When Sandy expressed her dilemma to me, I could not help but think how many
times I had heard it over the years. "There is just no passion in our relationship.
Tom is a good man, and a great father to our kids, so I feel sort of bad for even
saying this. But I just donít feel anything. I appreciate him, but I donít feel
anything." My heart hurt for her as I saw her longing for their relationship to be
Then I was reminded of the exact opposite problem that I had heard just as often,
as Tiffany had expressed it: "We had such a romantic, sexual connection. I had never
felt that kind of attraction and energy. It was intoxicating. But after we really
got into a real Ďrelationship,í there were so many things missing. It seemed like
our bodies were in sync, but the rest of us was not. Is there such a thing
as Ďromance without relationship?í" she asked. "As strange as it seems, we
really donít have much of what I would call a real relationship."
There they were, two of the most common problems that I hear in
clinical practice, in hosting a radio call-in program, and in speaking
to groups across the country. On the one side, there is platonic love
without passion; and on the other side, passion without deep relationship.
A woman once called our radio show and actually said, "The guys that
are attractive are all shallow, and the guys that are spiritual, and
deep, are never attractive. There are two types of men out there and
I canít find one who has it all."
Her assessment of the entire male population aside, chances are that
single or married, male or female, you might have encountered the
problem that she described, and that Sandy and Tiffany experienced.
And it naturally poses questions. Is it possible for sexual and
romantic love, friendship, respect and admiration, values and
spiritual depth, and just "plain enjoyment of another person," to
all exist in the same relationship? And if it is, how does a couple
sustain such love over time? And even more basic, how do you create
romance and passion in the first place? Many people can identify with
As a psychologist, I can attest that the individual dynamics behind
those quandaries differ from person to person, and from relationship
to relationship. And although there are answers, they are sometimes
neither simple nor easy. But at the same time, common to all the
different answers is a need: the need for a vision of a love
that "has it all." We all need to see that kind of relationship -- what
it looks like, sounds like, feels like, and does -- before we can
actually create it. And today, with so many people feeling like
their own parents did not provide that kind of vision, and with
a culture that often promotes lust without love, we especially
need a clear picture of what that love is like.
Solomonís Song of Love provides that vision. A vision of love and friendship,
passion and respect, sexual and emotional intimacy -- in one fulfilling
relationship. It is a vision of beauty to inspire us and insight to guide us.
From the timeless Song of Songs comes a vision for our times.