As a dating coach, I preach a lot about making sure you choose a partner based on his or her character—and not simply because you have perfect chemistry together.
Chemistry is a great feeling. But are you choosing to commit to someone’s mind, body and soul just because you can’t stop thinking about him? Are you excited only because she takes your breath away when she smiles? If so, you may become blinded by some serious character flaws that could make a long-term relationship improbable and impossible.
Perfect On Paper or Perfect Chemistry? The Three C’s of Successful Relationships
In this article:
- Chemistry alone isn’t enough
- What you need for long term success
- The importance of a complementary relationship
- Here’s where chemistry matters
Chemistry alone isn’t enough
How many times did you fall for a man because he had swag for days only to discover he had a dark side? He was a “corporate player” who had a great career but seemed incapable of being loyal to you.
Or fellas, how many times have you let a “Melanin-Drenched Queen” blind you to the fact that the sister just doesn’t know how to communicate her feelings without yelling or making you feel like all her problems are your fault?
What you need for longterm success
Chemistry by itself will not lead to a relationship. For long-term success, you must have compatibility. You know you’re compatible with someone when your values are aligned. To be compatible, you need certain similarities:
- Lifestyles (or at least the person can help you create the lifestyle you want)
- Values (if you value the Bible as a manual for life and the other person ridicules you for your beliefs, you probably aren’t compatible)
- Interests (if your partner doesn’t like to do ANYTHING you do, ever, you’re most likely incompatible)
- Levels of education or intelligence (this one has wiggle room, but we tend to be drawn to people with whom we can have a conversation outside of the bedroom!)
The importance of a complementary relationship
Not only do you need to feel like the person you’re with is like you in some way, but you also need to feel like your partner complements you in some way. There may be:
- Complementary personality types (some personality types just get on each others’ nerves!)
- Complementary gifts (your partner may be gifted in an area where you are weak, and visa versa. You can support each other well!)
- Complementary purposes (you should feel like you are purpose-partners! You’ll find less competition, jealousy and insecurity from a partner who knows his purpose and walks in it.)
- But you can also be opposites, and as long as you have a commitment to love and respect each other no matter your differences, you can be compatible.
Here is why chemistry matters
“So where does chemistry fit in within a relationship?” many people ask me. “Do you really need to feel the fireworks in order to feel like you’ve met The One? And if you don’t feel it when you first meet someone (or even after months of dating), is your relationship doomed to fail?”
To explore that question, I’d like you to think of chemistry as the electricity in a house. It’s necessary for the lights to be turned out, so to speak, in order for you to enjoy living in your home. Chemistry is that spark—that emotional connection that makes you feel close to your partner. Compatibility, on the other hand, is the structure and materials (For example, a basement, walls, beams, an attic, a roof) the house is made of that will allow it to survive the storms of life.
Your relationship can’t be built on chemistry. You need a strong foundation on which to create a lasting relationship. But if you don’t have chemistry, you won’t have the strong emotional bond that will help you love your partner when you don’t always like him or her.
The bottom line is you need some level of chemistry to have a passionate relationship. It may take a while for those loving feelings to develop with someone, but if it ain’t there, you can’t force it.
Don’t settle for a passionless relationship. And don’t move a relationship forward without a sturdy foundation. It’s not fair to you or your partner.
BMWK, how long does it take for you to feel chemistry with someone? And how long will you stay if you don’t feel it?
Up Next: Marriage Prayers: Here’s How to Use Prayer to Resolve Conflict With Your Spouse
Editor’s Note – This post was originally published on July 27, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
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