Compatibility vs. Chemistry in a Relationship

The building blocks of a relationship rest on two simple words: compatibility and chemistry. Webster’s dictionary defines these words for grammatical understanding. However, the deeper meaning behind them is only found through life experiences and contexts.

Compatible: Adjective. Able to exist or occur together without conflict. Chemistry: Noun. The complex emotional or psychological interaction between two people.

There are many shapes and sizes of relationships. No matter the flavor, every relationship either has chemistry, compatibility, or a sprinkle of both. The recipe differs case to case and everyone has different pallets, different preferences. But at the end of the day, relationships are woven together with compatibility and chemistry.

Compatibility takes many forms in a relationship. It can be seen and felt in all moments of everyday life. The mornings spent with a cup of coffee and the 9 am news. The silence that exists on rainy car rides together. The postcoital moments of conversation and giggling. The flashes of memories from dinner dates, holidays, vacations, birthdays, and other instances stuck in time. The deep conversations about fears, goals, dreams, and ideas. The hours spent listening, advising, and comforting. Two people can fit like a glove both conversationally and psychologically. For some, that connection and the ability to talk for hours is enough. Enough to be happy. Enough to thrive.

For others, including myself, we need more. We need more than colloquy. We yearn for more than companionship. Cachinnation isn’t enough to keep our spirits satisfied. We need someone that will provide more for us than conversation and camaraderie. We need to feel something. We need chemistry. Chemistry is like rhythm, you either have it or you don’t. It is the difference between a natural born dancer and someone with two left feet. There usually are not too many grey lines. You cannot force, find, or create chemistry between two people. Similar to the fact you can’t take a pencil and a spoon and will them to be magnetic. It exists solely as an invisible force that is either present or nonexistent.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am a realist. I do not necessarily believe in love at first sight. If butterflies were really in your stomach, you would have some serious health problems. But I wholeheartedly believe in chemistry between people. It is science! Pheromones are the bodies natural way of saying “I’m really into you”. They legitimately are chemical substances released by animals to trigger a social response. Pheromones are like really good pick up lines. And personally, I need that chemical pick up line. In my most recent relationships, I found the kindest, most compassionate human being. He embodied most every quality women look for in a partner. We were SO compatible. However, after 4 months of laughter and conversation, I couldn’t make it work.  The air between us was lackluster, at least for me. I tried so hard to get past it, to avoid it, to force it, but always to no avail. It got more difficult to lie to myself and lie to him. It became unfair.

As mentioned before, however, everyone is unique in the fact they require different things from a relationship. The key is to figure out what that is. Use your heart for this one, not your head. Determine what feels right and strive for that. It may be solely someone you are compatible with. Or maybe someone you can’t take your hands off.  Maybe both. Whatever it is that makes you happy, find it, and never let it go.

Samantha ClarkComment