Compatibility Versus Chemistry and Why You Need Both in Your Life

Compatibility and chemistry are often disguised and mistaken for one another. They are intangible constructs that cannot be seen by the eye nor calculated using a precise formula. These factors are more intuitively felt rather than analyzed with data. Because of this, people often struggle to identify their presence (or lack thereof) in potential mates and confuse which one they are feeling. But, it is crucial that we learn to distinguish the difference between chemistry and compatibility, as they host profoundly different results for your life. One will lead you to great sex while the other will lead you to great partnership. And assuming you don’t want to have to choose, you can learn how to attract both.


While profoundly complex and wildly stubborn in allowing us to define it, can be simplified into energy. It is a mutual exchange of energy. It occurs when two people mirror a connection toward one other. What causes chemistry, is actually a bit more understood by scientists. A combination of pheromones, neurotransmitters, intellectual similarity, and emotional connection all lead us to the experience of chemistry with another. It feels magnetic, stimulating, powerful. It is often described like electricity in the body.


However, compatibility is felt more through the mind. It is based upon shared values, ideologies, behaviors, and goals. Compatibility does not mean that your relationship must be completely problem-free and void of conflict in order for it to have compatibility. It means that compatible partners are able to successfully navigate through the challenges and conflicts that will inevitably arise. One of the greatest factors influencing compatibility is communication. Referring to both verbal and nonverbal, how do you and your partner communicate? Does it flow or does it feel unsafe and stagnant? Observing your communication is a strong analysis method to know if you are compatible with someone.

Two people can experience intense chemistry, but rate very low in compatibility. This is a common scenario in which many people choose to ignore the signs that they probably shouldn’t engage in anything further than a midnight rendezvous. Simply because you feel an intense attraction pulling you toward someone does not mean that you should build a life with them. A relationship built upon chemistry alone is often marked with intense physical connection, but emotional chaos. A relationship marked solely by strong compatibility without the chemistry can feel comfortable, but uninspiring. Even if we are talking about a basic friendship with no romantic intentions, this can be straight up dull. All relationships, to be successful, fulfilling, and last longer than a week, require the presence of both chemistry and compatibility.

Examine Yourself First

If you want to attract both chemistry and compatibility in a partner, examine yourself first. The people you attract into your life will ultimately say more about you than anyone else. Meaning, if you want someone who is honest, you must value honesty and, most importantly, practice it. If you want someone who is warm and kind, you cannot expect to attract that if you are cold and malicious. We cannot ask for the universe to bring us something that we cannot offer ourselves. As Martin Ucek, author of Integral Relationships: A Manual For Men, so wisely communicates, “individuals who are fully actualized at their level of consciousness are most compatible with partners who are at the same altitude.” Essentially, we attract the energy we offer.

Written by: Aubrey Koel, LCPC