I really can't get my head around the fact that an element has to always become stable by bonding. Doesn't that mean that you can't actually find a pure element, and that it doesn't exist in it's true form? Because it will always be bonding? Does it mean that we are always looking at bonded atoms in the real world, and the actual true form doesn't exist? And what happens if there is, say, one atom left out and no other atoms left to bond with. Will it explode or die because it is unstable?
EXAMPLE: chlorine forms ionic bonds to become Chloride. But if it needs at always do that, doesn't it mean that we are always dealing with chloride? How can we ever have just chlorine when it always turns into chloride? And how long does it take to bond?
If what I've said is true (though I doubt it), then shouldn't we just study it in it's actual/final bonded form and have the bonded forms on the periodic table, rather than the one that hardly exists?
I've started to study for GCSE Chemistry but can't go further than the first chapter of ionic bonds etc. because this question keeps bothering me too much and I've become unable to study without knowing the reason behind this, and the consequence of atoms not bonding. I'm sorry if it's long but it feels like I'll go crazy and can't thank anyone ENOUGH who is able to answer this question. I can't find it anywhere on the internet :'(