Therapy this week was seriously enlightening. We discussed several topics – from handling parent/child relationships as an adult to the characteristics of a healthy relationship in general – but the subject I really learned from in my hour session was the difference between having drive and fire.
In the discussion on healthy relationships, my therapist and I got to talking about my past romantic relationships and reasons why they may have ended. Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on this exact topic, and I’ve come to the conclusion that my fire is too strong for some people. And that’s not my burden to bear.
In the past, I’ve always gone straight to the idea that the ending of a relationship – or friendship, hookup, what have you – was something I had done. It was in this therapy session, and the past few weeks, that a lightbulb switched on and I realized: it’s not me, it’s who I’m attracting.
Here are a few things I learned this week on drive versus fire and how to have healthy relationships in the future:
Reflect on the vibes you send out
For years, I’ve been attracted to a certain kind of partner. Confident, humble, quiet. Until now, I thought that was really what I wanted. But why? If anyone meets me for more than a few minutes, they will see the fire I have inside. I’m pure passion from my head to my heart – what you see is what you get. I’m loud, laughing, and I feel what I feel.
So, why am I dating more reserved people? Well, my therapist’s answer was that opposites attract, but sometimes it’s more than that. She went on to explain that I kept picking these people because that’s what I thought I should be more like. Quiet, reserved, not “too much.” In a way, my attraction to these kind of men was really just how I saw myself – I didn’t think I was good enough being authentic, so I thought dating different qualities than my own would change that deep insecurity. Spoiler alert: it didn’t.
It’s taken some distance from my last breakup and a hell of a lot of self reflection, therapy and growth to realize this. I finally love who I am and I want someone who not only loves that fire in me, but also shares the same passion. I deserve someone authentic, romantic, and emotionally mature.
Drive vs. Fire
Now, you’re probably wondering: what’s the difference between drive and fire? While they may sound similar, they aren’t. To me – and my therapist – drive is pure motivation. While it can be a genuine attribute to have in your personality, it’s more technical. In the past, I’ve dated people with a lot of drive. At first, I mistook it for fire, but really it’s something that can take over every aspect of life. If you’re not careful, having too much drive can cause you to forget the little things along the way.
The difference is too much fire can only fuel the soul. Fire is passion. It’s part of my character, personality, and within my heart. Fire means that I don’t just feel a feeling and move on. Fire means I jump into every event of my life with two feet, one giant heart, and an overwhelming rush of love, hope, and courage. It’s how I know my worth, it’s why I’m here today – writing this blog. Motivation and drive are positive qualities to have, but fire is the reason they are even there to begin with.
I also thought being “too much” was a negative, and that I had to tone my personality down for men, but the more I love myself and nurture my worth – the more I realize that I’ll find that fire in other person if I don’t hold back.
It was from defining those two qualities that I feel so free. I feel like I can shed this insecure, toned down form of myself and step back into the world truly authentic. Is there anxiety about eventually getting back into the dating world? Absolutely. From here on out, I know that this pattern I’ve created will stay exactly where it belongs – in the past. Here’s to a future of fire.
Do you feel like you have “too much” fire versus drive? Share your thoughts in the comments below!