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Discussion related to living as a Catholic in the single state of life. As long as a topic is being discussed from the perspective of a single Catholic then it will be on-topic.

Tobias and Sarah's story is from the Book of Tobit, and his journey is guided by Saint Raphael.
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Hi CMers! I read the new CM article on chemistry and how it does not mean you are "compatible" with someone but was wondering about the opposite situation--what if you are highly compatible with someone but you don't feel all the "chemistry" at first? Have any of you experienced this? Here is a link to the article: www.catholicmatch.com I know chemistry can be such a huge thing for so many people; I'm sure we've all heard the proverbial phrase "I just don't feel the chemistry between us" (or something similar) and perhaps we've even used this phrase ourselves. However, although chemistry does not equal compatibility and certainly IS NOT everything to building a strong, lasting relationship & marriage--what if there is not much chemistry at first but you are highly compatible with that person? I ask this question because I have met many people over the years who are in seemingly happy, wonderful marriages that for the most part initially had no chemistry; for instance, those who are in arranged marriages (or something similar). Furthermore, I have heard of, and experienced this personally, the situation where you "grow to love someone." In other words, there is not that initial crazy attraction or chemistry (or even bubbly feel-good feelings) but then later that person grows on you and you find yourself being more attracted to them. So CMers, what do you think? How important is chemistry compared to compatibility and do you think men and women value it differently? It is often said that men are more visually stimulated and thus need that initial, instant attraction but I have also heard of women who were highly compatible with a guy and they didn't even attempt something with him because they weren't attracted to him.
Mar 19th 2013 new
Whoops! Here is the link to the article: www.catholicmatch.com
Mar 19th 2013 new

I think one of the problems with the article is that it writes off chemistry as infatuation. In infatuation, you pretty much become obsessed with the person, you aren't real about their good qualities and the bad qualities, and it's all based on fleeting emotions. A relationship built merely on emotions has a weak foundation. To truly love, there needs to be a full commitment of the will.

Chemistry doesn't have to be defined as infatuation though. I think chemistry is something that just clicks, something about this person that just works with you. I also think chemistry is often based on that initial attraction. Attraction does not have to be something sexual. Attraction is basically the realization of a good in the other person--a good you know you lack, a good that you are drawn to.

The article seems to completely separate "chemistry" and compatibility at first, though in the end it somewhat brings them together again. I would like to have both. The article explains that compatibility is more logical, whereas chemistry is more emotional. Reason is important and can lead us to that commitment of the will I had previously mentioned. But we should also remember what Blaise Pascal said: "The heart has its reasons which reasons knows not of."

Mar 19th 2013 new

(Quote) Noemi-900477 said: I think one of the problems with the article is that it writes off chemistry as infatuation. In i...
(Quote) Noemi-900477 said:

I think one of the problems with the article is that it writes off chemistry as infatuation. In infatuation, you pretty much become obsessed with the person, you aren't real about their good qualities and the bad qualities, and it's all based on fleeting emotions. A relationship built merely on emotions has a weak foundation. To truly love, there needs to be a full commitment of the will.

Chemistry doesn't have to be defined as infatuation though. I think chemistry is something that just clicks, something about this person that just works with you. I also think chemistry is often based on that initial attraction. Attraction does not have to be something sexual. Attraction is basically the realization of a good in the other person--a good you know you lack, a good that you are drawn to.

The article seems to completely separate "chemistry" and compatibility at first, though in the end it somewhat brings them together again. I would like to have both. The article explains that compatibility is more logical, whereas chemistry is more emotional. Reason is important and can lead us to that commitment of the will I had previously mentioned. But we should also remember what Blaise Pascal said: "The heart has its reasons which reasons knows not of."

--hide--

I think you're right, Noemi!

Mar 19th 2013 new

(Quote) Tiffiany-902101 said: Hi CMers! I read the new CM article on chemistry and how it does not mean you are "compatible&qu...
(Quote) Tiffiany-902101 said: Hi CMers! I read the new CM article on chemistry and how it does not mean you are "compatible" with someone but was wondering about the opposite situation--what if you are highly compatible with someone but you don't feel all the "chemistry" at first? Have any of you experienced this? Here is a link to the article: www.catholicmatch.com I know chemistry can be such a huge thing for so many people; I'm sure we've all heard the proverbial phrase "I just don't feel the chemistry between us" (or something similar) and perhaps we've even used this phrase ourselves. However, although chemistry does not equal compatibility and certainly IS NOT everything to building a strong, lasting relationship & marriage--what if there is not much chemistry at first but you are highly compatible with that person? I ask this question because I have met many people over the years who are in seemingly happy, wonderful marriages that for the most part initially had no chemistry; for instance, those who are in arranged marriages (or something similar). Furthermore, I have heard of, and experienced this personally, the situation where you "grow to love someone." In other words, there is not that initial crazy attraction or chemistry (or even bubbly feel-good feelings) but then later that person grows on you and you find yourself being more attracted to them. So CMers, what do you think? How important is chemistry compared to compatibility and do you think men and women value it differently? It is often said that men are more visually stimulated and thus need that initial, instant attraction but I have also heard of women who were highly compatible with a guy and they didn't even attempt something with him because they weren't attracted to him.
--hide--
Chemistry is what can start a relationship and speed it along. At some point there should be some emotional attachment. This chemistry is what sparks interest, at least initially. But....that doesn't mean that any two random people who feel "chemistry" between them will make them ideal mates for each other. There needs to be a continuing attraction, but to the person as a whole.

It's true that some couples actually started out disliking each other, but as they got better acquainted, they "grew" on each other. Many solid marriages began that way. Ultimately people need to get beyond the chemistry factor and get down to business.

Chemistry alone just ain't gonna get the job done.

Mar 19th 2013 new

(Quote) Noemi-900477 said: The article seems to completely separate "chemistry" and compatibility at first, though...
(Quote) Noemi-900477 said:

The article seems to completely separate "chemistry" and compatibility at first, though in the end it somewhat brings them together again. I would like to have both. The article explains that compatibility is more logical, whereas chemistry is more emotional. Reason is important and can lead us to that commitment of the will I had previously mentioned. But we should also remember what Blaise Pascal said: "The heart has its reasons which reasons knows not of."

--hide--


I agree with Noemi: It should be both. Like our catholic belief about 'body' and 'spirit', compatibility being the more physical/rational part and chemistry being the spiritual/emotional part. Of course that's an imcomplete comparison, but still:
Chemistry is NOT infatuation, indeed; and compatibility is not a comparison of resume. There you find already that it should come together. Of course, not all relationships have both on the same level.
An arranged marriage will often have not directly chemistry, but -based on the compatibility and the fact that you ARE married- chemistry will come.
A relationship 'against all odds' will suddenly reveal hidden compatibilities.
And also, falling in love often starts with one of the two. In a friendship, people realize they get along very well so start based on chemistry. Or they are discussing their facts of life and discover compatibility.
In a sudden confrontation ('love at first sight' or online dating), people often will either contact eachother based on common things on their profiles or because they just feel they'd click.

After that, I think the other part -either chemistry or compatibility- should be established before the relationship can really grow. So I do agree with the article that next to a superficial chemistry, you will NEED a compatibility. For us here, I think that compatibility is first found in the common catholic faith.

Mar 19th 2013 new

Compatibility may have longevity over chemistry, so you ask a valid and interesting question. I work with many Hindus from India and I have known several Muslims as friends and co-workers. Most of these people were married in arranged marriages and it's interesting to hear not only of their stories of initial apprehensions over their matches (one Hindu couple I work with met two days before their marriage!), but how they and their families used a carefully calculated method of compatibility to choose their spouses. It's also interesting that divorce is almost unheard of within their cultures, although it does occur sporadically.

I'm not advocating arranged marriages, but I think that people in modern western culture place too much emphasis on the importance of chemistry, misinterpret the word, or simply confuse it with infatuation. I think compatibility (as you describe it) certainly merits consideration over chemistry when discerning the long term viability of a potential relationship. Good topic!

Mar 19th 2013 new
Thanks John! Yes, I would agree with you. I think what this article refers to--and certainly what I am referring to--is chemistry and not infatuation. Chemistry being moreso the bubbly feelings or butterflies you get around a person whereas infatuation is more of an unhealthy obsession, in my opinion, where you think that without that person you cannot survive. Again, these are all my own personal definitions. As far as arranged marriages go, I go back and forth on how I feel about them, but I feel like if LOVE--true Godly, selfless love--is at the center of the marriage then that is a good start. I think so often in American culture we tend to get caught up in the early, passionate stages of a relationship (ie those butterfly feelings) instead of realizing that those are not what it takes to truly lead to a long-lasting, committed relationship and marriage. In my opinion there needs to be a huge dose of compatibility and then chemistry at some point, but not necessarily at the beginning. I think early-on, super-strong chemistry is more so infatuation, lust, etc. and will ultimately fade.
Mar 19th 2013 new

As someone recently said on another thread, you will spend very little of your time as a married person having sex. In terms of volume of time spent, all the other "stuff" of compatibility is at least in terms of volume, "more" important.

So to base an entire discernment of marriage on lack of initial chemistry alone is a big mistake.

If someone repulses you, but you are "compatible" don't waste their time or yours. But if someone is compatible, and you feel they are pleasant enough, and you can imagine having chemistry with them, even a little tiny bit, then I say pursue it.

People can absolutely grow on you, as John said about the arranged marriages. And you will never know if you don't give it a try.

Should you date them for 2 years hoping for some chemistry? No. But a few dates? Yes.

Mar 19th 2013 new

(Quote) Tiffiany-902101 said: ... It is often said that men are more visually stimulated and thus need that initial, instant attr...
(Quote) Tiffiany-902101 said: ... It is often said that men are more visually stimulated and thus need that initial, instant attraction ...
--hide--
I don't believe that. My husband didn't give me a second look for the first year we were acquainted...but by the third year we'd become best friends to the point that he proposed -- without having ever asked for a date.

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