This week's question comes from Julia:
“Hi Orna and Matthew,
Question: If I have no chemistry with a guy I’ve met, how long do I wait to see if attraction develops between us?
I have met a very nice man. We share some of the same hobbies, like books and music. He is retired and has tons of time; I work full time and also have a photography business and am very busy with limited time. This is sometimes a problem, but my real question is about sexual attraction. How soon do you think you know?
I thought we had some chemistry but now I’m not so sure (at least on my part). He says he is attracted to me, but I am having trouble recognizing his cues. He is a very nice man, but I want passion too. I don’t want to settle!
Thank you both for your work …I appreciate all you do.”
Thank you for your heartfelt question. It can be confusing knowing whether or not passion will develop with a nice guy who you are compatible with but feel no chemistry between the two of you. You want passion and compatibility in the same package. We often describe this as a struggle between head and heart.
Your big prefrontal cortex will want to get along, have compatibility, and want logical reasons for why you would select a particular partner. Your heart on the other hand will desire the chemistry spark of passion where you are magnetically drawn to a particular partner.
Let’s be clear right out of the gate, you are correct that settling for a relationship without passion isn’t going to work.
How Important Is Chemistry In Your Relationship?
Most people are waiting for the lightning bolt of chemistry to tell them if they’ve met “The One.” While attraction and chemistry are not the most important reasons for dating someone, they are definitely part of the equation. Bread doesn’t rise without yeast present. Otherwise, you just have a cracker (and no one wants to settle for a cracker when you desire yummy chewy bread).
Chemistry isn’t the most important ingredient, just like you only put a small amount of yeast in flour to make it rise, but without it you aren’t going to be able to weather the storms together.
Every lasting relationship has a romance phase in which the two of you feel a strong attraction and your brains are being flooded with all the feel-good love chemicals. The longer the romance phase, the more fuel you have in your tank to make it through the inevitable power struggle stage when those chemicals wear off.
The feeling of falling in love is a powerful drug and creates the glue that bonds two people together. It is the promise of what is to come if both people decide to stick it out and create a lasting connection built on commitment.
Sadly, many people mistakenly believe that they will always have the feeling the romance stage of relationship brings and that is the myth of Love By Accident. Without a romance stage in the beginning, it is very difficult to make love last because it doesn’t feel satisfying even though it feels comfortable.
A Relationship With No Chemistry Is A Platonic Friendship
It’s important to have people in your life with who you share common interests and activities. Friends are important to your overall emotional well-being. There is a need for human beings to live together in communities and your friends deliver the feeling of belonging that is necessary to function as part of society.
No one wants to sleep with their best friend, however, attraction and passion for your life partner are essential. Friendships develop from your similarities, and chemistry comes from the differences between you and your partner.
Just like when you put the same side of two magnets towards each other they repel, and the opposite sides pull together and stick making them magnetic.
Introverts are attracted to extroverts. Intellectual men often end up with passionate women. The woman who craves emotional connection has an attraction to the man who likes his alone time.
You can have a lasting passionate relationship where you don’t share all of the same interests and hobbies, but you can’t create that with someone you don’t feel attracted to.
Masculine Energy And Feminine Energy Are Natural Opposing Energies That Create Chemistry
Every person has a masculine side and a feminine side, but usually, one side is more dominant. A lasting love relationship has a natural balance of masculine and feminine energy between the two of you.
The most common combination is a masculine male with a feminine female, but the opposite can also work. Same-sex couples also have one partner that is more masculine and one that is more feminine.
Most heterosexual women don’t want to be in a romantic relationship where they are in their masculine and their man is more feminine. This isn’t about the tasks, jobs, or chores that each of you has. The female can be the breadwinner and yet be in her feminine in her relationship.
The energetics we are referring to relates to behavior within an intimate relationship. Are you the pursuer? Do you want to be in charge and make the decisions? Or would you rather respond and redirect your partner’s lead?
In your current situation, it seems that neither of you are leading in this relationship. He says he’s attracted to you, but it doesn’t appear he is taking action. You are correctly waiting to respond to him should he choose to move things forward. He could be waiting for a clear signal from you that you desire him.
Since both of you seem to be relaxed into your feminine waiting for the other, there is no chemistry between the two of you despite having similar interests.
Is Chemistry Enough For Love To Last?
We’ve established that chemistry is necessary and how it is created by opposing energies coming together. But is it enough to make love last?
Chemistry is an indication of opposing energies, but it is not an indication of a good match.
Many relationships with off-the-charts chemistry can be unhealthy and toxic. If you don’t understand how relationships progress through stages, when the power struggle begins, you will bail thinking the person you fell in love with is no longer the right person for you. It’s also common to see people hedge their bets and never go all in on a relationship worried to be hurt and disappointed again.
The glue that holds two people together over time is sharing common goals. When you value the same things you are able to be on the same team when trouble hits. Sharing goals allows you to find common ground during a disagreement. It is what you fall back on when passion wanes.
Ultimately, for a soul-satisfying, long-lasting partnership you are looking for a combination of chemistry and shared values. When you find that person who you can’t wait to rip their clothes off, and you also have a common belief system about what is important to you in life, then you’ve found the sweet spot that can create lasting love.
Date Intentionally To Meet Your Ideal Match
Unfortunately waiting for chemistry to develop over time will not deliver what you want. We call this strategy Love By Accident. It’s “by accident” because you’re waiting for a feeling to tell you this is the person for you. This strategy will never bring you an ideal partner because all of your feelings are temporary.
Feelings are transitory, even your feelings of attraction towards another person. Instead of waiting for chemistry to just magically develop between the two of you, take matters in your own hands and take a new approach to dating.
Don’t rush into exclusivity with the first nice man who wants to take you off the market just because you like the same kinds of books and music. Date multiple men at the same time so you can discover more about yourself through the dating process.
Evaluate your strategies for giving and receiving love to see if they are getting you what you want, or leaving you in dead-end situations again and again. You’ll also get clearer on what you truly desire in a relationship by having different experiences with different kinds of men.
Get curious about your inner dialog and how you feel with each guy you date. What types of men inspire you and attract you and what types don’t? Are you able to speak how you feel and make requests with a man you feel a strong attraction to, or are you only able to be yourself if there’s nothing at stake?
Relax Into Your Feminine To Attract A More Masculine Partner
The man you’re dating isn’t moving things forward. He clearly likes your company, but you don’t know if he really wants a long-term relationship with you or just companionship. Discover his intentions by making zero effort to connect with him. Respond when he reaches out to you. Relaxing into your feminine energy will either cue him to step it up, or he will disappear.
A man who deselects you through the dating process is doing you a favor. His rejection is protection against a partner who is not an ideal match for you (regardless of your temporary feelings for him).
If there is no chemistry, you’ll quickly discover if there is the potential for it when you clearly stay in your feminine energy through the dating process.
Relaxing into your feminine means you wait to see if a guy will move things forward and pursue you. Men who are attracted to you and want a relationship with you will move the relationship forward and make an effort to claim you and take you off the market. Men who want something easy and convenient will wait for you to take action flipping the energetics.
Being feminine has absolutely nothing to do with being passive. Feminine energy is receptive and responsive. Allowing a man to lead does not mean you have to follow. You always have veto power. You can speak up, share how you feel, and make requests.
From this position, you hold the power of the feminine. You set the pace of the relationship and inform the guy if things are working out to your liking. You can also evaluate how he responds to your requests and if he is able to make an adjustment to please you or not.
If you are the one moving the relationship forward by asking him out and making plans, you are taking on the masculine role. A more masculine man won’t want to compete with you so he will deselect himself and move on. The more feminine man will sit back and allow you to move things forward, and you will never know where you stand with him.
Say No To Everything That Doesn’t Fit Your Vision
Right now, you’re spending time with a man who leaves you feeling confused and unsure. You don’t really know what he wants, and you feel no chemistry with him. He’s not suddenly going to become a different man. You’re not magically one day going to want to rip his clothes off. Maybe it’s time to move on and create the relationship you really want.
You say you want passion and yet you’re settling for less because he likes you. What about your feelings? Ultimately it doesn’t matter how a man feels about you if you don’t return his feelings.
In order to create the passionate relationship you desire you have to say, “No” to anything that doesn’t fit the vision of your true soul partnership. Because you feel no chemistry with this man, doesn’t make him a bad man, it simply makes him not the man for you.
Look for a mix of chemistry, shared values, and a balance of masculine and feminine energy and you’ll feel the passion that you desire.
Lasting love is created just like anything else in life. Create a crystal clear vision of your ideal relationship (leaving the details of the man out of it). Instead get clear on the kind of relationship you want, how it functions, and the dynamics between the two of you.
Once your vision is clear, then take action towards your goal. Evaluate yourself and anyone you’re dating to see if you need to make adjustments to your vision, or if the guy is a match to what you desire. And most importantly, don’t stop until you get what you want.
Are you finding that your head and heart are not in harmony as you date different men? Do you have chemistry with partners who aren’t an ideal match for your values? Maybe you end up in platonic relationships with no chemistry and hope it will develop over time? Whatever your pattern, we can help you break your frustrating cycle of heartbreak and loneliness. Join us for a complimentary Soulmate Strategy Session and we can get to the root of what is blocking you from long-lasting, soul-satisfying love you desire and deserve.
Orna and Matthew Walters are TV’s favorite dating and relationship experts. They uncover subconscious blocks to love so that you can select an ideal partner to share your life with. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.