Can There Be Love Without Chemistry?

Sorry, Don Juan. As suave as you are, you'll get nowhere without animal attraction.

attraction and chemistry

It would be simple to say "I ran into an ex this weekend," but that's not true. She wasn't my ex, and I saw her on Facebook, which is "running" into someone the way The Hills is a "reality" TV show. This was a girl I’d been on a few dates with—she was leggy and funny and we'd met at a boring party where the two of us had more to say to each other than everyone else in the room combined, but nothing ever came of it. I asked her why not.


Her answer was straightforward: "My feelings just fizzled out…there is either chemistry there or there isn't." Is Attraction Just Genetic Compatibility?

Aha! I knew it. There's a secret to all this dating stuff, and it has nothing to do with charm, texting, sexting or the restaurants we choose. It's chemistry. It's either there or it isn't.

Unfortunately, I failed chemistry, but that's a column for another day. Is this really what we need to work with? Some of my best friends are people who I built relationships with over time and common interests and shared experiences. Rarely have I hit it off with someone instantly and our friendship exploded like a bullet out of a gun. Attraction At First Eye Contact?


When it comes to dating, I'd say it’s been split pretty evenly. I've had instant connections with some—others have taken a little more of the time, convincing, cajoling (and trickery) we associate with dating and Kate Hudson movies.

What's your experience—does it have to be love at first sight? How about lust? Does there have to be that instant connection, or is a connection something you discover and develop as time passes?

Written by John Ortved for

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