Wednesday, June 22, 2005


A friend of mine recently wrote about a disappointing experience with a new female love interest. Their first date, by all appearances, went well. The conversation was good, completely absent of the awkward silences between topics that often accompanies a first date. My friend was hopeful that his dinner guest would be interested in a second outing together. He believed that they had interacted well, and that possibly, there was a basis for continuing the acquaintance. Until he received an email from her a day later.

In it, she said that although she enjoyed their time together, there was no "chemistry". As such, there would be no second date. Obviously, my friend was disappointed.

It made me think: what, really, is chemistry ? What is it that draws us to some people, and repels us from others ?

Chemistry is something intangible, unexplainable, yet crucial to a continuing acquaintance, friendship or intimate relationship. A person can seem like the perfect mate on paper, but upon meeting and interacting, the chemistry can be entirely absent.

The logical, engineering-type mind may think, "How is this possible ? He/she should be perfect for me. How can there be no chemistry ? It doesn't make sense."

As my friend and his dinner date have demonstrated, chemistry does not follow the rules of logic and reason. Two people may have similar personalities, and may match each other's "lists" of desirable qualities, yet upon interacting in a more intimate environment, they discover that the chemistry is entirely absent. Conversely, two people that have seemingly divergent interests and personality traits can still have chemistry between them if they connect in other ways.

We humans form connections with one another on many levels; some superficial, others much deeper. Shared interests and experiences are a common bridge. Similar personalities and senses of humor are another. These connections can lead to acquaintanceships or friendships, but true chemistry runs even deeper, extending into the farthest corners of one's heart, at times morphing into a pervasive emotional bond.

Chemistry must be mutual. What one person may interpret as chemistry may simply be an interest based on the more superficial, on-paper characteristics and similarities between the two. It is not enough to compare one's own "list" with the qualities that the other person displays. In order for true chemistry to exist, both parties must feel it and perceive it, beyond the limitations of rational interpretations.

Chemistry cannot be created. It either is, or it isn't. There is no rhyme or reason to it, no predictability, no scientific explanation. It's just there. You know it. You feel it, when you look deep into that person's eyes and see that spark, that fire, that shine that says "I get you."

When attraction is mixed with a deep, emotional connection, and a spark of admiration, an intimate bond can emerge. This, I believe, is the basis for the deepest, richest, and most fulfilling of relationships.

What my friend perceived with his date was likely a rationalization of their qualities and personality traits. The two, as individuals, are good people, but sadly, are not suited for one another. As such, his quest continues for that elusive, unexplainable entity we call chemistry.

I hope that someday it finds him - and each of you as well.


Anonymous Joe Trainer said...

thank you, I feel this, I have this in my life and I cannot agree more with you!

July 8, 2005 at 9:58:00 AM PDT  

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