Sat | Oct 31, 2020

The road from passion to compassion

Published:Monday | August 19, 2019 | 12:00 AMJessica Harrison - Lifestyle Writer

It’s been two months since you met him. There’s an unquenchable fire of lust in your soul. Thoughts of him intrude on your thoughts of work, bills, and food. Your heart gallops when the phone rings and his name comes up on the screen, and the sex is, well, electrifying. Time goes by and you seemingly fall deeper in love with him, and before you know it, a year and a half passes by and you consciously start planning a future together. Thoughts of marriage and children surface, and perhaps talks of a joint account to make sure your two-year anniversary vacation plans in Thailand come to fruition. Of course, there is still some amount of passion but the difference is, you’ve become best of friends. You understand each other, the good and the bad alike. You know all his flaws, they peeve the life out of you, and yet, you choose to stick around through thick and thin.

Relationships don’t always move from passion to compassion but when they do, they give birth to deep, meaningful, and secure attachments.

Passion and its characteristics

Passionate love is usually present during the first few months of an intimate relationship. In this state, any kind of separation calls for a state of emergency because what you feel is so powerful. Here are some passionate telltales:

n Tornado versus bliss: Because the feelings are so strong, when times are bad, they are awful, and when times are good, it’s heaven on earth. There is no middle ground.

n My skin is your skin: Paired with the magnified emotions of passionate love, people in this state tend to feel the need to constantly be in close proximity of each other.

n Ideal versus reality: During the course of passionate love, people tend to get caught up in the grand scheme of idealisation. They are so in tune with the outcome they’ve drummed up in their heads, they don’t actually take the time out to assess the reality of what is. Their partner can do no wrong and is God’s greatest gift to Earth.

Compassion and its characteristics

Compassionate love is categorised less by intense emotions and more by trust, security, intimacy, and commitment. Those who make it to this point tend to be a lot more individualised, all while still contributing to the growth of the relationship. It does not mean that the passion is gone. It is still very much present but in a more level-headed way. Are you in this seat? Here are the telltales:

n Trust: Compassionate love manifests itself with deep trust in each other. Knowing for a fact that when you need them the most, they will show up for you in any which way you need them to.

n Long haul: Patience, kindness, endurance, and humility. All of these qualities are exercised with your companion, and because of that, you can weather any storm and make it to old age sipping coffee together on the porch while the grandchildren play.

n Intimacy: Being able to share every aspect of yourself with each other extends far beyond hot bodies pressed together. Mutual sharing of feelings and deepest worries form the chief cornerstone in any compassionate relationship.


To achieve this level of security in your relationship, it is dependent on timing. Both parties have to be in the same state of ‘readiness’ to love and be loved. If it is that one or both parties is unsure, the chances of compassionate love are less likely.


Which stage are you at in your relationship? How is the experience for you? Send your experiences to