# Ions and bonding

I am currently learning about ions and I am a bit confused about the bonding part.

I understand that if an atom has an 'unstable' amount of electrons (like 2 electrons, then 8, then 4) that it can 'borrow' some electrons from some other elements. An example of this would be sodium and chlorine.

But again, I am just confused on the bonding part. So when an atom loses or gains electrons it obviously changes to a + or - but does that particular element (atom) have to join with the other atom, or do they just 'give' each other electrons and 'be happy'?

• If you rub a balloon and hold above your head, you will notice that your hairs are lifted. What is happening is that your hair and the balloon is charged. One is slightly positive and one is slightly negative. This is what causes them to attract. And this attraction is what lifts your hair up. The hair and balloon situation is somewhat similar to ionic bonds. The ions become charged as a result of the transfer of electrons. Since they are charged, they become attracted to each other (similar as to the hair and balloon). – CoffeeIsLife May 19 '16 at 9:53
• This is why breaking ionic bonds are somewhat easier to break apart than covalent bonds. All you have to do to break ionic bonds is to neutralize the charge of the ions. This is what happens when you dissolve salt in water. – CoffeeIsLife May 19 '16 at 9:55
• Covalent bonds, however, share electrons. It is harder to make a compound or chemical to share electrons for reasons that are complex (I don't think I understand all of it to be honest). – CoffeeIsLife May 19 '16 at 9:59
• @Quantum you don't netralize the ionic charges wen you dissolve $\ce{NaCl}$ in water. You insulate them from each other instead, with solvation and the dielectric constant of the water. – Oscar Lanzi Jun 18 '16 at 11:42
• @OscarLanzi www4.ncsu.edu/~hubbe/Defnitns/Neutrlzn.htm – CoffeeIsLife Jun 18 '16 at 13:02