Chemistry vs. Compatability


As we get older, we start to let go of these fairytale notions of bumping into our Prince as you both reach for the same book at the library… In the real world, we’d go for coffee with the guy and ask him a million questions about morality, his background, his job and education, etc before we’d even entertain the idea of pursuing something with him.

Even websites like OKC ask users to complete a tonne of questions and give you a match percentage with other users. The logic behind this approach to dating stems from the idea that there is no point wasting your time even meeting a guy who is a religious fundamentalist when you are a militant hater of God, no matter how good looking and well-educated he is.

I see the point and all but how about if we rewind back to the good old days before advent of complicated compatibility algorithms. Imagine a parallel universe where you bump into the aforementioned guy, while were just roaming around the Waterfront and you get chatting and the banter is good. While you don’t get into the serious stuff there is a good rapport and this magical thing called CHEMISTRY which results in the night ending in foot popping kisses.

It’s a pretty tricky situation. It can be argued that compatibility is more important when it comes to a relationship lasting in the long-term, however, can such an association get off the ground without a little bit of sparkle (aka chemistry). I’ve dated plenty of guys that look good on paper where they’ve ticked all the right boxes – decent photo, gainfully employed, educated, good morals, etc but when you go to meet them you just end up feeling blah. These are the guys that you are somewhat half-hearted about but you’ll push through the torment of a couple of dates because they literally do everything right – take you to wine estates, the theatre, gourmet restaurants, drive you around in a fancy car but at the end of the day you could take it or leave it. No biggie.

On the flipside, there are those guys you start by rolling your eyes at…it’ll never work you say to yourself. But the world has a way surprising you. Maybe it’s the banter that draws you in or maybe you convince yourself that you guys have an emotional connection as sit up till the early hours discussing your previous heartbreaks. Either way, these are the ones that manage to get under your skin and monopolise your thoughts. It becomes all about this intense emotional connection. Even if your friends point out the red flags you keep going back for more. That spark is like a drug and you can’t get enough.

But speaking from experience, these things that start with butterflies have a habit of ending in disaster. In the best cases, they’ll end quickly and the pain will be short and sharp. And then there are other times, where one will let this chemistry develop into something long-term. But is this little spark a good enough foundation on which to base a long-term relationship or does our real Prince Charming actually have to tick ALL those boxes?

Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below. Dear Rinsers, how important is chemistry? Should we stop focusing on the butterflies and instead look at the bigger picture? Or is there a middle ground – a dream guy that looks good on paper but can give us those all-important foot-popping kisses?  


  1. […] In the short-term it’s obvious why opposites attract. Most people would find dating their shadow mind numbingly boring. While it’s nice to connect on some commonalities, it’s also pretty cool to be exposed to new things, some of which you might never have even known existed. Basically, meeting someone different from yourself and the usual suspects you hang out with can be quite refreshing and can be the source of some excellent chemistry. […]


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