How do you know if someone is right for you?

chemistry compatibility dating datingcoach loveyourself personal development personal growth relationshipcoach relationships selflove soulmates Apr 18, 2022

Hello, my friend I'm back with another blog to help you on the path to loving yourself more, successfully dating and finding your dream relationship.

In today's blog, I want to give you questions to help discern if the person you're dating is right for you long term. OR if the amazing chemistry you feel is actually misleading you. 

And here's why you need to keep reading.

We can get so caught up overvaluing the chemistry we feel with someone. That we overlook if someone would ACTUALLY make a good partner for us long term.

And I want you to pay special attention if like me you were brought up on a diet of watching 80's & '90s romcoms and Disney movies. Because let's be real the leading lady and Prince Charming or dudes played by that hot ass Matthew M did NOT have conversations about compatibility. IT WAS ALL ABOUT THE CHEMISTRY AND SPARK!

So a lot of us (me included) bought into this idea that if the initial spark exists it guarantees that a person is right for us. And if the sparks aren't flying immediately it means we should walk away.

But the truth is neither of those scenarios are true.

So my mission is to give you guidance to help you assess when dating someone if they are right for you.

Let's dive in.

Chemistry V Compatibility

Chemistry is the initial attraction. It's the thing that draws you to someone and makes you curious to connect more with a person.

But chemistry is not going to be the thing that gets you through relationship hard times. It's not going to help you get through adversity, it's not going to be the thing that makes your relationship grow and evolve.

Chemistry is necessary for a relationship to thrive. But it's not enough to base a relationship on only chemistry. And that's where compatibility comes in.

Compatibility is what supports a happy, healthy thriving, relationship. It's what helps you to work through problems and adversity. Compatibility is what gets you through when life lobs you a curveball.

Because the truth is this


Relationships will face tough times. Happy, healthy, thriving relationships take some work. And if you end up in a relationship with someone whom you have AMAZING chemistry but little or no compatibility with. As soon as you hit a slight bump in the road things are very likely going to fall apart.

My personal experience

When I reflect back on the guys I dated I can see a very clear pattern.

When I experienced electric, overpowering feelings about someone from the minute I set eyes on them IT NEVER WORKED OUT! 

And here’s why.

What I was feeling wasn’t chemistry. It was me on an emotional rollercoaster with a very over-activated nervous system.

I had a "type" (which in reality is just a pattern). He was the charming, bad boy who was completely emotionally unavailable. He knew what I wanted to hear and he said it. And because these words made my insecurities and wounds feel better I bought into everything he said. And of course, added my own embellishment about what things meant.

And I was so convinced that this "chemistry" meant he was right for me that I ignored the red flags smacking me in the face. “How could it not be right with such intense feelings and chemistry??!!!”

Looking back it's clear crystal to me that the chemistry I felt wasn't genuine or the signs of a healthy connection.

These guys were simply good at being charming and making everyone feel special. But the reality was that below the charm these dudes were not right for me, emotionally available or down for a long-term relationship.

Time for myth-busting

Myth 1 - Initial chemistry doesn't = guarantee the right partner.

As mentioned we've been conditioned to overvalue the initial spark and chemistry.

I have seen this so often. A person will completely and utterly rule somebody out because the 1st time they meet they didn't have this insane chemistry.

But as already mentioned just because you have chemistry with someone. It doesn't mean that they are the right person for you to be in a relationship with.

AND just because you don't have insane chemistry with somebody initially it doesn't mean that this person isn’t right for you to be in a relationship with.

Because the truth is that good sex, good chemistry and good connection can all evolve over time. But if you aren’t compatible with someone from the beginning then you can't do anything about that.

Being incompatible with someone means that you have differences that are not workable in the long term. And therefore it CAN NOT lead to a happy healthy relationship.

So this is the first myth I want to bust. That when you meet the right person it will start with fireworks, sparks and intense chemistry.

Myth 2 - The intense feelings, stomach flipping and always thinking about the other person is a sign of healthy connection and chemistry

The second myth, which if you identify as having more of an anxious attachment pattern you really need to pay attention to.

As I mentioned, for years when I would begin dating someone and I really liked them I would have all of these really intense feelings.

My stomach would be flipping constantly as my mind raced and I would not be able to stop thinking about them. Reflecting now I would actually say I got obsessed with people very quickly.

I felt nervous. And it was beyond feelings of healthy excitement and it didn't ease up.No matter how well I got to know someone it remained at a very high intensity.

So for a long time, I thought this is what chemistry in the movies felt like so it must be ok!

But here's what I now know

At that time (unbeknownst to me) I had a high tendency to have anxious attachment patterns. And this pattern means you can have very heightened feelings of fear and anxiety when you're dating anyone regardless of how the other person is showing up.

For example, you could be dating someone who is showing up consistently, their words and actions align and they are very clear that they are interested in being in a relationship with you. 

But even with this evidence, you still feel very anxious and have the constant feeling of needing reassurance. 

If that’s the scenario then it is likely a result of your AA patterning. And the actions to take would be to use the tools you have to navigate your way through. 

Then healthily communicate openly and honestly with the other person about your experience (if you feel you want to). Read this blog here if you want to learn more about attachment styles.

But 

If the person you are dating is demonstrating inconsistent, crappy and confusing behaviour, like the guys I dated. You feel you never have a clue about where you stand and it feels like you are constantly riding this emotional rollercoaster...

  • They text. You feel excited, happy and validated
  • They vanish and you would feel stressed, anxious and get really down on yourself
  • They reappear and you feel elated and excited
  • You meet. Things feel great they tell you what you want to hear
  • They disappear again you feel anxious and low
  • You ignore your feelings
  • You ignore the crappy behaviour

And so it continues

If that’s the scenario that’s different. That person is not showing up like someone who wants to be in a relationship with you.

It was actually a therapist who pointed out to me that maybe the uneasy, nervous feelings, the flipping tummy & clamminess, the obsessive thoughts I experienced with everyone I dated. The feelings that I labelled chemistry. Weren't actually chemistry.

And they were more of an anxiety response to the crappy behaviour of the guys I was choosing. And that actually these guys were really not that interested in anything meaningful with me. OUCH!

And I know this was very true for me. But I do know that it's not going to be true for everyone. So you need to discern what is true for you.

And to do that I suggest you do this...

Reflect back on previous relationships/ dates where you felt that strong initial chemistry. Ask yourself was that actual chemistry?

  • Was it a healthy feeling?
  • Did you feel secure around this person and just excited about connecting with them again? 

OR 

  • Was the person showing up for you but the uneasiness & anxiety was present because you perhaps have an anxious attachment pattern

OR

Were feelings being triggered because the person was showing up in an inconsistent and confusing way? And the feelings were how most humans would feel when they don't know where they stand with someone.

ALWAYS LOOK AT THE REALITY OF HOW SOMEONE IS SHOWING UP. Look at the evidence & let the truth speak for itself.

So myth 2 we're busting is that being on an intense emotional rollercoaster and having very strong responses in our body when dating is always a sign of crazy good chemistry.

Chemistry is important

I know you might interpret that what I'm saying is that chemistry isn't important. BUT THAT’S  NOT WHAT I AM SAYING.

It's not that chemistry isn't important. But I feel we tend to overvalue it.

And when we do that we can end up in a relationship that fizzles once the reality of life kicks in. Chemistry is not the be-all and end-all when you're looking at being in a long happy, healthy, thriving relationship with someone.

And chemistry can develop over time with the deeper connection that vulnerability and intimacy bring. 

Reflective Questions

In the initial stages of dating, it's so easy to get pulled along by our feelings, and it's great to follow our feelings BUT we also need to sprinkle in some logic.

And that's the purpose of these questions. To help you combine feelings with logic to make the best decision for yourself.

Here are the questions to ask to help you figure out if someone is right for you.

Who is the other person?

  • Do I actually like the character of this person?
  • Do I actually like how they show up in the world?
  • Do I like how they speak to other people? 
  • Do I like how they are with their friends and family?
  • Do I  want to be aligned with the character of this person long term?

The future vision

These questions may seem obvious but it's so surprising to me how often we let our feelings override whether we actually like who somebody is at their core!

  • Does this person have a similar relationship vision to me?
  • Are we both on the same page regarding how we want this relationship to shape itself in the future?
  • Do we have similar goals, hopes, dreams and dreams?
  • Do you have values and standards that align?
  • Do you actually think that you two can make each other happy long term?
  • Do you think this person will have your back no matter what?  And are there signs that you will be able to work through tough times together?

It can be easy to avoid having these deeper conversations early on in a relationship and then after a few years of being together, it comes to a big decision like having children.

And at that point, you both realize that you're not on the same page and then you're left in a situation where either you stay in the relationship and one of you doesn't get what you want. Or you end up having to go your separate ways.

So it's important that you have these conversations in the initial stages rather than leaving them until a couple of years into the relationship.

Not suggesting you have them on the first date!

But there are ways to have these conversations early on, that doesn't sound pushy or like you're interviewing the other person so you can be both establish you're both on the same path.

How do you feel around this person?

  • Do you feel like you are safe and able to be vulnerable?
  • Do you feel like you are able to be the most fully expressed version of yourself or do you feel like you're having to wear a mask?
  • On a date with this person are you just being you? Because let me tell you if you are not being yourself from the beginning you're doing yourself and the other person a disservice.
  • Do they bring out the best in me or do they bring out the best version of you or do more anxious needy side of you?

It's so important that the person we are with we feel we are able to show up completely as ourselves.

If you find you can't you must check in with yourself to see if this is down to your FEAR and DOUBT blocking you and the container of your relationship is a completely safe space for you to be fully expressed. 

OR

Is there something that the other person is doing that's making you feel like being fully expressed is not ok? 

Because you DO NOT want to go through life in a relationship pretending to be someone that you're not.

And if you're thinking "I don't even know who I am fully expressed?" Then it's time to get curious, explore yourself and find out!

Current behaviour 

  • Consider how is this person actually showing up for you in these initial stages of dating?
  • What are they being consistent in?
  • Are they being consistently inconsistent?
  • Do their words and actions align? Or are they saying one thing and doing the other?
  • Are they communicating with you openly and honestly OR do they send mixed messages and leave you feeling like you don't know where you stand?

Because if someone is showing up like this in the initial stages of dating when they're supposed to be trying to put their best foot forward.

You need to reflect on what this says about the person and how this could play out long term. AND if this is the behaviour of someone that you want you would want to be in a relationship with.

The mental, physical and emotional

  • Are you both on the same page mentally, physically and emotionally?

Oftentimes that initial chemistry can kind of cloud over any differences we may have.

From my own experience, I found that with anyone I had this initial chemistry there were no problems when it came to the physical connection aka sex.

But actually, I now see that emotionally and mentally we were on completely different pages.

So it's important to look beyond a very intense physical connection with someone, and ask "are we actually emotionally and mentally on the same page?"

If you would like these questions in a pdf to print and keep in your journal you can grab that here.

Always date reality not potential

Something else I want to highlight is this.

If you are dating someone and sticking around because you feel they have great potential. STOP.

Stop telling yourself the story that eventually they will turn into the person that you want them to be and then you will be compatible. Please do not hang about in those situations. Yes someone may change eventually, but that's a big gamble. Because also they might not.

So don't put your future on hold and be dependent on the chance another person might one day want the same as you.  Find someone who is ready to be in a relationship with you and that whom you are compatible right now.

Date someone's reality not their potential.

3 action steps 

To bring things to a close I want to give you three action steps to start doing when dating.

Step one

When you are dating someone silently observe their compatibility with you.

You don't need to have a complete discussion with someone about it. Use the questions I've given to gather the important information you need.

Step two

Get clear on who you are as a partner. And what your non-negotiables v wants v needs are. 

Because you can't know if you're compatible with someone in the first place if you don't know who you are and what you want!

Step three

Communicate your vision, goals, values and standards.

And this doesn't mean offloading all of these on day one! (think Charlotte York Sex in the City early season when she's on the husband hunt, don't do that!)

But it does mean in the initial stages of dating you gradually gather information as to whether or not you two are on the same path.

Don't be scared to begin communicating your relationship vision. 

Because remember if you're looking for a long-term relationship and someone disappears after you communicate your vision. Then you've done yourself a favour.

That person was not ready to be with you. They were not ready to show up and work on being in a relationship with you.

So my friend I hope this blog was helpful,l if it was please don't forget to give this a like and share with someone else who would find this helpful.

Till next time

Live- love-thrive 

Sarah 💫💫

 

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About the author

Hello you! I'm Sarah. I am the creator of The Secure and Confident Dater Program and the Foundational Love Blueprint. I am a qualified Dating and Relationship and Life Coach.

I live in London and I'm in a long-distance relationship with a wonderful guy in NYC!

You can find me at home or in coffee shops creating content for you across my various platforms (Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube), searching for vintage/retro gems!

 I created this blog to share with you my journey to thriving more than ever in my 40s. I want to give you everything I’ve learnt so you can learn how to become the most fun, happy confident version of yourself and live a life you love.

You can expect posts on dating, relationships, self-love, mind management, style & general life musings!

You can find out more about me & my work as a coach HERE.