I recently worked with a single client who was looking, unsuccessfully, for that forever relationship. My client was complaining that although he had met lots of great potential partners – smart, attractive, successful, – there was no chemistry. He’d had that chemistry with a series of previous partners, but each of those relationships ended badly because of various emotional incompatibilities.
What is chemistry? How important is chemistry to you?
First, chemistry is not always mutual! One person can feel it with another person, but that other may not experience the same connection. And yes, chemistry seems to be felt as a kind of tension, a feeling of effortless connection, to the other. Some people experience that feeling mostly as physical attraction. Others experience the feeling emotionally and/or intellectually. For some, it’s all three.
Clients usually describe feeling chemistry immediately. Sometimes people talk about “bad chemistry” as in feeling strongly repelled, not drawn to, the other. Sometimes a person feels drawn to another emotionally or intellectually, and the physical attraction and chemistry comes later. And sometimes, as with my client, there can be great chemistry in some ways, but the relationship doesn’t seem to bring joy, and is a struggle in many other critical ways.
In deciding about whether or not to pursue a potential relationship, I think it’s pretty darn important to understand yourself and the degree to which chemistry is a significant factor in your life. Wanting a relationship where there is chemistry is not “shallow”, nor is it “superficial”. It’s rather ironic, isn’t it, that we live in an age and place where the media promotes superficiality (do you look, dress, smell,sound, the right way?) to an incredible degree, yet we are told that to actually desire that kind of connection is shallow!
We all make quick judgements when we meet people; that is part of the hard wiring that promotes safety. It’s potentially desirable to slow down and get to know a new person a bit before making a decision to proceed or end, yet it is even more important to have a road map for where you want to go in an important relationship, and that requires that you understand yourself!
What does the idea of “chemistry” mean to you? If you are drawn to someone, does the relationship feel right? Wrong? How so?
If you are in a relationship, and the chemistry is lacking, or doesn’t seem right, consider getting some help to understand your own thoughts and feelings before going further. After all, if it’s an important relationship, isn’t that an important decision?