#310 - Chemistry vs. Compatibility. What's the difference?

dating relationships

Chemistry vs. Compatibility.
Is there a difference between chemistry and compatibility? The answer is ABSOLUTELY!

Over the past four weeks I’ve been sharing ideas about emotional health, knowing what you want, the Four Cornerstones of Great Relationships, and the 5 Love Languages.

Those are the components of compatibility. In other words, it’s shared morals and values, some common interests, and overall leaning in the same direction. It’s a combination of attraction and respect.

Today I want to talk about that somewhat elusive magic of chemistry. Chemistry is an almost indescribable pull towards someone. It’s a magnetic attraction that draws you to certain people.

It’s that thing that almost defies description and is something you feel so deep in your soul.

Hopefully you already know what it feels like, and you understand that its description can’t quite be captured in words. If you’ve never felt this strong pull towards someone, please wait…it will happen.

Let’s talk about the science.
There is evidence to suggest that the giddy and sometimes irrational feelings of attraction we feel for someone come from chemical reactions in the brain.

In her book, Why Him? Why Her?, Dr Helen Fisher found that men and women dominant in dopamine traits which includes novelty- and risk-seeking, curiosity, creativity and energy, are attracted to people like themselves.

The same is true for the serotonin-dominant, who tend to be cautious, traditional, rule-following, and respectful authority. In these cases, Dr. Fisher says similarity attracts.

Those who are high in testosterone tend to be analytical, logical, direct, decisive, tough-minded and skeptical, and are more drawn to those who are dominant in the traits linked with estrogen, their opposites.

Estrogen-dominant men and women tend to be imaginative, empathetic, trusting and emotionally expressive, as well as drawn to those high in testosterone, also their opposites.

Is this something you really need to remember?
Not really. The important thing to understand is that there is science behind the chemistry we feel for someone.

It’s the weird stuff going on in our brain without us even knowing it and it’s real so don’t discount it.

Can you build a relationship on chemistry alone?
The short answer is No. Chemistry may bring the two of you together but it’s not the glue that holds you together.

We’ve all dated someone that we’ve had chemistry with but these relationships didn’t last. Why? There was no foundation other than attraction and that was most likely based on sexual desire.

Sometimes the people we feel an overwhelming attraction to aren’t right for us long-term. You can get into trouble by rushing to commit to someone when you prioritize chemistry over shared interests and values.

Great relationships are all based on compatibility. You need to be emotionally healthy and crystal clear about what your next relationship looks like.

You then build on the foundation of the Four Cornerstones of Great Relationships. Add to that your ability to speak your mate’s love language.

The final ingredient is chemistry. When all of these things come together you have a magical opportunity for an extraordinary relationship.

A lack of chemistry doesn’t repel—it simply results in a lack of emotional intensity. Things just feel kind of dead and boring.

When chemistry draws you to someone, pay attention.
Chemistry has a powerful influence over your decision-making process and can cause you to choose poorly.

This is why it’s so important to know exactly what you want in a relationship ahead of time.

Your Must Have and Deal Breaker lists will help you step back from this strong attraction and realistically assess the potential for a relationship.

If you discover that there is little connection other than chemistry, it’s time to run. The longer you stay, the more tumultuous your relationship will become.

Chemistry will ebb and flow in every relationship.
Even the greatest relationships take effort to maintain. If you find the chemistry lacking in your relationship, spend time to rekindle it.

It just takes a little effort and a little creativity. Add date nights to your calendar.

Think back to the time you first met. What are some of the things you did back then that made your relationship exciting? Start doing some of those things again and you’ll start to feel your attraction grow again.

Don’t be impatient.
We’ve all settled at one time or another. It’s understandable. We’d all like to have that special someone in our lives.

A friend reached out to me this morning for some business advice as I was working on today’s blog. We spent a little time catching up on our personal lives and she shared this with me. “I got married last February. He was sooo worth the wait.”

Your forever love will also be sooo worth the wait when it’s based on compatibility and Chemistry. This is the type of love that lasts. It’s the kind of grown-up love you should shoot for.

If you need help I have resources for you.
My book, Dating Backward, is a great resource to start with. We cover everything I’ve shared with you over the past 5 weeks in much greater depth.

You can order it directly from my website, or from

Also, consider personal coaching. Usually in just a couple of sessions I can help you see the areas that need to be addressed and help you move forward into healthier, happier relationships.

Email me at [email protected] to schedule your personal coaching session.

I hope I’ve given you some ideas to make healthier dating and relationship decisions today. I’ll see you next week. Until then, have a great and blessed day.