“What’s wrong with me that I’m not attracted to this great guy?” Ann was beating herself up. She’d been on a few dates with Pete. Both vegetarians, they met through mutual friends. With similar views on life, politics, and spirituality she had no desire to kiss him. “Do you think I’ll grow to be attracted to him?” My response: “Maybe, maybe not.”
Chemistry is a complex beast. In the early intoxication stage of dating, it’s easy to mistake hormones for lasting chemistry. Feeling good makes you jump into a commitment before you know each other. Dreams of having a future together carry you along for one or two years. Then the power-struggle phase rears its ugly head, magnifying your mate’s flaws and slamming the brakes on the love fest.
True lasting chemistry comes from physical, emotional, and other forms of chemistry combined. Physical attraction needs no explanation. But no relationship will last without emotional chemistry, which leads you to “get” each other and feel safe to be yourselves. You can’t have true intimacy without it.
Intellectual chemistry and spiritual chemistry are the book ends of a great relationship. Intellectual chemistry adds spice to any bond. Love how the other person’s mind works and he’ll be a constant source of fascination. Whether you share common religious beliefs or just similar core values, spiritual chemistry will help you create a life that matters on a deeper level. Find symmetry on these levels, and likely he’ll seem sexier than ever. But sometimes there’s something bigger blocking a spark.
When Ann contacted me she was ready to settle down and wondered why she couldn’t. She’d wasted time on unavailable guys and thought she’d change the pattern with Pete. When the chemistry wasn’t there she started beating herself up: “Am I destined to be attracted to guys who aren’t good for me? What’s wrong with me?”
Whether you’re always attracted to unavailable guys or you’re never attracted to the good ones, the result remains the same: You can continue to avoid true intimacy. Unconsciously you may try to block it for fear your imperfections will be exposed. Feelings of being unlovable or not being good enough may drive your dating choices.
This is a tricky pattern to identify on your own. Engage the help of an objective outsider like a therapist or dating coach. A therapist will explore the root of your fears and guide you to change thought patterns that make you shy away. A dating coach will teach tools to increase confidence, hone intimacy skills, and release the voice of self-doubt that sabotages getting closer.
We’re conditioned to think that true love will just happen. Nothing is effortless. We train for a career, to drive and to play tennis. Why wouldn’t we need guidance to learn how to find love?