep from moving too fast in a relationship]

When you go on a date with someone and don’t feel a spark, it feels like a failure. But, if you talked about politics, your childhood, and your obsession with an absurd 90’s sitcom, that can be sustained.

At first, it may feel like you’re leading someone on or that you’re more suited as friends. You may not kiss early on or even feel attracted to this person.

Sure, sometimes it never grows from that friendship, but oftentimes it does. When that happens, a relationship can truly take off and thrive.

Connecting over hobbies, a sense of humor, intellect, and more can all grow into something more with time. The reason a lot of us miss out on this is that we are looking for an immediate spark or connection.

But, if you can appreciate a date for their company and not their relationship potential, you never know what could come out of it. [Read: 15 signs you’ve graduated from puppy love to real love]

Should dating be passionate or practical?

Well, neither and both. Now that you know what both passionate and practical dating might feel like, you can tell that there are multiple benefits and downfalls to each.

And, with a clear cut description, you’ve probably realized that you’ve experienced them both before. A balance is what you want.

The thing is, almost no relationship starts with a balance. Balancing out practicality and passion comes with time and effort. During a first date or even the first few weeks or months of dating, things will probably pull more in one direction than the other.

In the beginning, you may not be able to keep your hands off each other. Or instead of an immediate spark, you could have a slow burn and slowly go from friends to more than that. [Read: Are you two just friends or way more than that already?]

In my experience passion can fade, then you don’t know what you’re left with. You can forego the key factors that make a relationship work like communication, humor, and patience because the passion is so intense. So, if things are passionate from the start, make sure you are also putting time and energy into the practical parts of a relationship.

Casual dating can thrive off of passion, but if you are looking for a long-lasting and meaningful relationship that survives the test of time, passion should be just one part of a balanced relationship.

But, if things start out practical, the passion can grow over time. The foundation of a relationship should be friendship. Once you have that connection, attraction and intimacy can spark.

I know it’s fiction, but think about Ross and Rachel, Luke and Lorelai, or Jim and Pam. It can take months or even years to take a friendship and make a romance out of it. It can actually enhance not only the intimacy, but also the success and happiness of a relationship.

Growing together with connections that are more sustainable than passion can make you appreciate it more when it does get there. Not to mention, almost every couple goes through ups and downs, and passion is rarely what helps you survive the hurdles. [Read: A good relationship? The lucky 13 signs that create the perfect one]

Trust, reliability, friendship, and humor can carry a relationship through decades. Love is not just chemistry or passion, nor is it friendship, it is a combined balance of the two.

I don’t know statistics, but I’m almost sure no marriage has worked out between two people whose only connection was sex or their hobbies. Growing and bonding over your connection with each other and the rest of life is what makes a relationship last.

So, with that, I recommend giving lackluster dates without a spark a second chance. Also, try to keep your rational mind turned on during more sexual stimulating dates. This way, you can focus on creating a balanced connection when dating.

[Read: The honest truth about true love that might surprise you]

Should dating be passionate or practical? Both! A relationship should make sense to your heart and your mind, and when it does, magic happens.

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Samantha Ann
My name is Samantha Ann. I am 28 years old. It was always my dream to become an advice columnist, so after years of off and online dating and eventually finding...