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Relationship Chemistry


In many ways relationships are similar to combinations of elements that create chemical reactions.  Some blend together and create another entirely different substance that is very useful, while other combinations create highly volatile, explosive substances that can blow up with very little provocation. 


However, the similarities stop there.  While the combination of various elements and reactions of putting them together have been well documented scientifically, the combinations of different people and personalities is anything but scientifically predictable.


If one combines two hydrogen atoms with one oxygen atom, the result is, H2O, water, the basis of much of life.  But let’s examine another “chemical” reaction between two people.


A number of years ago a couple came in to see me for help. They were each of different religious backgrounds but, though spiritual, were not particularly religious. They had never even thought about what would happen if they combined their religions in a family situation. Their five-year old had come home one day asking to go to Sunday school like his friends. The mother had said not to worry, that she would enroll him in the temple religious school the following Monday.  The father said, no, that he would take him to the family church and enroll him on Monday.  The couple had never talked about nor considered the consequences of religion for themselves of raising a child. While some couples work through this with little to no difficulty, both of these people became quite adamant about their positions when it came to their child.  The situation exploded in a nasty divorce.


Religion is far from the only combination of relationship “chemicals” that can lead to explosive actions. What might not even seem like an issue when dating, even for an extended period of time, could have the potential to have an explosive reaction under pressure.  Personality characteristics, physical traits, activity preferences, social standing, education, and many other characteristics all impact a relationship.  They are all part of relationship chemistry. Each has the potential to combine into a wonderful new element but also the potential to combine into something highly explosive.


One of the reasons I have couples, or even individuals, make lists of what they think they may want in a relationship is so that the various elements are brought to a conscious level so that those elements may be discussed openly.


For a better, more fulfilling relationship, the chemistry of combining the elements of both individuals is an extremely important consideration. Relationship chemistry is not just some abstract concept.


Until next time, this is Dr. Andrew telling you to “Be kind to yourself.”

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