Is It Chemistry, Or Is It Love?


I write a lot about this subject, but today’s newsletter got such a strong positive reaction that I decided to post this on the blog for anyone who does not have a subscription. And if you don’t have a subscription and you don’t want to miss exclusive content like this, please click here to register and get the 5 Massive Mistakes eBook and my free weekly emails that come with it. Thanks.

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. Just click here to learn more about my custom coaching packages and find a new path to love.

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  1. 41

    great stuff here

    ive always been a hopeless romantic, night in shining armor, happily ever after type craving constant attention.   I have grown enough to know that my own insecurities and not having a father   in my life had me constantly seeking love and approval, validation acceptance from a man.   Dad was supposed to affirm me as his princess as smart and beautiful.   Had he done his part I truly know I wouldn’t have been looking for love in all the wrong places and so needy because I would have known my worth.   It took me years of   mistaking the all consuming chemistry as meaning this is it.   Chasing that illusive high that never yelled much else … Trying to build on that illusion, thinking it was real cus it had to be making you feel like that.    So I did the exact opposite once feeling ok chemistry and following your heart are all dead end I go for no chemistry just cold hard facts he loves me he is good to me , treats me like a Queen compliments galore spoils me caters to me …I’m his universe only has eyes for me but I can tell you without some chemistry and compatibility it’s just as unfulfilling as being with the guy who takes your breath away but calls you a bitch 3 months in, flirts with all your friends never takes you anywhere or calls just for sex after he knows your hooked.   I think balance is definitely the key… Chemistry alone is a poor foundation to build on no matter how powerful it is.    At the end of the day you gotta see who it is you are really dealing with and if you two really have anything in common because if you don’t you will soon realize Chemistry alone is a weak bond;Compatibility mingled with some chemistry is a better recipe.   How can two walk together unless they agree that’s scripture and it’s true All its screaming is Compatibility a must…

  2. 42

    Great help. I just recently had a relationship end because my boyfriend was looking for magic (over the moon crazy love). In fact he stated he had this magic with his ex wife and he wanted to find that type of crazy love again. I quickly reminded him that the magic he had didn’t last and that was why he was divorced.

    I was really upset because I had a tremendous sense of chemistry with this person. Once the relationship ended I evaluated the entire situation. I quickly figured out that I really had nothing in common with this person. When we were together everything was amazing but in between seeing each other the man never called and rarely even sent a text message to see how I was or what I was up to.   I knew once my butterflies went away that I would be miserable with such a person.

    It’s amazing to me how my heart took control over my head.

  3. 43

    This article is a fallacy. “Slow” attraction is simply a cop-out for love and relationship fulfillment. It allows for risk-free compatibility, trust and security. It  gives people the security they feel that they lack, in lieu of chemistry.

    The relationships with the strongest sexual chemistry are often the ones that end poorly, because we feel least secure in them. Every miscommunication becomes a tragedy or an outrage. Our feelings that this person is scarce, extraordinary and all-important intensify every disappointment and perceived slight.

    The way to the best relationship is to develop a degree of self-awareness, willingness to compromise and self-control allows cooperation and  open communication. Then when we finally find the person with great chemistry AND compatibility, we can have a lasting  and deeply fulfilling  relationship. That’s admittedly still  a work in progress for me.

  4. 44
    Jillian Walker

    My own opinion would be chemistry and physical attraction.   From experiences its all about meeting them in person not being disrespectful to online dating sites but I’ve had my fair share of dating sites and you know you   end up getting hurt and you think they love you then you take that next step and then they turn out to be bone heads and their only after that one thing men grave is sex. Its a proven fact that men their just normal beings that crave that love and yet some time’s  there not getting it so they end up hurt or hurting others. But when you love someone special its the physical attraction and the chemistry like looking in their eyes physical attraction can be many things like what their wearing see one thing i was taught was not to lust over a person but to like them. Saying hello being bold asking them what they like finding their interests because if you sleep with them then it becomes awkward and its much nicer to get to know that special person first . The thing is women they analyze we have emotions were normal if we didn’t then we would walk around like zombies . Yes we may  try to annoy men in general but its normal and yes we talk a lot about all sorts but hey that’s what where all about. I think men can be the same in some ways but at the end of the day its all about the attraction . I really hope you enjoy and that theirs always some special for everyone.

  5. 45

    I’m not sure about the chemistry is simply chemistry of lust. I met a man and yeah, it is as you’ve described. He got attached to me, I to him and I felt really insecure about the whole thing. Then, he rejected me when I was showing up at his place. My friends have warned me with him. But since I’ve managed to stay true to myself it wasn’t much of a blow. And somehow it wasn’t over with that. He fell interested again…. but what I wanted to say is that even my friends who had a good eye on the situation said we had real great chemistry. And I believe that to. I was even at a point where I felt so much at home, I felt like being in a mothers womb. So I believe there is still a distinction between chemistry and  chemistry. 😉 regards

  6. 46

    This article made me think of  several things-

    1. Chemistry and Compatibility are two different things. Chemistry can be great, but that doesn’t mean  two people are  compatible (have similar values, want the same thing  such as  a Relationship).

    2. I think you can have chemistry and a successful relationship/marriage. I think an indicator that a man might want a relationship with a woman is if he makes plans for the future with her. That includes him asking  her about  her short term and long term goals  on dates, and  planning  dates in advance  (In CONTRAST to spur of the moment dates  like  – “hey, girl I’m in the city tonight want to hang out?” or “I’m free today if you want to go to a movie” type of dates) a man who’s serious about  a woman    will plan the date for Saturday a week before. I’m not saying if a guy does this things will automatically  work out, or if he doesn’t it won’t.  And a planner may also include spur of the moment dates as well!

    I just think a man who makes future plans with  a  woman  is showing  her a major sign that he’s  taking  her seriously.  A man who wants something serious with a woman  will try to lock her in/down even if he’s still at the “getting to know her” stage.

  7. 47

    I think this article misinterprets the analysis. Chemistry, lust, are precursors – probably prerequisites – to love. Why would you fall in love, and consequently become attached, without them. But not all relationships develop into love.

    Agree, though, that chemistry and lust can fog the brain and meddle with one’s principles and standards.

  8. 48
    Lauren Miller

    Just left a comment which appears as a response to Maryland.

    did not intend a single a reply. Should be a new comment.


    thanks and regards

  9. 49

    I am so thankful I came across your article. For the past week or so I’ve been wondering if a romantic relationship could develop if there is attraction but (I feel) no chemistry (in a currently just friends, long-distance relationship). I have been so preoccupied and almost convinced myself the answer was no, until I read this. And I’ve been in a relationship where the chemistry is why I stayed so freakin long when the relationship should have never began and ended in awful but oh so teachable heartache. This perpesctive, that having a relationship where your mind is fully aware and choices can be made without being clouded, is so refreshing and where I much prefer to be. So thank you! And thanks for the reminder of what love really is ( 1 Cor 13). Sometimes in this world it gets so easily confused with lust as you said.

  10. 50

    I just started dating someone and it’s definitely chemistry! But, I’m also remembering to tell myself, “Okay, there is a flood of chemicals taking over my brain right now,” and I’m also not taking anything said or planned at this stage very seriously – he’s talked about how “if we’re still together” in a few months the things we would do (vacations, next steps, etc.) and I’m just like, “Yeah, okay, we’ll see, time will tell,”. Is that an okay way to deal with chemistry? I know it’s the exception and not the rule that folks with lots of chemistry end up together forever (my Uncle married his wife after a month of knowing her and they just celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary, so it happens). But, the article is almost so negative about chemistry it makes me think I should walk away from this guy right now, lol! I think I’m trying to stay level headed and I am noticing little things that I think might be red flags and keeping my eyes on them. I’m spending a little bit too much energy on waiting for the other shoe to drop, so, it is causing some anxiety – which is not a good start. But, he’s fun, it’s fun, so I’m trying to just enjoy the ride and I’ll be ready to get off at the first sign of trouble or it not working out without being blindsided. I know from Evan that men are like buses and if this one doesn’t work out another one will come along 🙂

  11. 51
    tabby cat

    Who’s this Nora? I wanna meet a cool person too!! (Just teasing,
    I’m Sara/Nara/XPKitten – nice to officially talk to you )

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