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Love and Desire in Relationships and Work

Image of 3 dogs looking out a window with red frame.

In life, we want to be loved and to be desired. These two emotions do not always exist together, but in a committed relationship we want them to be there and to grow. The problem is that they are sometimes fickle and both will come and go. How do we keep desire in love? How do we keep both love and desire in our lives?

First we have to understand what love and desire are.

Love brings with it a feeling of responsibility and a need to protect that special someone or something. You want to nurture what you love.

Desire is a feeling of longing, hoping or craving for a person, object or outcome. Desire is not always sexual but is a component of sexual feelings. Desire is an expression of freedom and autonomy. When you feel desire, it is exciting, thrilling and even a little dangerous. You may not obtain this person or thing you desire. There is no responsibility attached to desire.

Love and desire work for and against one another.

Love is connected to security, predictability and is a grounding experience. Desire is connected to adventure, novelty, and journey. Love is to have.

Desire is to want.

Desire believes that what it wants is all it will ever need. This person, place, animal or thing will fill all their needs, if only it can be obtained. The distance, the

quest, and the illusion all feed desire, which is the antithesis of love.

Desire needs constant feeding to stay alive.

Love and Desire in Your Job

In some ways, it easy to see why it is hard to keep desire and passion alive in

long-term romantic relationships. This leads to the question, what does this have to do with work?

We treat work like we do our romantic relationship, it is less obvious or conscious. We expect to desire to go to work all the time, work is supposed to fill all our

needs, if we are supposed to be 100% successful and admired in our job. A bad

day is seen as a failure and we question ourselves and our job.


Both romantic relationships and jobs involve responsibility. We are not free do what we please, to seek adventure, excitement or novelty anytime we wish. We become needy. Need is a desire killer because it creates a want in us to nurture or take care of the other.

Desire waxes and wanes in our job just like it does in our romantic relationships. In both situations, desire is a great motivator; we work toward obtaining what we want and don’t have. When desire is no longer there, we lose our drive to work and grow.

The important skill is to know how to make desire come back.

5 Ideas to Keep Desire Alive

1. Break the routine:

In your relationships: Look for new activities to do together and separately. This will give something new to learn and talk about. It will challenge you and give you

new energy to put into the relationship.

In your job: Take a workshop, seminar, or go to a professional meeting. Find a new task to perform. Move to a new location in the office, talk to different people or go to lunch with someone you don't know.

2. Do the unexpected:

In your relationships: When a relationship is new, the unexpected moments add fun and excitement. After we get to know the person, we want the expected. When they act in an unexpected way, it becomes threatening. Make an agreement that you will try doing unexpected things and acting in unexpected ways as a means to discover new things about one another.

In your job: Do something unexpected, a man I know wears a suit and tie one day a week to add some flair to his week. If you have a routine at work, change it.

3. Find some mystery and adventure:

In your relationship: Try something out of your comfort zone as a couple. Talk

about how it feels to push your self into an activity or place that is new or

different. Make it a practice to find out something new about one another. Make

some space to find out something new about yourself. It is in distance that longing occurs. Longing is the seed of desire returning.

In your job: Do the same: find something to do that is out of your comfort zone.

Make a presentation. Take on a task that is outside of your usual activities. Join a

committee. Make some space in your job by taking a day off or a vacation. If it is allowed work from home occasionally.

4. Be curious:

In your relationship and your job: seriously seek to know more, or know something new. Learn new things about your partner, ask new questions, or start a different discussion. At work, learn new skills, or find new ways to apply skills you already have.

5. Make some space:

It is in the space between you and what love that desire grows. This is not creating

distance and losing connection. Distance creates insecurity, which then evokes need. It is remaining connected while having space to be an individual.

You are not what you love, and you are not your job. It takes commitment, imagination and creativity to keep desire and love alive.

Want to know more about having both in your life, call me at (919) 881-2001.


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