Dating Magazine

The Three Essential Elements of Relationship Chemistry

By Datecoachtoni @CoachToni

I’ve been writing about it for years. Whenever I am interviewed on the topic of chemistry- this is what I emphasize. It is often something I discuss when answering one of the many questions I receive from singles struggling with concerns about compatibility or chemistry in a relationship. In a nutshell, it’s what I recommend folks look for when evaluating someone’s rightness or wrongness for them.

These three elements are physical attraction, friendship and intellectual stimulation. Without physical attraction, you may like the other person a lot and even consider them a best friend- but it’s unlikely you will ever be “in love” with them. If friendship is missing, the relationship could lead to loneliness and a sense that you just can’t or don’t connect. Without intellectual stimulation, you may feel bored, looking around for something or someone different- you may even be thinking about having an affair- just to feel some intensity and challenge.

When I am asked to rank these, I really can’t. Depending upon who you talk to- you would get a different answer. It comes down to preference for everyone- but no one would feel complete without a measure of all three. When I mention intellectual stimulation, I often get a blank look or a comment about how this is like friendship. Actually, it is different in that it is that push/pull that occurs between two people- a kind of healthy tension. This person challenges you, calls you on things, inspires and coaches you towards something more and better. It is never boring- not perfect, and sometimes downright annoying- but never boring.

I am often reminded of something I heard once. A reporter once asked Paul Newman how he and Joanne Woodward kept their relationship together and strong after all those Hollywood years. His answer? “Every morning I wake up next to a different woman.”
Chemistry means it’s never boring, you have a true friend in this person- and even after years together, your heart will still flutter when they walk into a room.

On Tuesday, Elizabeth Bernstein, the relationship columnist at the Wall Street Journal, talked about this after interviewing me for her piece. Check out her column and my input on her page

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