Why Chemistry is a Poor Indicator of Relationship Success

Why Chemistry is a Poor Indicator of Relationship Success

Posted By: Kelly Seal Date: 02-28-2019 Comments: 0

Chemistry isn’t all it’s cracked up to be when it comes to creating a successful relationship. In fact, it often leads us astray and we don’t even realize it. Let me explain.

We all crave that heady feeling of chemistry, when you meet someone for the first time and immediately hit it off. You’re laughing, having a good time, and the two of you have amazing sex – and suddenly, you’re thinking of your crush as relationship material. Why not? You seem made for each other.

We all love feeling connected and attracted to someone. It’s a great feeling!

The problem is, we rely on chemistry as an indicator of whether or not we should pursue a relationship. Here’s why this is a bad idea.

Chemistry is important because we all like to feel attracted to the person we’re dating. But we often place so much importance on it that everything else pales in comparison. In reality, relying on the chemistry we feel can throw us off track, make us ignore red flags, and far too often trumps good judgment. Let me give you an example.

You meet an incredibly handsome and funny guy at a party and you spend all night talking and laughing together. He asks for your number, you meet up for drinks later in the week, and the chemistry is still off the charts. You have great sex and you’re so excited to spend more time with him. You are practically giddy when you get his texts.

But what happens when there’s radio silence, or he isn’t consistent in communicating with you? What happens when you get to date number three, and while he was so charming in the beginning, suddenly you notice some red flags? Maybe he is rude to the bartender or waiter. Maybe he checks his phone every few minutes or constantly interrupts you. Or maybe you thought you had plenty to talk about, but it turns out he’s way more into video games than you thought and not really interested in talking about anything else.

Here’s the truth: we project onto our dates what we want to see. When you feel amazing chemistry, you automatically assume that this person is a good fit, that they share your values, that they are interested in you in the exact same way.

But it’s impossible to know if someone is in the same place as you emotionally or if he has relationship potential until you spend time together. There’s no immediate “knowing,” no matter how much chemistry there is.

Instead of using chemistry as an indicator of relationship success, try these tips instead:

Slow it down.

Sounds crazy right? People are using dating apps and meeting people all the time, so it feels strange to slow things down if you feel chemistry. But it’s crucial to take your time. Do you tend to throw yourself into your relationships, taking advantage of that heady feeling and assuming you two are in lock step? Chances are, you’re not. But it’s hard to know this without slowing down and getting to know each other.

This means going on several dates, talking with each other about what you value and what you want in a relationship, and doing activities together to see how you get along. Instead of assuming you’re both on the same page, try asking your date what he/ she wants. Good communication (without making assumptions) is the key to a solid relationship foundation.

Date someone who’s not your ‘type.’

Do you find yourself falling over and over again for the same type of guy, but it always seems to end in disaster? If you keep pursuing men who end up being non-committal or only want a relationship on their terms, you might want to rethink your strategy.

I’ve had many women tell me that they have tried to broaden their options, but they “don’t feel as much chemistry” with guys outside of their types. In my opinion, you haven’t given these guys a chance. Do you really know them after a couple of dates? What I’ve found is that people can surprise you, especially if you’re open and let them be themselves. So next time, try dating the guy you’d normally swipe left on, and see how things go.

Redefine what chemistry means to you.

So often we limit chemistry to a physical attraction, but chemistry as a whole is so much more. Have you ever been so physically attracted to one guy that you ignore the other guy who makes you laugh, the one who’d make a great partner?

It’s important to know that chemistry can be built over time and can be subtle as well as overt. Think of friendships that have turned into romantic relationships. Have you ever grown more attracted to someone as you got to know him? Or what about the guy you’ve seen at networking events over the last year who suddenly becomes someone you want to spend more time around? What if you saw something more in him, and gave it a real chance?

Thinking of relationship potential in terms of chemistry is misleading and sometimes can derail us in love. So next time, try a different tactic and see what happens next.

Chemistry is great, but real love is so much more.

Kelly Seal is a freelance writer, dating expert, and author of the book “Date Expectations: A Guide to Changing Your Dating Life and Finding Real Love.” She got her start in the dating industry by hosting speed dating events around southern California and offering advice and encouragement to attendees. She now lives in L.A. and spends her free time hiking in the Santa Monica mountains and blogging at www.kellyseal.com.