Chemistry VS Compatibility & What You Need To Know.

There are so many elements in a relationship. But one often overlooked: chemistry and compatibility. Or rather, chemistry versus compatibility , because often one can exist without the other. But can a healthy relationship be comprised of just one? If so, which one is more important?

Let’s start by breaking down what chemistry and compatibility actually are. Chemistry is something you can feel relatively early on. It feels like an instant attraction or connection. You may feel familiar with this person even though you just met them. You may feel a strong physical or sexual attraction. You’ll also enjoy being around this person. Some people describe it as feeling a spark or the honeymoon phase.

close up photo of man kissing woman
Photo by Avonne Stalling on

Compatibility is a little more complicated than chemistry. Being compatible means having similar interests, values, philosophies or complimenting lifestyles. It’s also how you two problem-solve, communicate, and support each other as individuals. It’s how you live and/or work together. It can be your parenting styles or compatible libidos.

It can be easy to confuse the two. But it’s important to be able to spot the difference. You can have chemistry with someone and not have compatibility and vice versa. Some examples:

Chemistry without compatibility:

man and woman looking at earch other
Photo by Jasmine Carter on

-You can feel drawn or physically attracted to someone and have romantic feelings towards them but come to the realization that your lifestyles are different. You may be an introvert and they may be an extrovert. You might be a morning person and they’re a night owl. You might be great at saving money and they have trouble managing their money. It could also be different religious views, political views, etc. If these differences cause issues or reoccurring problems, this is an example of having chemistry with someone but not being compatible.

Compatibility without chemistry:

coworkers sitting at a cafe
Photo by August de Richelieu on

-You get along with or work well with this person, your lifestyles compliment each other. You may even have a lot in common with them yet you do not feel romantically or sexually drawn to them. A lot of times, those close to you will be shocked that you are not dating this person because you get along so well with them, but you just don’t feel that spark.

So, the question is, can you have a healthy romantic relationship with someone with just one? Can you just have chemistry without compatibility or vice versa? The answer isn’t that straight forward or easy. Because relationships, just like people, are unique. But many argue that compatibility outweighs chemistry. According to an article posted on HuffPost, “A supportive partner helps you navigate the unpredictable, ever changing aspects of life as your vulnerabilities are exposed and you disagree. This type of partnership can only be achieved if you have compatibility with someone. Chemistry can help you weather the storms of life but compatibility enables you to set goals and find shared meaning in your relationship.”

two men standing beside rail
Photo by Jean-Baptiste Burbaud on

Although many would argue that compatibility is the most important aspect of a relationship, chemistry is powerful too. It’s usually our first impression. And without chemistry, would we even get to the part where we check for compatibility? Chemistry is important but compatabilty seems to be the glue that holds it all together. The good new is, you can work on compatibility and chemistry can become deeper over time, in some cases at least. In my opinion, each plays an important factor in a relationship. Sure, you can have one without the other but when combined, it’s magical. I mean, imagine being sexually attracted to someone who you feel a deep connection with who ALSO compliments your life? According to PsychCentral, “Compatibility is based on common values and life goals, a high level of comfort with each other, shared experiences and the ability to have fun with each other. These are essential components for a lasting relationship. Chemistry is about looks and body type, but it’s more of a gestalt thing. A person with moderately good looks can be irresistibly attractive if he/she has a great personality. A little tension between the two of you makes things even sexier. There’s got to be some Yin and Yang, some polarity for things to heat up in the bedroom.”

In other words, you’ll never be a “perfect match” and that’s okay however the right balance between chemistry and compatibility (which is different for everyone) seems to be a sweet spot for a healthy relationship.

What do you think? Can a healthy relationship survive with just chemistry or compatibility alone?

Let us know!

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