BY TAYLOR WADE
Have you ever felt extremely enthusiastic about the possibility of something new? Maybe it was a new idea, a new project, or a new person which brought the enthralling possibility of a new relationship...
Feelings of excitement and enthusiasm are directly linked with the center of the brain associated with pleasure. When we experience new and engaging activities, neurotransmitters in the brain release dopamine – a chemical that gives us the sensation of joy and excitement.
Some people have lower dopamine levels than others, which in turn requires more intense experiences in order to feel pleasure. They are more prone to boredom when there is a lack of stimulation. These people may become "thrill-seekers"– willing to take more risks and seek adrenaline-inducing activities.
What happens when you meet a "thrill-seeker" in the dating realm? One of two things may happen – you may become suspicious of his or her authenticity, or you may fall right into the "passion pit."
It's easy to get caught up in the initial stage of passion in a relationship. There's excitement being produced from a new experience. There's dopamine running through the body. There is a feeling of pleasure.
Initial passion can be described as "unearned passion" because both people entering into the relationship do not know everything about each other yet. They are passionate about each other because of what the other person appears to be, not who they really are. This type of passion can turn into genuine passion, however, that is not known yet.
The number one way men and women get hurt is by overvaluing initial passion instead of valuing investment in the relationship.
Passion, when unearned, seems to be the number one quality of the "dabbler." This person is easily excited by new prospects, and just as easily disinterested in them. This person drops everything when circumstances get tough and they decide not to deal with it any longer.
It is much easier to find someone who starts something than a person who finishes something.
It takes a novelty to start something. It takes real passion to finish something. People who are really passionate about something have a relationship with that thing. To be passionate about a person, is to have a relationship with that person, not to just show initial interest and excitement.
The word passion derives from the late Latin word passio, meaning suffering.
A relationship is full of ups and downs. It's not just something that you benefit from – it's something that you suffer for. And you suffer and endure through these ebbs-and-flows because you know the overall fulfillment you receive from the relationship is worth it – the benefits outweigh the negatives.
Initial passion is overrated, however, genuine passion is priceless.
Instead of overvaluing initial passion, embrace the possibility it brings. When that possibility finally delivers genuine passion and subsequently, mature love, never take for granted all of the joy and pleasure it brings.