I love the question. I love the intrigue behind the question. I love unicorns and six hour sex marathons, too. And like these two things, finding compatibility without chemistry is a fairy tale. On the other hand, chemistry without compatibility can be a reality. Pardon me while I expound.
- Chemistry can, to some people, be as simple as lust and attraction. Two people see each other in a room and they want to get to know each other in the most intimate ways. And very soon. They would note that they have chemistry.
- Chemistry can, to some people, be lust, attraction and rapport. Two people see each other in a room and they want to get to know each other in the most intimate ways and they have good banter and similar interests and views. They would note that they have chemistry.
Chemistry can be different things to different people.
Compatibility, on the other hand, requires specific things to be present.
- Similarity in mindsets.
- Similarity in goals.
- Similarity in needs.
- Physical, verbal and intellectual intimacy.
Without these, two people won’t be able to fully and naturally connect over the long term. Eventually what may seem like compatibility will fade and they will realize it was the appearance of compatibility and nothing else. We human creatures do this a lot. It’s easy to seek and find attraction in the physical sense but finding someone of similar mindsets and goals that can meet our needs is a bird of a different feather.
To answer the direct question posed in this article, women, post-divorce, should seek whatever their head and their heart desires. A more nuanced response means looking at short-term versus long-term and fully understanding needs and wants.
It’s not uncommon, for instance, for anyone to want to just ‘have fun’ after a divorce. Perhaps they had a sheltered marriage. Perhaps they had an absent or unsatisfactory sex life. Whatever the reason, looking for instant chemistry in the simplest sense may be in the cards. Identifying this as such and going after it warrants no criticism. What’s important here is that they know what it is (chemistry) and what it’s not (compatibility).
If/when they’re ready for a relationship, chemistry alone won’t get them there. Chemistry fills that physical box but doesn’t address other aspects of a partnership that define the true compatibility necessary for a sustained and fulfilling relationship.
Needs and wants are the drivers for understanding how to find compatibility. A needs (non-negotiable) and wants (negotiable) discussion or exercise will have women getting clear on the aspects of a partner and a relationship that make them happy. If women can’t get clear on these, they will (and often do) settle.
As an example, Kim may want compatibility because she’s over just ‘having fun’. So she puts herself back out there in the interest of finding a relationship and starts going on dates. The guys she meets are attractive, charming and funny. Chemistry is off the charts. Kim, however, never got clear on her needs but what’s in front of her seems so right. Fast forward six months of dating Ed and she’s not exactly happy. What seemed right at the beginning is now good (physical chemistry) in some ways but not so good (compatibility) in others. They want different things. They have polar opposite political views. He is very ambitious and works late hours which doesn’t meet her needs of having someone she can wind down with most nights. I think you get my point.
Compatibility and chemistry are two different things. Chemistry can exist without compatibility but not vice versa. Women, after a divorce, should seek whichever path their head and heart are leaning and the answer could be a difference between short-term and long-term. Whatever the answer, compatibility cannot occur without one’s needs and wants.
Before you put yourself back out there, you must love yourself first. Otherwise, you will build your needs or accept treatment based on what you believe you deserve and what you believe you deserve will be commensurate with how you feel about yourself. Take time. Rediscover why you rock. Accept nothing less than what you deserve!