What I want: that someone to be my best friend, to share adventures, travel and make memories with, and play N64 and order pizza with on a rainy weekend. Chemistry is kind of important :)

What do you want?

What does she mean by saying chemistry ?

  • 5
    Try googling for "chemistry between a man and a woman". ;-) Commented Sep 18, 2015 at 7:58
  • @Damkerng T. maybe user5036 is now wondering what article would supply knowledge to this very interesting topic (considering the top hits - compelling). Oh! The flames of love! ;p
    – shin
    Commented Sep 18, 2015 at 8:55
  • 1
    1960s-era. books.google.com/ngrams/…
    – TimR
    Commented Sep 18, 2015 at 11:33

6 Answers 6


I think NOAD's second definition of chemistry defines this pretty well:

chemistry (noun)
1 the branch of science that deals with the identification of the substances of which matter is composed
2 the emotional or psychological interaction between two people, esp. when experienced as a powerful mutual attraction

This word is often used when talking about romantic couples, or potentially romantic relationships:

Linda, how come you didn't go on a second date with Rob?
Well, Heather, there just wasn't any chemistry between us.

However, the word also used outside the bounds of romantic or sexual relationships. Two athletes can be said to have good chemistry if they play remarkably well together. A student and his advisor can be said to have good chemistry if they enjoy doing research with each other, and their conversations become catalysts for new ideas. Two actors can be said to have good chemistry if they play off each other very well. For example, in a biography about hockey superstar Wayne Gretzky, Matt Christopher writes:

From the beginning there was an incredible chemistry between center Wayne Gretzky and his right wing [Jari Kurri].

and a CNN piece looking back at the successful Star Trek series mentions:

Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner shared a unique chemistry, making their on-screen performances and off-screen appearances a treat for fans.

In the context quoted by the O.P., however, it sounds like the word is being used mostly in the sense of a strong romantic attraction coupled with compatable personalities.

Whichever way the word is being used, though, two people with good chemistry tend to make each other better.


This is, on the face of it, a reference to the fact that people are attracted partly by actual chemical factors (mostly scents).

However, "chemistry" has broadened to include the entire range of unquantifiable factors that combine to make a couple "click" (def 2 in Google's definition)

It is often said, for example, that two actors playing opposite each other in a romantic movie seem to have "good chemistry" if the audience really believe the actors are falling in love. It's a sense that they are naturally comfortable with one another, and inevitability grow closer.

See also the Wikipedia article on relationship chemistry.

  • 1
    You might want to mention that this usage of "chemistry" is not exclusively between a man and a woman or in a romantic setting. Quarterbacks are said to have "chemistry" with their wide receivers. A team at work can have good chemistry.
    – Daniel
    Commented Sep 18, 2015 at 14:04
  • Looks like that edit was done for me. It's all good. Commented Sep 19, 2015 at 10:21

Chemistry when it comes to relationships may mean -> person A matches person B AND vice versa. "to match" itself would refer to the ideals of love [similarities and differences - which are entirely relative and complex]

Note that the situation where "person A matches person B, and person B matches person A" should exist, for a couple to have a "chemistry'. If it is one-sided, it may be unrequited passion/love, or simply - the dreaded 'friendzone'.


In this context it certainly means the level of understanding between the two people in question


When people use chemistry in this context, they are usually referring to how well they operate with things other people make visible very early in the relationship.

This would be things like looks, the most obvious personality traits, and the most obvious actions. If they make the kind of jokes you think are funny or they buy you things and you particularly like to receive things, that could also make you feel like you have good chemistry with someone.

It's fairly common for people to begin a relationship with someone and to believe initially that you have good chemistry and a few months later end the relationship and think that you didn't really have good chemistry with that person.

If they give you what you think you want, you probably feel like you have good chemistry with them and vice versa. What you are looking for in a person can change over time and therefore you can feel that your chemistry with someone can also change over time.


Chemistry in this context is most likely meaning an atmosphere which is pleasant or positive for all people or parties

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