Monday, May 7, 2012

What is "chemistry" anyways??

All of us in the dating world agree: if there is no "chemistry," there is no reason to pursue a particular dating prospect. If the "spark" isn't there, what's the point, right? Yes, I agree, there has to be some sort of attraction early on, but I've started to question lately whether it needs to be there on first sight or whether it can start as an ember and then turn into a flame as you get to know the person better. Let's first try to define what chemistry is. Is it a strong sexual attraction on the very first meeting? Is it a warm, fuzzy feeling that makes you feel comfortable and "at home" with the person the first time you talk? Is it an instant rapport that "just feels right"? Is it feeling natural and on the same wavelength with the person after just a few hours? Or...Is it an unmistakable "jolt" you get the second your eyes meet? I've heard people describe it all these ways. And, of course, it is felt differently by each different person. In my experience so far, chemistry has been there if I feel drawn to a man as we talk, getting a warm feeling when he shows me his sense of humor, sensitive inner self, or passion for life. Even if I'm not initially attracted by his overall appearance (for example, I am most attracted to short, slender dark-haired men), I have found myself captivated by a man who is playful/silly, self-deprecating, funny, insightful, or expressive--even if he's tall, blonde, or slightly overweight. Your body, of course, will tell you if there's chemistry between you. You'll feel those "butterflies in the stomach" just looking at him or her. Your heart will beat faster when your eyes meet. You'll feel a lump in your throat when he or she holds your gaze or smiles a certain way. You'll feel the aforementioned "jolt" of excitement down your spine when he or she walks in the room. Or your skin will tingle at the slightest touch. These are all signs of sexual attraction. But are they also indicators that there's a connection with the potential to go beyond the physical? I've recently had two experiences that make me wonder about this whole topic. The first was with a man whose physical looks weren't that appealing to me, but I liked many other things about him. So I accepted a 2nd and 3rd date to see if an attraction would grow. I told him I liked affectionate touch before kissing someone (which, in my opinion, is a very intimate thing), and he complied. He took things slow before our first kiss, and then it was that kiss that sparked a physical attraction in me. The second experience was with someone whose looks were more appealing but still not initially sparking any physical reaction in me. But, as I learned more about him and he revealed his intellect, emotional IQ, and playful sense of humor, I began to feel very warm toward him and could envision the attraction growing stronger. How about you? In your successful relationships, has the chemistry been there fairly strongly right from the start? Or have you had experiences where it grew gradually and then turned out to be really strong? I'd love to hear your input!