When a couple is in love, we can see it from miles away. It's why we find ourselves investing so much in fictional relationships: we as an audience member can see things that the characters themselves totally can't. We can also see those things in daily life with real couples that we know.
Think about it: there are relationships where we can totally call how they're going to end versus how happy those couples are. This is because we have a way of sensing the chemistry between two people. Some people have it right away, while others build that chemistry over time. Regardless, we can tell when a couple has chemistry and it's genuine versus when they're forcing it.
Signs of real chemistry can't be fakes, generally, because they have less to do with how people act and more to do with how they feel about that other person. When we can discern those signs for ourselves, we can get some insight into other people, and in an ideal world, into our own relationships.
Here are ten signs of genuine chemistry in a relationship that we can spot from the outside and ten signs that they might not like each other very much.
24. Real Chemistry: Genuinely Caring About Their Day To Day Life
You don't have to be enraptured with everything your significant other says and be totally riveted by every minute detail of their day in order to have real chemistry. That's a really tall order and to be honest, it's almost impossible unless you two are exactly the same.
However, there does need to be some interest in how their day goes, even if it's in passing. This goes for even the most casual of relationships as well: if you two aren't connecting in some way other than physically, chances are you don't have as much chemistry as you think.
23. Forced Chemistry: Not Caring What Goes On In Their Day
On the other hand, if you really can't be bothered to pretend that you care about what your partner has to say, the chemistry probably died a long time ago. A lot of relationships have the chemistry fizzle out but live on past their natural expiration date.
Still, this is one of the warning signs that you might miss because it's not a sudden change, it's just a slow kind of checking out of the relationship emotionally. Once you stop caring about the little things, the big things are more likely to follow.
22. Real Chemistry: Always Has A Story About Something Their Partner Did
When there's real chemistry, you can't help but talk about the person you love. Not in an overbearing or gross way either. It's obvious that it's a natural thing because you and your significant other do a lot of fun stuff together and they're likely to feature heavily in your more recent stories.
Whether it's a funny thing they did or said or some incredible experience the two of you shared together, you always have a fun story about them or one that includes them. Nobody's mad at it either, because it's so obvious that your chemistry is genuine.
21. Forced Chemistry: Constantly Harping On The Same Stories To Hide That You Have No New Ones
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On the other hand, forced chemistry takes this story thing to an unnatural extreme. Instead of telling stories about your relationship and your partner as they come up, you're scrambling for stories in your head so you and your partner don't look like you don't spend any time together, or worse, aren't totally smothering each other.
So you end up telling the same stories or even embellishing the ones you have falsely so you have something to say about your significant other. The story might entertain others, but under the surface, the story is as hollow as the chemistry in the relationship.
20. Real Chemistry: The Significant Other Comes Up Naturally In Conversation
In a healthy relationship, it's easy for your partner to come up in conversation. After all, you spend a lot of time with them and if you're really lucky, you count your significant other among your best friends. This is a sign that you see your partner not just as a boyfriend or girlfriend, but as a real partner in crime.
The two of you are clearly independent people with separate lives and all that, but you are better together rather than apart, and the people around you can't help but see that authentic chemistry.
19. Forced Chemistry: They Are Brought Up For NO Reason Or Totally Avoided In Conversation
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When a relationship is more forced and there are problems in it, you might find yourself mentioning your significant other in a way that validates your relationship, at least to your own ears. So you bring them up without a natural segue or are talking up your relationship in a way that shows that you have less confidence in it than you think.
On the other hand, you might find yourself totally avoiding the subject of your partner entirely. You're dodging questions about them and your relationship because you don't want to show the cracks in your relationship, or worse, you don't know the answers to those questions at all.
18. Real Chemistry: They Do Different Things And Support Each Other, No Matter How Out There Those Things Are
In a relationship with clear, authentic chemistry, both parties in the relationship have each other's backs. You're there for each other and support each other, even if you don't really understand the thing that you're getting into with them.
Let's say your significant other has a really weird hobby (and to be fair, everyone has a weird hobby) that you don't really get or can't even begin to understand. Even if you don't get actively involved in that hobby, you listen to them when they're excited about something and you definitely don't kill their vibe even if the subject bores you to tears.
17. Forced Chemistry: They Both Share The Same Exact Goals Because If They Didn't They'd Break Up
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When the chemistry in a relationship is more forced, the support when the two of you have diverging interests just isn't there. In order for the relationship to work, someone has to give up those things that are different from the other person in order for their goals and interests to sublimate into theirs. This doesn't happen instantaneously or even consciously, it happens over months or even years, by the way.
If you've ever been made to feel like your likes and interests aren't as important or as valuable as your partners and you've never felt supported in those things in your relationship, that's not even a question of forced chemistry. It's a question of whether you should even stay or not.
16. Real Chemistry: Both Partners Take Initiative When It Comes To Physical Closeness
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In a relationship with real chemistry, both of you take joy in being close with each other, even when and even especially when things go wrong. The two of you take initiative at different times depending on how the two of you feel, and there's no pressure to do anything you don't want to do.
Chemistry is often tied into the physical aspects of a relationship, but most of the markers of chemistry between two people are emotional. That being said, the physical side of a relationship definitely matters as well. The different layers of a relationship show the kind of effort both parties put in and what they prioritize. Real chemistry generally shows when people take initiative with each other.
15. Forced Chemistry: One Person Always Does And/Or Nobody Does
In a relationship with forced chemistry, the bulk of the effort, whether emotional or physical, isn't evenly distributed. Generally, one person is doing the initiating and all the emotional labor, which is a huge opportunity for resentment to form and the relationship to totally implode.
As bad as this is, there's a worse option: neither party makes the effort and the relationship stagnates to the point where neither of you even care enough to end the relationship. That leaves both of you in a dead relationship, too apathetic to save it or end it, putting on a show for the rest of the world. If that's not forced chemistry, I don't know what is.
14. Real Chemistry: There's Real Communication That's Straightforward And Honest
When you're in a healthy relationship, the communication flows well and fights tend to not happen as much because disagreements are hammered out before anything can turn into a giant thing. Healthy relationships based on healthy chemistry are based on good communication.
And this is true whether the relationship lasts for four years, four months, or even four hours. Communication is key to making sure people don't get hurt.
13. Forced Chemistry: Communication Is Stilted And Nobody Says What They Mean
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When the chemistry between two people is forced, communication is kind of all over the place. You might not be saying anything of consequence to your partner at all, even when doing so could save the relationship.
In a relationship like this, nobody is saying what they mean for whatever reason, and that lack of communication can be more than enough to really damage a relationship down the line.
12. Real Chemistry: They Talk About How They Feel
In a relationship where communication is healthy and the chemistry is real, people talk about how they feel with each other. This is true whether the relationship is a romantic one or not, which is something we all should learn at some point in our lives because that knowledge alone will revolutionize how we make connections.
Real chemistry over the long term doesn't come from a lightning strike moment, it's worked at over time.
11. Forced Chemistry: They Act Like They Know How Their Partner Feels
The big difference between real chemistry and fake chemistry comes from a genuine place of understanding. When you know you understand someone, you don't have to dig too deep to figure out their motivations because you already have that understanding.
When you think you understand someone and act like you have that knowledge when you don't, you come off misguided and the relationship ends up looking quite damaged to an outsider's perspective. Take the time to understand your partner and this shouldn't be too much of an issue.
10. Real Chemistry: Social Media Isn't Really Where Their Relationship Takes Place
When you're in a healthy relationship, you might not find yourself paying too much attention to social media. I mean, you might if you're a person who has a lot of fun doing things online, but it won't be the place where you're building the image you want your relationship to have. You're not posting everything about your partner.
You're posting some things, like the fun thing you did over the weekend, but you're not going to be waxing poetic about how awesome and wonderful your relationship is on social media for all to see. After all, you're too busy actually being in that relationship.
9. Forced Chemistry: Every Social Media Platform Knows Every Detail Of The Relationship
When you're in a relationship where the chemistry is being faked, you're basically doing everything in your power to show people the side of the relationship that you want them to see. This means that your relationship lives on social media.
You're constantly posting random things and tying it back to your partner because the more posts on social media, the happier you are, right? Instead of doing this, try and find ways to connect on a level that isn't online. Maybe take a social media break to figure out why you're in this relationship in the first place.
8. Real Chemistry: Both People Are Genuinely Happy To Be Around Each Other
When you're in a healthy relationship, you can't help but want to be around that person for one simple reason: being around them makes you happy! You can't really fake being happy to be around someone, at least not for long.
When two people are genuine about actually liking each other, it shows through in a lot of ways and it's hard to argue with that kind of chemistry. That's because chemistry is one thing, but it takes actually liking the person to make the sparks between people actually go somewhere.
7. Forced Chemistry: One Or Both People Are Nitpicky And Critical
In a relationship with forced chemistry, it's easy to see from the outside that the two people involved don't actually like each other all that much. There's always something to criticize, to the point where they can't think of reasons why they like the other person in the relationship.
When things get to this point, it's easy to see when you're not in the relationship because the two people are constantly picking at each other or finding something to be annoyed with them over.
6. Real Chemistry: There's A Lot Of Physical Contact, But It's Appropriate For The Situation And Is A Genuine Show Of Love
When two people are genuinely in love, displays of affection are often inevitable. However. these displays of affection are far from the PDA you might see at varying degrees out in the world, and it certainly won't annoy you as much because those displays of affection are coming from a real place.
You're not going to see anything off-color; maybe some handholding or a hug or two, and instead of finding it gross, you'll probably find it really sweet.
5. Forced Chemistry: Both People Are All Over Each Other, But It's A Performance
When there's forced chemistry in a relationship and things aren't really super healthy between two people, a lot of effort goes into trying to make things appear like the relationship is going well. Oftentimes, this translates to major shows of affection, both online and offline.
However, these displays of affection are often not suited to the situation at hand and are probably extremely annoying to watch because it clearly doesn't seem authentic. It's not actual affection, it's a performance, which makes it sort of sad.
4. Real Chemistry: There's A Genuine Friendship Between Both People
Whether the relationship is nine years long, nine months long, or nine days long, relationships don't really work unless it's a relationship on multiple levels. You can't be someone's boyfriend or girlfriend without being their friend, for example.
You don't have to be your partner's best friend or anything, but there should be some other foundation besides physical or romantic chemistry because that can burn out pretty fast. Chemistry is a mental and emotional thing and it's often easy to lose sight of that.
3. Forced Chemistry: Neither Of Them Seems To Like Each Other Very Much
When a relationship comes together for reasons besides genuine feelings, resentment seems to surge forth in a variety of ways. One of the more obvious ways is that the two in the relationship seem to not like each other very much. Generally, relationships with this type of forced chemistry tend to last because of sunk-cost fallacy: the idea that because you put so much time into this person, it would be a waste to leave them even if neither of you is actually happy.
It's sad because not only can this eat away at a relationship, but the people involved tend to stubbornly stick with it with the idea that this can go away. It can, but it takes work many people might not want to do.
2. Real Chemistry: They Talk About The Future, Whether Near Or Distant, In Situations Where Others Will Hear
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In relationships with real chemistry, the future isn't an intimidating thing. The idea of spending months, years, or even forever with the same person isn't a thing that fills you with dread or makes you want to run away from everything. Rather, the idea of the future makes you want to double down and say that of course, you know that this is your person.
After all, you're not just together, you're good friends, and spending time together is fun. Additionally, your communication is good enough to get through most, if not all conflicts, with little to no drama. With someone like that, the future looks bright.
1. Forced Chemistry: They Refuse To Define The Situation Or Move Forward In Terms Of Commitment
In some relationships with forced chemistry, the relationship might not actually be all that defined at all. One or both people might be putting the brakes on any discussion that involves defining the relationship for whatever reason. Maybe one person finds there's no mental or emotional chemistry there for them. Maybe they like the person they're dealing with, but there's no spark there to make them want to put a label on what they have.
There are many reasons people don't want to commit initially, and a lot of them can be boiled down to incompatibility, which is just another way to say chemistry. When the chemistry and connection are real, you want to define it, not leave it ambiguous.