Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

Busting The Myth Of Romantic Chemistry

When people talk about our biggest loves, most of us bring up the idea of chemistry first. “It was so easy to talk.” “Everything felt so effortless.” “We clicked from the start.”

And it makes sense, right?

Easy and flirtatious conversation makes the sparks fly. It’s what creates the magic. The animalistic attraction.

No wonder that’s the first place we go to when we reminisce about our previous heartthrobs.

It’s when the times felt best. 

But there’s a problem that comes with these nostalgic feelings: it creates a tendency to overvalue chemistry in our future relationships.

And that’s dangerous.

Because now we’re likely to say no to perfectly fine people we lack strong chemistry with, or we get hung up on people who give us a great time but who also lead us on with no plans to commit.

In short, chemistry baits us into rejecting good people and pining for the bad ones.

So how highly should we value chemistry? Is it really that important to find someone who we can easily talk to and feel instantly connected with?

Not really. 

Chemistry is the orgasm of romance. It releases all the best feelings, is incredibly fun and addictive, but it can’t sustain a relationship.

Science shows it’s actually not unlike drug addiction. Snort up a fat line of cocaine and it’ll light up the same areas of the brain as when you’re thinking about your lover. 

There’s just one key difference here between chemistry and hard drugs.

We know to avoid daily drug use. But when we get a similar rush from a person, we’ll go to any lengths to get more.

And that behaviour is just as dumb as I’m making it out to be. 

Because chemistry doesn’t tell you how good someone is for you. It just means that they can make you feel good.

Of course, you need some level of chemistry with your person. But it’s nowhere near the amount that public opinion would have you think. 

You just need enough. 

Do you know, however, what you need truckloads of in a healthy partner?

Character.

If you want a chance to make it actually last, you need to be with someone who lives by an admirable and ethically sound code. 

Perhaps someone with honesty, courage, humility, empathy, kindness, and a playful attitude toward hardships.

After all, that’s what will largely be governing their every move until the day they become worm food.

Plus, chemistry develops over time. The more time you spend with each other, the better your conversation and feel for the other person will get.  

Character, however, is pretty static. It’s incredibly difficult to change your moral compass and world views, even if you try to. 

So if you’re looking to find a partner, or trying to get over one, look for character rather than chemistry. It’ll lead to more stable and loving relationships, and justified rejections that explain your contribution to its end.

Yes, you need a little spark. But the way someone lives their life will impact your relationship and well-being far more than their natural charm and magnetism. 

Character might not be as sexy as chemistry, but it sure as shit is more important.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach