Mixing Chemistry & Compatibility



You’ve been dating a new guy for a couple months now, but he never plans any of the dates. On top of that, you always drive and you always pay.

But we have so much fun together!

You’ve been courting this amazing gal, but you have nothing in common … including faith and morals.

But our chemistry is so awesome!

You’ve been dating your “soul mate” for four years and he has never gone to Mass with you, let alone shown any interest in the Catholic faith.

He asked about God that one time! Besides you don’t understand, we just have this connection!

Have you ever had this conversation with one of your friends? (Or have they had this conversation with you?) Maybe you feel like bashing your head against the wall because what it so obvious to you, and to every other person, is not apparent to your friend.

Maybe you’ve tried to gently counsel your friend that he’s just not “The One.” But it is followed up by a series of tired explanations excusing the very behavior that you and others find concerning. 

Have you heard this one before? (You Bachelor fans recognize all the buzz words): “You just don’t understand, I’ve never felt this way before, we just have this connection/chemistry/whatever.”

The thing is, I do understand and you’re not the exception. History is littered with couples who thought that they found The One because they were so caught up in their supposed chemistry.

From Romeo and Juliet (clearly they had communication problems) to Kim Kardashian (I know, I know, but she really is the best worst example I can think of). Kim thought that she was desperately in love until her wedding planning died down. When it was back to reality and the normal ins and outs of a relationship, she quickly (72 days!) changed her mind about being in love.

All kinds of emotions cloud our reason, and so we should depend on the clear-sightedness of family and friends to help us.

Believe me, we’ve all been there. I know for me, there was that intriguing person that I dated/been involved with that I knew wasn’t right for me, but I just couldn’t let him go.

Sometimes our friends whisper that we’re “going through a phase” or “sowing our wild oats” or whatever excuse was made for us. But deep, sometimes really, really deep, down inside we realize that this person was not the right one for us.

We all know that chemistry is an important aspect, but we need to be careful not to make chemistry the sole indicator of a successful relationship. Both chemistry and compatibility need to be present for a relationship to work. There have been and will be lots of people that you have chemistry with, (even after you’re married), but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he or she is your match. 

Chemistry is an emotional response that is not always logical. Compatibility is a building block of a good relationship. You’re not going to end up with someone exactly like you, but the important things, such as faith, morals, financial perspective, education, how to raise your children, etc, are the things that you must have in common. Otherwise, you’re in for a rough ride.

In order to have a clear vision about the person that you are courting, it is so important to be chaste in courtship so all those hormones and such don’t confuse you. If your relationship is purely based on sex, you become blinded by your emotions and it is harder to break-up with that person, even when you know they aren’t right for you.

I read on the Singles Gym: “The trouble is people often mistake lust for love. To really trust someone takes time. Hormones don’t know about time.”

Additionally, Jennifer Fulwiler talks about how a logical and mature approach to relationships is harder when you’ve already given your heart in the bedroom and your convictions are clouded. You don’t need to be very physical with someone to know that you have chemistry with them. And you shouldn’t.

Don’t waste your time on someone who isn’t right for you. It doesn’t make you a bad person, it doesn’t make them a bad person, obviously there has to be something redeeming about the person you’re interested in, but chemistry is not enough. And when you know he or she isn’t marriage material, then you just have to have that messy breakup and move on to the person that God has planned for you.

Remember that the right person needs to be the kind of person that you not only trust your heart to, but also your immortal soul and the souls of any children God may give you.




  1. Andy-516957 March 19, 2013 Reply

    I agree. But, you can trust someone, share faith and interests, background and goals, but if she isn’t going to kiss you, ya gotta roll on to the next one. Chemistry still matters. Also, much of the “chemistry” is rational, just not the rational you want.
    The Lord created this chemistry. He had his reasons.
    Also, is it just me, or are these posts written by women in a language slightly different than the English I grew up with? I don’t even know what the Kardashian reference is supposed to illustrate, that woman don’t know what they want?
    Jensen sounds like she is downplaying natural attraction, perhaps because it is so “illogical” but she is looking forward to a beautiful baby, sharing her lovely DNA with her tall, athletic husband. Hmm, I’m not a scientist by trade, but let’s do the math: No, let’s not.
    In a relationship getting off the ground, it won’t happen without chemistry.
    In Kardashian speak: “we have a connection” translates to “I think you are hot”
    We are neither Kardashians nor Mr. Spock…Thank God we have God!

  2. Patrick-872788 March 19, 2013 Reply

    Dear Editors,

    I request a permanent ban on all references to The Bachelor on the Catholic Match blog. First it has no relevance to Catholic dating. Second it is largely scripted “drama” from aspiring entertainers. Please encourage your bloggers to come with entries about real people who are relevant to Catholics instead of tripe one could read in Us magazine. Thank you.

    • Jeannie-822585 March 19, 2013 Reply

      Patrick, I so very much agree with you!!! I’ve been toying around with the idea of letting CM know of this absolute disappointment. Can you imagine how God feels about this reference.


  3. Sue-906387 March 20, 2013 Reply

    Wow another awesome article to help us understand things. Definitely both components are very crucial in choosing our friends. We need to have both of them. Discarding one will not make for a successful and happy one. Thank you Heather!

  4. Esther-532964 March 20, 2013 Reply

    GREAT article! This is just what I needed to read. I found a book at my church called ” How To Find Your Soulmate Wthout Losing Your Soul”. by Jason & Crystalina Evert. I haven’t lost my soul and I’m so glad!

  5. Great article and most of all the others you have posted. :)

  6. Courtney-885262 March 20, 2013 Reply

    What I keep telling myself and my friends who subtly encourage me to settle on someone who is just “nice” (and has no other qualities other than that), is it all has to work out ONCE. Chemistry, compatibility, having the same goals, morals, being attracted to him…I’m only looking for one man. Mathematically that means most of us will have relationship failures and only one success. Yeah, it’s discouraging to keep crossing off names, but if it leads us closer to what’s meant to be, then it should be worth it.

    As to no hanky-panky in the dating process, I cannot agree more. I’ve watched people have their lives complicated and torn apart because they’ve clouded their own judgement by sleeping together. I want to ask them, “So, what GOOD comes from you sleeping with him? How does premarital sex make your life better?”

  7. Rosanna-564071 March 22, 2013 Reply

    Chemistry is beautiful, but it also can be deceiving… and chemistry isn’t what a relationship should be based on. Great article.

  8. Meg-920823 April 21, 2013 Reply

    Regarding chemistry, I can’t be turned off from them at the beginning but, often chemistry develops as I get to know them. In other words, based on who they are on the inside, the chemistry develops. Again, though, at the beginning there must be some appeal and definitely a connection on some level.

    My best friends, and I think this could go for a spouse as well, often are not the ones I was initially most impressed with. It took some time to discover them.

  9. Terri-838897 May 18, 2013 Reply

    Meg… I couldn’t agree with you more. Sometimes, the more you get to know someone and look into their heart and soul, the more attractive they become to you. I’ve always said to not judge a book by its cover…You can have a gorgeous woman on the outside, or very good looking man, and they could turn out to be quite “ugly” on the inside. I think this becomes more apparent the older you become…

  10. Michele-969087 May 19, 2013 Reply

    I view chemistry as a spark that can be ignited as the relationship grows. I would not date a man unless I felt a bit of a spark, it would not be fair to him or myself. As for a sexual side of the relationship, I do believe it would work against you if you found the person was not in your best interest. It is definitely harder to walk away from someone when your heart and body wants what is not good for you.

  11. Denise-714975 June 24, 2013 Reply

    With the man I was dating off ot this site I disagree with him on money matters. He seem to be interested in whether I had W2, insurance, savings account, checking and my credit. I felt that being I’m getting to know him it was very rude and distasteful. He said that my husband and I live different lives and how we did not have a marriage. When I married my husband we had each had an account of our own and one for the house hold and large purchases. We both worked so we felt that it was good to have our own accounts so that we did not have to ask for money if we decide to go to lunch, go buy that outfit or buy a special gift for eachother. I did not find that to be a bad thing or living a different lives. We just did not have any disagreements over money when my husband was alive. Do to this man asking questions about my money matters…I lied to him and told him that I have no credit and no money. He told me that he wants a woman with money.

  12. Steven-184857 March 27, 2014 Reply

    Sin distorts our reasoning, which is why it makes sense to stay chaste while courting.

    I don’t equate chemistry with sexual attraction. I see it as an intangible connection between two people. As such, I see it as vital. A person may seem great on paper because we have so many common values and tastes, but if our personalities don’t gel, it’ll never work. We don’t marry a list of values.

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