# Why do Ionic Bonds exist?

This is a legitamate question. If one atom wants to lose an electron and another wants to gain an electron why don't they just transfer the electrons and just part ways?

• Think about electrostatic forces – getafix Aug 29 '16 at 5:30
• To emphasize/clarify @getafix, why doesn't the electron on a hydrogen atom just 'part ways' with the proton? – Jon Custer Aug 29 '16 at 14:57
• It really depends if you're questioning about a solid where ionic bonds do exist, or what happens when such a salt is dissolved where ionic bonds don't exist. – MaxW Aug 29 '16 at 18:08

• "electrostatic attraction" is the gist, but in a solid crystal of $\ce{NaCl}$ there are six $\ce{Cl^{1-}}$ ions the same distance from the $\ce{Na^{1+}}$ ion. So there isn't a "particular" ionic bond. Also a particular $\ce{Na^{1+}}$ ion is attracted by all the $\ce{Cl^{1-}}$ ions in the solid crystal and repelled by all the other $\ce{Na^{1+}}$ ions. Overall there is a net attraction which is why a crystal of $\ce{NaCl}$ stays together. – MaxW Aug 29 '16 at 19:04