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We are sold a false idea of Hollywood romance

A scene from La La Land.

I am dating someone who is perfect for me ‘on paper’, but I think there is a key ingredient missing. How important is chemistry in a relationship?

The first thing to highlight is knowing the difference between infatuation and chemistry. So many people are misled by infatuation, which soon fades away. How many relationships have you seen or experienced where once the infatuation diminishes, so too does the relationship that was never based on anything really meaningful. 

Before you decide this relationship is going nowhere, ask yourself some questions. What qualities are you looking for in a future spouse? 

Often we look for chemistry prematurely. We are sold a false idea of Hollywood romance, of fireworks and passion that rarely is the reality in real life. True lasting chemistry develops, based on the whole person, rather than just part of the puzzle which is how physically attracted you are to them. This, of course, is very important but it is only part of the picture, often the more you know someone, the more your attraction grows. Chemistry should not be at the front and centre of your desires, over the important core characteristics of this person.

Friendship

Do you have true friendship? This really is the best start for a lasting solid relationship. Here is where you can nurture attraction and explore chemistry. It is important to set a reasonable timeline to see if the friendship is moving forward and growing into a romantic relationship. 

What is your criteria for chemistry? Is it merely just sexual attraction? This is a shallow understanding of authentic attraction. Ask yourself are you attracted to the person’s character? Is this someone who will help you to be the best you can? How do your personalities gel? Do you compliment one another? Do you enjoy spending time with this person? Are you on the same trajectory in terms of what you are looking for in a relationship?

Don’t be fooled into looking for physical attributes first and foremost, before other more important things. Chemistry can result through building a strong relationship in other areas. If you measure your chemistry prior to building the foundation of true friendship then you are leading with your feelings and nothing more, this will make it very difficult to find the right person. 

Attraction

This is not about ignoring physical attraction but making sure it is one of many parts of a solid relationship. You cannot force a relationship, but you do need to give it time to show its full potential. 

Remember, attraction can be instant or it can be cultivated. If you have all the other ingredients give it a chance, you may not have swooned the first time you met but if this person has so much more of what you are looking for, you might be surprised and see your attraction to each other grow.