A Chemistry lesson

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by Lesley Hayes, S/Y Sea Symphony, St Vincent | April 26, 2017
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Today I’m going to talk about chemistry. My thoughts on this came about recently when I discovered I could watch TV on my laptop. I should explain. I have essentially been without a TV for 10 years. This is because I have either been living on a boat or in Greece. Whenever I go back to the UK to visit my folks I binge on bad TV. The cheesier and tackier the programmes, the more I love ‘em. I have been spending a lot of time on my own in the past couple of months and discovered that I could use a VPN in order to watch some good, (or bad) old, British TV.

This brought Married at First Sight to my attention. For those of you with higher standards of TV watching this is basically a show where a team of relationship experts match make and the couples only meet each other on their wedding day. With a background in psychology this really interested me as does the whole concept of arranged marriages. So I watched, and watched. Couples are matched according to their attitudes, interests, and lifestyles. And on paper they seem a good match. But what the experts can’t predict is their chemistry. They see each other on their wedding day, they think, “yep, they look ok.” They discover they have similar hobbies and senses of humour. It should work but there is something missing. Chemistry.

Take me and my current partner (it’s good to keep him on his toes!) On paper we are not a good match. He likes to go to bed early and wake up early, and I mean early. Like in really early. He is a doer, a practical man who likes to fix the things he’s broken. He always has to be busy. In contrast, I like late nights and lie ins. I am very relaxed. Sometimes too relaxed and he has to poke me with a stick to make sure I’m alive. I’m more cerebral; a thinker not a doer. I’m creative not practical. We have widely different opinions and views on many things. Eric Clapton is a good example. I can’t stand the man and his music makes me want to punch a wall. My DH (dear heart, darling husband, dick head) thinks this makes me unreasonable.  Yet somehow it works. I force him to relax a little and he forces me to do more. I can think of a creative solution to a problem he wants to fix, before he just dives straight in. We both get a bit of “me time” him early in the mornings, me late at night. He listens to Eric with his ear phones in. But above all that there is that inexplicable thing. Yep, back to chemistry again.

Chemistry is the thing that makes you want to be with that person, that makes you miss them when they are away. It is not always a good thing, it can blind you to major issues that can damage a relationship, or yourself, in the long term. And basic lust can be confused with chemistry. Is it love at first sight or do you just want to shag their brains out? For me chemistry means that after the honeymoon period, when you are familiar with the other person, have seen them at their worst, is there still that spark?  It’s almost a spiritual thing. How can I describe this? It feels like you were meant to meet and be together.

It doesn’t just happen with sexual relationships; I’ve had it with friendships. I’ve met someone and we get on, but there’s something else. It’s like we’ve met before and were fated to meet again. These people have become my closest friends. But that ends my chemistry lesson today class. Tomorrow my favourite TV programme returns, “The Great British Bake Off.” It’s a baking competition. Be warned! There may be a Home Economic lesson soon.

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