No Chemistry? How Long Should You Wait For Attraction?

“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 have the same interests in hobbies, books and music. He’s retired and has tons of time. I work full time and also have a photography business and am very busy with limited free time. This is sometimes a problem, but my real question is about sexual attraction. How quickly do you know if it’s there?

I thought we had some chemistry but now I’m not so sure (at least on my part). He says he’s attracted to me, but I’m having trouble recognizing his cues. He’s a very nice man, but I want passion too. I don’t want to settle like I have in the past. Please help!


Hi Julia,

Thanks for your heartfelt question. This is a common conundrum, you have no chemistry and wonder if it will develop over time, and how long do you wait for it to develop? It takes more than just sharing hobbies and interests for a relationship to last. Chemistry alone is not enough; however it is an essential ingredient.

Many people think that marrying their best friend is a good idea, but if there’s no chemistry between them it’s much more difficult to get through the challenges that will inevitably come their way.

Logically, your brain wants to have the same hobbies, interests, and share a similar lifestyle. Your heart on the other hand desires that magical feeling of chemistry and spark.

In order for love to be long-lasting your head and heart must be in harmony — and not in conflict. No chemistry between you may mean it’s just a platonic relationship.

How Important Is Chemistry?

All the messages you receive about love through books, songs, poetry, and television demonstrate that a lightning bolt of chemistry and connection lets you know you’ve met “The One.” While attraction and chemistry aren’t the most important reasons for dating someone, they’re 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).

Trying to eliminate chemistry from the recipe will make it very difficult to weather the storms together.

Every relationship begins with a romance stage that comes from chemistry, it floods your brain with feel-good chemicals. This creates the sensation of “falling” in love. A relationship cannot survive a truncated romance stage, if it’s cut short there won’t be enough gas in the relationship tank to make it through the inevitable power struggle stage that comes next.

The feeling of falling in love is a powerful drug and creates the glue that bonds two people together. It’s the promise of what’s to come if both people decide to stick it out and create a lasting connection built on commitment and choice.

Sadly, many people mistakenly believe that the romance phase will last indefinitely and think they’ve made a mistake when they end up in a power struggle. All five stages of relationship are unavoidable, it’s the journey through them that bonds the couple together.

When the romance wears off the couple individuates (like a teenager from their family) and provides the opportunity for the couple to make a choice that they’re better together than apart.

No Chemistry Equals A Platonic Friendship

Friends are important to your overall emotional well-being. There’s a need for human beings to live in communities and your friends deliver the feeling of belonging that’s necessary to function as part of society.

The difference between a friend and a romantic partner is the desire for physical intimacy.

Friendships develop from similarities, and chemistry comes from the differences between you and your partner. Just like the same side of two magnets repel and the opposite sides stick making them magnetic.

Opposites attract, it’s built into species survival. Introverts are attracted to extroverts. Intellectual men often end up with passionate women (and vice versa). Spenders end up with savers. Those who are oriented as “You first,” end up in relationship with a “Me first” person.

Sharing similar interests and hobbies will often fall short of creating a lasting love relationship, but love will not last if there’s no chemistry between you. There’s no reason to stick it out through the rough patches without it!

Energetics That Create Chemistry

Every person has masculine energy and feminine energy (regardless of gender), and usually one side is more dominant. A lasting love relationship has a natural balance of masculine and feminine energy between you.

The most common combination is a more masculine male with a more feminine female, but the opposite can also last for a lifetime. This is evident with most same-sex couples, one partner is more masculine and the other is more feminine.

The majority of heterosexual women don’t feel fulfilled in a romantic relationship by being more in their masculine energy partnered with a more feminine male. This isn’t about tasks, jobs, or chores, the female can be the breadwinner and be more feminine in her intimate relationship.

Many heterosexual women pursue and drive the relationship forward only to initiate the dreaded, “Where is this going?” conversation. A lot of time can be wasted without being clear on energetics and the role they play in creating chemistry and attraction.

The energetics we’re referencing describe 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 is leading, and just like with two dancers without a leader there’s not a lot of choreography going on. He says he’s attracted to you, but he’s not taking action to pursue you or claim you.

He might be waiting for a clear signal that you desire him, or he could simply be looking for some companionship and isn’t a relationship-ready man.

Since both of you appear to be mostly in feminine energy each of you is waiting for the other to lead, there’s no chemistry between you despite having similar interests. Beware of wasting time with the guy who leaves you in the driver’s seat.

Is Chemistry Enough For Love To Last?

Chemistry is an indication of opposing energies, but it’s not an indication of a good match for the long-term. In fact, many relationships with off-the-charts chemistry can be unhealthy and toxic.

If you don’t understand how relationships progress through five stages you’ll bail when the power struggle begins thinking this isn’t the right person.

The glue that holds two people together over time is sharing common goals. When you value the same things you’re able to be on the same team when trouble hits. Sharing goals allows you to find common ground during a disagreement.

Ultimately, for a soul-satisfying, long-lasting partnership you’re looking for a combination of chemistry and shared values. When you have passion as well as a shared vision for the future you’ve found the sweet spot that can create lasting love.

No Chemistry? How Long Do You Wait?

The spark of attraction doesn’t need to be there on the first date. Expecting love at first site is an unrealistic expectation. Spending several dates to see if chemistry grows gives some time for nerves to calm down and see if there’s a spark between you.

The largest erogenous zone is the space between your ears — your brain! How you think about someone can trigger attraction. After five to six dates if there’s still no chemistry it’s probably not going to develop between you.

No matter how much you have in common or how good a match he appears to be on paper chemistry doesn’t come from your logical mind. If you’re not feeling the urge to kiss him or have his arms wrapped around you it’s best to move on.

Waiting too long to move on when there’s no chemistry can make dating a chore. You’ll want a balance between rushing to exclusivity and taking too long to deselect a potential match. If you’re not sure when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em you can end up wasting a lot of valuable time which can create apathy.

Date Intentionally To Meet Your Ideal Match

Waiting for chemistry to develop over time won’t deliver your relationship goals, and neither will rushing to physical intimacy when chemistry is high. This is the definition of Love By Accident.

It’s an accident because you’re expecting a feeling to inform you if you’ve met the right person. You’ll never find an ideal partner for long-lasting love this way because all of your feelings are temporary.

Instead of waiting for chemistry to just magically develop between the two of you, take matters into your own hands by taking a new approach to dating.

Take it slowly and evaluate over time to discover if you share the same values and also have the spark of chemistry between you. Date multiple men at the same time so you can date with non-attachment while first observing yourself through the dating process.

Evaluate your strategies for giving and receiving love to see if they are getting the results you desire or leaving you in dead-end situations again and again. You’ll also gain clarity of your desires by having different experiences with different kinds of men.

Most people are clear on what they don’t want, and the vision of what they do want is rather vague and fuzzy. Your true desires are not the opposite of what you don’t want. Plus, you can’t manifest from lack so knowing what you don’t want doesn’t bring you closer to creating your ideal relationship.

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

If the guy you’re dating isn’t moving things forward you can’t speed him up. Relaxing into your feminine energy will either cue him to step it up, or he’ll disappear.

Most importantly don’t rescue him — don’t be his mother if you want to be his lover! If he isn’t reaching out regularly to see you or doesn’t ask you out in advance it’s his loss. Have a busy life, and don’t be overly accommodating.

A guy who deselects you through the dating process is doing you a favor. His rejection is protection against a partner who’s not an ideal match for you (regardless of your temporary feelings for him).

If there is no chemistry, you’ll quickly discover if there’s the potential for it by being in your feminine energy through the dating process, so you only respond and redirect rather than initiate.

Relaxing into your femininity means you wait to see if a guy will move things forward and pursue you. Guys 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. Guys who want companionship and convenience will relax into their feminine and let you take the lead and make all the effort.

Being feminine has absolutely nothing to do with being passive. Feminine energy is receptive and responsive. Allowing a man to lead doesn’t mean you have to follow, you always have veto power. You can speak up, share how you feel, and make requests. The feminine sets the pace of the relationship by slowing things down if he’s moving things to quickly.

When you’re embracing your more feminine side you’ll put a lot less effort into connecting with him, and you’ll leave the driver’s seat empty so there’s space for him to sit in it. If he doesn’t start driving the relationship, he’s not ready or not interested in a committed relationship.

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.

For a passionate, soul-satisfying relationship that lasts 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 guy, it simply makes him not the man for you.

Long-lasting love is not something that just happens by accident, it’s created just like everything else in life worth having. The first step is to create a clear vision of your ideal relationship, not a list of qualities in a person. Write out the details of the relationship you want, how it functions, the dynamics between you, and your sensory experience.

Through the dating process see if you can find a match to your vision, rather than trying to make it work with someone who is a nice companion.

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 pattern you’re stuck in we can help you break it! Join us for a complimentary Soulmate Strategy Session and we can get to the root of what is blocking you from the long-lasting, soul-satisfying love you desire and deserve.

About the authors

Love Coaches Orna and Matthew Walters

Orna and Matthew Walters are soulmate coaches and prolific writers about love. Finding love, keeping love, healing from heartbreak, bringing in your beloved and more. They have been published on MSN, Yahoo!, YourTango, Redbook, and have been featured guest experts on BRAVO’s THE MILLIONAIRE MATCHMAKER with Patti Stanger, and as guests with Esther Perel speaking about love and intimacy.

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