What To Do When You’re In A Relationship With No Chemistry
Being in a romantic relationship is supposed to be exciting. You want to be able to feel those butterflies in your stomach every time you’re close to the person that you love. When you’re in a relationship with no chemistry, it can be tough to figure out what to do. Those electric feelings that you were hoping for just might not be there.
You know how in the movies and novels, boy meets girls, sparks fly, and they’re instantly crazy about each other?
That’s basically how we’re made to look at love.
It’s either you have insane chemistry with another person, or it’s just not good enough.
But what if you meet someone who seems to tick all of your boxes, but you just don’t feel any butterflies-in-your-stomach-thing with them? What do you do? Do you immediately shrug them off?
And what if you’re now old enough to believe that “chemistry” isn’t everything? Does that make you someone who’s simply settling for less? Or are you being smart?
It’s enough to make your head spin.
The bottom line, chemistry is a complicated thing. Yes, it’s something you can undeniably feel when it’s there. But even scientists have a hard time explaining why we feel chemistry towards particular people and why we don’t feel a “spark” with others.
How do you define chemistry and is it really a necessity for a successful relationship? What do you do when you feel none? Let’s find out.
What chemistry is, according to science
When there’s chemistry, trust me, you’ll know.
According to relationship expert Margaux Cassuto:
“Romantic chemistry is an effortless attraction between two people that can feel magnetic and addictive. It’s to blame for many second dates. It can come in the form of a physical, emotional, or even intellectual bond. Scientists believe that chemistry is a result of the chemicals in your brain determining compatibility.”
But I think, ultimately, what makes chemistry so hard to define is the fact that it can involve many uniquely different elements.
This is something that biological anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher explored in her groundbreaking study of love. According to her, love has three distinct stages: lust, attraction, and attachment.
Where and how does chemistry come in?
Fisher suggests that during each stage of love, our body chemistry reacts and behaves differently. Scientifically, she proposes that every stage is categorized by its own set of hormones produced by the brain.
Dopamine, the feel-good hormone, is what causes those crazy, I-must-have-you feelings. Norepinephrine is produced during the “attraction” stage when we feel that energetic, falling-in-love feeling. Meanwhile, oxytocin and vasopressin are the ones that exist during the attachment phase, which makes us basically addicted to someone.
And this is where it gets tricky. While chemistry is an integral part of each stage of love, they can happen separately, and not even in order.
Which means you can get stuck on a certain stage for some unknown reason.
For example, lust and attraction pretty much lead to romantic connections. This is when flings and puppy loves happen because they don’t necessarily reach the third stage of attachment. But if you feel more chemistry more during the attachment phase, it can lead to a more platonic connection, which can cause you to put someone in the friendzone.
This his how love and relationships get confusing. We feel chemistry differently, and sometimes not in the way we’re supposed to be.
Which is why…
It’s important to remember, that chemistry does not always equal love
If you don’t feel immediate chemistry with someone, it doesn’t mean that love can’t and will never exist. Because at the end of the day, chemistry doesn’t always equate love.
Dr. Fisher explains:
“Sexual chemistry does not always equal love, and this is because we’ve evolved distinct brain systems for mating. One system controls the craving for sexual gratification. Another system rules over romantic love – that obsessive thinking, craving, and focusing on one individual.
“They’re not always connected, which is why you can be madly in love with someone and only have so-so sex, while you can have intensely passionate sex with someone you never want to see again!”
Paying too much value on that tingly, giddy feeling can harm your romantic life more than you think.
When you’ve had your fair share of broken hearts and messy relationships, you know that there are much more important things to consider than getting those butterflies in your stomach.
There’s a point in your life when chemistry becomes a bonus rather than a necessity.
If you’ve reached that point, you’ve come to the right article.
What do you do when you see potential in someone, yet can’t force yourself to feel any chemistry towards them? Read ahead.
No chemistry? Here’s what to do when you don’t want to give up just yet, (all backed by science and experts, of course):
1. Find common ground
Research shows that “people tend to choose partners with similar DNA.”
It means that we are generally more attracted to someone who is like us in many ways, from facial features, personality traits, socio-economic background, race, etc.
So perhaps you just haven’t looked that closely yet. You might find that you and your potential partner have more similarities than you think.
And what’s more fun than bonding over shared interests?
2. Try to communicate better
People think that when you’re attracted to someone, you’re automatically willing to open up and be vulnerable with them.
But that’s not always true.
Sometimes, we have walls up that makes dating difficult. And it’s probably the reason why you don’t feel any immediate connection with someone—because you’re just unwilling to let them in.
One study shows that communication is vital in maintaining even long-distance relationships, so why can’t it help to make two people like each other better?
It certainly won’t hurt.
3. Maintain more eye-contact
Yes, studies show that maintaining more eye contact with someone can make them desire you more.
Researchers suggest that gazing directly at someone increases “affective arousal” and even produce an automatic positive impression of you.
Don’t be shy. Try it. When you talk with them, make sure you’re looking them confidently and directly in the eyes.
4. Try to be a little bit more mysterious
According to science, unpredictability can also help induce dopamine in our bodies.
Dopamine production is literally a “seeking system,” the more we want to learn about someone, the more addicted we feel towards knowing them.
So don’t give out all your baskets at once. Try to be a little more mysterious to “spark” that interest from a potential partner.
5. Be more sincere
Sincerity is such an underrated value these days. It’s now instantaneous and incredibly easy to talk to someone, that we’ve basically lost the art of intention in communication.
Don’t just say something because it sounds good. Say it because you mean it. Do it because you want to.
Be honest with yourself. Everything else comes easier that way.
Psychology professor Kelly Campbell explains.
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