Seven Signs That You're Confusing Chemistry With Compatibility

Chemistry and compatibility, although mixed together at the beginning of a relationship, will end up going their separate ways if a successful process of introspection isn't carried out.
Seven Signs That You're Confusing Chemistry With Compatibility

Last update: 24 June, 2022

Do you have relationships that, once the honeymoon stage is over, usually go cold and become problematic?  Do you find that passion gives way to the realization that, in fact, you have very little in common with each other? If so, you could be confusing chemistry with compatibility.

From childhood, you were given the rather unrealistic message that you’ll fall in love and forge an ideal relationship that’ll last forever. However, crushes aren’t always synonymous with lasting relationships.

For this reason, you need to undertake an exercise in introspection and deconstruct certain of your ideas, as you’re probably confusing initial attraction with compatibility. So if you’re looking for a lasting relationship, here are some helpful tips to help you distinguish between passion and companionate love.

What you should look for if you want to find a lasting partner

When you meet someone and detect that there’s chemistry between you, pay attention to the word itself. It’s the chemistry of your brain that’s changed and that’s speaking to you. That said, if you want to take the risk and try and start a stable relationship with them, answer the following questions:

  • What characteristics do you need in a person to enjoy a relationship?
  • If you ignore the physical attraction, what traits of their personality do you consider compatible with yours?
  • Do their values match yours?
  • Is there fluid and honest communication between you?
  • Do you have the same ideas about long-term relationships?

Even if you answer yes to all these questions, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be right for you. Nevertheless, it’ll be a good sign, as it increases the chance that you’ll be able to enjoy the time you spend together.

Woman on the back of her happy partner

Signs that you’re confusing chemistry with compatibility

On the other side of the coin, you also need to know the signs that make you confuse initial passion with the ability to build a proper relationship. It’s useful to internalize them and to consider them when answering the questions in the previous section.

1. The chemistry is overwhelming

If tyour emotions are too intense, it makes it difficult for your brain to interpret the information that comes to you through your senses in an adapted way. Or, to string together memories and draw conclusions.

This perceptual blindness will likely eventually pass but, for now, you may be confusing chemistry with compatibility.

2. Rationalize red flags

Strong chemistry that’s confused with true compatibility doesn’t allow certain situations to be assumed as true and real. For example, if they want to know where you are at all times, that should make alarm bells ring for you. However, if you’re overcome with passion you might relativize this kind of behavior.

3. You don’t know their values

You might become completely lost in this intense and positive period, which isn’t a bad thing. Indeed, it’s perfectly okay to enjoy all the fun you’re having together. Just take a moment and think about your values. If you don’t know what they are yet, don’t start a stable relationship.

4. Could you spend time with them without physical contact?

If you want to know if you’re confusing chemistry with compatibility, there’s a really simple exercise. Remove chemistry from the equation. Imagine that you’re both sitting at a table and you can only talk. Would you have a good evening? If the answer is no, then there’s only chemistry between you.

5. Your joint activities usually lead to passion

Sparks can occur at any moment, but when you’re intent on exploiting the chemistry between you, you tend to plan activities that favor it. Therefore, ask yourself if you could make a plan for the evening that culminates in each of you going home, separately.

6. Positive opinions are absolute

When you think of a person with whom you only have chemistry, paradoxically, everything that jumps into your head has a tendency to be positive and intense. It’s completely different when you develop true compatibility. With chemistry alone, they only appear to be the love of your life, but with compatibility, they may really be the right one for you. That’s because you’re aware of their flaws yet still accept them.

Woman thinking

7. The situation rings a bell

If you often find yourself having intense feelings for someone only to find that the relationship quickly comes to an end, it means you’re confusing chemistry with compatibility. Therefore, it’d be a good idea to rethink the patterns that you follow in your relationships and try to make a change.

It’s really easy to make these kinds of mistakes and think that the person with whom you’re having a passionate affair is the love of your life. However, always remember that the love that lasts is the one that overcomes problems, you work on every day and, above all, makes you feel complete.

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  • Alexander, B. (2012). The chemistry between us: Love, sex, and the science of attraction. Penguin.
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  • Sprecher, S. (2011). Compatibilidad de la relación, parejas afines y compatibilidad del emparejamiento. Acta de investigación psicológica1(2), 187-215.