There is another kind of bonding (co-valent) which allows an atom to join with other atoms of many different kinds, opposite or not. This makes possible much more variety, complexity and "consciousness" of molecules. In fact with atoms like carbon which form more flexible and adaptable groupings, this kind of bonding makes possible the giant organic molecules which are the basis of all life as we know it.
The same characteristics of the atoms - an excess or shortage of electrons - are responsible for both kinds of bonding.
In order for an atom to significantly interact with it's environment it must avoid being part of a molecule which is overly stable. Small molecules such as CO2 and especially H2O are quite stable and therefore quite isolated. As a unit they form unstable bonds with other small molecules. It usually takes the greater "consciousness" of the Chlorophyll molecule to bring the power of sunlight to bear on them to make them part of something greater.
Humans have several different forces or drives which bond them together. Unfortunately, many people try to restrict the drive which seems strongest, sexual love, to a paired, hetro (ionic) bond which makes higher consciousness in the sexual area very difficult. Our limited sexual values are part of our cultural joint personality and limit our whole society accordingly. Human culture is like a group of prisoners chained together (the different facets of our joint personality) and trying to escape to a higher level of consciousness. But one of the group (the traditional sexual facet) wants to stay where `he' is.
There were no doubt many attempts to evolve life from inorganic molecules before one succeeded. A variety of corrosive and predatory types of molecules were ready to tear apart anything new and vulnerable. My hope is that soon more social molecules will grow beyond our primitive pair bond values and develop resistant, viable super-organic molecules which can form all kinds and sizes of super-lifeforms, until eventually the super-organism called Earth becomes a conscious entity.