Hello I am currently taking a general chem course, and we are studying bonding. I am having trouble understanding why atoms for ex: 2 separate hydrogen atoms have higher energies than a hydrogen molecule. I understand that atoms/ions are always seeking configurations/geometries that will minimize their internal energies but why is it two atoms that are bonded have less internal energy than when they are separated a great distance? Isn't there potential energy in the system, when the bonds form that was not their previously? Doesn't separating the two atoms a great distance weaken the proton-proton and electron-electron repulsive forces?