Chemistry vs. Compatibility

When you really hit it off in a new relationship, we call that “chemistry,” and we’re 100% correct in doing so, because Romantic Love is largely built on chemicals – hormones and neuropeptides that make us feel elated, excited and blissful.

The problem with these chemicals is that they mostly just care about persuading you to have sex and propagate the species. They’re notoriously poor judges when it comes to selecting a partner who you’re truly compatible with.

So go right ahead and enjoy your bliss, but be sure to let your conscious decision-making process weigh in as well!

Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done. The chemicals make everything APPEAR perfectly dreamy. This part of love truly is blind, and your subconscious mind does that on purpose in hopes of forging a permanent relationship.

If you’re really, REALLY in love; if you’re ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that you’re meant for each other and will live happily ever after; if your partner is PERFECT, then you really, REALLY NEED to answer this Compatibility Check questionnaire with your partner. Respond thoroughly and keep your eyes peeled for differences and red flags!

Red flags don’t mean your relationship is doomed. They may just make you aware of areas of possible conflict that you’ll need to work though before you paint yourself into a corner.

This questionnaire isn’t meant to be comprehensive, but it’s a darn good start!

  1. What values do you have in common? What differences in values do you have?
    “Values” are anything you feel strongly about, and may include finances, cleanliness, affection, activities and interests, religiosity, etc.
  2. How do you express your needs and wants? What about when you’re upset? Set up a practice argument and find out whether you seek cooperation or just try to win. Hint: when you win, you lose, unless you both win together!
  3. How good are you at compromise? What happens if one of you does most of the giving, and the other does most of the taking? What values are you unwilling to compromise on?
  4. How well do you converse? Do you enjoy conversations? What do you like to talk about? If you don’t really enjoy talking with each other, you will quite likely grow to despise each other.
  5. How respectful are you of each other? Research shows that signs of disrespect like rolling your eyes and sighing in exasperation can predict divorce in around 90% of cases.
  6. What do your friends think of your partner? Sometimes friends are too picky, but they’re not as blind as you right now, so pay attention to their advice!
  7. How much do you enjoy each other when you’re with groups of people. New romance is easy one-on-one! Joining in with others may reveal cracks that point out incompatibilities and will eventually destroy your relationship.

Congratulations on being in love! Please play it smart by carefully considering your compatibility and reduce future heart ache.

SLIDER

Where do you fall on the “Chemistry vs. Compatibility” love slider?

1: We are SO IN LOVE that we don’t need to talk! Gazing into each others’ eyes and making out are all we’ll ever need! Nothing bad can happen now!!! 3: Nobody else understands us! This is True Love and they’re just jealous. Sure, s/he has a few serious flaws, but I think they’re adorable! 5: We’re really in love, and I don’t want to ruin anything by over analyzing things just yet! There will be plenty of time for that later on. 7: I’m totally excited about this relationship, and when we get to know each other better, we’ll find out whether we want to commit to forever. 10: I’m totally excited about this relationship. We’re working to really get to know each other to make sure we’re compatible, and we seem to have real potential so far! As we work through differences maturely, we’re building a strong foundation for the future!

11. Going to extremes: are you too picky? [BTW, usually when people call you too picky, you may disregard them. You’re right to be picky. This is the most important decision you’ll ever make!] But seriously, are you TOO too picky? Do you turn tail and run whenever a red flag appears, without considering whether it’s something you can work through? Do you write people off because they don’t have the “right” hair color or because they hang the toilet paper the wrong way? If so, the fault is probably yours and maybe they’re lucky you let them go! Or maybe you’re just scared.

FOR DISCUSSION

What makes a couple compatible or not? Is it mostly about similarities and differences, or about willingness to cooperate and work through them?

What creates chemistry in a relationship? Is it mostly external factors like looks, or does compatibility play a big role?

What makes chemistry last? How important is it to you that chemistry lasts? If the thrill fades, will the relationship end, or will a deeper type of love keep things sufficiently satisfying?

HOMEWORK

If you’re in a romantic relationship, take the questionnaire above! If you’re not, take it with a friend in order to get to know yourself and each other better in preparation for a future relationship.

Observe how well you communicate respectfully, resolve conflicts, and enjoy conversation and activities with people in various circumstances.

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