Instant chemistry. The “wow factor“. What is it? Does it matter? Does love at first sight really exist? Many have asked me if it really does matter and how much. Is there an impact of instant chemistry on relationship success? Well, I have given it some thought and asked a few people. What’s my answer? My answer is yes, and, no. Confused? You shouldn’t be.
Think about it this way. You meet someone and it’s like you were hit by train. It’s so intense you can hardly stand. THAT is chemistry. Something about them draws you in and keeps you there, you can’t pull yourself away. We’ve all been there and felt like that’s it, this is THE ONE. No doubt about it! But, did it pan out? Maybe, maybe not. Probably not. Some people just have that charisma and energy about them and this impacts the effect they have on other people. It gives instant chemistry, but it doesn’t give you a relationship. Relationships take a lot more than that. I’ll explain.
The Impact of Instant Chemistry on Relationship Success
Do you need chemistry to make a relationship work? I think it’s important, yes. Do you need INSTANT chemistry, no, not necessarily. Chemistry does not a relationship make. Chemistry is the added bonus. The problem with today’s dating world is that people are looking for that initial spark, the WOW when they first meet someone. If they don’t feel it then they’ll discount the person completely. I say that’s WRONG. I have met only a few people who I’ve had instant chemistry with and I thought for sure that they would be a long term item in my life, but, as it happened, chemistry wasn’t enough. Even if we both felt it. The opposite is true, I’ve had some great relationships with people I didn’t feel instant chemistry with.
Me and Mr.R? INTENSE chemistry. I mean major fireworks. The first time we spoke was incredible, we both felt it. I felt like I was hit by a meteor and I seriously thought I was going to pass out. He felt it too. We both still feel it. But, that didn’t translate into a relationship unfortunately. I went on a date a couple months ago with a someone who I also had crazy chemistry with (not as much as Mr. R) but we both definitely felt a connection, after a couple of dates it fizzled. Some guys I just “didn’t feel it” the first date, but I was still interested so I gave it a couple more dates and we definitely had something good and built some chemistry as we went along. In both cases it didn’t translate into a lasting relationship … so what’s the solution? Maybe something in between?
Good relationships are the product of building a solid foundation of trust, love, honesty, respect, consideration, generosity, passion and attraction. Also, common interests and values. Good relationships are two people walking in the same direction, together, side by side. Everything else is the pretty packaging, including instant chemistry. If you’ve got it all then you’re lucky, but really, the pretty packaging will not always be there, you need the stability in order to have relationship success.
Do It Yourself Chemistry
So you either have chemistry or you don’t, right? Wrong! Instant chemistry is all about the other person’s charisma and, of course, attraction. You might feel it but they might not. I think relationship success is two people who want to make it work. Chemistry is important, but, it can be built. I was reading recently that a lot of arranged marriages end up more successful and fulfilling than traditional arrangements. Why is that? It’s because they know they need to make it work so they do. Plain. Simple. So if people actually made an effort and let go of their unrealistic expectations perhaps there would be more successful relationship out there. Just a thought.
I think that if you have attraction and a general interest in the person then I think you should give it a shot. Build the chemistry. Those WOW moments will come. Instant chemistry is overrated. Stop looking for it and expecting it. It certainly isn’t a guarantee of relationship success. Don’t fool yourself and don’t give up those potentially great people just because they didn’t blow you away the first date. Now some people you’ll go out with and they’re a definite NO and that’s OK. What I’m talking about is those “maybe” people. You didn’t want to jump their bones but they were an interesting date. You enjoyed it and you enjoyed their company. You find them attractive. No chemistry? No problem. Try it anyway. There is such thing as do it yourself chemistry that has resulted in relationship success. Instant chemistry? Not so much.
Readers I’d love to know your thoughts and experience around instant chemistry. Do you think it’s necessary for relationship success? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Your Sister in Dating Bliss,
Single Dating Diva
Copyright Single Dating Diva
I’ve found that guys with a great personality (who make laugh etc) definitely grow on me even if there are no instant fireworks as long as there’s some kind of spark there i.e. they are okay looking and not repulsive. With my husband it was the other way around – instant attraction but he was very quiet – I had to wait for him to come out of his shell and it was his personality that had to grow on me 🙂
Thanks Ana! You’re right there has to be “something” of interest there in order to continue, call it a spark or whatever, but you certainly don’t need fireworks!
I absolutely loved this post!! Well said, sister 🙂 I think a lot of people are looking for the instant chemistry (both women and men, because both can be equally unrealistic) and it keeps a lot of people single for a long time. It’s great to have, but you’re right – it IS all charisma, which is also largely smoke & mirrors. This relates back to what I’m really interested in, which is emotional unavailabity – and I’ve found that a lot of people are taken in by an EU man’s charisma, thinking he’s the real deal and that there’s ‘instant chemistry’ when in reality all it is is a very practiced, staged routine. We all need to be making love decisions from a more stable and sensible place – after all, if you’re putting your heart on the line, you really should be thinking about it carefully.
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Thanks Jennifer! You’re right, charisma is all smoke & mirrors and we all fall for it … but those people are like magnets, you just want to be around them. We just have to be aware and not fall for it.
I agree that the answer is yes and no. I know for me, many times I don’t feel instant chemistry on a first date, simply because I am too nervous. There were a few times when I experienced instant chemistry with a woman. None of them worked out long term. In fact, one it was purely just lust between the two of us. So my advice would be to not reject someone simply based on lack of chemistry. If you have common interests and have some attraction towards them, then there is no reason to not go on a second or third date to see if there is anything there.
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Thanks Don! Instant chemistry is often lust in disguise. You’re right, sometimes on the first date people are nervous so they give off the wrong sort of energy. If you’re interested even a little then you need to give it another shot.
Chemistry is fine, but it’s only a match to set a fire. When there is nothing more in fireplace of relationship, you can enjoy short dance a of flame.
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Thank you … that’s a great way of putting it!
Chemistry is a MUST to get you going, but it can’t keep you going forever! Relationships take work. If you are willing to work at keeping the chemistry then you have a great chance for success in my book! 🙂
Thanks BSG!! You’re right, you do need more than just chemistry to make things work in the long term.
I think that chemistry is important, but it doesn’t have to slap you upside the head immediately. I think chemistry does need to be present, but not overwhelming. Women who tend to generate a lot of chemistry with me too soon usually wind up short term for some reason. Go figure. I guess I’m focused on one thing at that point which prevents me from really getting to know her.
Thanks Q! You know what I think, a fire that burns too fast too soon will burn out just as quick. You’ve got to have some chemistry to work with but gradually build to something bigger.
I find this subject a close sibling to the ‘not settling’ article I read earlier today. Often I hear people won’t settle unless they feel that instant wow chemistry. I think as we age and become more realistic we realize ‘chemistry’ is really a code word for lust and infatuation. We don’t like to consider ourselves lustful creatures. Instant love has such nice connotations. But realistically I think lust is usually that chemistry. And there is nothing wrong with that. But lust/infatuation is great at getting people into relationships, it doesn’t keep them there. That’s when we need to develop deeper bonds with someone while we are going through the honeymoon of attraction/chemistry. The honeymoon always, always ends.
Don’t shoot the messenger 🙂
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Thanks Michael … I find a lot of people in my age group (late 30’s) are still looking for the fireworks … hopefully when they get a little older they will get wiser. It’s those fairy tale fantasies gone wrong perhaps. You’re right, the honeymoon does end and then what’s left? Well, hopefully something good!
This is a really interesting and thought provoking post. It seems that there’s a huge difference between “instant chemistry” and “developed chemistry”. By definition they are so different. Instant chemistry seems to be much more about lust compared to love. I have to say that I’m actually undergoing quite a debate in my mind right now because a huge part of me doesn’t believe a “spark” can be worked on…but then when I think about a strong relationship I realize it involves excellent communication skills which can be learned and improved. If the skills to communicate can develop over time then perhaps that spark can too (although I’m not completely convinced). Perhaps it can deepen over time, however I think there has to be something from the beginning, and it’s more than just the “pretty packaging,” it’s what reconnects you time and time again when the rest of the “hard stuff” in the relationship is going on. Without the spark, would a couple be as interested in working on the rest of the relationship when it gets hard? I’m going to ponder this one for a while. Thanks for the great post!
I agree with everything you said here. I also believe that chemistry is important in a relationship because you will potentially spend your whole life with that person so you should be able to enjoy your time. Once you start being sad in a relationship you will also stop working on it and relationship requires constant work or else it will start to fall apart. Whenever I date someone I make sure I have chemistry with that person before I agree to a second date let alone be in a relationship. I think that this article would help a lot of people who are still having a hard time finding success in a relationship.
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