What's the Chemistry of Your Relationship?
Call me a nerd, but I love chemistry, especially the balancing equations, chemical formulas, and periodic table part. But I also love romance and Valentine’s Day and lovey dovey lovely love. So here, for your viewing pleasure, are two of my favorite things: chemistry and romance! I’m not sure if this is a guide to love or a guide to chemistry, but it’s my Valentine’s Day present to all you nerds out there!
1. The inseparable relationship
Characteristics: Those in the inseparable relationship never let their SO see the outside world, especially friends of the opposite gender, and they can’t bear to be alone.
Chemical equivalent: N2. You never see just one nitrogen atom walking down the street; it is always with another nitrogen. And with a boiling point of -195.8 degrees Celsius, nitrogen gets heated about the smallest things. In its liquid form, N2 can give you instant frost burns, so watch out for this dangerous twosome.
2. The destructive relationship
Characteristics: Two people, fine on their own, come together and do nothing but fight and argue.
Chemical equivalent: Aluminum and iron oxide. Both are most commonly found as rocks. And what happens if you bang two rocks together? Nothing. Usually. In a normal relationship (if there is such a thing) two people meet, see if things work, and, if things deteriorate, go their separate ways. In a destructive relationship, aluminum slams into iron oxide and viola! A thermite reaction is created. So in other words, there are bright, dangerous sparks. You might say, what’s so bad about some sparks? Sparks are nice! But if these elements clash too many times, each wears away until it isn’t good for much of anything anymore, or it corrodes into something else, the way people change after being hurt enough times.
3. The open relationship
Characteristics: Both parties agree to date each other but keep things casual, seeing other people on the side romantically.
Chemical equivalent: Bismuth(III) nitrate pentahydrate! Okay, so let’s break this baby down. Oxygen would really like to hook up with hydrogen to create some splendid H2O, but hydrogen’s like, sure, but I’m also really interested in bismuth. So oxygen is like, sure, that works, but then I’m going to hook up with nitrogen on the side, and each keep trying to be more and more “casual” until it’s all a big mess. Just like its relationship counterpart, this compound works on paper, but never occurs in nature.
4. The pusher-puller relationship
Characteristics: One person wants to be in the relationship so bad, almost desperately, and the other has neutral feelings/likes the person less, and is almost using him/her.
Chemical equivalent: The helium hydride ion. Hydrogen is this big popular cool kid. Everyone wants to bond with him. People are looking into hydrogen-powered cars, and he’s two-thirds of one of the most important compounds on earth! And helium, sure, she’s a noble gas, but in this case, noble gas means wears her pants hiked up to her belly button and has full head gear braces. So when hydrogen shows interest in helium, she is all for it. Come on, he has a car! No one else wants to bond with helium; hydrogen is the only thing she can bond with. But her interest proves to be too much for hydro, so while she pushes and pushes to be together, he pulls and pulls away.
5. The in-denial relationship
Characteristics: On paper, this couple seems perfect, but in reality, they don’t really work.
Chemical equivalent: AgCl+Au. While in theory this silver compound and gold compound should bond, they just don’t. Sure, their charges would work and the number of electrons work and they're so close on the periodic table you would think they'd get along, but they just… don’t. AgCl and Au can be-bop around for a little while, but soon enough, they're toast. While cyanide melts Au to its bare bones, AgCl doesn’t mind, unless it's in nitric acid, which is like death to silver. Sounds great, but it just doesn't pan out.
6. The John Tucker
Characteristics: She likes him, another she likes him, another she likes him, and he? He likes himself.
Chemical equivalent: Arsine! Three hydrogen atoms all bonded with one arsenic atom. If you know anything about arsine, you know it’s toxic and destructive. And if you know anything about John Tucker, you know that John Tucker must die.
7. The stalker relationship
Characteristics: One person is obsessed with the other, but the other wants nothing to do with him.
Chemical equivalent: Poor neon, forever alone. Sure, he can hang out with the other elements, light up Justin Bieber concerts, glow in “open” signs in front of iHop, but neon doesn’t bond with anything at all. Sure, he can take pictures of/text message constantly/sleep under the bed of carbon or fluoride, but they want nothing to do with him.
8. The Energizer Bunny relationship(s)
Characteristics: Girl dates boy. Girl dumps boy for another boy. Girl dates another boy. Oh wait, the girl has dumped the second boy and is dating yet another boy. She just keeps going and going and going…
Chemical equivalent: The Energizer Bunny is fluoride. Fluoride hops around, hooking up with all the noble gasses, xenon, radon, argon, you name it. This is especially harmful when the energizer bunny’s latest partner is krypton. See, krypton only bonds with fluoride, but fluoride bonds with everybody. So poor krypton is led to believe he’s special, when in reality, he’s just a stop on the bunny trail.
9. The honeymoon relationship
Characteristics: Always is love. Well, that depends on the definition of love, which in their case means making out in the locker bay.
Chemical equivalent: Citric acid. C6H8O7 is a white, crystalline substance that you most commonly see at the bottom of your empty Sour Patch Kids bag. Under a microscope it is one of the smoothest and clearest naturally occuring substances on earth, but its bond is weak, and while citric acid relationships can seem sweet, they all end up being sour.
10. The compatible relationship
Characteristics: Can be themselves together, create productivity when together, happy.
Chemical equivalent: Sodium chloride. Chlorine is used in different types of drugs, both legal and illegal, and sodium can be found in explosives. So while neither of these elements are very stable on their own, together they bond to become a completely safe tasty white condiment used on everything from eggs to caramel. Everything is better with a little salt. Sodium and chloride have a stable, balanced bond and like those in any good relationship should, they make each other better.
What kind of relationship are you in?