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‘Chemistry’ of love: Don't go looking for the perfect 10

Staff Reporter

Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Updated: Thursday, February 14, 2013 02:02

Richard McKinney | The Houstonian

Richard McKinney | The Houstonian

Today is Valentine’s Day, however, I am going to be celebrating discount chocolate Friday, personally. I have thought about looking for love or a relationship a lot. A particular sorting mechanism I hear often is ranking people on a scale from one to 10. This is a bit ridiculous to begin with, but that is not what I am writing about.

The only rational explanation for this ranking is that people are looking for a perfect 10. Why? That seems crazy to me. Not that you are not perfect, I’m sure you are, but nature tells a different story of how we should bond, particularly covalent bonds.

Now, each atom is comprised of protons and neutrons in the nucleus and electrons orbit around in what is known as the valence cloud – the higher the number of protons, the more electrons and clouds. When two atoms come together in a covalent bond they physically share electrons between them – for all intents and purposes we will call this bond entirely inseparable (it is Valentine’s Day, after all). What is interesting is that the noble gases have a perfect valence cloud. They have every electron they need making it almost impossible for them to forms these bonds naturally. Even when they do form these bonds, it is solely the noble gas that is sharing electrons.

This is why I don’t see the point in finding a perfect 10. See, in this example, the ‘perfection’ cannot get any better, so what’s the point? If we look at what perfection is, it simply doesn’t make sense. If something were perfect, there would be no reason for it change or grow; much like the noble gases. If we are searching for a perfect 10 it would be almost ridiculous to think that a sustainable, stable relationship could occur.

Now, before you throw up arms about how great and wonderful love is – let me finish. What we should be looking for is not a perfect 10, but someone to complete that outer valence shell; someone whom we can form a covalent bond with and grow together. That’s what love and a relationship entails.

Celebrate Valentine’s with your partner, or friends. That’s the great thing about Valentine’s Day, it revolves around love, which comes in multiple forms and varieties – dating, friendship or family. If we look around for opportunities to forms those covalent bonds our network of love grows larger and larger, which will only enrich our lives.

I encourage you to stop searching for the perfect 10; instead start looking for the one with whom you can bond and grow together. Find the person who offers the opportunity to memorize the color of their eyes, fall in love with their laugh, and understand every contour of their hands. Then take those things and notice the subtle changes over time until you cannot even remember a time when you weren’t together.

Don’t be afraid to search – soon enough, you will find them. When you do, the covalent bond you form will be inseparable.

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