Everyone in my friends group is really compatable. We “click” and sometimes collaborate on small projects together. My friend Jonathan calls this “affectionate chemistry”. I think he hit the nail on the head with this description.

I’ve sometimes pondered the comparison of scientific, elemental chemistry with social and personal chemistry. Some elements like hydrogen and oxygen can explosively combine with the result being water. Meanwhile toxic chlorine combined with hydrogen creates a dangerous reaction. However, through natural processes, chlorine together with the normally explosive chemical sodium results in common salt. People seem to be repelled or attracted in similar fashion.

This personal chemistry has certain qualities. First, its manifestation might be either subtle or blatant. Second, in some instances opposites might attract or repel. Third, in some instances compatible relationship chemistry may result in long-term friendships or even significant romantic partnerships. Fourth, serious personal chemistry incompatibility might result in lifelong adversarial relationships. Fifth, in some instances, adversarial chemistry can be reconciled and develop into hybrid compatibility and close friendships/partnerships.

It’s somewhat amusing that we have certain types of people we prefer to befriend and court; yet we frequently discover that we get along well with people who do not meet our preference criteria.

One personal example of this type of combination comes to mind. Gabe was a middle aged man I used to notice at the gym. He seemed standoffish and exhibited an intimidating, macho demeanor. Professionally, he was a floor supervisor at the local steel mill; and he only hung out with a small circle of other steel mill workers. Gabe’s qualities fascinated me because he came off somewhat as a bully. I saw him nearly every day using the gym’s weight machines. He usually finished his workouts by running at least one mile around the indoor track.

One afternoon, Dan, a gym member who was also one of my acquaintances, struck up a conversation with Gabe. Dan noticed that I was observing the interaction, so he gestured for me to join them. I reluctantly did because I hate to appear unsociable. After shaking Gabe’s hand, I mentally felt something click. The three of us eventually enjoyed an engaging conversation. From that day on, Gabe and I often exchanged pleasant small-talk. He sometimes offered workout tips that I appreciated. Unfortunately, after one day’s workout, Gabe went home and laid down for a nap then died of a massive heart attack. I felt a deep loss for my new-found friend. Sometimes he still comes to mind whenever I reminisce about past pals.

Personal chemistry reactions often contribute not only to our personal pleasure, but also to our personal growth. We learn lessons from our friends, lovers, and adversaries. When we are fully engaged in relationships with people, the music sounds richer, the pizza tastes more awesome, the laughter is louder, and the tears more profound.


The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes movie and television actress, Sanaa Lathan. ” If you’re in love and there’s that chemistry, that’s what it’s all about.”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in cultural highlights, Friendship, Hometown, Meanderings, Science and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Chemistry

  1. I think a click doesn’t mean that you are two of the same. Great article! perhaps some of my content would be helpful to you šŸ™‚

  2. Not necessarily any, but you said ‘ Second, in some instances opposites might attract or repel.’ which I think is wildly interesting.

  3. It is funny whom we find chemistry with in a friendship sense. I am reminded of a friend of mine. You wouldn’t have expected us to become friends (she was over 20 years older than me, and at the time, we both had a crush on the same guy) but we wound up clicking and became great friends

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