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Dating? How to Distinguish Chemistry vs. Compatibility

Chemistry is that initial rush at the beginning of the romance. It’s such a

passionate, quick, and powerful feeling that it’s easy to confuse

chemistry with compatibility.

While chemistry is what initially attracts you to someone, compatibility is

looking beyond that initial stage of attraction and evaluating the way you

align with someone else’s lifestyle choices and values.

Chemistry and compatibility don’t always overlap. You might feel those

passionate feelings of chemistry with someone yet ultimately lack


However, compatibility is an essential part of an intimate and long-term

partnership. Paying attention to how compatible you are with someone

helps you decide if you want to be in a long-term relationship with them.

What Chemistry Looks Like

Chemistry is that initial, passionate spark you feel at the beginning of a

romance. You might feel the chemistry when you have so much in

common with someone that it gives you butterflies before dinner. You’re

attracted to their physical appearance, their accomplishments, their

career, or even the conversations you have with them.

The feelings that come from chemistry are so strong that it’s easy to

confuse chemistry with compatibility.

It’s common to feel most comfortable choosing partners based on

chemistry. Having chemistry with someone else is exciting. But choosing

partners only based on chemistry might cause you to overlook how

compatible you are with that person’s lifestyle choices and values.

What Compatibility Looks Like

Compatibility looks beyond the initial stage of attraction. Compatibility

means evaluating how a person will fit into your everyday life and if there

is long-term potential as a couple. Compatibility means looking at if you

align with a person, their lifestyle choices, and their values.

Gauging compatibility starts with knowing what you want in a long-term


Here are questions you can ask yourself to decide if you are

compatible with someone else:

1. How does the person you’re dating deal with their feelings? How do

they handle anger, stress, and sadness?

2. How does this person act when around their friends, family, or at a


3. What are the values that guide this person’s life (such as marriage,

children, politics, religion)? Do those values align with your own? If

not, do you accept that?

4. What goals do you have in life? Does the person that you’re dating

share those same goals?

Figuring out whether or not you’re compatible with someone doesn’t

mean that you deal with everything in the same way. It just means

evaluating how well a person fits into your everyday life in the long run.

When you learn to ask yourself these questions about compatibility, you

can build a relationship on shared values and deep mutual respect.

Choosing a partner based on compatibility helps build a relationship

that lasts through the hardest times.

Here are 5 signs that you’re compatible in your relationship:

1. There is mutual respect.

2. You accept your partner as they are and admire them for it. You

don’t spend your time wishing they would do anything differently.

3. Your partner accepts you for who you are and doesn’t try to change


4. You and your partner uplift each other and validate each other’s


5. You share similar lifestyle choices and goals.

Dating is tricky. Compatibility and chemistry don’t always go hand in


When you’re dating someone, it’s important to think about how well a

person fits into your life. Gauging compatibility means digging deeper

beyond initial attraction and surface-level interests.

Chemistry is what pulls two people together. Compatibility is

what will help the relationship last when the initial spark

fades and reality sets in.

When you learn to look for how compatible you are with someone else,

you will have an easier time deciding whether or not you are a good


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