I want to know what causes this specificity of reactions in between elements. Why does carbon only react with X elements? What are the factors that come into play to cause this specificity? From what I understand every element has the potential to bond with every other element but a lot of them would form unstable compounds and would dissociate quickly and so we say x element doesnt react with x element. For example could Na form a covalent bond with Ca but since they would form an unstable compound it quickly dissociates, so we say Na doesnt react with Ca? So, does each element have the potential to bond with any other? and because many would form unstable compounds we say they dont react? If not, again what is it that causes the specificity? PS- small question here that I dont think it deserves a thread. When a polar bond dissociates does the more electronegative element always keeps the electron of the less electronegative element (R-OH --> R-O: ( O with extra electron) H+)? Also with non-polar bonds does the opposite happen when it dissociates (C-H -> C + H)? Where both elements stay neutral? Thank you very much.