Dr. Romance on Love and Chemistry

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Dr. Romance on Love and Chemistry
I never found an adult client who didn't recognize chemistry; the feeling of being in love.

Dr. Romance writes:

Many of my clients want to know: What is a safe surrender to love? They have been in love before, and have gotten hurt. While we all are aware of the joy and beauty of love, and the profound pleasure of being in love, most of us are also afraid of mistakes, of making a wrong decision.

We know, on an inner level, that living and loving by chemistry alone can be dangerous. Many of us equate good chemistry with true love, and bad chemistry with lack of love, yet we have trouble knowing which is which.

In all my years of counseling, I never found an adult client who didn't recognize chemistry; the feeling of being in love. Chemistry is the rush, the high that we experience when we get together with someone who mysteriously turns us on. Everyone I've talked to seems to know the difference between loving someone, in a familial, friendly, platonic or parental way, and being in love, which implies romantic, sexual, turned on love, sometimes even lust.

Chemistry is usually the first thing that must be present in order for a romantic relationship to exist. No one has the energy for the sometimes difficult journey of love without the excitement of physical response. The question is not whether chemistry exists, but whether it's the kind of chemistry that will produce a healthy relationship. Good chemistry can help your relationship sustain itself through the initial dating phase while you and your partner get to know more about each other. The excitement of it all can help you overcome your ambivalence about introducing your new romance to your friends, and help both of you to open up, to share your inner thoughts and even be more generous with your time and your possessions than you might otherwise be with this new person, who still somewhat of a stranger. Chemistry overpowers the strangeness of being new to each other, and makes you feel close right away. While this is often helpful, it has some pitfalls if you let your chemistry lead you without conscious thought.

Chemistry is powerful, but if you focus too heavily on whether or not you are excited about someone, you may discount the very real possibilities of the kind of love that grows slowly, such as a friendship that eventually becomes a lover relationship.

There are several myths about chemistry that might trip you on your way to a solid, lasting relationship:

* Chemistry Myth #1: Love happens instantly, you must be absolutely sure from the beginning, you’ll know when you find it, and chemistry is all you need.

These ideas are heavily promoted in movies, TV, novels and plays. Such romantic falling in love can be great entertainment, but it usually doesn't work well in real life. You need a lot more than chemistry to create lasting love.

*Chemistry Myth #2: Physical lust is always the same as love.

While love can include physical excitement, at other times purely physical and/or circumstantial attraction can exist that fades rather quickly, and leads nowhere. The more you get to know each other, the less exciting a purely physical attraction is; with love, the better you know each other, the more love grows.

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.
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Dr. Tina Tessina

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Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D.
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Location: Long Beach, CA
Credentials: LMFT, MFT, PhD
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