Five Secrets for Managing Passionate Love
- Neil Clark Warren eHarmony.com
- 2002 10 Oct
The Importance of Chemistry
When it comes to you and a person you think you have a chance for a long-term relationship with, I take some strong positions on passionate love-how to manage it, whether it’s important to have, and all the rest. I’d like to examine this sensitive topic and share my secrets for using your passionate love to create a healthy and fulfilling marriage.
First of all, I believe that in any relationship that is going to last for a long time, chemistry is absolutely crucial. As a matter of fact, I say that if you don’t have chemistry in the relationship-that is, if you aren’t really attracted to the other person or you sense that the other person isn’t really attracted to you-you just don’t want to go ahead with the relationship. Let it be a friendship, but not a long-term romantic relationship.
Chemistry is definitely physical. It is sexual. It is the desire you have to be around the other person, to hold their hand, to have your arm around them, or to hold them close to you. That attraction you have on a totally physical basis is what we’re referring to as chemistry, as passion. So, if you have a relationship that you think has a chance for a long-term run, as it were, and you don’t have that kind of passion, I say take it slow. Go easy. Wait and see what develops.
In all my seminars, I can always know that someone will ask, "Well, how long should we wait?" And I always say to them, without trying to be facetious, "You ought to wait as long as you can afford to wait."
Some women know exactly what I’m talking about, because if you have a biological clock that is running, and you don’t have chemistry toward a person, then you don’t want to waste a lot of time waiting on that relationship to develop chemistry. If you have all kinds of time and you don’t have anyone else that you’re interested in dating, then you might want to wait for a while to see if the chemistry develops.
The importance of chemistry cannot be overestimated. One of my long-term colleagues, Dr. Paul Roberts, has often said that when a couple comes to him for marriage counseling, he knows pretty early in the game whether they have any chemistry or not on the basis of where they sit in relation to each other in his office. If they sit close together and the man has his arm around her, and she has her arm around him or has her hand on top of his hand, then Dr. Roberts says that he knows that there’s probably a pretty good chance of working things through in that relationship.
You see they have energy, kind of an automatic physical energy, to attend to one another such that they will want to work out the problem. But he says that when a couple comes in and they don’t seem to have any chemistry in relation to one another he worries; without that chemistry, there’s a fear that maybe those problems that need so much attention, so much effort, maybe they just won’t be able to receive that kind of effort because the chemistry isn’t there to kind of propel it.
Chemistry in relation to another person is an absolute prerequisite for forming any long-term, permanent relationship with another person. Now, I also take the position that any couple should go together for a considerable time before they determine whether they have what can be thought of as a marriage relationship; whether they should commit themselves to each other for a lifetime.