You need to understand that the basis for this chromatography business is separating a mixture using a "stationary phase" and a "mobile phase."
I wouldn't take those terms as intuition, but column chromatography for instance. A fine powder, usually silica(Stationary phase) is put in solution with a solvent(mobile phase), then you add mixture A. The different compounds in mixture A will have different levels of "attraction" to the floating silica powder, and the part of mixture A that is "less attracted" to the stationary phase will flow out of the funnel.
One of the main issues is that sometimes this can take a very long time because the surface area of the silica may be too great decreasing flow out of the separatory funnel substantially - which is why we use high performance liquid chromatography.
It utilizes high pressure machines that offset the large surface area of stationary phase (pressure = force/surface area) thus reducing the amount of time it takes for separation.