SOMETIMES, the very thing you were looking for was under your nose all along – just ask Maura Higgins and Chris Taylor.
They came away from Love Island in 2019 as BFFs and remained at each other’s side through various break-ups and big life events, never realising that they were falling in love the whole time.
Maura Higgins and Chris Taylor say they have ‘great sex’ and ‘lots of it’
Now, Irish-born Maura and Leicester lad Chris, both 30, have become a reality TV love story all on their own and it’s one we’ve fallen head over heels for.
Maura says: “We never thought it would go past friendship. I genuinely never thought it would happen.”
It wasn’t until November last year, eight months after Maura’s split from Curtis Pritchard, 24, that it dawned on the two of them that this was something more than friendship.
And since then, they’ve been riding out lockdown together, with mushy Instagram posts and captions that typically read: “You’re all I ever wanted.”
Today, as they sit down on a Zoom call from Maura’s pad in Essex for their first joint interview, it’s clear how totally smitten they are – even if they are ripping each other to shreds for most of it. It’s this banter that was always the bedrock of their friendship and that isn’t something that’s going to change now that they’re madly in love.
“We do abuse each other a lot…” Maura jokes.
After becoming friends on Love Island, Chris and Maura never realised that they were falling in love the whole time
Here, they share exactly what their first impressions of each other were, the moment they made that crossover and what they think the future holds.
What were your first impressions of each other on Love Island?
Chris: Well, I asked her on a date! I fancied her.
Maura: I didn’t want to go on a date with him though, he was really nervous and I was just sitting there like…
C: She hated “Chris on Love Island”. She was preoccupied with another situation [the love triangle with Curtis and Amy Hart]. It just wasn’t the right time, Maura had other stuff going on, didn’t she?
M: I didn’t hate him! I just wasn’t interested like that. We always really got along and obviously stayed friends after the show.
Chris and Maura admit they worried about ruining their friendship by becoming romantically involved
When was the turning point?
C: I can’t remember the exact date, but there were loads of headlines about us spending time together last summer and that was before anything had happened. It was so off base because we were just mates at that point. But then, you know when you spend so much time with somebody and you think: “I actually still like you and I’ve just spent a week with you.”
That’s quite special because I don’t really like to spend much time with the same person as it starts to get on my nerves. I don’t have that with this one.
Did any of your mates spot your growing connection before you did?
M: I used to get DMs all the time from people I knew. Two of my girlfriends had seen us around each other as friends and they said to me: “How come you’re not with that guy?” and I would say: “Because we’re just friends!”
C: I think the lads used to say to me as well: “You and Maura have got chemistry,” and I would say: “What you on about? We’re just mates!” We had that conversation a few times actually and I always said “Nah”. Funny how things turn out, isn’t it?
Maura and Chris agree they’re having the best sex they’ve ever had
How did you make the move towards things being more, ahem, intimate?
C: I took all my clothes off and covered myself in sushi one night, then she walked in.
M: Don’t listen to a word he’s saying! He tried to kiss me.
C: You say “try” like I failed! What happened was we were in bed – we were just mates at this time – and we ended up sleeping face to face. So in that situation you’re not not going to kiss…
M: We always used to cuddle. We slept in the same bed on Love Island, so it wasn’t weird. We would have a cuddle on the couch or lie in bed watching movies or whatever, and then exactly what he said, our faces were very, very close together. Chris kissed me and I kissed him back.
After being friends for so long, did it feel weird when the relationship crossed that line into sex?
M: I thought before we did anything that it would be quite awkward.
C: There was one time when we both couldn’t stop laughing and it killed the mood a little bit. We have quite a bantery relationship, so when you try to be serious for a minute you end up laughing at nothing and then you get the giggles and can’t stop it. But that was only one time, we haven’t really struggled with that at all.
The couple were holidaying in Dubai when they officially announced their relationship
Did you worry about ruining your friendship?
M: That was in my head a lot.
C: It was in mine as well. I remember thinking that once you step over that mark it’s really hard to go back in time.
M: You can’t really just go back to friends after that happens.
C: We kind of just went straight in though, no messing.
Is this the best sex you’ve ever had?
C: Yeah. I was pleasantly surprised! How much do you want me to say?
M: Yeah. I do love sex.
C: We have great sex, and lots of it.
Chris was the first to say ‘I love you’
Who said “I love you” first?
C: I did that first as well. Just constantly putting myself out there…
M: That took you a bit to say that though.
C: Well, you don’t throw that word around do you? It was before we went “official” last November.
What do you find sexiest about each other?
M: I like his tattoos, I think they’re very sexy. I find him very sexy when he’s cooking as well. But I think the main thing is when a guy is really good with kids, I find that really attractive. We’ve been speaking with Isabella [Maura’s five-year-old niece] loads on FaceTime and I love seeing how he is really good with kids.
C: For me, I think most people would think it’s when she’s all glammed up, but she’s sexiest when she’s got no make-up, no bra, scruffs on, sometimes cleaning. She cleans a lot and I watch a lot. It’s when she’s au naturel and saying cute things to me like: “You smell like a donkey”. Just that kind of thing.
Maura says Chris’ sexiest feature is either his arms or tattoos
Who is the more romantic?
C: I’m taking that!
M: Yeah, he can take that. I love romance.
Favourite part of each other’s body?
M: I like Chris’ arms. His pythons.
C: I don’t think I have a particular body part, I just love it all. Every bit of it. Her ankles, knees, shoulders, boobs, arse, waist, teeth, ears, nose, eyes, eyelashes. All of her.
How important do you think sexual chemistry is in a relationship?
M: So important, I think.
C: Yeah very important. We have great sexual chemistry, don’t we? We do. We’re on the same wavelength.
Maura fell for Curtis Pritchard while on Love Island
What makes your relationship tick?
M: We know each other very well. We’ve spent a lot of time together. In friendships you’ll always have an argument with your friend, but we’d never have an argument or anything. We’re on the same level.
C: Other than that, we abuse each other.
Does this feel different to your previous relationships?
M: This is different. We never thought we’d be in a relationship together. I’ve had a lot of male friends in my life but nothing has ever happened before.
C: I broke out of the friendship zone. I’m a lot more comfortable with her than I have been with anyone else, which is a good sign.
M: And that’s because of the friendship. We’ve been so close for so long, and we’re just really honest with each other.
C: We have a lot of fun as well. At the minute it sounds pretty dry because of the situation, but we have date night once a week. The first one Maura did was a Harry Potter-themed night for me. She hates Harry Potter so that made me love her more.
They came away from Love Island in 2019 as BFFs and remained at each other’s side through various break-ups and big life event
Any bad past Valentine’s Day experiences?
M: One Valentine’s my date texted me in the evening saying: “Oh there’s a buy-one-get-one-free deal at Domino’s tonight”, and I genuinely thought he was joking. But no, it wasn’t a joke. We got a buy-one-get-one-free Domino’s because there was a bargain on. Oh, and I had to pay for it as well. I messaged all of my friends that night, I couldn’t believe what was happening.
C: Oh well, that’s ruined my plans. I’ll have to cancel my Domino’s order…
Do you worry about being together in the public eye?
C: It is more complicated than your average relationship because a lot of our stuff is going to be plastered across the press.
M: I suppose it’s early days, but the most important thing is trust.
C: Yeah, we had that friendship before so we trust each other. I would never hurt Maura, not only because she’s my girlfriend but we were friends for so long before that, so I’d never want to hurt her. If there was a headline or a photo of us talking to someone else, I know we wouldn’t take it seriously.
M: There are always going to be rumours.
Chris says the biggest surprise about Maura is that she’s actually a ‘softie’ once you get to know her
Have things progressed quicker because you know each other so well?
C: Yeah, we share things that most people wouldn’t share at this point in the relationship. We do talk about pooing quite a lot. Right now, with lockdown, it’s such an intense situation. It’s a bit of a test and that’s moved things on a bit as we’ve been through that stuff quicker.
M: That’s true. I suppose other couples would wait a long time before sharing stuff like that. I didn’t wear make-up around him when I was friends with him, so…
C: I like her like that. That’s my Maura. The one that no one else sees.
Have there been any surprises about each other now things are romantic?
C: I was going to say my schlong. Joke! But yeah she did surprise me. As friends I didn’t see her as a cuddly person, but she’s quite affectionate and I never thought that of her. I don’t think many people would have thought that of her either.
M: I was quite surprised about that with him as well. I don’t show it but I’m actually quite a softie deep down.
C: It’s because you come across as this really strong, independent woman and shout at people to get your way, but she’s a softie. She’s like a slow cooker, isn’t she?
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