Be an expert in lust AND love.
How can you tell the difference between chemistry and compatibility? Is there some magic bullet difference that will inform you if the guy you’re seeing is just a flash in the pan or a serious contender for the title of Boyfriend?
I mean, you obviously like having intimate relations with the guy if you’re contemplating the question. But seriously, is it simply lust or are the seeds of love and lifelong partner buried within the relationship?
Haven’t you ever wondered after a one-night stand if the guy could actually be your true love?
As I tried to make sense of what the real differences are, I found myself needing to rely on metaphors to really understand. Hopefully, these differences will help spark your own thoughts about whether that guy you just met is temporary, or if he's somebody you can see yourself spending a long chunk of time with.
1. Chemistry is temporary but compatibility is forever.
2. Chemistry is dangerous with lots of bubbling potions and elements playing together with the great possibility of injury to self or others.
Compatibility is like cooking from a recipe from a trusted family member, following all the steps, having all the right ingredients, baking at the right temperature and knowing that what comes out of the oven will taste magnificent.
3. Chemistry feels like red-hot fiery urges, while compatibility feels like cool ocean waves laughing at your toes.
4. Chemistry makes you want to rip each other's clothes off, while compatibility makes you want to organize your drawers together with matching colors lined up in a his and hers dresser.
5. Chemistry means skipping the movie altogether and heading to his place, while compatibility means going to the movies, agreeing on the same sci-fi flick and snacks — popcorn with extra butter, Junior Mints and a blue slushie.
6. Chemistry is the desire to know every single thing you possibly can know about your guy immediately, while compatibility is the desire to allow things to be revealed slowly and increasingly more in-depth.
7. Chemistry is ignoring the fact that he wants to vote for a different president than you, even though you think the person he wants to vote for is an idiot; compatibility is having similar viewpoints on important topics like politics, education and family.
8. Chemistry is wondering how you are going to ignore that noise his nose makes when he breathes, and compatibility is seeing past his flaws and having a vision of how everything can be worked through and dealt with in a positive way.
9. Chemistry is having to sit through a country music ho-down or rave just to get to the sex part, while compatibility is staying at home with both of your favorite music jamming on the radio while you make love.
10. Chemistry is not caring that he had garlic for lunch and didn't brush his teeth, while compatibility is him already knowing what you like and don't like (and brushing his teeth with forethought).
11. Chemistry is sleeping in the most awkward position that causes you pain in your neck all night long, while compatibility is your lover making sure that you fit snugly up against him.
12. Chemistry is a lit match trying to light 25 candles before it burns out; compatibility is a roaring camp fire with plenty of logs right next to the fire to rekindle the flames if they start going out.
13. Chemistry brings with it a sense of dread of things going to end at any moment, while compatibility reassures you and lets you know for sure that this is forever.
14. Chemistry is a fireball candy, which burns your tongue, while compatibility is a gobstopper slowly revealing its different colors, flavors and fun.
15. Chemistry is “right now,” while compatibility is “just right.”
16. Chemistry is wanting to bring him home to bed, while compatibility is wanting to bring him home to meet your parents.
17. Chemistry is being willing to get sand in your crotch and seaweed in your hair on the beach, but compatibility is one of you bringing a blanket and the other bringing a bottle of wine and even snacks because, you know... snacks!
18. Chemistry is almost crashing your car in the parking lot because you're so anxious to get to the bar to meet him and be on time, because you don't know how he'll respond if you're late, because you have no experience with that and you're afraid it might destroy everything. Compatibility is being able to follow the rules of the road because you know your sweetie will not freak out if you're ten minutes late, because it's not in your nature to do it on the regular.
19. Chemistry is dropping everything important for him, including your family, friends, and work, but compatibility is still wanting to spend as much time as possible with him, but keeping the rest of your life and all of your enjoyments and responsibilities still intact.
20. Chemistry is watching him walk across the hotel room naked, drooling at his hot body, wanting to jump up and rip him sexually apart; compatibility is wanting to actually hang out with him afterwards to have a glass of wine or a cup of coffee and engage in some meaningful conversation.
21. Chemistry is making out with a man and a woman in a crowded bar, thrilling at the intense stares that you get, but then stumbling home by yourself and regretting it in the morning. Compatibility is doing the same things at the bar, but strolling back to a hotel room, having sex and then leaving the next day with all three of you holding hands.
22. Chemistry is having sex with somebody whose first name you don’t know and not even caring, because you know it's only going to last one night. Compatibility is not only knowing his name but his friends’ and his family’s too, and being able to plan a surprise birthday party for him and knowing who to invite and where to hold it.
23. Chemistry is like the challenge of hiking up a really steep mountain and feeling completely out of breath, and when you finally make it to the top, looking down and being afraid for your life. Compatibility is a gentle stroll in the woods with a few ups and downs. And trust me, you’ll still get a little out of breath, but at least you are never frightened of the scene in front of you.
So why do these differences even matter? Why do we even care to be able to categorize actions or feelings as either chemistry or compatibility? Because it helps you deal with what your expectations are of a relationship.
Just because a guy drives you wild in bed doesn't mean he should be the person that you spend your life with. And don't invite a two-week-old fling to your niece’s graduation. And conversely, just because you are completely compatible in many ways, it doesn’t mean your sex life is going to be all passionate, best-sex-ever experiences.
The biggest factor is time. Chemistry tends to be so hot that it burns out quickly, and compatibility takes a while to really discover. If you find a relationship that contains at least some of these differences in ONE package, it might be time to start scouting wedding venues.