Ross looked across the room as Sarah walked through the door. The two had met online weeks ago and this would be their first “actual” meeting. Both had enjoyed the phone conversations that went late into the night. They had each been attracted to the person they had seen in the pictures posted on their respective profiles but this was the moment. Now they would know whether there was “chemistry” and a “spark” which might launch their cyber relationship into a real romance.
If statistics are correct, the story above is indicative of about 20% of relationships in the United States; one in five relationships begin online. But whether online or via a more traditional meeting, every relationship has a point at which the two people involved conclude whether there is “chemistry.” This begs the question, “What is chemistry and how do I know when I have found it?”
Yesterday I wrote to those who have been in the perpetual “friend zone” and how one might know if there is ever to be an escape hatch from the “zone” into a romantic relationship. Today, I want to talk about the prospect of relational “chemistry” and what it means for a relationship to have it.
Is chemistry simply a matter of what pleases us visually? If so, we are in for quite the emotional roller coaster as we age. Eventually, chemistry must become something deeper than what we see or a man will likely divorce several times in a perpetual search for that next beauty who will stoke his hormonal fires. The woman who is basing chemistry solely on whether a guy is a “hunk” will be left disappointed and cold when the years pass and her Fabio’s “chest” falls into his “drawers.”
ISN’T CHEMISTRY JUST PHYSICAL ATTRACTION???
There are those who quickly conclude chemistry to mean sexual attraction. But is that really all chemistry is? Are we just talking about hormones? Is chemistry simply a product of finding someone who visually pleases us and makes us feel butterflies?
A friend once told me a woman can grow to be attracted to a man she loves but a man is incapable of doing the same for a woman he loves. The conclusion being that men are immediately attracted to a woman or never will be while women are capable of a developed attraction. What does this mean if true? Unfortunately, experience has shown me that it likely is.
But chemistry must be based upon so much more than looks if a relationship is to be healthy. While our physical attraction to someone is important it cannot be the sole basis for chemistry. Ross and Sarah were hopeful that they would be as physically pleased with one another as they were emotionally and intellectually. They had already engaged in a meeting of mind and soul via email, phone and text. Their actual meeting at the restaurant was simply the final piece to a larger puzzle which makes up real, healthy, true and lasting chemistry in a relationship.
- Being compatible with another person spiritually — Scripture is clear that we should not be unequally yoked to another person. This word from God is for the protection of believer and unbeliever alike. If there is no agreement spiritually, life’s most fundamental questions will be a continuous source of strife in the relationship.
- Being emotionally compatible with another person — If you are both melancholy people you might be meant for each other. If you are both outgoing and gregarious in nature you will do just fine. Opposites might attract but they seldom make a good match. You need someone who is emotionally healthy and like minded as you are.
- Being compatible with another person intellectually — If one of you has the IQ of a genius and the other is somewhere below average you are going to have a hard time relating to the world around you in a way that makes a relationship.
- Being compatible with someone physically — Yes you need to be attracted to this person but stop being a “Seinfeld” episode. If you are picking apart the physical imperfections of every man or woman you date then you are in for a long and unhappy life alone. God didn’t create any of us physically perfect, and, whether you have discovered it or not, you aren’t either! Stop expecting it of others.
- Being compatible with your dreams — Two trains headed in opposite directions might stay in contact with each other but will never arrive at the same place. In fact, they won’t even see the world in the same way because they are seeing it from two entirely different perspectives. If you are a Ferrari you would do well to think long and hard before marrying a Corolla.
While not an exhaustive list or essay on the subject I hope this little note and corresponding list will give you pause and reason to think the next time you consider whether you have chemistry with someone in your life. Chemistry is important and so much deeper than what one sees as he or she walks across the room of a crowded restaurant.
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