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Contrary to common belief, chemistry and compatibility do not represent the same thing. Moreover, understanding the difference between compatibility vs chemistry is crucial. As it helps us establish healthy, balanced and long lasting relationships.


In a nutshell, compatibility is about the long-term potential of two people. And a high compatibility comes from similarities in lifestyle, as well as their fundamental beliefs and values.

For instance, a drug-lord and a law abiding priest/priestess wouldn’t necessarily date each other, would they? That is because their values and outlook on life do not align.

Compatibility vs Chemistry
Image text from Mark Manson


On the other hand, chemistry is that pull, that heat, that intensity we feel towards someone. You may relate the feeling to love at first sight. Notably, when you have high chemistry with someone, they take over your thoughts. And probably your free time, too.

Chemistry is the initial physical response and attraction we have to a person.

Matchmaker, Claire AH

Fundamentally, the rule of chemistry is; Whatever the one person feels, the other also likely feels the same.

Compatibility vs Chemistry
Image text from Mark Manson

Compatibility vs Chemistry

While chemistry is the desire to go towards someone. Matchmaker Claire AH says compatibility is what makes us want to stay there.

The difference is that it’s much easier to establish chemistry than it is compatibility

Relationship Coach, Alex Scot

For you to tell the two apart in a relationship, Scot suggests trying this exercise:

  • First, look at the relationship as an objective whole.
  • Then, create a T-chart with compatibility on one side and chemistry on the other.
  • List out under appropriate category which events between the two of you are points for chemistry and for compatibility.
  • Finally, assess your results.

Ideally, you’ll want a pretty even list.

Healthy vs Toxic combinations of the two

Compatibility vs Chemistry
Image text from Mark Manson

Actually, different seasons in a relationship may call us to work more on establishing one over the other. Ultimately finding the sweet spot of high compatibility and high chemistry is where a fun, balanced relationship is formed.

So, are chemistry and compatibility factors you consider in your relationships? Now comment bellow to let us know. And read more lifestyle content here.

Nandeekwa Nandi Tjiurutue

Hey I'm Nandi, Afterbreak's Senior Editor.
Most of the time I'm being a serious content writer and editor. And when I'm not, I probably have my nose stuck in a book, have my hands covered in paint or making random reels on Instagram.
I'm all for becoming our best selves and living our best life. ✌ Happy Reading!

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Afterbreak Magazine is a Namibian digital youth magazine that presently leads in educating, empowering and entertaining young Namibian people, with the aim of building a community of growth, a sense of responsibility and a shared identity.

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April 2022