The Real Differences Between Sparks And True Chemistry

It's easy sometimes, particularly for those of us in long-term relationships, to fantasize about what might happen with that cute barista who gives us butterflies when handing our latte over in the morning. But sparks are just the beginning of real feelings and, more often than not (particularly in the case of complete strangers we encounter on coffee runs), they disappear.

True chemistry is based on connection as well as attraction. As life coach and relationship specialist Ema Drouillard explains in a piece for Your Tango, although sparks might fly when we first meet someone we fancy, in the long run, comfort is more interesting and sustainable. Crucially, that is where true chemistry differs from just plain ol' sparks.

Familiarity and comfortability are key to true chemistry

Genuine chemistry is more than just wanting to leap across a room and plant a smooch on someone's lips — it's really about connection. Relationship and dating expert Margaux Cassuto told Bustle, "Romantic chemistry is an effortless attraction between two people that can feel magnetic and addictive. It can come in the form of a physical, emotional, or even intellectual bond. Scientists believe that chemistry is a result of the chemicals in your brain determining compatibility."

The main indicators of good chemistry are obvious — eye contact and touch, both of which signal there's something deeper going on. Dating consultant Stacy Karyn advised, "Multiple studies have shown that the length of eye contact definitely has something to do with how attractive a person is perceived to be," while, with just enough touching, you can create fireworks. Likewise, a shared sense of humor is hugely important, as is a sense of familiarity, with Cassuto noting, "We have a habit to gravitate towards things we recognize that 'feel like home.'" Opening up about personal information also creates a shared sense of intimacy beyond simple attraction. 

True chemistry is an undeniable feeling

Relationship expert Susan Winter discussed the idea of emotional compatibility with Elite Daily, again emphasizing the ease of communicating with someone whom you truly vibe with. "Speaking to this person is not only easy, it's a delight. We don't need to explain ourselves or qualify our opinions. Our statements are understood as we meant them," she advised. Likewise, if you feel, "Safe to express your thoughts and feelings without judgment," that's a good sign too.

Emotional compatibility and true chemistry are about letting go of those early first date fears of being your true self. When you truly connect with someone, there's no need to pretend to be perfect. As Winter notes, "You don't need to edit yourself, your statements, or your attitude. You can simply 'be.'" Being in this person's presence feels right, normal, and comfortable. There's a naturalness to it. You just know. Falling in love tends to throw us into a whirlwind of emotions and feelings but, as with true chemistry, there's no doubt about what's happening. It just is.