Do you feel it? Do you feel the chemistry…yet

Today the blog world lit up like a Christmas tree (or a Hannukah candle set, if you prefer). There was a discussion about sex, specifically sexual preferences (of the chemistry kind, rather than the other variations). A first for blogging! OK, I kid a little. I hear that sex has been mentioned before in this hallowed forum.

As is often the case, I waded in with big boots and babbled on and on.

The discussion turned more directly to chemistry, a subject near and dear to my heart.

We approach relationships in the full knowledge that if we don’t have any chemisty with that special someone, we are lying to ourselves if we think a fulfilling long-term relationship is going to work. In this context, it’s fair to comment that a “relationship” eventually means a sexual relationship. There may be good reasons to hold off for a while on starting the sexual relationship, including caution, religion, past traumas, etc. Regardless, a relationship without sex is really just a friendship. (Feel free to scream out and disagree with me here. Yes, I agree that there are loopholes in this argument, but they don’t particularly affect the thrust of the argument, so we can fight them out in the comments later).

How do we know if we have that magic thing called “chemistry” that lubricates the relationship (and more)?

Some argue that it’s there or it’s not.

I strongly disagree.

I see it more subtly. I see it as 3 scenarios:
1. You have chemistry
2. Not sure yet
3. You have anti-chemistry

For the first scenario, we all know it. He/she walks in the room and you’re ‘in’ and you know this is someone you could bond with. There are no arguments there. We all get that.

As a relevant side note, I know friends who have met the ex-US President, Bill Clinton, and a friend who has met the ex-UK Prime Minister, John Major. My friends confirm what we already know about Bill’s exploits — he has (had?) a charisma about him that melts women. John Major, on TV, appears to be the most boring man in the world. Not so in person. My friend assured me that, within a minute of meeting him, she would (a) vote for him forever and (b) have his babies. OK then…

For the last scenario, soemtimes we meet someone new and say instantly, “No way. Not ever.” We understand this. I think this is what most people mean when they say they have “no chemistry” with someone. If you feel like that right away, I doubt it’s ever going to change.

But what about the middle ground?

Sometimes you don’t get a clear feeling either way. There can be lots of reasons.

Sometimes you meet someone who is married to someone else. Or you meet someone on a professional basis and don’t think of them as a potential partner. Or you already have a partner and don’t ‘see’ the someone because you’re not looking. Sometimes the person isn’t quite what you normally go for.

In each of these middle-ground cases, the dynamic can change over time. It can settle into a Yes or a No.

You find yourself single or they become single. You see them outside of the professional context, perhaps in a social setting. You had blinders on but now you have your eyes open and…wow! Or you look at that person differently over time and realize that, yes, something might work with them. You didn’t feel the chemistry immediately, but over time, you notice things you didn’t see in them at first: the way their eyes light up when they laugh; the way they move; the change they made to their hair. Maybe it’s as simple as they lose a little weight and suddenly appear subtly sharper and more defined. In these cases, the latent chemistry becomes very real.

Don’t get me wrong. It can also go the other way, and over time you can decide that it will not work, that they just don’t ‘grab’ you. This isn’t a fairy tale.

I don’t think there is a way to force chemistry between two people, but I do think that it’s not as simple as “it’s there or it’s not there.” Sometimes it takes a while to discover enough about someone to feel that β€˜pull’ that draws you in and creates a bond that endures. Many of my own serious relationships (one year or more) drifted from friendships as I looked at someone differently over time.

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About Single Dad

I married young. Now, after more than 20 years of marriage, 3 wonderful daughters, and many ups and downs, my wife has decided the marriage is over. The "About Me" and "My Background" pages on my blog have more details.
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12 Responses to Do you feel it? Do you feel the chemistry…yet

  1. TikkTok says:

    I like the way you use lubricate. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜†

    Yes, there is such a thing as repellent. And that charisma some people ooze? Those are the ones I stay away from. They are generally manipulators and they know they can use that charm to get what they want. They give me the (bad) willies.

    Another category for me- chemistry with or without sparks. You can be flirty with a person and find out that kissing is like kissing a dead fish. Yet, the chemistry is good. And then there might be the person with whom you feel comfortable with but the kiss sparks a conflagration.

    I totally agree with your assessment. πŸ™‚

    • Some of the people with soooo much spare chemistry become Evil Chemistry Overlords! I think we call them “players” because they can attract more than most and don’t use chemistry to find the right one but to find one after the other — a misuse of a gift!

      But this is more about the way that chemistry isn’t always immediately on or off. I think there’s a common misconception about that. Or maybe it’s just me.

      As you point out, having the chemistry doesn’t mean they have the ‘skills’ to turn those sparks into flames! πŸ™‚

  2. Not only are you cute…you are smart too…just saying πŸ™‚

  3. Caroline says:

    I totally agree. The chemistry between my Ex and I evolved over a few months. For him before me.
    In fact I believe the better ‘chemistry’ evolves over time. After all the instant attraction thing across a crowded room maybe fantastic in the short-term but you don’t know anything about the other person at that stage, you don’t know if you are going to want to live with them day in day out when you aren’t in bed!

  4. mysterycoach says:

    I’m still thinking about this topic. πŸ™‚ Shocking, because I’m still processing all the information and thoughts everyone’s putting out there. Which, I absolutely love, because it’s all so interesting. That having been said, in my late 20’s I had a FWB. Wasn’t attracted to him “at all” prior to said engagement πŸ™‚ … HOWEVER after things got going and with no “instant chemistry” at all… we were very compatible and chemistry grew from not that instant spark or feel that you get with someone but from a different place. It grew more from the 2.5 years we knew one another and it morphed into something else which was entirely enticing.

    There is too, as Tikk is saying that chemistry where “ZAP!” and to learn to identify the bad zap and the good zap, depending on where a person’s head is emotionally at the time, is highly important. We misinterpret that “zap” that “pull” for more than it really is…you get to know them on a personal level and … euw… all they were good for, really, because as people you just don’t get along, is the sex.

    This morning I’m thinking about how the topic is too clustered together over there and it’s like, it all seems to need some separate and divide and all the while it seems to cluster together too.

    I mean I distinctly remember thinking that I was attracted to someone for “whatever reason” which would have yet to be defined and uh… No. Ick… no spark, no connection, would have been like kissing a lama. Matter of fact, it was like kissing a lama. πŸ™‚ hahaha! Oh man, that’s funny. However you see what I’m saying.

    Player overlords (ROFL! that’s just funny) are interesting critters. They create false connections with the women they sleep with and they are false connections. But for the woman, it doesn’t feel false which is why so many of them feel hurt after the fact. A good play knows that if he can make her feel like she wasn’t a slut after that for sleeping with him after he dumps her, he’s off scot free and more than likely, since he took away the stigma of her being promiscuous without being in a relationship, he can revisit her, or her him. Or, course, he never see’s her again.

    And I have to say here… all of these things? To me, weight heavily on the individuals’ state of mind at the time. As to what they’re willing to do, what mental state their in, if it’s their horny time of month (yah go ahead deny that LOL) if they think that it can’t happen to them, and there’s LOTS of variables in this… maybe they were lonely, maybe they assumed what the person said to them was them being liked. The vibe some people throw out, since we’re going to go into vibes too is, the guy says he likes her, she knows better … she senses it but she dismisses it as “oh It’s just me,” and she doesn’t listen to herself, sleeps with him anyway because we sense when someone is not really into us and sometimes sleep with a person for all the wrong reasons. Which has nothing to do with chemistry at all but the feeling of rejection, that undertow… “why doesn’t he like me” … and those games… woof…

    Oh, have I gone on too long? And there’s so much more to be said about this whole thing. But … I can wait. (insert cheezy smile)

  5. I might be a bit odd here, but I actually notice and remember each time I felt chemistry with someone who later became important to me in some way. I think there are two kinds — emotional chemistry, which I think we generally refer to as a “connection,” and physical chemistry, which we generally deem “attraction.” I don’t think either of these things necessarily appear immediately, at least in my experience.

    James a good example for me. When I first met James over 14 years ago, I decided he was a conservative, arrogant player and wrote him off personally. Our professional meetings over the next 13 years softened my perception, but didn’t change it. But then after my divorce, when he arrived at my house one day to discuss a work project and I was an emotional mess (because my ex-husband had just stopped by for an impromptu row and then left), we sat down and talked and I felt a real connection to him and saw that he wasn’t who I thought he was. That was the first time I wondered if maybe he’d ask me out…. Over the next few months, my opinion of him changed, but he still didn’t ask me out because he wanted to finish our professional work together first (he likes to tease me that I kept putting the project off just to toy with him… πŸ™‚ ). I also remember clearly the moment during that time that the physical attraction element came into it and I wondered again if he was EVER going to ask me out! Lol.

    So, I think it’s less a matter of connection or attraction developing and more a matter of you discovering it at some point in the relationship. But I think that some people who feel it initially and realize that the object of their affection does not, wait around far too long, hoping the other person will discover it and a great romance will ensue. In my experience, I’ve never had a crush, nor been crushed on, and then had it later turn into something special. I’ve had very short relationships spring from those situations, but they were based more on some of the other things MC and others discussed on her page — like neediness and loneliness, etc. I think that the timing of the “discovery” moment probably needs to be nearly simultaneous. Don’t know why, but that’s been my experience, anyway.

  6. kimberly says:

    hm. by “chemistry” do you mean if the sex is good?
    i’ve seen it happen quite a few times–two people are friends. they begin to really appreciate each other–more than as just friends. they build on the friendship and grow together as individuals and as a couple…they go through many different life layers, handle different situations, whatever life throws throws at them. they weather it out for a year or two or three and by then, if they’ve maintained their standards (as far as being a decent friend and human being) high, they have a solid base of trust and love for one another…these things are what make sex good, over the long run. chemicals in our bodies can only do so much. if people are attracted chemically (physical chemistry) but don’t have a strong friendship base first that has weathered this and that, they’re essentially going to be arguing, making love, arguing later, making love again…and be mostly miserable. sex only lasts for so long. no matter how great the sex is or how great the physical reaction, once it’s over– it’s done. both will have to get dressed and wash the dishes, feed the kids, and make the bill payments. if they aren’t already great friends, it is always one or the other at different points in time who just doesn’t want to deal with the reality after the great sex. an eruption ensues eventually if not very soon after, and you know the rest of the story…
    the couple who can enjoy each other in the mundane, that’s what makes the sex great, at a very basic level. don’t you think if you love someone like that, that your “chemistry” chemicals will follow…? i’m not worried about chemistry in that sense at all.
    i haven’t had sex with a person who is my “best friend”….but from what i’ve heard there’s nothing like it. i can’t see letting physical get in the way of building a superbly stable friendship foundation first.

  7. DFB says:

    I love the moment when you read someone else’s blog and you think you might be reading your own. I have been contemplating the #2 kind of chemistry a lot lately, since I heard recently that instant chemistry is often a bad indicator of long term love. It’s so interesting to hear a man’s take on this. I’d love to hear from more people about the times when two people don’t match up– i.e. you’ve got #1 and he’s got #2. How long do you wait for chemistry to build…especially if one of you is already over the moon? Great post.

  8. Pingback: Do you want me? No? How about you? | Four is a Family

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