You want to experience those electrifying sparks when you first meet someone — hey, you deserve it — but what if the chemistry needs a bit of work even though he ticks all your other boxes? Is chemistry something you can develop with time or does it need to be there from the start? That all depends…
- Chemistry can blind you. Don’t stress if there aren’t sparks that leave you feeling dazed on a first date. Having such a connection that you can’t wait to see the person again to the point that you can barely eat or sleep is a lot like being a teenager (fun!), but it can be distracting you from reality. You might love the feeling but not really be seeing the guy behind its haze. If you’re not blinded by chemistry when you first start dating, you can see the guy for what he really is — which is what you should be doing.
- You can try to create fireworks. When getting to know someone, if it feels like there’s absolutely no chemistry you can try your hand at creating it. How do you do that? Try spending time doing fun things with the person, like an adventure sport or attending an interesting class, instead of rushing to the bedroom where an awkward first encounter could make you wrongly assume there’s no chemistry. However, trust your instincts. If you’ve tried lots of different things to cause a spark but you still don’t feel anything, it’s a sign to stop trying. It’s chemistry, not rocket science.
- It sure helps if some attraction is there. Whether or not you try to create a spark, it certainly helps if you’re attracted to the person from the beginning — and this doesn’t mean just physically. You should find the person at least somewhat appealing, otherwise, there’s no foundation from which chemistry can grow.
- Chemistry might just be hiding out for a while. Sometimes chemistry is there but it’s hiding because you or the guy are holding back and not revealing your true selves. After a bit more time of getting to know someone and peeling back their layers, you might go, “Wow, he took my breath away!” Hello, chemistry. Nice of you to join us. So, sometimes it’s worth spending time getting to know someone on a casual basis so that you can be comfortable and give chemistry a chance to show up.
- Chemistry is full of surprises. The other thing about chemistry is that it can develop in time — but not if you’re watching it while holding a stopwatch. Much like happiness, it will happen in such a way that you’ll be thrown off guard. You might, for instance, be friends with someone for months or years and then suddenly look at them one day and realize you feel sparks. As in, everyone better get out of the building because there might be a fire.
- Being hot AF doesn’t equal chemistry. It’s a myth to think that just because someone’s gorgeous, you’re guaranteed to feel amazing chemistry with them. Plus, on the other side of the coin, not having a strong physical attraction to someone after seeing them for the first time doesn’t always mean there’s no chemistry. Research has found that even if you lack physical attraction, a different part of your brain will be stimulated to help you figure out if the person’s perceived personality would still make them right for you. Think of your brain like a wingman, telling you to take a little more time to figure someone out.
- Chemistry isn’t always synonymous with compatibility. You love the feeling of having amazing chemistry with someone, but does that mean you’re compatible? Not always. Compatibility is what’s sure to make for a happier long-term relationship, especially once the honeymoon period is over, and it’s either there or not. Although your chemistry with someone might change with time, you’re probably not going to be able to change the fact that things like your values and life dreams clash in a big way. So don’t get the two twisted.
- Chemistry is still important in its own way. Whether it’s there from the beginning or you develop it over time, chemistry is important in a relationship. If you’re not gelling, it’ll never work. However, shifting our expectations of what chemistry looks like and what it means can keep you from unfairly ruling out someone who might be really great for you in the long run. Keep an open mind – you just might be pleasantly surprised.