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Immediate Chemistry Doesn’t Guarantee a Lasting Relationship

Patience is indeed a virtue!

Looking for lasting love without success? Join the crowd! Maybe we could all do with some different specs.

It has often been said that love is blind, yet surely love that is likely to last through the ups and downs of life must be founded on our knowing and being known, “seeing” and being “seen”, and being valued for who we are, warts and all.

The One Type of Love Worth Fighting For

Unfortunately, all too often, instant physical attraction can give us a great high for a short period of time, then leave us feeling disappointed and alone. This is especially the case these days when so much emphasis is placed on immediate chemistry as the foundation for what is expected to become a mutually rewarding relationship that lasts.

As a psychologist who has headed a matchmaking consultancy for over four decades, I have been in an unusual position to observe and experience some of the dramatic changes that have taken place over the years since I opened our doors in 1976.

In those days, finding a partner and establishing a lasting relationship was the aspiration of the majority of guys and gals, and most achieved their goal!

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These days, for many seeking lasting love, the concept of commitment, once a seemingly sound foundation for the future of a couple, appears to be on shaky ground.

For some, the appeal of instant gratification — be it for soup or sex — seems to be the order of the day. For others, the fear of potentially ending of a marriage, and the cost to both their heart and hip pockets, has them wary of tying any knots.

While there is no doubt that instant physical attraction between two people can be a wonderful experience, alas, all too often it can be founded on a chemical rush of hormones rather than on the likelihood of longer-term compatibility. It therefore comes as no surprise that in everyday life, immediate attraction often builds expectations that end in disappointment for one or other.

Not so long ago, the vow of “until death us do part” held meaning.

Yet these days, I believe the high incidence of divorce is indicative of changes over recent decades that would seem to have made the once solemn marriage vows meaningless. Without doubt, for many of us in the Western world, the commitment of marriage has lost its way.

Given that almost everything we now acquire is disposable — often updated for a more recent model — it is little wonder that trading up has become more evident and accepted in the realm of relationships. Serial commitment would seem to be the order of the day for many a guy or gal today who vows on more than one occasion to be faithful and stay together “forever”.

The Real (Sad) Reason We Cling So Hard to Unrequited Love

Only a few decades ago, it would not have been imagined that we could witness a variety of popular dating shows on a myriad of screens where singles who have never met are partnered … and in some instances, encouraged to be intimate. On at least one such show, couples who are introduced then share a bed on their first night together, with one or more cameras as company, in order for all the world to see.

Another variation on this theme allows us, as viewers, to witness just introduced couples actually go through a wedding ceremony before we accompany them via our screen to the bedroom scenario. Alas, from my point of view, this entertainment, which is enjoyed by audiences of countless millions, is evidence of how trivial the concept of love, marriage and commitment seems to have become.

If you are on the lookout for that special someone without success, perhaps your focus has been blurred by expectations that are likely to end up causing disappointment.

Whether seeking a potential partner online or the world at large, I suggest you avoid making judgments based in the main on physical appearance. Common values, interests, lifestyle and relationship goals are important indicators of a relationship likely to last.

Surely, taking time to get to know — and care for — each other, is an ideal foundation on which to enjoy the pleasures of real intimacy, be this between the sheets or in the world at large. Commitment requires a preparedness to share the ups and downs of life together.

When driven by sex first and foremost, many a promising encounter with the potential for much more is likely to come to an end in a bed before it has really begun.

This guest article originally appeared on The Counterintuitive Reason You Probably Won’t Feel ‘Instant’ Sparks With Your Soulmate.

Immediate Chemistry Doesn’t Guarantee a Lasting Relationship

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APA Reference
Guest Author, P. (2018). Immediate Chemistry Doesn’t Guarantee a Lasting Relationship. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 28, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 7 Sep 2018 (Originally: 9 Sep 2018)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 7 Sep 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.