Chemistry Is Overrated [Sexy Time]
There is a lot of emphasis on chemistry in relationships. It’s that undefinable, inexplicable, completely random spark that binds two people together. Sometimes it’s purely physical, sometimes it’s deeply emotional, and sometimes it’s just a sense of warmth and amorphous attraction. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with craving sparks, but I think a little too much significance is placed on chemistry.
The thing with chemistry is, it requires no effort. It’s either there or it’s not. You can’t really conjure it up out of nowhere, and when it’s gone, it’s virtually impossible to capture in its original, organic form. So when people talk about how important chemistry is to them, it almost seems like they’re trying to completely absolve themselves from having any agency in building a connection with another person. How many times have you heard someone talk about a date or a hookup and they’ve raved about it, but then said they had no interest in following up because “there was no chemistry.” Even when there’s a perfectly solid foundation to build a potentially worthwhile relationship, people will forgo it in search of immediate sparks, which I think can be ultimately detrimental.
I’ve been dating my boyfriend for over two years. I had gone into it with a high level of cynicism, after a series of less than ideal dalliances. He seemed like a perfectly nice guy, and I had a good time, but I wasn’t head over heels smitten immediately. I took our burgeoning relationship one day at a time, partly out of fear, but mostly because I didn’t want something that caught fire quickly and burned out just as fast. I gave bits and pieces of myself to him, he returned the favor, and we steadily built a sturdy mutual support system. This isn’t to say that instant chemistry and substantial/long-term/worthwhile relationships are mutually exclusive, but a lot of times, people forget that chemistry can be created.
The idea of working to make chemistry flies in the face of the way our society frames it. Chemistry is supposed to be overwhelming and all-consuming. It’s supposed to sweep you off your feet and make you feel like you’re in a Nicholas Sparks movie. But chemistry alone can’t sustain a relationship. The people involved have to be willing to exert themselves by communicating honestly, being willing to compromise, and keeping expectations in check.
[Lead image via Pedro Salaverría/Shutterstock]