A friend of mine recently met someone she described as a 'wonderful' man. But though he was clearly smitten with her and wanted to progress their meeting, she said she didn't 'feel' anything and wondered if any light could be thrown on her situation. If he liked her so much, why was there no feeling of 'chemistry' on her part, she asked?
Lots has been written about that elusive chemistry that makes the balloons pop, the hearts stop and the pulses race between two people, but the actual nature of it has been hard to explain. It has been a subject that has exercised our thoughts, and bodies, for ages, and yet it could be as simple as four little words:attraction, comfort, value and excitement.
First we have to be ATTRACTED to someone before anything can happen - on a physical, emotional and an intellectual level. That's the basis of chemistry: to feel that natural pull towards someone that suggests they are making some kind of impact on us, though it is difficult to say what kind at the early stages. Real chemistry is sorted by the other three words because, in their absence, there really isn't anything there except for momentary curiosity.
Often we meet people for the first time and feel really good with them. We have a great rapport in conversation, we are animated in their company, and we enjoy the encounter (that's attraction), but something still appears to be missing. That is because we are only at the second stage of real chemistry: COMFORT. We feel at ease with the other person, we might actually enjoy their attention, but won't necessarily have them even as a friend. That's where it would stop if the other two elements are not in place.
If, however, we feel really good about the person, we believe that we really like them, and we could even see ourself with them, however there is no spark of excitement, that is because there is great VALUE between both parties, which is often misinterpreted for love. Value takes the form of respect, admiration, lots of attention. It is likely too, in this scenario, that one person likes the other more than is reciprocated. In these cases, where the spark is absent but there is much value, one is likely to find relationships based on companionship and security. It is also likely that one person will feel highly disillusioned when that spark is not there further down the line, especially if they hoped it would develop over time. This kind of connection emphasises a mutual feeling of security between the couple rather than love; or, in other mutually agreeable relationships, it could even be for convenience or expediency, especially if the two people are happy sharing each other's space.
However, true chemistry between two people occurs only when there is a feeling of EXCITEMENT; a definite electrical spark that one physically feels for the other person; the excitement and physical charge necessary to actually fall in love. This is the stage where hearts race faster, as one gentleman said recently, he felt his 'spin-dryer whirring around furiously'. We wish to be near that person as much as possible, to touch them, to be in their presence, to communicate non-stop and simply to bask in the attention and great feeling that envelopes us at these moments.
Incidentally, when there is only excitement without value that is simply lust going nowhere, except for the possible benefit of one person. And when there is excitement without comfort or value it means that one person is being used without any real commitment from the other, and mainly for their benefit.
It seems that ATTRACTION, COMFORT, VALUE and EXCITEMENT lie at the heart of true chemistry; the secret of falling in love. Where a relationship isn't really going well it is because one or both parties are missing elements of that chemistry. For example, the comfort and value might be in place (representing a warm feeling of security) but the real spark to get it off on a high level is absent or has eroded. Hence why one or both persons will continue to feel that something is missing in the relationship and to keep hoping for something better. Sadly, when that spark is non-existent, when the opportunity for experiencing it arises outside the home, few people are able to resist it, which leads to the inevitable affairs.
Chemistry is a very powerful force between two people, designed by Nature to bring them together to keep the species intact, but it has very little to do with lust, as some people believe. It's strength depends on whether MUTUAL comfort and value are also in place and, above all, whether that mutual spark is ready to ignite! My friend who triggered my thoughts on the matter obviously felt much comfort in her admirer's presence, and much value for him too. However, they clearly differed in that, while he felt the spark of excitement (wanted to hold her, touch her and be with her at every opportunity), she hadn't felt that and had no inclination to touch him either. She valued him, yes; felt comfortable with him, yes, but she certainly didn't feel any attraction, neither did she wish to progress it with him except on a platonic level, and he wasn't interested in just friendship. He couldn't understand how she didn't feel like he did. A clear mismatch of real chemistry.
But that's the mystery of chemistry. It cannot be manufactured. It is simply there or it isn't. Most important, those four elements have to be there before one truly feels it.
What kind of relationship do you have with your loved one? How is the chemistry between you? Find out with this QUIZ.
©Elaine Sihera (Ms CYPRAH) 2012
Emotional Health and People Management Consultant
"Happiness is a state of being. We are the ones who decide whether we wish to be happy or not, by the script we use inside our heads."