Chemistry vs. Consistency in a Relationship
What makes for a better relationship? Can you have chemistry without consistency? Can one exist without the other in a successful relationship? Let’s dive in a little deeper.
First off, what is the difference between the two?
The main differentiating factor is that chemistry comes naturally. This is something you cannot force. While consistency is something you work towards as a couple. Do you want the same things in life? Can you accept those parts of your partner you don’t necessarily like? Those are two big questions to ask yourself when it comes to figuring out the consistency part of your relationship.
Chemistry is the feeling you have when you’re attracted to someone. The physical aspects of this can be described as elevated heart rate and butterflies in your stomach. It’s that initial attraction and excitement that comes naturally. Although this is great to have in a relationship, it can also distract you from reality. It can mask the traits of your significant other that you don’t like, and basically trick you into “accepting” them. But are you really accepting them (the good and the bad) or are you quite literally blinded by love? Think about this as the honeymoon phase. It’s part of every relationship. The early stage of your relationship that’s all about fun and involves zero to minimal fighting. It feels like your partner can do no wrong. Sadly, this phase doesn’t last forever and we have to come to terms with reality at some point. This is when consistency kicks in and determines whether or not a relationship will last.
Although it’s ideal to have both chemistry and consistency in a relationship, consistency will always prevail. Eventually, couples will run into conflict and have to make tough decisions. And it’s consistency that will get them through it. It’s the initial chemistry that brings you together but it's consistency that keeps you together. Think about the important aspects of a relationship like trust, communication, and loyalty. The butterflies that you feel when you see your partner won’t necessarily get you both through a tough time like a big move or a loss. These are things that all couples need to attend to, even those who have been together for decades. Just like it’s in our nature to constantly want to improve ourselves, it should be the same for relationships. It’s not a one and done deal. “I’ve found my person and now I can relax.” It’s something that’s constantly evolving, as you as individuals are constantly evolving. Once you can shift your perspective and view the relationship this way, the importance of consistency will make more sense.
How does one maintain a successful relationship?
Once the chemistry has peaked in a relationship and you’ve both learned enough about each other, it’s time to re-evaluate. Have you had the serious conversations about what you want in life (marriage, kids, career, etc)? Do your values align? Can you accept each other’s flaws? These are conversations often missed in relationships that start off young but go on for years. When you start dating in college, you’re likely not going to have these types of conversations. That life seems so far ahead, you’re not even thinking about it. Fast forward 10 years later -- it’s time to have those conversations. You think because you’ve known each other for so long that you want the same thing. But that’s not always the case.
When you’re 20 years old, you don’t necessarily know what you will want in the future. And that’s okay. Even if you’re 30 and you don’t know what you want, you’ll figure it out. Maybe both partners will figure it out together. However, it’s always important to communicate your wants and needs to your partner. This is part of consistency. We like to assume our partner should just know what we want and need. Sometimes they do. But we can’t get mad if they don’t and we aren’t communicating that message.
If you’re starting out in a new relationship, we invite you to dig deeper beyond the chemistry and initial attraction. Truly get to know your partner. Allow them into your world and immerse yourself into theirs. This will make the transition out of the honeymoon phase easier, when you can bring in aspects of consistency early on. At the end of the day, of course we want to have both in our relationship. And maybe you will. But when you can break it down and see why consistency is important, it makes sense why it’s the key to a successful relationship.
Remember, every relationship is different
Just as we are all different as individuals with various personalities, needs, emotions, etc., we are all going to have different relationships. You can’t compare your relationship to someone else’s because you are not them. Every couple will encounter their own set of problems and deal with it in their own ways. Therefore, they will balance their chemistry and consistency in different ways as well.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or like your relationship is a lot of work, that’s okay. Relationships are hard work. They shouldn’t be forced but they shouldn’t be ignored either. Just like everything in life, it’s all about balance. Sometimes it takes finding the right partner to get the right balance. It’s all a learning experience. You really learn a lot about yourself once the relationship starts blossoming. Whether you’re having the most amazing time or you’re frustrated and not sure what to do, always take a minute to pause and be present. Why are you having an amazing time? What is it about your partner and this relationship that you love? If you’re frustrated, can you pin-point exactly why? And is it something you can work through together?
It’s nice to have someone to talk to about your relationship but keep in mind that every relationship is different. And just because your best friend seems to have all the chemistry and consistency in her relationship, doesn’t mean it’s perfect. You can’t compare the two…as everyone is different, and so are their relationships.
If you’re struggling to find that balance of chemistry and consistency in your relationship and would like to speak with a professional, schedule an appointment with one of our therapists today.
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