Boy meets girl, sparks fly, you are instantly drawn to each other and the rest as they say, is history. Hmmmmm.... Isn't this how we were all raised to believe in love.
It’s either that you're attracted to each other like opposite ends of a magnet or, what you have, is not love. But, what if you meet someone who seems to tick all of your boxes, and you just don’t feel any butterflies-in-your-stomach-thing with them? As a relationship coach I can tell you that every single one of my clients have first said they would never consider being in a relationship with someone if there was no chemistry between them.
And.... then what if you’re now old enough to believe that “chemistry” isn’t everything? Does that make you someone who’s simply settling for less? Or are you being practical and focussing on what you have versus what you don't?
It’s enough to confuse anyone, let alone the person trying to decide whether to get into a new relationship or continue to stay in one, or not.
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The bottom line, chemistry is a complicated thing. Yes, it’s something you can undeniably feel when it’s there but, no, you cannot truly describe what you are feeling. If only it was as predictable as mixing 2 chemicals together to guarantee the desired reaction, but where is the magic in that? So what we are really looking for is, effortless chemistry that just sweeps us off our feet when we find that special someone.
And what if you do not have that, but still love the person you are committed to? How do you define chemistry and is it really necessary for a successful relationship? What do you do when you feel none? Let's see if we can try and find some answers instead of mounting up the questions.
What chemistry is, according to science
I found so many definitions of this branch of science but, the one that stood out to me was this one I found on livescience.com
Chemistry is the study of matter, its properties, how and why substances combine or separate to form other substances, and how substances interact with energy. Chemistry is one of the physical sciences that helps us to describe and explain our world.
Isn't this what human chemistry is too:
A study of ourselves and our values and how and why that would attract or distance us from someone else and how we all interact with the energy around us.
But.... Romantic chemistry seems to be a bit more complicated than that because we seem to have way too many expectations of that one person who is meant to fulfill our deepest desires (which we don't really seem to be aware of ourselves most of the time. More on that later). We want our partner to be compatible with us not only physically but emotionally, intellectually and spiritually too.
When people think of chemistry they think of sexual chemistry, which is an attraction between two people that is purely physical. It creates a heady cocktail of emotions that can feel like love. Its what happens when you fall in love at first sight or when your eyes meet and sparks fly and everything just stops existing except for the other person.
The question we need to ask is does
Chemistry = Love
The simple answer is no!!! Here's why...
I believe, in order to last, a romantic relationship requires Love, Understanding and Passion to sustain itself. Imagine being in a relationship with someone with nothing more than sexual chemistry. What would you do when you are not being intimate? What would you talk about and how would you spend the rest of your time together? Longterm relationships require a lot more than sexual chemistry to keep it going. Your thoughts, ideas, hopes & dreams require an understanding partner and their support in order to tide through the rough patches. Whilst sexual attraction and chemistry is very high on the the list in the beginning of each relationship, we crave a lot more of love and understanding as the relationship progresses.
If you don’t feel immediate chemistry with someone, it doesn’t mean that love can’t and will never exist.
Biological anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher explains:
“Sexual chemistry does not always equal love, and this is because we’ve evolved distinct brain systems for mating. One system controls the craving for sexual gratification. Another system rules over romantic love – that obsessive thinking, craving, and focusing on one individual. “They’re not always connected, which is why you can be madly in love with someone and only have so-so sex, while you can have intensely passionate sex with someone you never want to see again!”
Thinking too much about being swept off your feet by a knight in shining armor means you have to be a damsel in distress, which in this day and age, is far from how we women see ourselves. Sorry guys, I have not forgotten you. Being a Knight in shining armor feels like you are going into battle instead of a relationship, so it's really exhausting for you too. It's time to change the love story without giving up on love.
Once you have had your share of bad relationships where you jumped in as soon as the sparks flew or gave up because there wasn't a spark in sight, you know that there are much more important things to consider than just physical intimacy. There’s a point in your life when chemistry becomes a bonus rather than a necessity.
Here are 3 things that can create chemistry in any relationship
I cannot stress enough, the importance of communication in a relationship. As a Relationship coach, I constantly see clients who are unable to communicate their feelings to their partners. They somehow expect their partner to read their mind. Having a partner who not only understands you but, also creates a safe space for you to talk about your feelings without judgement, is something we are all looking for. This is something that definitely brings and keeps couples closer together.
2. Element of Surprise
Most people think that when you have been together for a long time, you do not have to make an effort to romance your partner. This is one sure way to kill the chemistry even if you had it when you started. Relationships need mystery and romance as much as they need love and understanding. Not taking your partner for granted and keeping the romance alive definitely keeps the fire burning.
3. Be Present
Attention is such an underrated value these days. In this fast paced world, we seem to be more connected digitally to those not around us, than to those we are meant to share our life with. Quality over quantity is the key here. Just because you are in a relationship with someone does not mean you have to spend all your time with them but, it also does not mean that you do not spend any time with them where they get 100% of your attention. Really being present for your partner makes them feel not only understood and appreciated but special and loved. Be fully present in the moments that count and everything else becomes easier that way.
The most important aspect of having a successful relationship is understanding what you want—what makes a person compatible with you, what personality traits have chemistry with you? You need to know what you like and
what you want in a partner. If you don’t, then your life may end up being a series of trials and errors or compromises. Getting into a relationship and then trying to change your partner or blaming them for not living up to your expectations, is like adding the wrong ingredients to your recipe and hoping it will still turn out great. If it doesn't, you have no one to blame but yourself.
Through the numerous clients I have coached, I find that the most important thing to ask yourself is "Do I love this person?". Trying to make a relationship work without love is the same as trying to build a house without foundation. No matter how hard you try, it will crumble.
So the next time you find yourself saying that the sparks only fly in movies, make your life the best romantic movie you can instead of a sob story or worse yet, a horror story. If you want to do that but don't know how, reach out to me and I will help you write the best love story ever.
Until next time,
Kanchan ‘story writer’ Kulkarni
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