One of my most interested fields in psychology is that of dating and understanding how to find and interact with our romantic partner.
There is no doubt that if you are in a relationship or married, that you haven’t been through some sort of emotional or mental rollercoaster with your partner. That’s just part of the process, and more often than not, we resolve whatever there was to resolve and we continue living together.
However, with todays divorce rates fluctuating between 40% and 70%, I think gives an indication that something isn’t going quite right. And I’m starting to have a feeling that most couples are not quite getting the hang of two fundamentally important principles. Two very simple principles that seem to make the difference, especially after considering the principle the research recommends for sucessful and long-term dating.
Those two things are;
- The chemistry between you and your partner
- The Compatibility
Chemistry and Compatibility
Most people think these two terms can be used interchangeably and that they mean somewhat the same thing, when in reality, they are completly different.
Compatibility is what gives your relationship a solid foundation. Your compatibility with your partner is dependent on the extent, to which you have similar interests, similar values and worldviews, and lead somewhat relatable lifestyles. A priest and a stripper for example, are unlikely to be compatible and I doubt they ever end up dating each other. A high-school dropout and a career-aspiring woman are also unlikely to be compatible.
You’re compatible with someone if you both ‘click’ with one another. It’s knowing that big decisions are made fairly easily between you and you share a very similar taste for things.
Chemistry on the other hand, is the emotional side of the relationship. A relationship with high chemistry is reflected by intense emotional feelings and a strong emotional bond towards each other. Long facetime sessions and phone calls without feeling an hour went by happen regularly and every text received, you secretly hope is from him/her. You also constantly think what you can do or plan that he/she will like.
When we have high chemistry with someone, it is also reflected in the bedroom. Low chemistry sex is boring and dull. High chemistry sex however, gives us heart-pounding and a life-altering experience.
Simply said, compatbility is a rational and logical process. Chemistry is an irrational, emotional process.
The interesting thing is this though – what happens when you get different combination of the two?
Low chemistry, high compatibility relationships are those you’re likely to have with your opposite sex best friend. You talk about the most private shit with each other but couldn’t dare sleeping with each other. You don’t actually feel any sexual attraction towards them.
High chemistry, low compatibility relationships are those where it feels sooo damn good, but you know it’s sooo damn wrong. It’s that constant cycle of love-hate feelings you have towards that person, that are often made from passionate, intense sex, but usually end with thrown iphones and 3 a.m. emergency Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream runs. Yes, they aren’t good at all.
Clearly, the goal should be to find someone where you both share high chemistry and high compatiblity with. This is something that isn’t that easy, because, you know, most people whom we meet are freakin psychos in the first place.
Below, I have a little matrix for you from Mark Manson’s blog that should help you get a little better glimpse at this stuff…
How would you consider the chemistry and compatibility with your partner? Where on the matrix do you sit?
Let me know in the comments below! 🙂
Thanks for reading,