I’m an old-fashioned gal. I like getting my love compatibility information the icky old human way: smelling, kissing, tasting, sexing and talking. The down-n-dirty business of real-time pheromone exchanging. But if you’d like to get all clinical on your romance there’s a new compatibility test that might appeal to you: Instant Chemistry’s Couple’s Kit.
Analysing spit samples sent in by the wary hearted, Instant Chemistry is a company that isolates groups of genes believed to be associated with physical attraction, emotional response, risk taking and so on. It’s based on research proving that we gravitate towards each other according to immune and hormone information released in body scent. (Which is why excessive shaving and perfuming aren’t doing your match-making any favours.)
But it’s not just body fluids you send. Instant Chemistry requires you to undertake an online personality test. Which is the equivalent of reading a random Facebook status and declaring it a snapshot of the world.
Nevertheless, taking all this information into account, the white coats give your relationship a ‘compatibility score’ that apparently determines the loving longevity of your togetherness foreverness. In fact, they actually talk about ‘unceasing compatibility’, a frightening term that makes me think it might all end with someone being locked up in a basement.
Anyway. While compatibility scores might be great if you and Prince Charming get 90% and not so awesome if you get 40%, I believe they’re both shitty outcomes. Because what are you supposed to do with this information?
What if Mr 90%, the guy genetically proven to be your one and only in unceasing compatibility, turns out to be an ass? And do you leave the love of your life because the results came back with a 40% sad-face sticker?
You may have noticed by my tone that I’m not a fan of Instant Chemistry. Maybe it’s for the same reasons I don’t like fortune tellers; I don’t want to know how someone believes the future might, or even should, look. Or maybe it’s because I’m wary of anything that tries to complicate a simple but powerful moment for human interaction in the name of making a buck.
Because how compatible you are with someone is something you already know and feel in your gut, your heart and your head. Maybe you need to practice listening to what your body is telling you. Maybe you don’t like the message you’re getting or maybe you don’t know what to do with them. But you have access to all the compatibility info you need right now, without paying for postage.
I have a lot of faith in the body’s ability to dictate who it wants to be with. And even more faith in the role communication, compassionate honesty and openness to vulnerability play in long-term relationships. We don’t ever have to outsource this to a third party.
Well, at least not until we’re living in some future sci-fi world where compatibility refers to the hard-drive settings of the chip in our brains.