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What Does Chemistry Have to Do With Attraction?


When people are attracted to each other, they are often said to “have chemistry.” This term is also used to describe when two people get along really well or are a good match, as in “you two seem to really have good chemistry together.”

So why do we say chemistry? Is it really a chemical bond that binds us? Do we really react to the body chemistry of other people? There are scientists who say that pheromones, certain chemicals that our bodies secrete (as do other animals) that tend to attract other people of the opposite sex, are a key factor in why we are drawn to certain people and not others. In fact, there is evidence in nature that suggests this is true.

But do chemicals alone constitute an attraction? One would beg to differ with that. Our body chemistry alone cannot be the only factor that allows us to “like someone.” While it may play a role, there are many more aspects at play.

For example, the looks of a person play an important role in our first impression of them. And that does not mean only whether we find the other person attractive physically, or whether we think they are handsome or pretty in the face. Their hygiene, hairstyle, choice of clothing, tan (or lack of), whether they look high or under the influence of any drugs or alcohol, the way they walk, talk, their mannerisms… all of these things have a major effect on how we perceive someone at first glance.

It’s interesting how some will use the term “love at first sight” to describe someone that seems to be just their exact type, during that first impression. Perhaps body chemistry is in the mix, there, as well.

A person’s values, interests, and personality will have an impact on whether we like them and/or could see ourselves dating the person. If we are marriage types, we look to see if other people are someone we could settle down with. We also like to judge their appearance on whether they would be good to mate and have children with.

These are all things that could be loosely termed, “having good chemistry.” Isn’t it fascinating how we equate agreement to value? If we agree with something we see in someone, or something they say, or what they wear, and so on, we believe that they are more valuable, and we in fact like them more than we would if we did not have as much in common.

This also explains why so many of us, whether we admit it or not, resist adversity. If we don’t have a lot in common with someone (that can be cultural, grammatical, taste in music/moves, or otherwise), we don’t like them as much. We don’t like what is not like us. Why is that? We don’t want people to be exactly the same as us, but we want them to be similar. Isn’t that strange?

Obviously, there is rationale for why we want to have chemistry, whether in the literal chemical sense, or in the figurative sense. Spending time with someone means deciding what to do together. And that means you have to have some sort of common ground on what you like to do. It’s amazing how many couples don’t have that much in common, yet they get along fine. However, sometimes those relationships “get old.”

One aspect in a person that has universal appeal is when they care about you and love you. Often, love itself transcends other types of superficial chemistry. How much does chemistry and having things in common affect how you treat people and how much does it affect whom you chose to date? Food for thought!



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