Is It Chemistry, Or Is It Love?

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All you know is that you let him into your heart and fell in love. Or did you?


There’s no feeling like it.

Your eyes meet, your hands touch, and you’re suddenly consumed with a new partner.

You live for the present, you dream of a future, and your heart outraces your head.

All you know is that you wouldn’t trade this feeling for anything in the world. If this is how strongly you can feel, why ever settle for anything less?

Then it happens.

You start to fight.

You learn he’s jealous, or controlling, or irresponsible, or unethical.

He starts to pull away.

You begin to walk on eggshells.

You don’t know where you stand.

You crave the pure feeling you had before, but you spend more time worrying than feeling peaceful about your relationship.

And then it ends.

He tells you he needs space.

He tells you he wants to see other people.

He tells you it’s not right.

Or, who knows, maybe he doesn’t tell you at all. Maybe he just fades away.

All you know is that you let him into your heart and fell in love.

Or did you?

I mean, yeah, you loved him – intensely, unconditionally, with all of your being.

And yeah, he said he loved you – and, for a time, you never felt more connected to another human being.

But does this really meet the test of true love?

Not by my standards. And probably not by yours.

Love doesn’t flee. Love isn’t jealous. Love doesn’t cheat. Love isn’t cruel. Love doesn’t make you feel bad about yourself, or insecure about your future.

Love endures.

What you’ll notice is that when you’re incredibly attracted to someone, all of your critical thinking powers immediately go out the window.

When we talk about being “in love”, we’re often talking about a feeling, as opposed to the enduring bond experienced between two people for a long period of time.

Even Wikipedia backs this up:

“Lust is the initial passionate sexual desire that promotes mating, and involves the increased release of chemicals such as testosterone and estrogen. These effects rarely last more than a few weeks or months.”

You’ve probably experienced this.

“Recent studies in neuroscience have indicated that as people fall in love, the brain consistently releases a certain set of chemicals…which act in a manner similar to amphetamines, stimulating the brain’s pleasure center and leading to side effects such as increased heart rate, loss of appetite and sleep, and an intense feeling of excitement. Research has indicated that this stage generally lasts from one and a half to three years.”

You’ve probably experienced this, too.

“Since the lust and attraction stages are both considered temporary, a third stage is needed to account for long-term relationships. Attachment is the bonding that promotes relationships lasting for many years and even decades. Attachment is generally based on commitments such as marriage and children, or on mutual friendship based on things like shared interests.”

You’ve probably realized this, as nearly all of your lust and attraction has NOT resulted in stable, happy, long-term relationships.

The reason I’m sharing this with you is not to convince you that you’ve never truly been in love (although it’s possible). What I’d like you to consider is that the EFFECTS of lust and attraction have been HURTING your chances of finding love.

What you’ll notice is that when you’re incredibly attracted to someone, all of your critical thinking powers immediately go out the window.

This is why you’ll put up with a man who only calls you once a week, a man who doesn’t call you his girlfriend after three months, a man who doesn’t propose after three years.

If you want to find love – a love that endures – you have to find a new way than the one you’ve been using for your whole life. Start by distinguishing between chemistry and love, and you’re on your way.

If you were thinking critically, you’d never put up with this, but you’re not. You’re under the biological effects of lust and attraction – hereby known as “chemistry”.

And all I’m pointing out is that while chemistry is an incredible feeling, it is in no way a solid predictor of your future. It’s literally just a feeling. A feeling that masks your partner’s worst traits and allows you to put up with them.

So instead of chasing chemistry at a cost to your own mental health, take a second to realize that if you feel that high feeling, you are likely ignoring something fundamental which will later break you up.

You don’t have to trust me. Just look back on the greatest chemistry you’ve ever felt and think about how those relationships ended. Ask yourself if you want to be in another relationship where you’re always fighting and you never feel secure in your future.

I’m guessing you don’t.

If you want to find love – a love that endures – you have to find a new way than the one you’ve been using for your whole life.

Start by distinguishing between chemistry and love, and you’re on your way.

P.S. Here’s what it looks like when you can do this yourself:

I felt so obsessed with this guy simply because he had lavished me with tons of attention, he was hot… has his act together and I was in the throes of obsession land; mainly because he was pulling back a bit, and I was feeling “not good enough”.

Instead of obsessing about how I’m not going to be good enough… I started thinking… “Y’know… I’m not sure I’m ready to accept a potential relationship where I might be walking on eggshells”

And I woke up feeling so FREEEEEE and in CONTROL. OMFG!  I’ve never EVER turned around obsessive thoughts about a man into a feeling of control. Now, I have fallen for Mr. Passionate-moves-too-fast guy at least 3 or 4 times in the online dating world HOOK, LINE AND SINKER, so I recognize this in myself… and I recognize there is a certain type of guy that I attract that likes to move at lightning speed and THAT MEANS NOTHING as far as the big picture…

Evan… you’ve really changed my life. I just can’t think of a bigger gift than having control over my emotions when it comes to dating.  NOTHING.  No amount of money… no amount of success would have been able to give me this. This is almost BETTER than finding Mr. Right… just knowing I now have a monetary amount of control over something that I felt so powerless over for so many years.

THANK YOU EVAN!   You have completely changed my life… probably more than any one person ever has!


Melissa’s a private client. You can be, too. about my custom coaching packages and find a new path to love.


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  1. 31

    Wow.. Matched everything I was feeling… Too bad it ended..?

  2. 32

    Hmm, this doesn’t sound like a description of chemistry, however, it sounds like a description of sexual attraction/physical attraction with is DIFFERENT from chemistry. Chemistry is based on the things that we don’t notice as humans, e.g. scent, genetics (not eye color, but the things that deep in the DNA code) that make two people compatible in a scientific sense. Chemistry has nothing to do with looking at each other, holding hands and feeling attracted to the other person. There are plenty of times when people feel physically attracted but there is either bad or nonexistent/neutral chemistry. I think the blog post might have been better titled “Is it Physical Attraction or is it Love?” since that’s what the whole post is about. It’s been scientifically proven that good chemistry leads to longer lasting relationships free of infidelity.

  3. 33

    I don’t think it really is a question of whether chemistry and stable relationships are a real dichotomy(ie. they are clearly not).

    The problem is one of an established history of prior unsuccessful outcomes, which suggests an alternate strategy, presupposing an alternate outcome.

    Merely appealing to blind probability is not strategic.

    Merely being more critical or savvy in your observations of *others* is *not* strategic.

    Choice-sets that significantly *deviate from prior, unsuccessful choices*, on the other hand, *are* strategic.

    This can be a bitter pill to swallow, no matter how much we try to sugar coat it.

    It is well understood in evolutionary game-theoretic terms, as Pavlov(win-stay, lose-shift), and has been experimentally validated.

    If you have an established history of falling into the ‘chemistry-trap’, this is speaking to some (justifiably) low confidence of positive outcomes – given prevailing(pathological) tendencies.

    Ask yourself, what is more important, getting your next chemistry *fix*, or improving your prospects at finding love?

    I hear alot of the women in this thread protesting that they can’t fall in love *without* this elusive chemistry.

    But there are different kinds of chemistry – short acting(lightning strikes, gone in 60 seconds, when the relationship fails – which most women in this thread are only too accustomed to), or long acting(the kind that takes, months, if not years to evolve and appreciate).

    And the first one *is*(no matter how much you might not want to believe), poorly correlated with women and stable relationships(an assumption that is supported by any non-trivial understanding of sexual evolution).

    Does this seem like an unfair double-standard?

    Perhaps, but if so, it is one with a basis in immutable evolutionary laws.

    And no amount of incredulity, or wishful thinking is going to amend it.

    The long acting chemistry is never going to be manifestly evident, because it takes *time* to evolve – time that can only be accorded by a conscious decision to privilege alternate factors beyond sexual(ie. short-acting) chemistry.

    The human brain is the most plastic organ in the human body – we *can* change the way we think, and we can remap our brain through new experiences, given that we can break symmetry in setting the initial condition that predisposes those experiences.

    Given a real opportunity to achieve a goal, any cognitive impasse must be considered before decrying the whims of an unjust universe.

  4. 34

    Myyyy mom wwas with one other guy than my dad and she said she didn’t love him near as much as my dad, and the thing is my dad was lust and LOVE. he was her fantacy and her lover. I think people date someone who corresponds with there personality, my mom is highly confident so is my dad. so there you go. but possesiveness, I could say my dad has this or I could say he doesn’t and loves my mom so much eh doesn’t want her to leave. it’s all in how you see the world and the things around you. but anyways my mom loved my dad BEFORE she met him, she met his sister and she would talk about him and my mom knew she should meet him and went to a party too see him. she didn’t know my dad and he didn’t know her but my dad walked by my mom as if he didnt notice her, went right up to his friend and said “im gonna marry her someday” and, then some guy called my mom a bitch and my dad punched him in the face and my mom never left his house. First time meeting eachother they KNEW they loved eachother. I have a similar story… I was in grade 8 and actually 12! My friend hayden use to talk about this boy, his cousin who lived far away…and I feell like inlove with him, like I just knew I loved him by how he talled about him… the first dance came up in september 18th and I went… and I had never known or met this boy.. as soon as I walked in the door I saw him like 50 feet away from me! I noticed him BEFORE I MET HIM. and then my friend later showed me that was him! I just knew, I was sooo attracted to him. I use to sing love story by taylor swift everyday…thinking about him and then eventually one day at this hill we were sledding… and my friends were thropwing around his hat, usually I dont interferre and just let them do but I got up took his hat and walked over to give it to him, he bent over to take the hate and I just felt like when everything stops and poeple talk about this in the movies… and you feel like omgosh this amazingg feeling , als I have is this picture in my head of him bending over my friend josh who was jelousy wrestling him cause he knew how much I liked him and me passing his hat to him. IT WAS AMAMAZING!!! and I dont know if he felt what I did… but I bet he did cause he asked me out righjt after. and my othger friend hayden was so jelous cause he liked me too, he didnt tell me. Ive loved him ever since grade 8…. I waited to see him all year and I only ever saw him 7 times. I know nothing about him but omg did I love him. none of these sights are even explaining chemistry right its where everything stops and YOUR IN FOREVER. because it felt so long within a second- a huge feeling, of love. not lust its love. and the thing was I found him everything ive ever wanted, lust and love. I didnt even kno what lust was but I loved him. its been sooo many years…

  5. 35

    When I met my husband he was very charming and delightful to be with, it wasn’t love at first sight but the more I got to know him and spend time with him I did love him. We’ve been together for 7 years now with 2 kids.  I don’t know what happened to me but I secretly was starting to have online relationships one in particular that had me feel all the exciting feelings you talked about when you feel when you lust in the beginning for someone. We were suppose to meet but things transpired and never happened. It started to get out of hand I felt like the girl above feeling neglected and not good enough because he was pulling away and I got obsessive and emotionally out of control.  It was exhausting for me…everything. We parted ways and I’m still married, I’m trying to get over things here but it’s hard. Your post was very insightful thanks. 

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