Chemistry: Have you lost that loving feeling (or never had it to begin with)?

1:46 PM


Have you ever “lost that loving feeling” or just never had it to begin with? Would you ever start dating someone before you felt it? How many people have you filtered out of your dating pool because you didn’t or don’t feel it? If you’re normal, your answers are probably Yes, you’ve lost that loving feeling; No, I wouldn’t start dating someone if I didn’t ‘feel it’; and that you’ve filtered out lots of potential partners. 

Over the years, I’ve often been perplexed why more great people, wanting to be married, aren’t. As I’ve observed and asked around, I’ve learned of several reasons why some people terminate relationships or choose not to pursue them to begin with.  However, one conversation seems to repeat itself more than the others. It goes something like this:

“So why don’t you pursue _________?”
“I just don’t feel it.”
“You don’t feel what? “
“I don’t know, I just don’t feel it.”
“Are you attracted to her?”
“Yeah, I think she’s a cute girl. She’s cool. I like being around her. She loves the Lord-there’s really nothing wrong with her, but…”
“But you don’t feel it?”
“Nah. I don’t’ feel it.”

I’ve heard this from guys and girls. So what is this mysterious “IT” whose absence seems to be such a detriment to romantic relationships?  Some people call it being “twitterpated” or having “butterflies.” I’m going to call it chemistry.

For some reason, with some people and at some times, the brain releases an abnormal amount of chemicals that contribute to these feelings of chemistry. Specifically, the brain releases oxytocin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. These contribute to that euphoric feeling that makes us feel like our heart skips a beat whenever they talk to, text, or touch us. This is a great feeling and it is not inherently bad (although it does tend to prompt premature physical touch…). But it is also not inherently good. It is not necessarily attraction. It is not God’s way of matchmaking. It does not mean that a relationship will be great. It does not mean that they are “the one” (because there isn’t just one!). And it certainly IS NOT love. It’s chemistry and chemistry love.

I think we know this when we stop and think about it. How many times have you felt chemistry for someone with whom you knew would probably not be a good spouse? How many times have you not felt chemistry toward someone with whom you were attracted and who you felt would make a great marriage partner? You see, chemistry shouldn’t have the power to determine whom we date and whom we don’t. Yet, we’ve given it more power than even our own brain.

So what do you do if you find someone pretty stellar, but lack chemistry? You can keep an open mind and heart and get to know that person even better. Moving forward in a relationship isn’t a guarantee that chemistry will come, but you’d be surprised how often chemistry comes after you begin a relationship with someone. Just start asking some married couples. You begin by putting more trust in your brain than in chemistry. Test it out and see what happens.  Without the chemistry filter, you will realize how large your dating pool really is.

What do you do if you used to have chemistry, but don’t feel it anymore? Well, you can welcome yourself to the next stage of your romantic relationship, when the viability of your relationship relies more upon your choice then your chemistry. This is normal.  As Dr. John Van Epp put it, chemistry isn’t constant even in the best of relationships. If you like them, find them attractive, and “think your noblest thoughts” when you are around them, then keep going. The chemistry will return. Unlike your love, it will come and it will go seemingly without choice.

Enjoy the chemistry when it’s there. Don’t freak out when it’s not. Whatever you do, don’t let it make all of your relationship decisions.

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4 comments

  1. Yeah let's encourage people to waste other people's time! lol. If it was going to go somewhere, you'd feel it.

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    1. Getting to know people and thinking outside of ourselves (and our emotions) isn't a waste of time :) Because it's not normative to let our mind influence our dating decisions more than our heart, it makes sense that some people would struggle with that. But it's okay, I encourage you to try it on occasion!

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  2. This is excellent advice that more people need to know!

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  3. I'll have to share this with my friends! Good things to know and think about!

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