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Passion in a relationship is like heat coming from a fire. If you’re outside and it’s cold, you don’t stand around trying to conjure the feeling of warmth – you build your fire. You put some time into gathering what you’ll need, make sure you know how to get it going, maybe plan ahead to have what you need. Fires need tending. So do relationships.
The signs of a passionate relationship aren’t just emotional or sexual. To stay in a passionate and strong relationship, both partners need to tend it.
What is Passion?
That loaded word, passion, has a few meanings.
When we talk about a passionate relationship, we usually mean that the partners have intense feelings of attraction, love, and longing for each other.
But passion is also a noun. Someone might say they have a passion for art, or horseracing, or cooking pastry. It doesn’t mean they’re pining away for it all the time – it means they’ve found it so wonderful, so promising, so rewarding, that they’ve made it a priority in their life. They spend money on it. They want it to be part of life for the long haul.
Why is it Important to Have Passion in a Relationship?
A passionate relationship gives us more energy for life. Because we’re with someone we keep having great experiences with, all the tasks and hardships in life are easier to bear.
Nothing is as difficult when you’re in the company of someone who truly cares for you. When someone feels passion for us, we are more confident, happier, and more secure. We have more to give because our needs are being met.
15 Signs You’re in a Strong and Passionate Relationship
Here are some signs that your relationship is both passionate and solid enough for the fire to keep burning:
1. You long to be together.
Life has more pleasure and fulfillment since you got to know that person. You’re so glad you met them, and when you’re away from them, something is missing. Reunions are happy and it feels good to be together again.
Plain old happiness is key for your well-being. So your relationship is healthy and passionate when you feel glad to be with your partner, in and out of the bedroom.
2. You’re physically attracted to each other.
Duh, right? You need the spark to start the fire.
My mother once said to me, “Whoever you end up with – make sure they’re good looking. ‘Cause, they’re eventually going to make you really mad, and it helps to be able to look at him and think, “Well, at least he’s cute.”
Maybe not the deepest advice, but she did have a point. Relationships can be tough, and that delight in the look and touch of your partner is one of the best highs of life.
3. You support each other emotionally.
This is hard for some of us, but we have to wade into the murky waters of feelings if we want anything more than a short-lived passion. If we love and desire someone, we’ll know their backstory. We’ll ask them why they’re crying and keep them company through hard moments. We’ll stick by them and protect their reputations when they’re having a hard time. This is called emotional intelligence.
4. You can both speak the truth without fear.
A passionate and strong relationship doesn’t mean two people are just pouring emotion over each other all the time. Some passion out of control does damage. Our love and longing can make us deeply angry when we think we’ve been let down. If we’re not careful with that anger, our partner will start to distance us.
For emotion not to get choked within us, we have to know we can be honest with each other about our needs, hopes, and dreams without getting ridiculed, ignored, or punished for it. Honesty can only happen when both people are free from fear.
That means both partners need to have enough awareness to control themselves when negative emotions are running high. Safety before passion!
Polyvagal theory teaches us that only in a middle zone of self-control can we think clearly and hold back from being destructive, either by shutting down, attacking, or running away. When emotions run higher than that middle zone, we default to a fight or flight response. When they run lower, we shut down or tune out.
If we can’t control emotions, we need to call a time out and tell our partner when we’ll return. It’s worth the effort. If we’re destructive with our negative feelings, all the good passion will get blocked too.
So we need to communicate honestly and often. However, talking problems out can’t be forced. Both partners need to be ready for the encounter.
5. You want to know more about each other.
If there are going to be ongoing passionate feelings, there has to be more to life than just logistics. A good partner knows you well enough to know your backstory, remember what you like and don’t like, be tuned in to what’s going on with you much of the time.
Because you know how valuable you are to each other, you’ll take time to step out of your routine to ask about how each other’s day went. You’ll extend yourself to spend time in your partner’s circles, in their favorite places, doing things they love.
Don’t pretend to like things just because they do but extend yourself to know one another better. Consider what they need emotionally and spiritually when you’re making decisions.
6. You share the same values.
“What’s sexy about shared values?” you may ask but think about it. Attraction fades pretty quickly when someone is making moral choices you disagree with, disrespecting something that’s very important to you, or putting lots of time and money into what you consider a waste of time. There has to be a foundation of trust, and that doesn’t come without values aligning.
7. You give each other time.
This seems pretty obvious, and it’s easy early in the relationship when everything is new and exciting. But our anxieties about getting things done, and the selfish part of us that just wants to do our own thing, can easily make us starve a relationship of the time it needs to stay strong.
8. You let each other grow.
Sometimes we can feel threatened when our partner wants to make changes or try new things. We might be afraid of losing them if they take too many leaps ahead of us. But like all living things, we were made to grow and develop. Passion can’t stay alive between partners who are feeling trapped. We have to be willing to lead and be led into new territory.
Helping our partners grow will propel us to grow too – we’ll overcome our fears for their sake.
9. You have the courage to oppose each other.
I remember when I was in a ballroom dance class, being surprised that I needed to keep my grip on my partner’s hand firm, even pushing back a little, so that he could guide me in the direction he wanted to go. If my arm was limp and gave way too easily, we wouldn’t get anywhere. That’s a good illustration for relating on or off a dance floor.
Sometimes passion needs a little resistance to stay strong. We respect people more when they speak up for themselves, when they don’t stand for injustice, when they challenge us to do the right thing.
10. You make peace with one another’s differences.
Every relationship has some conflict that can never be resolved. These areas of friction can turn into a passion-killing resentment if we dwell on them and criticize them.
A forgetful person is never going to be a logistical wizard. Someone who’s driven and ambitious isn’t going to quit their job to take a three-month cruise with you. We have to face that some tensions are always going to be there and be willing to meet each other halfway.
11. You have fun together.
Fun is a need. Without it, life is just too hard. It comes more naturally to some than others, but we all need to keep it in the mix. That can mean doing little things like tickling, or big things like renting out a houseboat.
12. You can be vulnerable with each other.
Vulnerability and passion are two sides of the same coin. You can’t melt into a steamy make-out session while you’re gripping an iron shield. You’re just going to have to put your guard down.
There are some relationship skills you can work on that will help your partner to trust you enough to be vulnerable.
13. You’re committed to listening to one another.
To listen, we have to lay down thoughts about the past and the future. Research has confirmed that our brains really can’t multi-task. We do best when we’re focused on one thing at a time. Nothing is less sexy than a person who can’t put down their phone, look you in the eyes, and really take in what you’re saying.
Practicing living in the moment throughout the day will make it easier to stay in the moment with our partners.
14. You’ve both made some hard sacrifices for each other.
It’s hard to keep the fires of passion burning when you live thousands of miles away from each other and no one’s willing to move, or you both travel with your jobs and neither of you are willing to cut back. Passionate relationships are top priorities, and that always comes with a cost. Both partners need to be invested for passion to be sustained.
15. You can both see a future together.
People in passionate relationships are working towards shared hopes, shared goals, shared dreams. Their bond is carried forward by what they have planned for the future.
Final Thoughts the on Signs You are in A Passionate and Strong Relationship
Passion isn’t something that always hits you as soon as you meet someone. That’s attraction. It’s merely the spark that lights the fire.
Building trust, spending time together and really listening to one another is the way to stoke that fire and keep it burning. This is how we maintain a strong and passionate relationship through all life’s ups and downs. Life won’t always be easy, but with the right partner by your side, it doesn’t have to be as hard.