How Much Does Chemistry Count? Page 2

How Much Does Chemistry Count?

(Page 2 of 2)

Q: Can you be “just friends” with someone and then get hit with a wave of chemistry that makes the relationship change direction?

Pamela: From experience, yes. It was a friendship for eight years, and now my desire for him is now like a virus, forever coming back to haunt me when I least expect it. Keep in mind, as you grow and discover yourself, your "tastes" change. What appealed to you at twenty might not/probably won't appeal to you at thirty.

Joyce Catlett: This often happens to coworkers who have been “just friends” but suddenly find themselves involved in an affair while working on an important project together. This type of interaction has been found to increase feelings of attraction.

David Givens: Yeah, that’s pretty common—where you’re around someone for years and never realized that you have a feeling of attachment for the person, and then something happens. It’s usually an event, or it can simply be that you two have been doing the same thing together for a while, which puts you on the
“Yes, you can create chemistry: Eye contact and discussing personal subjects can accelerate this bond.”
same wavelength.

Q: Are there times it might be prudent to ignore a “chemical” reaction? Like it might be just a “sex thing”?

Michael: For me and most guys I know, the “chemical reaction” should be ignored pretty often. Do you really want to be that guy—the Neanderthal who’s always checking people out and on the prowl? That reaction is there—hey, we’re guys! But you gotta keep your Neanderthal in check.

Joyce Catlett: There are times it might be prudent to ignore it. One has to do with the well-known cliché that opposites attract. People tend to have strong sexual attractions to people who have traits complementary to their own. In addition, both people may feel deficient in the specific trait that they admire in the other person. Later on, however, the very qualities that are so attractive in the initial phases of a romance may come to repel us. The quiet man may increasingly resent the fact that his gregarious wife never lets him get a word in edgewise, while she may start hating him for being so non-communicative.

Pamela: Unfortunately, I'm experiencing this situation right now. I believe his quote was, "We should stay away from each other. We are poison to each other." Ouch! And yes, the sex was the best ever, for us both. He would back that—I'm not being delusional. Unfortunately, when we aren't making out, we're usually fighting. Some people might call that passion. Others would call it ulcers waiting to happen.

Q: What’s more important to a successful relationship, chemistry or compatibility?

Alison: Chemistry is most important, by far. You can be compatible with a lot of people. Chemistry is the rarer of the two.

Michael: Chemistry is vital, but not as important as compatibility. Chemistry is the connection that you have with someone. Compatibility is a partnership of similar goals. I feel that if two people have chemistry and are not compatible, the relationship won't last very long. If two people are compatible, they can find their chemistry.

Sean: If you don’t have chemistry, you’re just wasting your time. Compatibility cannot overcome a lack of chemistry.

Joyce Catlett: The combination of chemistry and compatibility—a mix of friendship, affection, love and sexual passion—is the ideal that most people are seeking. Obviously, it is also the most challenging to achieve over the long term.

Q: Does chemistry fade with time? Is there any way to bring it back?

David Givens: Usually after one to two years it starts to wane—the actual chemical levels in your body die down. There are ways to keep the thrill alive, though, like going on vacation with your partner to some exotic place or doing some kind of physically thrilling thing together. An increase in adrenaline levels can help people feel closer.

Michael: Chemistry can fade if you don’t pay attention to it. If communication is minimal due to responsibilities such as time-intensive careers, kids, money etc…life’s demands can contribute to couples misplacing their chemistry. But I think you can find it again.

Joyce Catlett: Chemistry doesn’t necessarily have to fade with time. What makes it fade is not familiarity, but the fact that many couples get into routine ways of being together and habitual ways of making love. Also many partners give up their independence and their old friends, and start to act out of obligation. They forget that they are two separate individuals and this detracts from the sexual attraction they initially felt. To remedy this, I think it’s important for couples to reminisce, during times of conflict, to the time when the sparks of passion first began to fly between them. It helps them reconnect to the feelings they enjoyed during the early phases of their relationship.

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New York City-based freelancer Kimberly Dawn Neumann can tell if she has chemistry with a date in—oh, about 1.3 seconds.

Want to find out what kind of person you’ll have great chemistry with? Take our free quiz and get a personalized profile at

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