Chemistry. That sense of intimate attraction to another human, whether to their soul or their smile. The spark that can set us on fire. If you’re returning to dating after a break, or looking for adventure, you want to find that spark with somebody. Here’s how to find out if someone else is feeling that spark, and if you want to take it further.
Chemistry can happen fast
“Love at first sight” isn’t just a romantic idea. There’s real science behind it. An article in the Journal of Neuroscience studied people viewing photographs of speed-dating candidates. They found that how people’s brains reacted to the photographs forecast how they’d feel meeting the speed-dating candidates in real life. The article’s authors concluded that, “Even a first glance, then, can accurately predict romantic desire.”
Take the time to learn what chemistry feels like for you. Movies and media love to show all kinds of reactions as signs of chemistry: annoyance, sudden clumsiness or confusion, blushing. Are any of these true for you? Or are these triggers simply annoying or anxiety-inducing for you? The key is whether you’re enjoying how you feel around them. If you are, that’s the time to tune in and see how much they’re enjoying being around you.
Pay attention to receiving attention
When people are attracted to you, they pay attention to you – extra attention. This can be in the form of eye contact, listening to your every word, asking you lots of questions, or sending frequent verbal and non-verbal messages. When you’re attracted back, it can be delightful to bask in this attention. You may want it to turn into more.
How can you tell if someone attentive is attracted? To find out if they feel it too…take a break from time with them. At a party or gathering, go to get a drink. Online, tell them thank you and sign off for a while. If they follow you to talk more or contact you again, there’s a spark on their side too.
Fan the flames by asking these two questions
You get to choose if you want to encourage someone else’s attraction to you. When you want to fan the flames, it’s good to let them know you’re interested.
Ask them about their relationship status. Are they partnered, or seeing anybody? If you like their answer to that, ask if they’d like to meet up in some way. Asking the two questions closely together makes it clear that you’re interested. It gives them a way to say no – and a way to say yes! (And if you’re stumped for first date ideas, here’s five date ideas that are more exciting than dinner and a movie.)
It takes courage to make a first move, but it’s worth it. In this age of #MeToo, there’s a lot of caution. Everyone can feel shy or unsafe: many people want to be desired. Showing we are open to a personal connection helps others feel more confident.
Take your time to avoid negative relationships
You might worry that chemistry could draw you into an encounter with someone who doesn’t have your best interests at heart. Here’s a way to protect yourself from making mistakes.
The best thing you can do when you feel that spark is to take time to get to know someone. Talking more to someone, or seeing their behavior, might cool your ardor for them. Check in with mutual friends to see what they say.
Abusive people like to pressure others to feel involved and committed very quickly. Here are some of the romantic-seeming actions an abusive person may take to lure you in.
- Saying ‘you’re perfect’ while insulting other people – a sign that they are narcissistic.
- Claiming ‘love at first sight’ or a deep connection – this idea is very appealing.
- Pressuring you to spend lots of time or money with them immediately – isolating you from your friends, family, and commitments.
- Pressuring for a serious commitment within three to six months – such as living together or engagement.
- Making you feel guilty for saying no or backing off.
Your own intuition can be your best guide. If something feels wrong or off, it probably is.
Enjoy the ‘slow burn’
It’s said that love waits. Good news: chemistry does, too. That means you don’t have to rush. If the chemistry and the person are both sincere, taking time to get to know them will be a pleasure. When you feel secure about someone’s attraction to you, a few dates or meet-ups let your shared interest build.
Let the spark of chemistry warm you
Sometimes an attraction flares up short and bright, and you’ll part ways quickly. Be honest with yourself and your flame. Do your best to send each other on your way with good memories.
You may decide you don’t want to take chemistry any further than a smile or a conversation. There may be practical considerations, or you could be taking some time for yourself. That’s all right, too.
When chemistry is supported by liking and compatibility, you’ll find yourself in relationships lit up by pleasure. Trust your chemistry with each other. You can both relax and take a few sexy risks, trying new things.
However it comes to you, and whatever it leads to, let yourself enjoy the heart-flutter of being attracted. It’s a human, vulnerable thing to feel – a warm-up for your heart.
Has your attraction lead to something more? Read our article on How To Make Soulmate and Twin Flame Relationships Last!