Dr. Kat’s Chemistry Quotient: How to Examine Your Relationship

There are lots of reasons why we choose the partners we do. Sometimes it’s to fulfill the purpose of not being alone, some times it is out of pure unadulterated lust or love. Anyway, they all seem like good reasons at the get go. But then we get into it. You know what I mean. It’s when we cross that threshold from the honeymoon into real life, baby. This is what true compatibility is about and how the Chemistry Quotient can help you.

examine your relationship

My next book is a guide to how to navigate the first year of a relationship utilizing the Chemistry Quotient. The book is meant to help people who are seeking long term relationships avoid the same pitfalls we have all encountered in it’s first year. It can also help couples get clear on whether they should stay together or not. I’m not personally going to tell you to hit the road or not but I will give you the tools to assess that possibility. The book and the following tool “The Chemistry Quotient can also help on going relationships to red flag certain attitudes and behaviors so that you as a couple can work through them in a constructive way. I like to think of it as a therapy in a bottle. Drink it up!

Here’s the deal, there are six pieces of the Chemistry Quotient pie. Depending on which pieces of the pie you value most, you give the most real estate to with in the pie.

Personality

This encompasses each of your personality traits. How you view the world (glass half full/half empty). How outgoing or introverted each one of you are. What you find funny or don’t. Another big trait under personality is how you as a couple resolve a conflict. Do you fight fairly? Does one of you always retreat? It can be a big indicator of whether your relationship will succeed or not. A person’s essence has a lot to do with whether a relationship thrives or dies.

Spirituality

Whether praying to Allah or dear ol’JC, it may not matter who you are worshiping  to (sometimes it does and those issues take more finesse to deal with ala I’m a Jew and she’s not so my family dislikes her). Those situations take more work to stream line into your chemistry quotient. That’s why it helps to know where your relationship tender spots are, so they can be worked on in the bright light of the day — not in the dark corners of your psyche.

Financial

Some people don’t put an emphasis on the value of money while others are obsessed  by what they or their partner make and how it is spent. And yes, at times you can have two people diametrically opposed when it comes to the dollar signs in their household. Too much or too little money may be the issues but may go deeper into self worth issues.

Intellectual

Are you with your intellectual equal? If not, perhaps you don’t value intellectual connection as others do. Or perhaps it simply works in your relationship to have someone who is more intellectually dynamic than the other. This can be a touchy subject obviously because it forces all to look at not only what we bring to the relationship table but how it works (or doesn’t) in our relationship. I’ve seen plenty of couple do well when each person focuses on their individual intellectual strengths.

Lifestyle

Do you both have the travel bug? Is one of you super into triathlon training, while the other would rather stay home with a good book? Lifestyle desires can be a make it or break it issue in a long term relationship. Sometimes lots of compromise is required, other times it is the straw that breaks the camel’s back especially when it comes to having kids.

Sexuality

I like to think of the sexuality quotient as either the silent killer or the respite from the storm. Sexually compatibility can run all over the map. Sex in long term relationships ebb and flow. What matters is how as a couple you value time to be sexual as well as   what type of play and fantasy works for you both. Sex can definitely be used as a weapon but it can also be used as a sanctuary. A place to go that is comforting and healing. Nearly everyone at some point has an issue with their sex life, whether it’s how often/not or how it is being done. Some people will downplay the importance of sex in a relationship but that is often when I see couples who come into my office because their partner does see it as a priority. Trust me if one of you thinks it’s an issue — it is, period.

Bear in mind, you and your partner do not have to be the same for each of the pie slices. Good god, if we were all carbon copies of one another we would just be plain bored. Sometimes complementary personalities work better than those that have a high level of interdependence. However, the whole opposites attracts thing may not be the best case scenario for others. It is all about balance in what we value and how we relate to one another.

 
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 is the resident sexologist at Adam & Eve and also runs a private practice and media consulting business. She has a Doctorate from the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. Her professional affiliations include AASECT, SSSS, and the American Board of Sexologists. She also has a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and completed a postgraduate degree in Marriage, Family and Addictions Recovery Therapy.

© Copyright Dr. Kathleen Van Kirk