This is why some relationships are more passionate than others

After Machine Gun Kelly labelled his relationship with Megan Fox ‘ecstasy and agony’, Laura Hampson speaks to a dating coach about the importance of passionate love

Tuesday 12 October 2021 16:35 BST
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If you are romantically involved, what words would you use to describe your relationship? Fun? Loving? Sure, but how about “ecstasy and agony”? This is how musician, Machine Gun Kelly, has described his relationship with Megan Fox.

"It should be light, but also we go to hell with each other," Kelly, 31, told British GQ. "It’s ecstasy and agony for sure… I don’t want people to think anything’s perfect with us. I didn’t say it was the darkest fairy tale for no reason."

The couple, who have been dating since May 2020, have taken the lead on what must be one of Hollywood’s most love-filled summers in recent history. Along with Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck, they have shown that the pandemic hasn’t killed passion - if anything, it’s made celebrity relationships more fiery than ever.

It’s not the first time the couple have spoken about their passion for one another. Fox, 35, told the Washington Post in July: “The first time I looked into his eyes, I was like, ‘I know you. I have known you so many times, in so many different forms, in so many different lives,’ " she said, adding that she "wasn’t expecting it’d be like, ‘God, you are my soulmate,’ instantly.”

Passion is, obviously, a pivotal part of any sexual relationship - but why do some relationships seem to be filled with more passion than others?

“Everyone is different, and expresses their love in different ways. For some people physical intimacy is far more important than to others,” dating coach Hayley Quinn tells The Independent. “Apart from their Hollywood good looks; Machine Gun Kelly and Megan Fox also share a sense of spirituality, and artistic curiosity, which will have deepened the attraction they experienced when they first met.

“The most important thing is that as a couple you are on (roughly) the same page in terms of how you like to experience love, and that you prioritise nurturing intimacy between you, even if that is more emotionally lead than physical.”

While comparison culture is rife (thanks, social media), Quinn advises not comparing your relationship to anyone else’s.

“It is always wise never to judge the red carpet of someone else’s relationship to your behind the scenes relationship,” she continues.

“In the age of Instagram it can be easy to believe that everyone’s relationships should play out like a winning Love Island couple, however the reality is that all relationships will face a (hopefully healthy) level of disagreement, and peaks and troughs in desire.”

When it comes to love, there are two different types, explains Quinn: passionate love and compassionate love. Quinn says passionate love is usually characterised but its brevity, generally being the first phase of a relationship where there are strong feelings of lust and desire.

“Those experiencing passionate love want to spend every second with their partner, and express their love physically. Later on this love often matures into compassionate love which is centred around trust, affection and companionship,” Quinn explains.

“In order for one love to progress into the other you need a degree of compatibility, not only in how you like to spend your time, but also in terms of the goals you have for that relationship. Passionate love can feel amazing in the moment, but it would be unwise to try and achieve this high octane state longer term: instead a progression towards stability and harmony can also mark a positive shift in the relationship.”

If you are looking to add more passion into your relationship, Quinn says some inward reflection is in order.

“​​Our ability to feel passion may have a lot more to do with ourselves than it is with meeting another person that we’re really attracted to. Got a killer work schedule? You may find it harder to feel passionate. Sleepless nights with a newborn baby? You’re not going to feel amorous. Feeling out of shape post lockdown? Again this may ding your ability to feel passion,” Quinn adds.

“Sometimes we do luck out and meet someone where the stars align and we feel a megawatt attraction: if this is you, remember that instant attraction doesn’t always equal long term romance, so keep your feet on the ground! However for other couples passion will be something they need to work on. Over the life cycle of a long term relationship it’s almost guaranteed that at some stage couples will need to carve out space to work on their physical intimacy. So if you’ve hit a dry spell don’t see it as a death knell for your relationship, but as an opportunity to turn towards each other and start rebuilding your physical intimacy.”

All in all, there’s no “right” amount of passion for a relationship to have, and you have to allow your relationships to ebb and flow naturally.

“Ideally we would always nurture passion and romance in our relationships, however in practicality this may not always work out,” Quinn continues.

“In a long term relationship it’s likely that your relationship will also serve many practical purposes: running a household together, juggling finances, children, or aging parents. So whilst it’s always important to return to building the bond between you, it is also good to be accepting that for short intervals of time your relationship may take a backseat to your other goals and commitments.”

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