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Many people would argue that most love affairs are sparked from a physical attraction. Some may say relationships are built on chemistry and connections and others may argue that some are driven by sex. No matter the argument or opinion, the fact is, all relationships are built and thrive from a source within that brings people together for a lifetime or a brief season. Relationships can form from the following three things: physical attraction, chemistry and a connection, but let’s not get the three mixed up.

Physical attraction is the desire for sexual intimacy or being drawn to someone based solely on their outward appearance, which includes but is not limited to the way they dress, smell, or conduct themselves in public and private.

Chemistry is a strong mutual attraction between two people that can stem from a meeting of the minds or simply being drawn to each other through intimacy that goes far beyond sex and physical attraction.

A connection is based on direct interactions that are formed over time. It is a combination of mental, spiritual, emotional and sexual intimacy.

Each of these three things differ not only by basic definition, but how people view and identify them. A number of individuals believe they have an instant connection or chemistry with someone after only spending a few hours, days or months with them, while others believe that these things take time to develop between two people.

On the other hand, while each of these things has their own distinction, they are intertwined. How you ask? Simple. In order for any connection to start, a person must be attracted to someone else. Most relationships begin with one person being drawn to another physically, but some people aren’t initially drawn to a person’s appearance. Sometimes, more so, they are drawn to their personality, which in turn sparks some sort of physical attraction. After an attraction has been established between people, then the process of creating chemistry and a connection comes into play. Most people believe this happens through sexual innuendos, deep conversations, warm embraces, long kisses or deeply gazing into each other’s eyes. One way chemistry and connections go hand-in-hand is because you can’t connect with someone you’re not drawn to. While the three are different, they can’t survive without the other when trying to form and maintain a long-lasting relationship. It’s a great feeling to connect with someone on a level that only your heart and emotions can explain, but we must be careful not to confuse our hearts and minds on our search for love. When we do, we find ourselves in relationships that we realize we’re not really fully invested in later. Even worse, we can have our feelings hurt or hearts broken because we confused someone’s physical attraction to us and the short-term chemistry we might have with them for a possible love connection. Be sure you know the difference between these things and what you’re feeling so you can save yourself, or someone else, from heartache.

Have you ever confused these things? What do you build your relationships on?

Liz Lampkin is the Author of Are You a Reflection of the Man You Pray For? Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Lampkin

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