What is more important in a relationship- compatibility or chemistry? This an interesting question. I have heard lots of debate from both sides.

It is not an easy task to get to know someone. Both compatibility and chemistry need to be understood. They are real and not something that can be changed. The words “compatibility” and “chemistry” are often used in place of each other, yet they are not the same at all.


Compatibility is an alignment of lifestyles, values, interests and approach to life between two people. What are the values and outlooks that are most important to you? Men or women can be sought out who are compatible with you, based on subjective criteria. This is more identifiable from a logical and concrete basis.

If you were to put a man and woman together who value money very differently, it is a near disaster in the end. Fundamental incompatibility is something that is likely not to be overcome. It has been proven that people with high compatibility –similarities in their lifestyles and values, will have more success in long-term potential in a relationship.


Chemistry is an intense feeling you have with someone. If a man has this emotional connection with a woman, and she feels the same, there is chemistry. Two people with a high degree of chemistry will bring out a circular positive feedback loop, whereby each person makes the other feel better. There is that feeling where your thoughts are constantly consumed by the other person. Some call it passion, love or infatuation. High levels of chemistry are often found in people who have opposite, yet complementary qualities in people. For example, serious and driven people are often attracted to those who are more laid back and easy going. A lack of chemistry is not the same as incompatibility. The result is not disastrous. Rather, lack of chemistry resonates in lack of emotional intensity.

It seems that having compatibility and chemistry at the same time, is not that easy to find. Most often you will find compatibility alone. A relationship with high compatibility but little chemistry provides companionship and harmony, but is likely lacking in the excitement or spark.

Conversely, if you only have chemistry without compatibility, it will be a pretty short relationship with a lot of disagreement or dissatisfaction. While there might be instant sparks, they will quick fizzle out without the concrete foundation of common values and lifestyles.

In the end, it is fair to say that you need some of both- compatibility and chemistry to have a great relationship. However, it all begins with a first meeting with a like-minded successful single professional.

Next week… read about What’s Hot and What’s Not?

Blog Post Inspired by:
Mark Manson
Author. Thinker. Life enthusiast.
Article from Dec. 17, 2010