When people say - “That couple’s got chemistry!” - what exactly are they talking about? Well, they “hit it off,” or they have “much in common,” or they are “bonding,” or they’re “clicking,” or they got-it-going on “romantically!” These phrases are used frequently, but when you think about it, they are surface-statements that do not explain much about the nuts and bolts of a loving relationship. We need physics! The domain of chemistry is the molecular level, while physics is about the motion of bodies in the larger world. Here are three well-known, simple-to-understand physical laws and how they might apply to a couple that’s falling in love, or maintaining a relationship, or struggling toward a break-up. The hope is that some key insights emerge that inspire couples to elevate their relationship through understanding and compassion.
Physical Law: “Opposites Attract”
For human beings to breathe, move, eat, think, and feel it is necessary that the electrical charge outside each cell in our bodies be opposite to the charge inside the cell. When a positive charge and a negative charge exert force on each other, something vital occurs: life happens! With couples, it is the opposing charges - the differences - that allow two people to fit together – Yin and Yang. Opposite charges can lead people to have great conflict, but if these opposing charges can be understood and accepted, the result can be a dynamic and beautiful relationship. You and your partner are different. If you are secure enough within yourself that you don’t have to change or control your partner, you can appreciate the differences between you. This appreciation of differences means that you feel complete enough as a person that you don’t need your partner to fill in your gaps and be like you. They are free to be themselves and you can now experience the wonder of discovering more and more about them. When this process is mutual your relationship gets deeper and more intimate.
Physical Law: “For every action, an equal and opposite reaction”
This law has two main effects on relationships:
- Everything you do in a relationship has an effect on your partner. Whether you say or do something in the presence of your partner, or you tell them about something you said or did some other time, some other place, and with someone else, it will invariably have an effect. The bonds of commitment are quite pervasive. It’s almost like you and your partner - on some level - are always together. Your partner may enjoy you, complain about you, or keep their reactions to themselves, but they are always affected. So, the lesson is that how you behave, how you treat others, how you carry yourself, even your self-image has consequences for your partner.
- When we take an action with our partner’s well-being and happiness in mind, we may have a conscious or unconscious expectation that they will recognize it and appreciate us. Though it is obvious that “keeping score” is not helpful, we are human and vulnerable to the expectation of reciprocity.
Physical Law: “Inertia”
Isaac Newton, the Einstein of his day in the 17th century, stated that objects in motion tend to stay in motion, while objects at rest tend to stay at rest. It makes sense. Simply put, this law of inertia is basically resistant to change. This is a primary issue for couples to deal with. We all wish that the “Honeymoon Phase” would last forever, or we wish to recapture the feeling of its luminosity. Yet, the river of life moves on and each individual and each couple must learn, grow, mature, and adapt to present life circumstances. So, we must overcome this resistance to change. We must overcome the very law of inertia! This is a tall task, but that’s what why we have developed the cortex of the brain. We do have it within our capacity to attain higher and higher states of consciousness. And we have the advantage that each of us has already had higher-consciousness experiences in our lives: seeing your parents have a loving moment together; realizing that you and a friend have developed a true friendship; feeling that you have a secure place in a group; falling in love; exchanging wedding vows with your beloved; providing help or support to deliver the birth of your child; hugging someone tightly and feeling that same loving force when they squeeze you back; etc. So, we are capable of attaining higher consciousness. It is simply the matter of going to that beautiful, loving place more often than before, and going there with our partner. Then you two stay there together for “stretches” of time that become memorable and transcendent.
As you can see, physics plays an integral part of every relationship. By taking these 3 physical laws into consideration, you can better nuture your relationships so that they are full of love and understanding.