Stop Confusing Physical Attraction With Chemistry

I wrote a post last year where I talked about how when I first met my husband. I wasn’t the least bit physically attracted to him. But to my surprise (and confusion), we still ended up having some amazing chemistry. I didn’t recognize it at the time though. I kept telling myself that since I wasn’t physically attracted to him, he could never be anything more than a friend to me. So I would talk to him for hours on the phone about everything, look forward to spending time with him, all the while thinking that all I felt for him was friendship. But the more time we spent together, the more I started feeling like I couldn’t imagine my life without him in it. The chemistry we had that I thought was only an indication that we were great friends-it started turning into a physical attraction. I couldn’t understand it, and eventually I couldn’t fight it anymore. I had to admit to myself that I loved him.

I think it’s a good thing that our chemistry was established on our mental and emotional connection first. Physical attraction is a part of chemistry, but a lot of people think that physical attraction is all there is to chemistry. They think that once they’re physically attracted to a person it’s a clear sign that they should pursue a relationship. That’s completely wrong.

Sometimes you might be extremely attracted to a person physically, then have a conversation with them and realize “They’re NOT so great after all.” But some people try to convince themselves to give the person a chance in hopes that eventually they might feel a spark. They think that maybe the physical attraction will be enough to make up for the lack of a mental-emotional connection. It won’t. Chemistry has two components: physical and mental. You have to have both in order for a potential relationship to work.

So how do you keep yourself from falling into the trap of dating with no chemistry?

1.       Look beyond looks. I know, it’s clichéd, but that’s because it’s true.  Look at who they are-not who you want them to be. We ladies look at how handsome a guy looks in a three- piece suit and clean cut and immediately start fantasizing about having a life with them. If you’re a guy, maybe you see a girl in a form-fitting dess: she has the booty, the thighs, the breasts, and beautiful hair. You found wifey! The problem with that is, we’re imaging a future based on what we want them to be instead of what they actually are. Then we interpret everything they do and say in the light of what we dreamed them up to be. That’s how so many people end up ignoring all the red flags and dating someone that is completely out of alignment with their values and goals.

 Looking beyond their looks means that you weigh and evaluate their character objectively. It means that you’re honest with yourself about what you value in a relationship, and how the person’s character measures up. It also means moving on when you realize they aren’t a good fit for you. The physical attraction you feel won’t hold the relationship together for long.

2.       Stop getting sexually involved so early! Personally, I feel that once you get physically intimate, the chemistry you experience in the bed blinds you to the lack of chemistry outside of it. Some couples get together and have crazy disagreements, which only get resolved when they stop being mad at each other long enough to have sex. In a relationship like that, sex is a band-aid. It doesn’t heal or provide a long-term solution. It doesn’t truly get two people on the same page, but it’s great for giving people the illusion that they are. If your values are not aligned, if you can’t have a deep conversation where you feel mentally stimulated, the sex won’t be enough to keep the relationship together for long.

Instead of spending so much time making out and getting physically involved, have long talks about your lives and the goals you have. Talk about what you want to achieve in the next year, or five years. Talk about your childhoods, things you feel insecure about. Get to really know each other instead of rushing into bed.

3.       Look in your circle.  Chances are that the people you hang around with are people that you have a lot in common with: values, hobbies, and goals. Did you hastily put someone in the friend zone? I’m not saying to force yourself to like anyone. What I am saying is to keep an open mind. If you find yourself drawn to someone all the time, but feel like you can only be friends because there wasn’t an instant physical attraction, maybe you’re wrong. I kept telling myself I didn’t like my husband because he didn’t look like the type I usually go for. But the more time I spent with him, the harder I had to fight that ideology. If you’re forcing yourself not to like someone, don’t. You may be passing up something beautiful and amazing simply because of your stubbornness.                                                                                                  

Till next time! 

Kay Gus


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