The Chemistry Test

Is a good relationship supposed to come naturally, or is it supposed to be work? I was taught as a youngster that good things come to those who believe and a good judge of what a person believes is their works. However, when it comes to relationships, most people think a certain level of bliss should miraculously occur without much effort. Some would agree that a good relationship should come easy. Having to work so hard is a sign that it wasn’t meant to be. It should be a pleasure getting to know your significant other. That idea is always true during the honeymoon stage of the relationship, but what about when the newness wears off? Isn’t that when the real work is supposed start?

I hear women talk about how things just flowed with a particular guy they are dating. Does that just mean that he laughed at her jokes and went out of his way to make sure her every need was met? I could see how you ladies would love that type of treatment but you can’t really expect to build a serious relationship on that, can you? The amount of attention and affection that you show in the beginning can’t decrease if you want to keep your mate happy. When she starts a sentence with, “Well, you used to…” you better get on you’re A-game to keep her. Believe me, she is already thinking about an exit strategy.

So as a guy, the key to keeping your woman happy is consistency, right? Well, women get bored if you are too predictable. I guess that’s the essence of the whole bad boy thing. If I come see you because I know that is what you want, or call you because I know that it is expected, am I working too hard? I don’t think so. I think you have to do the things that are necessary to please your mate. I have a co-worker who is always talking about all the things her husband does for her like sending flowers, leaving hand-written notes around the house, paying for spa days for her and her girlfriends, and sometimes preparing her favorite dishes. In the same breath, this woman complains that he is only doing these things to make up for his past indiscretions. In my opinion, those actions are the things he should be doing.

So again I ask, what’s wrong with putting in work for the sake of your relationship?

When you begin to question if you are doing too much to make your relationship work, you are doing too much. Women have some basic needs such as reassurance, stability, spontaneity and security that aren’t just going to happen without a man making a conscious decision to invest his time and energy.

The answer to my question is that it has to be a mixture of work and natural chemistry. If it is worth it, there are things that need a bit of work. A relationship is like any other endeavor. The attraction makes it look easy but building it takes some effort. The question that you have to ask yourself is if you are receiving a return on investment or should you cut your losses. The attraction is the easy part but building a lasting relationship is going to be more difficult.

Do you think that a good relationship should happen naturally or should it be work?

How much work is too much?

Have you ever broken up with someone because it was too difficult to keep him or her happy?

Let’s discuss…

Vincent Slaughter is writer from Atlanta who describes himself as grown-ass man. loving son. faithful mate. flawed. occasionally funny. southern gentleman. humble, yet cocky. gemini. sometimes selfish. forgiving, but not forgetful. thankful. optimistic. thinker. doer. believer. reader. writer. a work in progress. learner. Above all, human. His thoughts on love and relationships also featured on

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July 27th, 2008 at 10:03 pm SweetSis says:


July 27th, 2008 at 10:34 pm Allen Taylor says:

Nice writing. You are on my RSS reader now so I can read more from you down the road.

Allen Taylor

July 27th, 2008 at 10:36 pm SweetSis says:

How much work is too much? When it becomes painful. Love shouldn’t hurt.

July 27th, 2008 at 10:43 pm Aaron Craig says:

Organic growth is always best - in food and in relationships in my opinion.

July 28th, 2008 at 3:49 am higherlove says:

Chemistry is tough to come by

July 28th, 2008 at 3:56 am doumind says:

‘women get bored if you are too predictable’
so true, so so true

July 28th, 2008 at 4:02 am Jane Kennedy says:

You seem to have a very perceptive nature and be in tune to women in a very special way. I think that is very noble to even care how we feel, what we are thinking and what may make us happy…You have half the work done just by simply caring enough to get deep!

July 28th, 2008 at 9:12 am timeless says:


July 28th, 2008 at 9:42 am Allison says:

I agree with you it is a mixture of both. Everyone knows you have to work for a good thing. I mean nothing to crazy but work to keep it fresh.

July 28th, 2008 at 9:48 am thelma says:

FOundation of mutual respect with a dash of spontaneity and I’m sold

July 28th, 2008 at 9:58 am Tina says:

People who think it will all be easy are living in a dream.

July 28th, 2008 at 9:59 am heatmizer says:

I think each person should define what they feel “easy” is — cuz for me, easy means no drama or arguments — for others, those things show love. Who knows - I say just being on the same page is half the battle

July 28th, 2008 at 10:17 am Puff Dragon says:

You’ll catch your death trying to figure out the ladies, man…

July 28th, 2008 at 10:21 am pmatters says:

If a relationship is that much work I have to step back and wonder is it worth all that. It should always feel easy and fun. Not like you are working at it but your doing it because you want to do it.

July 28th, 2008 at 11:38 am buttabrown says:

Important questions indeed… Again, the fact that you are in tune to your lady is admirable and very sexy!

July 28th, 2008 at 11:58 am Torian Salary says:

I’m not sure how much work is too much, I went through the same problems with my ex girl. She asked, why we broke up, and I told her she is too difficult to please. I do a little bit, she wants more, I do a lot, she wants a little bit.

July 28th, 2008 at 11:59 am billy baddy says:

Slippery Slope Man - how can you keep up being so good all the time then thats what they gonna expect and who can really deliver that

July 28th, 2008 at 12:02 pm superjonsey1 says:

Good advise. It ain’t all fun and games.

July 28th, 2008 at 12:10 pm lolalove says:

Good stuff Vincent! Now, can you just clone yourself for all the ladies? LOLOL

July 28th, 2008 at 12:15 pm Kettle Blk says:

passing this on to all the brotha’s on the bench! LOL

July 28th, 2008 at 12:17 pm culturepop says:

@Torian what you know about being hard to please LOL — try juggling ex-wives and children youngin!

July 28th, 2008 at 12:48 pm Loosie Loo says:

I recommend a song by Quincy Jones featuring James Ingram & Patti Austin called how do you keep the music playing. truth is, its rare for the magic to last - and that’s ok. i can’t be sunshine and roses everyday, that is life

July 28th, 2008 at 2:15 pm da wild card says:

Women want a lot more than just those basics
and all women are not the same
everyone has differnet needs
stability may not be what every woman wants men listen to too many dang songs to tell them whats in the mind

July 28th, 2008 at 3:09 pm chivalrouswon says:

Relationships should definitely be a work in progress. For the fortunate you may have a career (significant other) that invigorates you everyday and so you do whatever it takes to remain *employed* (and vice versa). Yet others just have a job and that’s what it is no more no less a grind that you labor at ….not totally commited but it’ll do. One should go into any prospective relationship like a job interview and treat it as such throughout the relatioship (if one develops). Simply put when you see someone that sparks your interest you want to get to know them. Usually it’s vice versa, so if you look at it from that point of view then you are both the *applicant* as well as the employer. That is a unique position to be in. Now with that said on a job interview you want to make a good first impression. Same thing on a first date. You highlight your strengths and touch upon where you could use improvement. On a date you do the same. You discuss past employment and what you expect from the position you are interviewing for. Same on a date. I could go on and on and on but I am hoping the metaphor is in “high gear” by now and some are saying …..”yeeeeeaaah that makes sense”. And if it doesn’t then ponder this much like the workplace when the experience has run it’s course and you see no reason to remain in employ or to keep an employee; better opportunities lie ahead.

July 28th, 2008 at 3:44 pm maxine ellis says:

nice entry! cute too

July 28th, 2008 at 3:57 pm soothsayer says:

I just saw this on EUR! Ya’ll gets around **(chuckle**)good stuff

July 28th, 2008 at 5:05 pm Nu yawk says:

Are you saying men really give a hot dang if they are in a good, ‘lasting’ relationship

July 28th, 2008 at 8:18 pm Vincent Slaughter says:

Let me first say, that I have absolutely now insight into women. I ask questions of my female friends and try to figure out what a typical response would be. Sometimes I’m right and sometimes I’m very wrong. In no way do I think that all women are the same or have the same needs. Just speaking in general.

Nu yawk - I’m saying that mature men are concerned about these things.

July 29th, 2008 at 8:21 am CeaseNYC says:

When you serious, you put in worl. If he ain’t puttin in work, bess believe he puttin it in somewheres else. Same for dudes. It’s the biggest sign there is. When you into it, you do right. When you not, you don’t. That can’t be fixed. You gotsta see the sign and follow it. Putting is work is like a traffic light. Its the asiest way to know whether to stop, go or slow that ish the hell down.

July 29th, 2008 at 12:54 pm teradise says:

well I love what you said about if you are questioning either or not its too much work, than it is! Also love the question posed about whether or not you are seeing a return on your investment! Something to really think about. I think its a combination of coming naturally and work, but they should be equally divide…if the natural goodness is 10% and you have to work 90% (all too familar!) then you need to invest elsewhere.

July 31st, 2008 at 9:20 pm Tru says:

This was a really interesting article. I love to discuss things and this is the best opportunity I have had all week. I tend to believe that there has to be a balance between chemistry and work. The thing that gets me is that often when you hear women say that things just flowed with a certain guy. It is in the just met stage. Most women have a fatal flaw and that flaw is the tendency to make themselves believe whatever they want to believe. All too often they have a good date and decide that this guy is their soulmate without getting to really know him. Some haven’t even gotten to know themselves. The thing is a relationship is hard work but it shouldn’t be more work for the man than for the woman. And it never ceases to be work. The things is it should be the type of work that fulfills you and makes you proud. It should be a joy. When it begins to drain and exhaust you there maybe a problem. No one should be more important to you than you.