Do you believe in love at first sight? Or maybe you even experienced it with someone?
Some people can be so attractive that you can’t help but to feel an intense chemistry – your heart rate increases, your face blushes, your breathing gets quicker, and you just can’t get them out of your mind. You believe you’ve finally found the one. But did you really?
Attraction is not enough for a meaningful relationship. A deeper connection between two people is required for a couple to survive its ups and downs – a connection we call compatibility. It means to share values, beliefs, interests and lifestyle. It means being able to negotiate, set boundaries, solve problems and respect each other.
Understanding the difference between the two can get confusing sometimes, but when you know what to look for, you can see if it’s just chemistry, and not compatibility. Here are 5 signs to help you recognize it.
1. You can’t imagine spending your life with them
You like cuddling them and kissing them… You have fun when you go out to the movies… Their jokes make you cry laughing and you can’t stop smiling when you’re with them… If that’s true, there’s definitely chemistry between you.
But when you try to close your eyes and imagine them by your side forever, you feel something’s wrong with that picture? Maybe you like to hang out with them, but don’t consider them serious enough for a long term relationship. Maybe they’re irresponsible, too messy, too loud… Whatever it is, you can ignore it for now, but you know it would drive you crazy in the long run. And you’re probably right. If you can feel it even through all that chemistry, most likely you’re just not compatible.
2. You don’t share the same values
When you feel intense attraction to someone, you probably don’t talk about your values and opinions as much. You just want to be as close to them as possible (and possibly stop blushing so much)! But sooner or later, the question of your beliefs will pop up, and you might get surprised.
If you’re actually not compatible, you might have completely different opinions on topics of religion, politics, parenting styles… While it’s true that you can value other opinions, even if you disagree, it can get difficult to date someone who doesn’t share your values and beliefs. Having opposite views on such topics can impact your life together and make you prone to arguments and fights. Even if they’re extremely cute.
3. You are complete opposites
People say that opposites attract. When it comes to relationships, this may be true in some ways. You may have opposite traits that create a balance between you. For example, you may be a naturally calm person, which helps ground your naturally hot-headed partner. Or maybe you’re very anxious, but your optimistic partner helps you calm that anxiety.
But if you’re complete opposites when it comes to your interests, ideas and opinions, it may be difficult for you to enjoy each other’s company. If you like to spend your weekends going to the theater while your partner would rather go to a soccer game, you’re probably going to have some problems deciding how to spend your time together. Maybe you have some common interests, but if you’re planning to stay together long-term, a few of those common interests are likely not gonna be enough for you to have a fulfilling relationship.
4. You’re often bored of each other
Think about the time when you first met them. Maybe you couldn’t even sleep from the excitement of meeting them again. Every second you spent with them was filled with fun and you were having a time of your life. You could feel the chemistry with all your senses.
But as the time went on and you started spending more time together, you became kind of… bored. The initial excitement stopped being so intense. This often happens to couples that were blinded with chemistry, but are not actually compatible. They stop spending quality time together or even avoid one another. Unfortunately, it rarely gets better with time, and sometimes their relationship ends because they find someone new, someone who makes them feel the excitement all over again.
5.You have different goals for the future
What do you want out of your future? Do you want to get married and start a family? But your partner would rather be child-free and spend their life traveling?
Or maybe you want to move into a big city with lots of opportunities, but they would like to live in the countryside surrounded by animals?
Having similar goals is pretty important for a long term relationship, and being compatible is a must if you’re going to succeed as a couple. Having different views about the future is something that’s definitely going to take a toll on you, no matter how much you like them at the moment.
It is completely possible for chemistry and compatibility to go hand in hand! When that happens, it is the start of a wonderful and fruitful relationship. But if your feelings are only led by chemistry – an attraction without compatibility – it opens the door for lots of frustration and loneliness.
Even if you’re still not sure, you don’t have to worry. Time will tell, and your heart will know what to do. In the meantime, try to enjoy those feelings of chemistry as much as you can. After all, those butterflies in the stomach are the sweetest moments of the relationship!
Barnes, S. (2017, October 7). 7 signs you’re not actually compatible with the person you have amazing chemistry with. HelloGiggles. https://hellogiggles.com/love-sex/dating/7-signs-youre-not-actually-compatible-person-amazing-chemistry/
Mandriota, M. (2021, February 16). What the Differences Between Chemistry and Compatibility Can Mean for Relationships. Well+Good. https://www.wellandgood.com/chemistry-or-compatibility/
Manson, M. (2021, September 15). Compatibility and Chemistry in Relationships. Mark Manson. https://markmanson.net/compatibility-and-chemistry
Robinson-Kiss, S. (2021, November 13). Why Chemistry Gets Mistaken for Compatibility. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/they-re-not-coming/202111/why-chemistry-gets-mistaken-compatibility