Is It Chemistry Or Is It Love?

Is It Chemistry Or Is It Love?
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Have you ever been in a relationship with a person who made your heart flutter?

Who made your toes curl?

Who gave you butterflies?

Chemistry.

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.

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.

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.

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.

If you’ve mistaken the passion of being “in love” for true love, you’re not alone. My entire dating coaching practice is designed to illustrate to you how you’ve naturally been making the same mistakes your entire life, and how to course-correct instantly.

Now you know from reading my material that I have a whole bunch of challenging thoughts on love, but this “Chemistry vs. Love” theory isn’t something I pulled out of thin air. 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.”

I’m guessing you’ve probably experienced this. The high passion that feels so good, but often comes to a crashing halt. You’ve probably also experienced this:

“Recent studies in neuroscience have indicated that as people fall in love, the brain 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.”

Yep. This is when all the excitement and newness of a passionate relationship wears off.

When sex is no longer exciting. When you’re finding flaws with your partner.

When you struggle to remember how amazing it was in the first few months. Says Wikipedia:

“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.”

Ah. The third stage.
The third stage is the one that determines whether your passion actually turns into the love that lasts a lifetime. If you look back, you may be shocked to find that all of your lust and attraction has NOT resulted in stable, happy, long-term relationships.

Funny how that works.

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.

When you’re incredibly attracted to someone, all of your critical thinking powers immediately go out the window.

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. And if you need a helping hand, that’s what I’m here for.

Sometimes you can be the smartest woman in the world and still have blind spots.

Join our conversation (97 Comments).
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Comments:

  1. 41
    JohnnyB

    Hey
       IM a guy kinda in this situation. Our first few years together were great. Some problems but they were handled. We have been married for 7 years the last 4 years me as a guy thought it was ok. She on the other hand didnt. Yes I fussed yes I forgot her but I’ll explain that. I forgot to show her constantly how important she is to me. I never once forgot to say I love you. But that saying only means so much if it’s not constantly shown.I know my flaws I know we’re I messed up and I’m trying to make an honest chance of improving myself. I’m not your average guy once I realise what I was doing was wrong I make a decision to change my bad ways. The thing about our marriage is we both forgot to try. I have been married 2 times now she has had 4 every guy she left before has never tried to fight for her or even tried to make a change in there life to make it work. I love my wife know I messed up and want to be a better man so it never happens again. She on the other hand dosnt want to try she wants to do like the other break ups and just move on take a chance on another person. Am I wrong for thinking if your trying to change its a good thing. I can only try and so far I have been shot down. We both forgot to pay attention but lol I’m the guy so it’s completely my fault right. I admit I fussed alot and yes I said something when she didn’t come home from going out with her friends till 3 or 4 am once or twice a month. I did worry because I never got a text or phone call saying she was going to be late. But hey I was only sitting there alone wondering if she was even alive. That argument landed me in the your sucking the fun out of my life category. Lol. I’ll learn to deal just wondering if you had any advice for a guy that has a broken heart because I screwed up and people always tell her a guy can’t change you can only change guys go find a better one.
    I love with all my heart yes I forget to constantly show it but I try. I gave never cheated but have been cheated on. That rips your heart out why I’ll never do it. Just figuring out how to deal at least reading your post has helped me be a better person for later on in life. I hope she can realise some guys can change if they care enough.

             Thanks.   End of rant.  

    1. 41.1
      krazzie

      Why don’t you try to let her read this message?

    2. 41.2
      Laura

      I am in the same boat. Keep fighting.

    3. 41.3
      Karen

      Johnny

      I have been in ur situation and it hurts really bad there are a few things I can identify that indicate to me that she is not worth ur time or trouble. I feel bad but these same points were why hubby left me, like you I don’t quit. But having said that a leopard doesn’t change it’s spot.

      Everything that went wrong was always my fault. Like u I was accused of being complacent. My I love you should have transferred to actions
      The adrenalin from the first affair wasn’t enough. He had another. And he wouldn’t have counseling because I was the issue not him.
      Those late nights were my fault as I was a nag and he needed a break. (Sixteen years later he admitted it was his excuse to go out by blaming me.)
      She has a history of it and has no desire to change

      And finally Johnny why should u have to change in order to be prepared when she decides to come back. She isn’t in love with u so don’t be her doormat. Up the skits get out tthere and find a real woman who loves you for who u are. But don’t be saddled with that she doesn’t deserve u. Seven years was hell do u want to soring for another seven?

  2. 42
    Lindsay

    Hi guys,

    I think I’ve never fallen in love if you put it this way, I’ve only fallen in chemistry. The thing is, I’ve always needed at least some chemistry to be open for the idea of a relationship. I am doing something wrong? If there is no chemistry, I am not even interested.

    I think my role models (read parents) never had a happy relationship. They have never been each others  support systems. Actually, they make life difficult for each other. Since I am growing up now, I’m coming to see this. I am in my mid twenties now.
    In my previous relationships I have been very critical to my partners, as my dad does to my mom. I really want to change this and I also want to change the habbit of falling for chemistry. My future partner deserves to be loved, not criticized.

    Life can be such a surprising journey.

  3. 43
    JohnnyB

    Krazzie I have shown her and I try to constantly show. It but Ive already been told the words no man wants to hear. I don’t love you I don’t want to live with you I ! Ont want to date you and last but not least I don’t want counseling.   She’s to the point she wants to live her life alone maybe date again but right now I’m one of the other guys that never tried to change or admit they had a problem. Like I said she has never had anyone to fight for her or even try. Now I’m trying to make myself a better person incase god forbid she finally decides I’m not worth coming back to later. Can only work on myself right now.

  4. 44
    julia

    I also thought the same, and married a good guy for a secure, caring relationship. Without spark sex was just an obligation, and I couldn’t bring myself to have his babies so we divorced. I stayed single not to   make the same mistake again. I wasted my young years with someone I was not in love with. I would not advice any woman to settle for a safe guy who does not make her heart flutter.

  5. 45
    Richard

    A spark starts an engine, but it doesn’t keep it running.

    I’ve been in relationships with intense chemistry, loads of passion and great sex. Guess what? None of them lasted! I didn’t even fancy my ex when I met her and nor did she fancy me. But we produced 2 children! Genes have a wonderful way of making sure we keep reproducing no matter what!

    Sadly the intensity of the relationship was mistaken for intimacy. It turns out two wounded souls were attracting each other from a very insecure place. Sure enough it all ended in tears and bad feelings. No more friendship and a business like approach to parenting.

    So now I’ve come to realise that yes, a spark is important, but that spark is just the beginning. It’s not based purely on looks either, although that is important of course. In simple terms, you’ve got to at least “fancy” your partner. But I do think the chemistry and love that lasts comes from a connection that’s developed over time. A meeting of minds, a willingness to what to get to know the other person on a deeper level. All this means being vulnerable with the other person, which some people find very hard to do.

    The best definition I have ever heard on what love is comes from M Scott Peck’s The Road Less Travelled:

    “The will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth”

    Perfect.

  6. 46
    Diphas

    I may agree with you on other hand coz i’ve expérienced it myself.

  7. 47
    Karen

    Chemistry is the rush of excitement we feel for another person who is on our wave length at a given time. It is when two souls connect. I believe this chemistry can be nurtured and evolve into friendship, attachment and eventually love. Chemistry is instant, friendship is formed by common values and interests. Attachment in this case is the parallel between friendship and love and can manifest over months or years. I believe true love is something that stems from trials and tribulations ad despite adversary a couple stays strong. True love creates a stronger sense of chemistry almost like falling in love again and again, it has it’s lulls but it’s a constant and a given because it’s enduring. And it starts with that tiny little spark called attraction and distingluishes one person from the others at a given point in time which is reciprocal.

  8. 48
    huss

    A mans perspective, I married someone where there was never any spark. We grew to love each other. That however faded over time and I guess the only reason we stayed together was for the sake of the kids and convenience. 10 years later we are getting a divorce. I firmly believe we are wired not to have monogamous relationships. There has to be chemistry and when that fades we move on to the next relationship which has chemistry.

  9. 49
    Gabriella Ceccato

    Hi there!

    Ah, just wondering why you utilised Wikipedia for your main references?

    Don’t you realise that: >>>> https://www.wikipedia.com <<<<is easily regulated by absolutely anyone worldwide? Haha! 💓

    Would just like some stranger’s biased and non-factual, so called “evidence” to back your strong opinion on a such a vital topic? Love.

    “To be loved and love in return is true love that should Last a lifetime if successful”. ~TM. Gabriella Renee Ceccato, 30/12/2016.

    I am sure it was simple error on your part, that I have no doubt about. However, I am not sure about a few of your negative Poimts regarding relations with your love of your life.   May I be so bold to persue the obvious fast that you too have been heartbroken before. Like us all; we are wiser.

    Although, atually, I am wondering if the issue of “just oxytocin” or “true love” is not indicative of exactly who is feeling in love or not love…I believe it totally depends on the person.

    Thus, depending on the person to next person. What is true love to you?Nawww.   Not one being on this Earth approaches love in the same way. We are all individuals in this small universe and that is also my opinion to have.

    Please use true statistics next time if you want to get all fancy with your so called “evidential” blogs.

    Please consider scientifically proven facts next time. Since you wanted to talk “Chemistry vs Love”…

    Overall,

    I commend you for your persuasive writing about Love. Which is a difficult and controversal subject to behind with and then you had to add scientifically didn’t you? Ah okay,   alas. All is well.   Viva la vida.   Live and let live and love.

    Also, I will sure to recommended your article to my girl-friends despite your lack of proper referencing.

    Well done mate!

    ~Gabriella

     

    1. 49.1
      Gabriella Ceccato

      P’S – I do realise I made some spelling errors…

      Also I can not care less but alas good job overall buddy.

      ~Gabriella

    2. 49.2
      Evan Marc Katz

      Thank you for the longest backhanded compliment I’ve ever received. I’m sure the world is benefitting greatly from your thorough debunking of Wikipedia and I do hope that you continue your Internet policing on other people’s websites. Your passion for non-specific, pseudo-even-handed feedback will reverberate on this blog for minutes to come. Well done, mate!

      1. 49.2.1
        Gabriella Ceccato

        Regardless of your referencing,

        Even.

        Oh boy, did your swift reply make me laugh out loud! Lmao Evan!

        I do hope we are all the wiser about Wikipedia now,   none the less! 💓

        Actually,   you need to know that I am still impressed by your blogs.

        ~Gabriella Ceccato

  10. 50
    Alfonso escoto

    How can love ever exist without chemistry. The same way a delicious plate would never   exist without the right amount of ingredients.

    We all carry a baggage of memories that have affected us from the beginning of our life up to the present.   Each individual is raised different in a unique way because even traditional values are evolved throughout time. True some people fall for others in a sexual desire type of way. But a connection beyond the physical   is where true love comes from when you can talk for hours, laugh, cook together and make memories together….Society has accepted that love is this rare experience that only happens when you meet the person half way in a green field with butterflies or that it’s perfect all the way. Yes love isn’t any of those bad things mentioned but that baggage of memories and values from the type of parents involved can definitely have an affect towards this impossible LOVE that everyone gives up on.   Chemistry will always lead to sex. And chemistry has been twsited into thinking that chemistry is lust. NO! Sex is a feeling and people avoid that chemistry connection now and days just to lust for sex. Thats why relationship’s fail because of the chemistry. Has nothing to do with anything physical because that’s visual, your mind processes good and bad feelings. the more good ,the more happier ,the more excited you are. If not then yes you start feeling, insecure jealous or lied to etc. The root of the problem is always ignored. EVOLVE YOUR MIND AND YOUR LIFE AND FOLLOW YOUR HEART AND BELIEVE THERE IS SOMEONE HIGHER THAT GIVES US THE GIFT OF WHAT YOU ATTRACT. IF THAT PERSON CHOOSES NOT TO CHANGE FOR THAT LOVE THEN THERE WILL NEVER BE CHEMISTRY.   REAL LOVE COMPROMISE’S TO KEEP ADDING WOOD TO THAT FIRE.

    It’s not rocket science. It’s more of a choice for one to accept when they are truly wrong and live right.   Things will happen but Love gives hope and faith as well. People can change if one chooses to. There are more heartbreaks , and divorces and cheating and lying more then ever and it’s information like this that keep minds going in circles with half the facts. You cant define love only throught a scientific explanation. OPEN YOUR MIND AND DISCOVER TRULY THAT THE PERSON NEXT TO YOU WILL DIE WITH YOU OR DIE FOR YOU. AND THAT YOU ALWAYS SHOW THAT YOU WILL DO THE SAME. Keep that chemistry alive to keep the fire on for love.

  11. 51
    LDR Relationship

    I have always been suspect on if I love someone or it is just a thrill. Usually I end up finding myself dating a man who never talks to me and I just said yes to him because I did not want to make him sad.

    That is my romantic past. Now, I have a man who is dear to me and I genuinely care for, we care about what we have and want to make it last. We are long distance, so I do not think the feeling is just sexual if you know what I’m saying.

    We are still pretty young though… even though I feel very strongly for him and him for me, and I think he may be the one… I don’t know if it is love or chemistry.

  12. 52
    Mary K

    Dear Evan, I have just experienced what you are talking about.   The difference is that it was my boyfriend whose feelings I believe were based more on passion rather than love. He is  48 and I am 47 and both of us have been divorced for several years.   He lives two hours away from me and with our schedules we are only able to see each other once a week although we talk almost every day on the phone.   He says he loves me and wants to marry me in three months but we have only been dating for four. Besides the fact that I don’t believe we know each other well enough to get married, I would also become a step-mom. I do not have children of my own and do not know his daughter that well.   I said it was too soon for me and asked him to wait for at least another year. He said he didn’t want to wait a year because he needs me now. Because I wouldn’t commit to him he broke up with me.   I am confused and hurt, but feel I did the correct thing by asking for more time to develop a strong foundation first.  
     

  13. 53
    Oksana

    Disagree completely.

    The article raises the totally different question. What does the person want? Enduring arrangement, or bond with the partner.

    Endurung arrangement (aka marriage) is better to be based on fixed and logical things. Things that unlikely to be changed (set of beliefs, similar backgrounds, morals, similar fears). If chemistry and passion are thrown in – it only confuses and disstabilizes the enduring arrangement. Because yes, it can evaporate. Yes, it is risky. So if people want Enduring Arrangement, i would also advise to keep away from Chemistry. If people want to call Enduring Arrangement as LOVE, and by this find the recipe how to succeed in long term mating, it is fine with me.

     

    Chemistry/Passion are spontaneous. It has nothing to do with our logical decisions. It is our whole beings responding to another. Those intense bonds are risky business. Bit those who go into them have opportunity to learn a lot. Learning how to surf high feeling with the open heart, learning how to relinquish control, learning how to be brave, learning how to love, learning how to let go, learning how to be honest, learning how to keep integrity. This have much more to do with love to me than signing enduring contract about who does laundry on Tuesdays and who is picking up groceries.

     

    I am grateful to this article. It clearly showed to me what i disagree so much with.

     

    Some people do not need feel the connection. Or they feel the connection when their partner pays for them, helps them with taking out the garbage.

     

    But there are people and a lot, who need the connection. And this connection is built not on shared duties and responsibilities. Not on endurance and sacrifice. Not on compromise. Those people need emotional bonds. And those bonds will never be in relationship when people had never kissed forever, had never melted into each other forgetting about the world. Chemistry is NOT emotional bond. But it is the first step.

     

    Emotional bond is love in my book. Enduring arrangement is just enduring arrangement. It brings peace (to some) but not of the heart. Of the mind. Where it took place initially. Emotional bond brings peace of the heart.

     

    People need different things. Approaching relationships as projects…. there is something wrong about it.

     

  14. 54
    Jenni

    I have been with my partner for 12 yrs and the chemistry is still there when we see each other, when we touch we just can’t keep our hands off each other and we are in our late fifties.

  15. 55
    Eileen Vicente

    My story is something a good book is made of which is why I am writing my autobiography. After many years, I contacted my first love just for curiosity. Well that saying about curiosity killed the cat is so true. He claimed he was still in love with me, and I started to bite the bait, even though I was the one who broke up with him 60 years ago. He was a bastard then, and I was terrified of him, because I felt that he would cheat on me and lie. So after one year was over, at that time, I thought the chemistry was over, and I ended the relationship.

    Sixty years later, I suddenly felt so much lust for this man that I felt like I could not live without him. It was right after my near death experience in a tragic car accident. I had four herniated discs, half my foot is now metal, and I broke my C2 in my neck. When we reunited after the accident, he was all lovey dovey for about three months, and then he became the loser I always thought he would be. By the way, he is a compulsive gambler and probably an alcoholic. Who knows, but I guess the accident was such a trauma that I needed the intense fix this man offered me. I am still trying to get over the jerk. He is the worst, but oh that fix!

  16. 56
    Michael

    Hi, very interesting to hear all your views experiences, and I do believe that passion, and “   that crazy stage early on is an amazing wonderful time, I’m a very physical person and   that instant attraction works for me, the relationship may not last because of other issues, witch happens thou it’s hard to handle. But fundamentally I’ll do anything to keep the spice, if I’m physically attracted to them, I’ve found a lady who I have that, and we also have a great connection we laught we have common interests, she’s classy, and creative, but she struggles as she’s had two long relationships that have not had the passion and physical attraction that we have and she struggles to be fully committed and backs off, it hurts me. And leaves me with doubts .

  17. 57
    Farah

    It is a very good article and it is a pleasure to read so many interesting stories. I would never have thought that I would “end up” reading articles like that and looking for answers…. I thought that life ends when you reach 40!

    I have been in a very happy marriage for 7 years (we had started dating 3 years before we got married) and I have never had any regrets. I left my own country to be with someone I was in love with and that was the best decision of my life. There was a spark but not a huge one. We really started from friendship but we were attracted to each other and then love grew. We still are looking at each other the same way we did when we met and are finding each other attractive which is very good after 10 years of being together (we do not have children). I do love my husband very much and I would never do anything to hurt him…but something happened few weeks ago which made me feel like I was 16 years old again….I did not plan it, did not expect it and was terrified when it happened because I totally lost control over my head. I met someone on a training and so called “chemistry” between us was so strong that I felt psychically sick! My heart was racing, I felt hot and cold and I just did not know what to do with myself. I could read all the signs and I knew that he felt the same way. After that we exchanged our emails and started emailing each other about our interests (which were similar)). They were just normal, polite emails which later turned into flirting. As soon as it happened I apologized him, he apologized me for trying to flirt and we both decided that we had to finish this as I was married….he wasn’t…

    It was a mutual decision and we have not been in contact since but I do feel terrible about it. I do not understand why I needed to even think about someone else!? Why did it happen to me? To be honest I still think about him but I will never contact him again. I know it sounds stupid but I feel like I  am going through a break up…..that is the chemistry for you….destruction…..

     

     

  18. 58
    eema

    i am someone with high anxiety. when it builds up i snap because i dont know how to channel the feeling positively. i have snapped at my boyfriend a few times. but now we are happily married now with 2 children for 10 years. we are still in love. i have asked my husband, why he still wanted me eventhough he knew i had weaknesses. most men would run away.. he said he just did and wanted to marry me. to him, i wasnt difficult to understand and we completed each other.
    i am blessed Coz we still have sparks and my husband is still attracted to me eventhough i gained 20kg.. i believe it is chemistry. something, a smell we release maybe,something we cant see but makes us drawn to each other.

  19. 59
    Suzie

    I married a man to settle also.for.29 years. Recently going through an expensive and messy divorce. It may have been love at first but it turned into more of a controlling relationship on his part. I was the codependent wife…from all the way to the bedroom. Sex was basically a chore. I did what he commanded for years. Finally, moved to the basement and started divorce proceedings. Met another man quite younger than me. We immediately had the chemistry and attraction and very much in common. I was shocked at how I was feeling just being with him. I ignored the feelings for a long time. Played hit and cold with him for months. We literally cannot keep our hands off each other when we are together. I finally know what making love to someone is really like. I miss this man immensely when we aren’t together. We. have intense feelings for each other and we are in love. Due to some stupid mistakes that were made at about a month into our relationship I haven’t been able to see him for about 3 weeks. We do talk daily on the phone and text quite frequently. My divorce is far from being finalized. I ache for him and dream about him.he has told me he feels the same way. I am just going day by day for now. True love does exist. I do not know where this relationship is going yet but I know I am I. It 100 percent. We are going to work together as a couple. It is just taking time for us to get our lives sorted through a mess right now.. I do believe it though.

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