Wanted: Passion§

writer: russell j.t. dyer; posted: March 25, 2006; revised: April 23, 2018; readers in past month: 583

Couple on Duomo Roof

In my despair, owing to loneliness and emotional idleness, I recently ran two advertisements regarding myself. One was in a local print publication for English speaking residents of Milan. The other on a web site made available for posting classified advertisements in Milan. For the former I stated that I was seeking Italian women with which to meet for language exchange — my English skills in trade for practicing my Italian with them. The latter was purely a romantic posting, seeking a female companion with which to enjoy life in Italy.

I received over a dozen responses for my call for female linguistic pals. I have emailed all of them back and have met with several of them and have plans to meet them once a week going forward. I write them in Italian and we talk mostly in English, but some in Italian. One young woman pushes me to speak Italian with her as much as I can endure. She’s sweet and interesting, so I make the struggle and enjoy the encouragement she offers: Her company gives me excellent incentive to keep trying. Although one of the language exchange connections may lead one day to romance (I’m always open and hopeful on this point), they were intended for improving my Italian and for making friends, not romance. Still, it’s nice having a social life finally.

My plea on the web for romantic interests has yielded responses from about ten women. A few of them have only traded a couple of emails with me before the connections went cold. Some, however, are evolving into pen pal relationships which I am enjoying as it comforts me to have women with which to write occasionally.

One woman who responded to my romantic advertisment, though, I shall meet this evening for the first time when we go to dinner together. We have corresponded a great deal by email and mobile telephone messages over the last two weeks. Our emails and text messages have all been brief and hers usually contain quips about her daily happenings. She’s humorous and very clever and writes in English quite well. I feel comfortable with her and enjoy her wit. I feel as though we have known each other for years, like old friends. Unfortunately, we have not spoken by telephone yet — she has an aversion to it. I like when I am able to speak to a woman by telephone at least: it gives me more insight into their personality and tells me of their sincerity. But, I will see and feel all of this when we meet tonight.

Another woman who responded to my romantic posting comes from the west coast of the U.S. She lived in Italy for four years when she was in her twenties — she’s the same age as me. We have exchanged several emails and have spoken by telephone. We started off on rocky ground, but now I feel good about her. She seems particularly keen on me and has suggested coming to visit me here in Milan some time soon. This is a very exciting proposal for me in that it reminds me a bit of my previous compagna. There were times when after we had broken up and been apart for a week or two and I would refuse to accept her calls, she would then boldly drive for an hour to my home in the middle of the night, literally climb my balcony like a modern Juliet, knock on my window looking amazingly beautiful, and argue to get me back.

I miss that kind of passion. I miss a woman fighting for me. I miss having a woman who is willing to cross social obstacles (or the globe in this case) to be with me. I don’t know if this woman from the US Pacific coast is coming out of passion or romantic interest in me, or if she is coming out of an interest in the excitement of spontaneously flying off to Italy to maybe have passionate sex with some unknown man. She may not even be coming for romance or sex, but just for a vacation in Italy without having to pay for a hotel room. I suspect that she’s not sure why she’s coming to be with me, but feels the urge to do so and is excited by the possibilities and wants to see where it takes her. She told me in an email (I hope she will forgive me for quoting it here), “I need my passion for life back…I haven’t followed my own dreams for probably 27 years — maybe it’s time.”

I have said many times before that I want a woman who is passionate about life and follows her passion. This woman used to be this kind of woman from what she tells me, but her passion has been surpressed for many years owing to her former marriage, other relationships, and other factors — a pattern I have experienced myself. And now she is breaking out of her emotional constraints and coming to be with me to hold her hand as she dares to face the world, to be free and passionate again. How can I refuse such a woman, how can I resist exploring such a woman?

Of course, I realize that she may not come or she may be coming for reasons that are not related to me or that will not benefit me. Nevertheless, I find excitement in fantasizing that she’s coming for me and I am enjoying it as much as I can for now, as long as it lasts. Again, I’m not sure how this woman feels about me, or me about her. I do know how I feel about this move on her part and the prospect of what it suggests. I also want passion again; I want to be excited about something in my life again, and in particular about a woman again. My visitor may stay a week and then leave and never communicate with me again. And that may hurt my feelings terribly, but I will not regret her visit.

Considering these two distinct women I am meeting, I wonder what I want. What will make me happiest? Should I prefer the witty woman with which I feel comfortable — my dear friend Richard if he were alive would vote for her. Or should I prefer the one who offers passion as her calling card? I am excited and tempted by a passionate woman, but as of yet I have only been hurt by such women. Conversely, I am better suited in the long run for the woman who woos me with her intellect. I know that both women that I am to meet have passion and intellect. However, at this point I see a concentration of intellect in the first woman and a strong passion in the second. It has always been my hopes to find a woman who has abundance of both and the right kind of both to win me over and to keep me blissful for years to come. It’s strange: One woman deals out her intellect and reserves her passion for later if and when she feels I can be trusted. The other woman leads with her passion and gives me only snippets of her intellect for me to explore later should I be willing to accept her on emotional terms first. My heart votes for passion first, my brain for intellect first and passion later.