Is chemistry overrated in a relationship?

I've heard so many people say that "X is such a great guy or girl, she's/he's always there for me and loves me unconditionally. But I really don't feel a spark for her/him, I thought I could be with her/him forever but I realise I can't do it. So I broke things up with her/him."

I don't understand, what is this Chemistry in love that they are referring to? Is it related to lust, or is it the feeling of being the same? I don't believe that it matters that much because nobody can be lovesick forever. And I also believe that if you are with a person long enough, you'll have an affection for him/her too, isn't that just natural?

I am dating a girl and we both don't have chemistry for each other. But we want to date each other. We're putting in our due effort. And we're working towards the same goals in life together. And despite not naturally having chemistry, when we try our best to make things fun, we do feel emotionally connected, if just for a few hours.

So why so much insisting on having "chemistry" in a relationship? We can definitely do without it.


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Most Helpful Guy

  • Sorry that this is controversial, but if you don't feel chemistry, I don't see how you can be in love. Chemistry comes from the heart and is wholly natural. Many societal relationships come from the head, ie, I'm with this person through convenience, because they're a good match in terms of job prospects or similar interests, or because they offer me security. They're relationships based on societal conditioning, people, friends, family, whom tell you would make a good match. Many (not all) familial relationships, again in my experience, fall under the afore banner. They're relationships out of obligation. There is often no deep chemistry there. They're not people you would hang around with if not out of social bounding.

    Relationships that aren't built on societal notions of love, can truly soar. I've said it before, but I've felt some the greatest, most transcendental and spiritual experiences of love, often with complete strangers. To the extent of feeling a pulsating energetic rhythm in my chest.

    Having said that, just because you can't formally recognise chemistry, does not mean that chemistry is not there. Perhaps there is. There must be something attracting you to one another.

    Lust is not chemistry, nor is it love. Not that I'm condemning sex, I just think it's a conflating influence. Ideally, you'd be deeply compatible on emotional, physical and spiritual levels. Whether such ideals are attainable, or even desirable to be sought out, is another question.

    "Only one percent of people know a little bit deeper. Poets, painters, musicians, dancers, singers have a sensitivity that they can feel beyond the body. They can feel the beauties of the mind, the sensitivities of the heart, because they live on that plane themselves. But a musician, a painter, a poet, lives on a different plane. He does not think, he feels. And because he lives in his heart, he can feel the other person's heart. That is ordinarily called love. It is rare.

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    • I am saying only one percent perhaps, once in a while." Osho

    • Very detailed explanation, and I do agree with some points of it. I have seen a lot of terrible relationships based out of incompatibility but were at one point fueled by intense chemistry. I always got the feeling that those relationships where there was mutual respect and a lot of "head-fueled" love was much better than the "now-dead heart and no determination from the head" kind of love.

      I would also think that lust is a kind of chemistry too, because i see chemistry as both physical and emotional.

      But thanks so much for your explanations. I believe I once had a little tiny bit of chemistry with her, I had a crush on her after all, so I'll try to work on that. Thanks!

    • Yes, the danger with what I wrote, is that one can romanticise the process, to the extent one becomes unrealistic. Relationships are unpleasant a lot of the time. Some times you can't understand, or even stand, the other person, and being intimate with them is the last thing on your mind. That's why communication is so vital. But obviously, there needs to be some threshold compatibility, whether you call it chemistry, or whether it's something pragmatic; perhaps they are the same thing, but from different perspectives.

What Girls Said 16

  • Chemistry is definitely not overrated. Without chemistry, even the most attractive person would be seen as no more than just a friend. What do you think gives people butterflies in their stomach or those feelings of giddiness after being around someone with whom they share chemistry, amongst other things?

    Perhaps you and this girl of yours are super compatible on a purely platonic level, which for some is more than enough but when you have chemistry with someone it takes everything to a whole new level.

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    • Feelings of giddiness, I relate to fun. Nervousness. Especially around a girl. Lust. Curiousity. Admiration. The chase.

      Thing is, I'm not super compatible with her on a platonic level (we find more fun talking about philosophy and random things, than about what we enjoy to do, because our common interests is rather limited).

      I have felt this Chemistry before. Ironically, when I chat with my best gal friend about what we love doing, and we've talked from evening to early dawn without stopping. But the moment we touch on philosophy or life, we cannot accept each other's views at all. That's why.. I believe chemistry is overrated in a relationship.

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    • yeah, it's pretty hard to make a relationship last if you've only got one. You could have insane chemistry, but for some reason your interests, religions, or even families are conflicting... could work for short-term, but that'd be difficult to make something serious out of that.

      Likewise for getting along great, but having no sexual chemistry like in your case. You could have a strong friendship, but it will likely never develop into anything more. That's why it's not so easy to find someone who will fill both of those things to some degree. But they definitely exist, so don't settle for any less!

    • I see, thanks for your input! I feel like I need some chemistry in my love life now haha. I still treasure my current girl though, I'll have to find some way to coax it out of us. :p

  • it's a substance' (or soul) connection, where two people who share great similarities and common grounds in every aspect of their lives and they can understand each other without saying little. Better than Lust, i'd say?

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    • I feel like that's not really unique to relationships though. Like I can sometimes finish my friend's sentences, or know what he's concerned about. It just sort of naturally happens when you are friends with someone long enough, that you understand them and their thoughts and quirks.

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    • So it's what i mentioned, but with additional fun, teasing (ie. emotional play), and physical attraction? I'm trying to understand it.. :/

    • Fine, then just have a short term casual relationship. :P

  • Wow, you sound like some of my Japanese friends...
    Now seriously, perhaps you never had the experience of having a crush on someone... Without chemistry, you can choose your partner rationally, argue with logic and even lead/ build a very satisfying and stable family life. But with chemistry, you're in for a very different trip with all its highs and lows of passion and amplified emotions and no guarantees of it working out in the end. Not that it can't work out, why wouldn't it?

    Basically chemistry is the word people use for passion and what you're saying is that we can live without passion. We could, but not all of us want to just yet.

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    • I had one of the worst journeys where passion was concerned. Someone with whom I had a lot of emotional connect (chemistry i guess), but we couldn't agree on what we wanted in life. She was just... too lazy and unmotivated.

      So this time I chose compatibility over chemistry, because i thought at least the latter can be developed with time.

      And I'm not sure if it counts but, I used to have a huge crush on her. Then I found out I couldn't click very well with her. I do still yearn for passion. But I wonder if that really is the thing I should be so concerned about.. Ironically all my female friends called me a romantic.

  • Why have a relationship with just the emotional connection when you could have a relationship with the emotional connection and chemistry?
    I think someone dating for just the emotional connection has just chosen to settle rather than looking for more.

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    • Wait what, emotional connection is different from chemistry? Okay now I'm confused again.

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    • lust huh. Well I do physically desire her. But I dunno, I always thought chemistry was kind of both parts physical and emotional.

    • I split them in two, because it's possible to want one and not the other.

  • You have to have the spark.
    Yes, it is real. You can love someone, and not have the spark.
    But when you really feel something deep down, thats when you know its real.
    That's Chemistry.

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    • Thanks for your comments! Though it is still difficult for me to visualise what you are describing.. :/

    • That's coz it's not a visual thing. It's a feeling.. that's not easy to describe

  • Chemistry in a relationship can be understood in many different ways. The way I see it, it's when two people think similarly, have the same sense of humor and common interests. It will make the conversations flow, and you will never be bored together. Just because a person is nice, caring and is always there for you doesn't mean that he or she is your perfect partner.

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    • I think I understand the way you described it, great explanation! And you are probably right too. Just a thought experiment, do you think a relationship can survive just on chemistry alone? Or something more is needed?

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    • Precisely! That comment is a huge part of why I believe in my current relationship without chemistry. If we have the same goals and outlook, I don't see how our emotions don't end up being interconnected. And physical attraction is a given of course, otherwise I wouldn't even consider dating a person.

      And probably, to elaborate on your initial answer, I do have the same sense of humor as her. Our interests are not the same, but we're interested in what each of us do. Our personality though, are at different spectrums, so sometimes its conflicting with each other.

    • Ultimately, the only thing that matters is the happiness of you and your girlfriend. It's not important whether or not you feel the chemistry. As long as it works, there's no need to question it :)

  • I saw a quote on pinterest once that went 'I don't believe in love at first sight but I do believe in the click'
    So true...

    I think without a spark/click/chemistry there is nothing. That's what lights the fire in the first place.

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    • I was infatuated with her. And sometimes still am, when I'm not too tired with work. Do you think that could be chemistry, and could chemistry be improved?

    • Infatuation isn't necessarily chemistry, and chemistry is one of those things that is either there or its not. Relationships can be improved, you can do things to get along better, etc but if there is no chemistry it will never feel anything more than that.
      Its hard to explain chemistry in words, but if you don't know what it is then you haven't felt it yet. Once you do it will be crystal clear.

    • I see... thanks! I hope I can find it someday, and hopefully with her. :)

  • Chemistry is that spark you feel with someone. When it's gone, it needs to be rekindled, if possible. Otherwise, what is there?

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    • There is responsibility, which makes you feel that you "need" to rekindle it. There is care and concern, which makes you feel comfortable being with that person. I don't understand haha. :/

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    • If there's nothing that attracted you to a person in the first place (chemistry), then you're just with someone to be with someone.

    • Does infatuation count as chemistry? Because I was heavily infatuated with her at one point. Sometimes still am. Periodically.

  • I don't know if it's integral to having a long lasting, happy relationship. But, I personally, would need that connection with someone, to be with them long term.
    Having real chemistry with someone is a worthwhile feeling, tbh...

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    • Maybe it's too much optimism on my part. I think that compatibility is more important than chemistry, because you can't change personalities and values in compatibility. But chemistry seems to be something that can vary at different points of a relationship.

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    • You sure you're even compatible?

    • Not 100% compatible. If it were, I think chemistry would have long factored in already, because it's hard not to click when everything is compatible.

      I see compatibility as 3 sorts: same values, same personality/temperament, and same interests. If all 3 matches then I'd have called it 100% chemistry. But as it stands, we have the same values, slight overlap in interests, and conflicting personalities. The last one is why I say it feels like we lack chemistry. But while we are different in personalities, we are pretty agreeable and amicable people, so it seems like... chemistry we could do without? Or maybe it'd develop after a while.

      I'm just confused and conflicted myself.

  • chemistry is everything

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    • It can't be everything. That's overrated. Lol.

    • lol.. It's overrated? Then why are u asking this question? ;)

  • My bf said that we click together and we have this thing called chemistry. Were happy being together even if we are not doing anything. So for me having the same thought and feelings for each other is somewhat i called Chemistry. I don't know if i was able to explain it clearly haha..

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    • I understood what you're trying to say. :) Thank you for your input!

  • Definitely necessary to some point. For me, it is actually pretty important.

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    • I see.. Thanks for your comments!

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    • Yes, it has happened to me, but I think its rather unlikely.
      Think of all the girls you know that you don't have "chemistry" for, and compare the number with girls you do. Or it may be just one. But it definitely happens :)

    • Hmm... girls I didn't have chemistry for... lol that's basically everyone i didn't date.
      I felt a spark for my current girl before, that's why I had a huge crush on her, and that's why I took a leap of faith with her. It's just quite hard to connect with her, though I'd say it's getting better somewhat over the weeks.
      I want to BE with her though, I don't think it's great to dump a girl who's so terribly good compatibility wise, and who's trying so hard. So I'll try to coax the chemistry out of us yet. :)

  • For me chemistry is sharing that special connection with someone where you both get on and understand each other so well that you feel as if you've known them all your life. I don't value relationships on the basis of physical chemistry because that's caused by a release of hormones in the initial stages of a relationship but it soon dies off. That honeymoon period when you have butterflies in your stomach every time you even think of your bf/gf doesn't last forever and that is the point when a lot of people start thinking that their love is fading away and start looking for new relationship. Unconditional love is far more blissful and satisfying than temporary hormone driven feelings of lust.

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    • I agree! Lust is just... lust. We can even lust after imaginary movie characters after all, it's totally unreliable. ;)

  • Chemistry is necessary to sustain the relationship.

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  • chemistry is having excitement over the person. you're saying it's overrated because you obviously never felt it before. I"m sorry for you.

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    • I was infatuated with her before. But I found it hard to click with her emotionally most of the time despite my efforts. So I really wish that Chemistry is something that grows with time, or comes and goes and returns again..

    • oh I see what you mean. Yeah I wish that too. well love grows with time, so there's always that.

  • I think that people who keep saying that they have chemistry in a relationship are trying to convince themselves

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    • >.< Haha, was this a reference to me, or are you referring to those who feel like chemistry's everything?

    • No the people who say out loud a lot to people "at least we have chemistry"

What Guys Said 4

  • you absolutely need chemistry. from a physical or personality sense I think it is important to have a sort of ability to naturally connect with each other. it is that natural connection that will help get through tough times.

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    • I don't really understand that part about naturall connecting, so I'm going on the 'tough times' angle. I think what people need is a listening ear. Someone who'd comfort you, and know what to say to make you reassured. I see 'understanding' and 'wanting to service/please the person you love', but i don't understand 'chemistry'. :/

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    • I definitely think chemistry 'can' develop. it is sort of inevitable to build chemistry through the course of a relationship but I think there has to be a least a small bit of chemistry to build from

    • Ah okay. I had quite a serious crush on her before, so maybe it's not too bad.

  • Without chemistry, you get bored. You can find them attractive, you can share common interests, you can have great sex, but chemistry is the spark that actually keeps you talking and hanging out and interested in being together.

    You've probably never experienced it properly because once you have, you'll realize when it's missing. It's basically if someone looks perfect on paper but for some reason you just don't get along.

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    • Could it be developed with age and time? I suppose I really haven't felt that before.

    • It might, the more experiences you share the more you'll grow attached to each other, but is it worth spending all that time on someone you might still feel no spark with six months later?

    • 6 months.. well I do have a goal set in my mind, that the relationship has to be this-and-this by the end of 1 year, otherwise I'll have a chat with her and seriously consider giving up. I was infatuated with her at first, and while we didn't click, I thought all her good points were perfect. So there was a spark, but not much chemistry. not right now anyway.

  • Not at all chemistry is important after all how can you have a relationship with someone if you two don't even click.

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  • Its under rated, really.
    You need to have experienced it to really understand how magical it is.

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    • I hope so. And with the same girl too, haha.

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