15 Men Explain The Major Differences Between Sexual Attraction & Intense Chemistry

So unbelievably romantic.

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Chemistry is more than just a science many of us suffer through during high school. We use the word "chemistry" when we're talking about a special and unique quality in a romantic relationship.

Suffice to say, having good chemistry is something pretty critical in relationships, but what does it actually mean?

I use chemistry to describe that sweet spot where physical attraction and complementary personalities collide. But when it comes to what men think about good chemistry versus sexual attraction, things may be a little different.


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You see, men have their own version of what chemistry means, which is kind of nice because A) it means they believe that chemistry exists and want to seek it out, and B) because it proves that men are just as guilty as using this word in a myriad of different ways.


I assumed that most men would use the word chemistry to describe whether or not they want to be intimate with someone. What I found when I stumbled into a conversation on the AskMen subreddit couldn't have been more different.

One Redditor asked the guys, "What is it like when you feel chemistry with someone? Is this different than just being physically attracted to them?"

Check out what men think good chemistry means when it comes to dating and how it's different from basic sexual attraction.

1. Good chemistry doesn't make you bone-weary.

"'It's not exhausting when you interact with them' is my biggest indicator of chemistry with someone. Like, you come away from them wishing that the other thing you needed to do wasn't there so you could spend even more time with them if you could."

2. With good chemistry, you can spend hours and hours together.

"I love my family, but I don't have chemistry with them nor am I 'in love' with them. Spending time around my family tires me out, to the point that I try not to stay over for holidays and that moving out after graduation was the best thing I've ever done.


But my wife doesn't have that effect on me. I can stay with her for ages. I don't get tired and we don't really fight (as I would sometimes with my family)."

3. She's always on your mind.

"I'm an introvert, but I want to be with my girl all the time. She's the only person who doesn't ever wear me out. Also, when I met her she wasn't 'supermodel' hot, but I still just couldn't stop thinking about her. It was definitely more than just attraction."

4. You feel as relaxed as you would on your own.

"Chemistry is about the elevated emotions and spark you feel, but also about the mellowing emotions and feeling as relaxed around someone as you would alone."

5. Good chemistry feels natural and right.

"Chemistry is when your interactions with the other person just work incredibly well and feel very natural. It is no longer exhausting at all to be with them. Chemistry also implies that both persons feel the same way. Usually, people around you start to notice as well."


6. They're like the charger to your iPhone.

"They recharge you. Your happiness is somewhat contingent on theirs. And you can't help it."

7. It's a physical pull.

"I'm sure everyone has a slightly different definition. Chemistry is complicated, so maybe it’s easier to explain with a story.

In college, this girl and I had great chemistry. Whenever we were close, we could not help but get closer. It was a gravitational pull. We’d lock eyes and both begin smiling ear to ear. It was electric and, to be honest, scary.

When two people are spellbound by one another, it can go real bad or real well. Mine did not go well, but neither she nor I had a choice in the matter, because chemistry."


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8. You miss them right after they leave.

"It's when every interaction is just easy and works. When you miss them two minutes after saying goodbye. It's when the only place you'd ever want to be is by their side."

9. Chemistry just is.

"The only way I have to describe it, is that it just is. Like being 'in the zone' in sports. Or those days where you wake up and just want to [grab the bull by the horn] and make it call you daddy. You're around your partner and it just elevates you, brings you to another level."

10. It makes the hard parts of relationships easier.

"If a romantic relationship is the development of mutual vulnerability and trust, chemistry is what makes that easy.


It's being on the same page enough that they are quick to understand what you mean to say, it's being mutually attracted enough to want to forgive each other's mistakes, it's sharing enough mutual interest or understanding of interests to not feel the need to hide parts of yourself."

11. Chemistry is more than just sexual attraction.

"I'd say physical attraction is part of it, but chemistry on some level requires an emotional/intellectual/taste connection more than attraction/a crush/etc."

12. You're just on the same wavelength.

"The best way I can describe it is that it is super easy to be yourself around them because you're operating on the same wavelength. There's a feeling of being in sync or in tune with that person."

13. Chemistry doesn't fade.

"Physical attraction fades. Chemistry with another human being does not. You don't notice their presence, but you do notice their absence."


14. You're drawn to them.

"For me, it's like I'm drawn to them. I actively crave their company, and not just [in the bedroom]."

15. ...Or you may not like them at all.

"I guess it would be mutual mental attraction. But also the person smells good and tastes good to you, you are good partners in the dance of life.

I'm very physically attracted to this girl, and when we hang out we just seem to have zero chemistry. Big and little things she does all rub me the wrong way, hate her music, that kind of thing.

When we are partners in projects, I find her very unhelpful and we kind of just get in each other's way. I'm guessing she would say the same about me. The more we are around each other, the thicker the ice. But I would bet our mutual friends are wondering why we are not dating."


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Rebecca Jane Stokes is a freelance writer and the former Senior Editor of Pop Culture at Newsweek with a passion for lifestyle, geek news, and true crime.