Psych Central

Which is More Important: Chemistry or Compatibility?Which is more important in a relationship: chemistry or compatibility? Or are they equally important? Do men and women have different standards for chemistry and compatibility? Let’s begin with the latter.

In my experience as a dating coach, most women will give men a chance (or two or three), unless they are totally turned off on a first date. The majority of women in my practice are interested in an emotional and intellectual compatibility first and a physical compatibility/chemistry second.

The men I’ve polled usually judge a woman’s date-ability by how physically attracted they feel on the first date. If they feel chemistry, there is a second date. No chemistry? Next!

8 Comments to
Which is More Important: Chemistry or Compatibility?

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  1. What does this have to do with actual psych? It’s all conjecture and “anecdata”. Not cool.

    • My dear Sly, and just what train did you depart from?

      Psyche: the human soul, mind, or spirit.

      I find this article to be VERY psyche minded -one dealing with relationships at the inner core, man and woman and their capacity to relate, connect and possibly maintain a compatible bond. Do we not dive into the mind to define, figure out, know why we do what we do, who we are, and how in doing so allows us to evolve, become better individuals, have whole relationships.

      I visit this site to learn more about myself, possibly get a few clues as to how I might understand why I do what I do, why others do what they do. How to NOT do what I do, the dysfunction that leads me down a path, (one I frequent often) a dismal trail to farther heartache and pain for myself and others. My goal is to be happier, more joyful, maintain and flourish in a world with high odds that this will not be the scenario. A world becoming more and more dysfunctional, one offering the probability that is certainly not conducive for the story I want to live, the train I want to ride.


      • Paula,

        Thank you for your well-articulated response to Sly. I write about relationships because I yearn for others to be happier, more connected, and make less mistakes. Trust me, I made tons of mistakes, and I’ve learned from them so I can help others.

        Together, we can make this world a happier place with more love and understanding – and higher functioning people.


  2. After online dating for some time now, i would agree chemistry is often immediate, but can grow over time; or there is an immediate no way. The grow over time kind probably indicates more long term compatibility but the immediate kind is pretty overwhelming and confusing sometimes.

    • Yes, Christineinne, the immediate sparks you’re talking about are often short-lived. A relationship built on a solid foundation plus attraction will have the best chance at long-term success. Best of luck to you!


  3. Oh Bah Humbug “SLY”…….. Very few men will give a less attractive woman a chance. Most men are visual creatures. They need the chemistry to be there based on the looks first. Women are more patient and willing to put in the time to see if the person has quality of character because we know that in the long run, that’s what will carry the relationship, not the physical chemistry. Men tend to need immediate gratification (visual pleasure). I agree with the article whole-heartedly and find it to be very accurate according to my own personal experience.

    • I am a very “visual creature”, but as a woman my tastes are clearly less catered to (in media, for example).

      I think guys get away with a lot of stuff (including being facially uninteresting) because women trip all over themselves to keep up with the silicone filled/air brushed images that are shoved in our face at every opportunity.

      Don’t fall all over yourself. Be who you are and guys do notice.

  4. I married my ex husband when I was very young. He was slightly overweight, not very attractive, and 5 years older than me, but we had a lot in common and a similar sense of humor. He chased me. I didn’t like him as more than a friend but I went along with it. I was very young, only 20 years old. I had just had my heart broken and my dad wasn’t very supportive of me emotionally. In fact my dad had me believing I would never survive in the big world on my own two feet. So, when he asked me to marry him I agreed. I ran away from home. I locked up my heart and said “a guy I’m attracted to would never be attracted to me.”

    I was badly bullied, severly so, to the point of attempting suicide twice during high school. This was in the 90s before Facebook existed, so this is not a new thing with depressed and bullied teens. The thing that was beaten into me (quite literally,) was I’m ugly. To this day I’m disgustingly ugly to my own self. So, I married this guy because I would never find what I was looking for physcially.

    It was a mistake. I wasn’t attracted to him. I couldn’t fall in love with him. I tried. And then I started to hate him. He wasn’t quite what I thought. He wasn’t a nice guy with the same interests in me. He was a controling jerk who saw a vulnerable girl with a trust fun (due to my mom’s passing.) He treated me like I was stupid and all of my friends became his friends, and left me. I realized I’d made a mistake marrying someone I didn’t love, but at the same time he was not innocent. We had one child together. When I finally got up the courage to divorce him he left me penniless and took my child from me. He even said to me, “I knew when I met you that I was your way out, and I knew you could have gotten out on your own, but I didn’t tell you.”

    I became homeless, and worked my way back up through the trauma of losing my child.

    And, I met a young man online. He never saw me because we met in a game. We became friends, and fell in love. And he’s physically attractive to me and we have a lot in common. But his friends were shocked when they met me, because I’m the slightly over weight not very attractive woman, and he was the guy that girls chased around. He doesn’t talk to those friends any more. He fell in love with my personality and says I’m beautiful, but he doesn’t show my picture to his new friends because I think he knows I’m not to other people, and protects me from their abuse.

    But, I always wonder, what’s around the corner? We argue like couples do, and things aren’t what they once were. We’ve been together for 10 years, we have two sons. And, you know… you worry. You worry about these young gamer girls wearing nothing but tank tops on their live stream videos, flirting and chatting. When you’ve been ugly for as long as I have, you worry. And when you’ve been through a relationship where a person seemed “compatable” with you, but the chemestry was bad… well, you worry.

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