wineandcheeseIn a previous post, Is Chemistry Necessary, I pointed out that chemistry in a relationship, similar to other drugs, offers a quick high followed by a let down as the chemistry dissipates. I concluded that while chemistry may be an important ingredient, it is not sufficient for a lasting, intimate relationship.  In this post I will suggest that chemistry, when combined with mutual compatibility can lead to the passion that continues to burn in a long-term relationship.

For many people, finding a life partner seems to be an elusive, daunting, and for some, a painful, process. I have heard numerous men and women lament their single status claiming that they desperately want to be in a long term, committed relationship. They have had multiple short-term relationships, and many dates, buying into the adage that claims “you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince(ss)”. They claim that the dating game is frustrating, tedious and boring as they quest for that perfect someone. These folks are looking that magical spark called chemistry.

I think that most of these seekers have things backward.  Instead of looking for the chemistry, they should be looking for people with whom they have something in common. They should be seeking compatibility, both in terms of common interests and in terms of complimentary personality styles. People who have similar personality styles and enjoy the same activities are more likely to enjoy each others company. When you are on a date with someone with whom you have much in common and have similar views of the world, whether or not you have romantic chemistry, you can enjoy the date.  When you lead with chemistry, however, you are more likely to have clouded judgment.  Chemistry becomes like a drug that can adversely affect reason. And, like most drugs, that initial chemistry will fade; and then when it does, with whom will you be left?

On the other hand, if you start with having a lot in common and feeling compatible with the other person, and then add chemistry, you have the makings of a potentially passionate relationship.  These two ingredients combine, they make for a potent force. When chemistry goes through the normal ups and downs of any relationship, you still are with a person whose company you enjoy. And when you engage in a new activity with this person, or discover some exciting adventure, the chemistry once again floods your brain, and passion is once again ignited. This type of yin and yang in a relationship can keep the fires of passion burning and continually refreshes the relationship.


[Dr. Dreyfus is a nationally recognized clinical psychologist, relationship counselor, sex therapist, and life coach in the Santa Monica – Los Angeles. The profits from his latest book, LIVING LIFE FROM THE INSIDE OUT along with his other five books, are being donated to charity through the website Book Royalties for Charity and can be purchased through Please become a fan on his Facebook Fan Page by indicating “like” on the page by clicking here. You can also find more tools to help you experience a more fulfilling life by clicking here to visit his website.]