The “Passion Killer” Emotion. Do You Have It?

what kills passion in relationships” Emotion. Do You Have It?Indifference. It’s the saddest feeling in the world. Which is ironic, because indifference isn’t a feeling at all.

It’s the opposite of a feeling.

An indifferent person is like a car with no gas. People reach a point of indifference when there’s just nothing left in their emotional tank.

Indifference is the opposite of the things that make us human. Love, joy, anger, fear, hunger, curiosity, passion, lust and even loss– all vanquished by indifference.

Nobel Prize winner and Nazi prison camp survivor Elie Wiesel put it this way: “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.”

Indifference is sadder than sadness. When a person is indifferent, they aren’t engaged in life. They don’t care. Nothing matters. What could possibly be sadder than that?

I tend to think of indifference as an early symptom of soul sickness. Don’t ignore this red flag. If you’re feeling it, even a little bit, it’s time for a change. Here’s why you need to act fast.

Indifference is both progressive and contagious. If you give indifference a chance to take root, the sense of not caring will only grow. What feels like mild apathy today can be full-blown indifference tomorrow, sucking the joy and passion out of every area of your life.

As if that’s not bad enough, indifference is also like the flu. It passes easily from one person to another. Perhaps that’s why indifferent people tend to cluster together.

The good news is that indifference isn’t that hard to defeat. What’s more, the cure is fun. All you have to do to beat indifference is embrace passion. Get passionate about something, anything, and indifference will disappear on its own.

When you plunge headlong into life, investing yourself deeply in something you truly care about, life begins to flow through you. That life force is the antidote to indifference.

what kills passion in relationshipsBut your passion has to be real. In other words, you have to genuinely care enough that you’re willing to invest time, effort, and energy into something you believe is worth-while.

If you do that, an amazing thing will happen. People who care deeply often discover hidden resources and strengths in themselves they didn’t even know were there. You’ll come alive in a special new way. It will make your life, and the lives of everyone around you, better.

Reclaim who you were meant to be.

Find a cause. Recommit to something you once cared about. End relationships that suck the meaning out of your life. Begin a new relationship that leaves you feeling invigorated. Take sides. Choose to commit to something that matters. Do whatever it takes.

Purpose makes life rich and meaningful. So reject indifference. Live the passionate, purposeful life you were meant for.

Always on your side,

James Bauer

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38 thoughts on “The “Passion Killer” Emotion. Do You Have It?

  1. Mels said:

    Hi there!

    Wanna say thank you to everyone who has shared their experiences about depression. It gives me hope. I have a person dating who has depression cause several bad life events. He cant get counseling because his job considers it a medical thing to fire someone for. He wants counseling and working toward new job, but see somenof this.

    Do you think if i embrace the passiona and fun by doing my own stuff i love, it will support him and getting him out of indifference when he gets those bouts

  2. Wendy said:

    My loving relationship of 4 years is taking a sad turn. We are both in our early 50’s. Both divorced with grown kids. It’s been an amazing 4 years and now gradually he is shutting me out. Saying he prefers to be alone. He is a doctor and very busy at work solving everyone’s problems. I am easy going and just want to hear about his day and try to be there for him. I ask him how he is doing. He has stopped asking how I am. I’ve been trying the hero instinct and he’s still shutting down. I’ve never loved any man so much and I’m so scared to lose him. I know how good a team we are and so compatible. I’m confused and so sad. He still says he loves me and it’s him not me. What the heck does that really mean? Help

    • Tracey said:

      Hi Wendy,

      It sounds like a very painful situation. Your question could use a bit of back-and-forth dialogue though so I recommend you bring up in our private forum. We even have a specific section called “What Does It Mean When A Guy…?” that you can post your question in.

      Within this private community you can ask questions and share experiences with like-minded women and our most advanced members. This way you can get extra real-time feedback and support for your unique situation.

      Warm wishes,

      Tracey T.

  3. Deborah Png said:

    Dear James,

    Thank you for a great article.

    I’m writing because I’m not sure indifference is the issue with a relationship that just ended. I’m confused and would be grateful to receive any insight you or anyone on this site.

    I have been in a relationship for about 11 months. We have so much passion and love for each other it seems. I shared him alternate days and alternate weekends with his son whom he shares visitation rights with his ex-wife. He rents a back unit in my house to be with me on those alternate days or weekends though he doesn’t always stay over during those weekdays or weekends. He finally admitted to me that he is conflicted about cohabiting with me and is afraid of losing his independence. He says he escaped a marriage where his ex-wife was controlling and overly critical. He is afraid of cohabiting with me even though he says he knows I have no intention or desire to take his independence away. It didn’t seem like we wanted the same things so we broke it off but I would like to make more sense of it. He doesn’t want to share a life the way I want to share a life with him.

    I tried the hero instinct thing with him, he cried when we broke up, there doesn’t seem to be any lack of passion or love between us and so I am totally flummoxed at what is going on. He says the past 11 months was the happiest he’s been in his adult life. Is this just talk? Is his fear or need for independence stronger than his love and passion for me? Any insight would be appreciated. Thank you.

    • James Bauer said:

      Listening to this bit of your shared story with him, it does appear that his drive to avoid pain is currently stronger than his drive to go toward pleasure.

      Essentially, he recognized your desire to move toward a more intertwined way of living as a couple. This brought him to a place where he realized he had a choice. So he was asking himself, “Will this choice get me what I want?”

      Naturally, he feels attracted to you and wants to enjoy the many benefits of being in a relationship. On the other hand, he has fresh wounds from a relationship that made him feel that he had to give up himself in order to maintain a relationship.

      So in his mind it is likely a dichotomous decision. Meaning he sees only two choices. Continue down the path toward a more intertwined life with you, or back away completely since he knows he would only hurt you by maintaining the relationship that was not moving toward something that would satisfy you.

      The question is, might there be a middle ground he is not considered?

      And along with that question, it might be wise to ask yourself whether or not you want to continue in a relationship with someone who (at this point in his life) does not want to build the same kind of relationship as you do.

      The good news is, time is on your side. Because the further he gets from the offending relationship, the more open he will be to recognizing that there are ways to compromise and create a relationship together that is more beautiful than anything he has experienced before.

      You might benefit from going back through the section of His Secret Obsession let’s start on page 69.

      Pay special attention to the section after the bold words that say, “
      Show him that he does not have to choose between you and the adventurous life pursuits his instincts call him to chase after.”

      • vivi said:

        They say a cheater will always be a cheater. Is that true? I have been living with my boyfriend for about 7 months with the plan to tie the knot soon. We agreed he would build the house on my property. A prenuptial agreement will ensure that he gets paid as a contractor for building the house. The prenup stipulates he gets 52% of the property in the event of divorce. Almost three months had gone by and I still have not produced the document. He got mad, blaming my behavior. He has been cold for about three weeks and has been secretive about his phone. Two weeks ago he asked me not to stay in his apartment since we have not moved forward. We patched up. There are nights he would be texting. I’m thinking he is answering job inquiries. There are days he tells me not to sleep over at his place because he has to get up for work. This never happened before. I’m wondering if he is face-timing with someone. I discovered on his phone that he wants to have sex with his client. He said those are just words he used on clients. I was upset. He told me he doesn’t want a scene in his house. Said he was not happy anymore. I stayed in my apartment and we didn’t talk for almost two weeks. Forgave him, telling him I have the prenup. Patched up for a day then a day after he asked me not stay over his place since he has to get up early and is very tired. I have a hard time using the provider or hero instinct because he believes in equal sharing of everything to a “T.” I’m so insecure he is making connections with other women on the internet or abroad.

      • Tracey said:

        Hi Vivi,

        Thanks so much for your comment! Your situation sounds complicated and I feel like you’d greatly benefit from being a part of our community and some back and forth consultation. I recommend that you bring it up in our private forum where we have actual relationship coaches on staff to answer questions and give advice. To access this forum, you would need to sign up for the Irresistible Insiders Club.

        Within this private community you can ask questions and share experiences with like-minded women and our most advanced members. This way you can get extra real-time feedback and support for your unique situation.

        Warm wishes,

        Tracey T.

  4. Sally said:

    Hey James. Thanks for your expert advice. I greatly appreciate. I bought and read the “His Secret Obsession” online program but are a little perplexed and probably need a little more insight in my situation.
    I love him so much but don’t know what to do to make him completely mine. He tried breaking up with me saying his heart belongs to someone else and prefers we are simply friends but through using some hero instinct techniques, I managed to bring him a little closer. Problem is his best friend is a girl whom I feel he loves, adores and is more comfortable with compared to me. I still want to work things out between us but don’t know how.😢 I don’t know what to do. Where I notice indifference between us, there I notice love and attention between them. Is my situation completely hopeless and should I give up on him or is there still hope for us?

    • Tracey said:

      Hi Sally,

      It sounds like a very painful situation. Your question requires a bit of back-and-forth dialogue though so I recommend you bring up in our private forum.

      Within this private community you can ask questions and share experiences with like-minded women and our most advanced members. This way you can get extra real-time feedback and support for your unique situation.

      Warm wishes,

      Tracey T.

  5. Tina said:

    I wondered if I could ask for advice on my own situation. My partner of 13 years died suddenly 4years ago, and my mother developed dementia around the same time so I ended up caring for her.
    Because of this, I wasn’t in a position to even think about dating anyone else as I hardly had time to grieve for my partner.
    This year, things have changed. My mother is now happily settled in a home and I have been asked out a few times.
    The one man I was interested in works abroad and is going through a divorce (after he was caught cheating – yes, I know, not exactly an auspicious start to a new relationship), but he seemed very interested in me and we had a fling.
    He is abroad at the moment but returning to the UK at the end of the month and will be basing himself here permanently.
    My problem is, his messages became less flirty and more perfunctory when he went away. I felt confused about this as we
    got on so well before this.
    I know he is very busy in his line of work, plus he is sorting out the divorce and finding somewhere to live when he returns.
    I really don’t want to chase him and keep messaging as I’d like him to initiate it, but I’m not sure if I’m deluding myself.
    I’ve decided not to message him and now I haven’t heard anything for approx 2weeks.
    Should I try the techniques James talks about or should I wait to see if he contacts me when he returns?
    Any advice would be helpful – thanks

    • James Bauer said:

      Hey Tina.

      This is a very personal question, perfect for the private forum available in the new members area.

  6. G G said:

    I am currently going through my divorce. I have been married for twenty seven years. I have three beautiful children. Although I suffered all kinds of abuse with this man can you please tell me why is it so difficult for me to let go. I still love him. He betrayed our marriage and our children. This is the third month since our divorce and he got married to this person in my second month of divorce. What kind of human being turns his back on 27 years in two months, starts a new marriage and also have no communication with our children. He is living a new life with this person and her children. He has cut off all ties with our children. My kids are heartbroken. Why is it so difficult for me to let go. There are days that I miss him. I also know that people will ask why am I not relieved to be out of an abusive relationship but its tough for me because I love this person.

    • James Bauer said:

      Hey GG. Just wanted to thank you for reaching out for support and letting us share a bit of your story. Though we all wish you were feeling happier and less beat up by this very difficult situation. Please remember that you are a beautiful, whole, valuable person even without him in your life, and his actions (while hurtful) do not diminish the value and dignity you posses as our fellow human being and someone who values relationships and other people.

      An article I wrote a while back may be useful to you.

      • New Life For Me said:

        GG – I am also recently out of a very toxic relationship. I along with my children endured a lot of mental and emotional abuse and me physical abuse. GG, Learn to let go what you love is what was familiar to you for so long. Chances are he won’t make it 27 years in the next relationship. Be glad it’s her and not you and your children he’s bringing down with him. It’s okay to love him but love him as Christ does and love yourself the way Christ loves you. Your new life is just beginning embrace it.

  7. Samantha said:

    I was in a relationship of two years, of which I was under the impression was going GREAT! We lived together, I have two kids from my previous marriage and he also has two kids from his previous marriage. AND we created a child together(whom is currently 3 months old). As I said, things were going great, or so I thought; until one Sunday afternoon(the weekend after Mother’s Day weekend), he told me that he was confused and has been for a while(the last 4-5 months), and was unsure of his feelings towards me and didn’t know if he wanted to be with me. This came out of NOWHERE! Completely blindsided, I tried my best to get answers out of him–What happened? Am I not good enough? What about me can I change?
    Prior to this, we were getting along perfectly good. He always told me that he loved me and never treated me or my kids any differently. We didn’t fight, other than those little petty arguments/disagreements that all couples get into. There were absolutely no warning signs or red flags leading up to him slapping this on me. And because of it, I was forced to move in with my parents with my THREE kids, including my and his newborn. He still doesn’t have answers for me, and I so badly want to still be with him, but he just says that he’s unsure of what happened to make him feel this way, that he thinks he may have rushed into a relationship with me while he was going through his divorce, and that he needs some time to figure stuff out and whether or not he can truly see himself with me long-term, like we had always discussed about(marriage, future, sharing a life together). He states that I did absolutely nothing wrong, and that how wonderful of a person, mother, and girlfriend I am. I honestly did so much for him-not just chores and such, but emotionally, I was there for him in every way I could be. How can he fake everything so well for the last few months? How can he just walk away without even really trying to work on us? How can he make this seem so easy? I’m still terribly confused. I still see a future with him, but I’m not sure how to work through all of these different stages of emotions. Something tells me that something DID happen somewhere along the way that I completely missed, and he’s just not wanting to tell me. Would fighting for him-for us-push him away even further? I don’t want to make any decisions that could potentially backfire. I’m heartbroken, and lost, and confused. I just need guidance! Or even a possible diagnosis of what in the world went wrong for him to suddenly lay this on me.

  8. Tina said:

    Hi James
    My partner of 15yrs has told me that our relationship is over, but I don’t want to lose him because I still love him. He says he still loves me, but wants to be on his own. After he told me that we were through, he still brought me a big bunch of flowers and my perfume for my birthday. He kisses me goodbye just before we both leave for work in the morning. When I asked him why he brought me presents for birthday, he said not to read anything into it. I asked him if he would go to couples councilling with me and his answer was No, he said he has already made up his mind. I feel like I have wasted 15yrs of my life I am 55yrs old and I don’t want to carry on, my heart is completely broken.

    • James Bauer said:

      I am very sad to hear that, Tina. Do you know why he wants to live alone? Is it possible for you to initiate a no-pressure conversation about what he wants more of (or less of) in his life? Some people find it helps if they try to avoid making the discussion about the relationship with him. They try to get him to say what he wants to do, think, feel, and talk about what he pictures for his future.

      This kind of open discussion sometimes yields insight into his thought process.

      Wishing you strength and a future with new hope, warmth, and a journey that wakes the best in you through an unexpected turn of events.

      • Tina said:

        Thank you James for kind words. He says he still wants me in his life (what for? I really dont know). We are hopefully going to talk tonight and I will ask him the questions that you suggested. I will let you know how it goes.

  9. Catie said:

    Thank you for the article. I am in a similar situation, a little worse since he told me he isnt attracted, and somewhere the passion faded. He only sees me as friend, and that there isnt any relationship. I am afraid that I have fallen into the “friend for benefit” hole, and not sure how to get out of that spot. There are days he’s really attentive and loving. Then there are days he is so indifferent, made me feel almost bipolar. Does anyone fall into the same situation?

    • Lorna (LaLa) said:

      Hi Catie, You say you have fallen into the “friends with benefits” hole and don’t know how to get out. As far as I see it, there IS only ONE way out of that situation – CUT OUT THE BENEFITS!!! Simple!! How can he say the passion has faded – he isn’t attracted to you – he only sees you as a friend – and there isn’t any relationship – but still expect to have SEX with you? He will never have respect for you in that situation. Fine, if that is what you are prepared to settle for, but you wouldn’t be writing on this forum if that was TRULY how you felt. Find your self-respect. Tell him that, yes, you WILL be friends, if that is what he wants, but there will be NO sex – NOTHING, NADA, ZILCH, ZERO. Not even a kiss. Well – maybe a quick, friendly peck hello on the cheek, if anything at all. Friends are friends and lovers are lovers, and as far as I am concerned, “never the twain shall meet”. It also means that you are then FREE to date other men and start a relationship with them, if you so wish. Maybe after a few weeks or months of this situation he will realize what he is missing and sort himself out. And maybe YOU will realize that he is a “Cad” (and every other sort of a Shxt!!) – and move on to someone who does love you and have respect for you. Best of luck!! Lorna x

  10. Ruth said:

    Thank you so very much. Thank you for your encouraging true words. Recent heart break in my life has triggered feelings from deep past hurts and the feeling of indifference hangs around me and through me as though I’m trapped in its cruel web. I am naturally and optimistic person and forcus on the good in others and in life, but I feel as though I’m being robbed of who I truly am because of independence. I know I need to find me again. I know I have to face my fears, to truly love myself. I want to do what you have said about being passionate about something, but truly passionate about something. I have started Tia Chi and a college course which I enjoy, so I know that is a start, but I know I am worth truly finding myself, truly finding what makes me happy. I know we are all surrounded by countless blessings and I am convinced that as we focus on the good in life, find and do things that we are passionate about, that indifference can be taken out of our lives. I know I can live each day with happiness even through challenges, I just need to wake my soul up again, loving myself by finding my passion and then being able to truly feel love in every way again.
    I am so grateful for all that you do. Thank you for helping me.

    • James Bauer said:

      Ruth, may the kindness you speak into the lives of others return to you one hundred fold.


    • April said:

      Best of luck in becoming the version of you that makes you happiest and try not to dwell. As you climb out of the apathy hole, fill it in behind you with something strong and wonderful (volunteering, hobbies, friends, networking… anything that gives you joy). Once it is filled, you can stop falling into it when you are alone, and start to appreciate your freedom to do what you choose.

      Independence is freeing if you embrace it. You sound like you are on the path to recovery, and soon I hope you will accept nothing less than a partner who sees and appreciates you for the amazing woman you are.

  11. Faith said:

    Hey am in a relationship for 2 years but he is not committing and he show me that he care so much and love me so much, he says he needs me but a time I just feel like he will never commit. How can I walk out without fighting or breaking in a dirty way.

  12. Serene said:

    Hi! I am 39 yo. And I agree about not settling. I can do that- walking away. However, how do i know for sure that there is a guy out there willing to build a lbrilliant life with me? That is the hardest part. Not knowing for certain that it will happen.

    • James Bauer said:

      I understand what you mean. Fear can be depressing. It can steal the joy of living in the present moment.

      So let me just remind you of one thing. A brilliant life attracts a partner who wants to build a brilliant relationship with you. If for no other reason, let that be a reason to banish fear. Create the life you desire by adopting the mentality that says, “I will live a life without regrets. That means going after what I want, even if there’s no guarantee I’ll ever get it.”

      Rooting for you,

  13. Elizabeth said:

    My Boyfriend has Left me. And he says he won’t find any other girl. “Only me” .He wants space. We still hang together he says to “keep the bond going” but I feel no connection. 🙁

    • Lorna (LaLa) said:

      Hi Elizabeth, Just give him a little “space” – he’s probably a bit confused at the moment – especially if he is saying he does not want another woman. And life is very pressured nowadays. You don’t give any other details as to why he may be feeling this way. Try to talk things through with him, that is so important. BUT don’t let him think you are waiting with baited breath for his return. Get on with YOUR life – keep him in it by all means, but let him see that he is not the be all and end all of YOUR life. No need to be callous about that, just open and honest. He can’t have his cake and eat it, too. And definately NO icing or cherries on the top!! Keep your self respect above all else. Best of luck!! Lorna

  14. Jenny said:

    Dear James,
    The sense of indifference you’ve described sounds to me like clinical depression, a fearful condition which is almost impossible to reverse.
    My ex-husband (now sadly deceased) suffered from bouts of clinical depression. Quite different from occasionally feeling glum and fed up. The trouble was that he felt absolutely nothing was worth doing, including seeking help, medical or psychological. He couldn’t be “talked out of it” or “cheered up”, and Lord knows I tried. And yes, it is contagious. It finally ruined our marriage and we parted. Heart-breaking, really.
    I now know it’s best not to become emotionally involved with people (of either sex) who present depressive symptoms.
    Thanks for your wise and helpful posts.

    • Lorna (LaLa) said:

      I’m so sorry to hear of your pain, Jenny. I agree about the depresson thing. I have had bouts of it myself, and am now involved with a guy who suffers badly, but uses drink to mask the symptoms. Personally, I have managed to overcome the terrible bouts of depression by reading dozens of self-help books, but I understand that cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is helpful, which I suppose is pretty much the same thing. Being mindful and present in the moment. I had a twelve week session recently with a counsellor (free on the National Health Service) because of my involvement with my addict, which I found very helpful in understanding what is going on. James is right, though – if one can only find the energy to do something to get involved with which takes you out of yourself and you can become passionate about, preferably involving getting out of the house and meeting other people, that has a huge benefit. But it is not always that easy for some people – to get motivated in the first place. The motivation has to come from oneself. And, of course, TALKING about it is also crucial – but again impossible for some people – and who wants to listen anyway? Friends get fed up with it all. It is truly a terrible affliction. Lorna

      • Jenny said:

        Thank you for your response, Lorna. I’m glad you’ve found the courage to combat these fearful bouts of depression. Alas, my dear David simply couldn’t gear himself up to find help. To him, nothing seemed worth doing.
        I wish you continued health and happiness.

      • Lorna (LaLa) said:

        Thank you, Jenny, and I am so very, very sorry for your loss. I hope you do not carry any guilt about your beloved husband. You gave all the support you could, and at the end of the day, they have to make their own choices – hard as that is for you and other loved ones. He is now at peace in another place.
        I do know how it feels to be hopeless and on the point of suicide, so I know what I am talking about – when you really, really do not think there is anything worth living for. I suffered for years with post natal depression and pre-menstrual syndrome and never told a soul. Then I went through a separation and painful divorce 71/2 years ago, after almost 40 years together, and lost the respect of my two eldest daughters – they are not speaking to me currently – I had no contact over Christmas. But thank God for my beautiful youngest daughter, who has more common sense and empathy than her two older sisters will ever have. For the benefit of others in this situation – walking away is not always the answer, as I am sure you know, Jenny. The only way “up” for people with depression is to have as much support as possible from loving family and friends – even though sometimes giving that love is not easy and is rejected. Of course, every situation is different, and we must not put ourselves or children in danger. As I say, I have now been involved for 3 1/2 years with a man who drinks excessively to cover up his pain, and although I know I should walk away, I cannot – given that I know how it feels to be so hopeless. I read somewhere “We do not heal in isolation – we heal in community”. How very true. It is all about “finding the peace in the eye of the storm”. I just wish there was more understanding and support out there for people who suffer this way. Spreading the word may help – there are some wonderful books available on the internet – and I hope this article will have been of benefit to many people. Thank you, once again, James for posting it and trying to open peoples’ eyes. You provide a wonderful service to the community – and isn’t it amazing that we can now reach the whole world, through the wonders of technology? That has to be progress!! Maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel. Love and peace in 2016 to you all. (N.B. – There is a Full Moon on the 23rd/24th Jan – a love-filled one this time – look it up. Make a wish on it and enjoy it with your loved-ones!! Lorna

  15. Rosie said:

    Shelly you did the best thing the way I see it.
    If he still contacts you, that’s just part of the whole hot / cold thing.
    If it pulls you back towards him, you can either ignore him or ask him not to contact you again. Sure he cares for you; on his terms, not yours. It’s not consistent enough to build the quality it sounds like you want.
    I have done the same thing myself.
    Remember if we keep accepting what we don’t want, there’s not much room for what we do want.

  16. Sofia said:

    If he displays indifference at the beginning of the relationship, walk away. He may have some deep seated problems that has nothing to do with you. Don’t waste your time analyzing other people’s dysfunction. it’s not worth the time. ??

  17. floridagal said:

    Excellent article!

  18. Shelly said:

    What is your advice when the person u have dated is indifferent? I had to walk away from this guy because for one he wasnt making me a priority….didnt court me….forgot about a couple of dates with me….ran hot and cold on me but yet said he cared for me…He still tries to contact me….Very confusing…BUt I know my worth and I don’t want to settle.

    • James Bauer said:

      Don’t settle, Shelly. There is someone out there who will be very happy to build a brilliant life with you. This person will not treat you as an afterthought. Free the seat next to you so that guy can tell you are open and looking for a partner.

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