Dear Dating Coach,
I have gone out with a few guys and I just haven’t felt any chemistry. I liked a couple of them, but why continue if a connection is not there? I am always willing to give a date a try, but if after a couple of times, I don’t feel any attraction, then I tell the shadchan that it’s not for me. Am I ever going to meet someone where the sparks really fly?
We have already sadly established my inability to grow plants. My thumbs have never been green and plants truly fear me. I just don’t get the process, the science, or the steps that are necessary to grow a garden. My plan is always pretty basic; stick seeds in ground, flower appear. Clearly, my thinking is flawed, as the ghosts of my dead plants will surely attest. Sure, you need to start with seeds that have been carefully curated, but then there is watering, weeding, and the sunlight necessary for growth. The extra effort and care, focused attention, and the intention to grow, is what allows a plant to flourish.
You have started dating and had an enjoyable time on many of your dates but did not feel any chemistry. This immediately led you to believe that you should move on, since chemistry matters, of course. You had nice conversations, uncovered common interests, and shared basic information. Yet, when you considered your level of attraction on those dates, you didn’t feel a connection.
You are not a character in a movie. There is no “meet cute,” no poignant music in the background, and no running through the airport in slow motion at the last moment. You are a real person, looking for a real, meaningful marriage. Chemistry is certainly a vital component of a successful future with your spouse. However, a frum background and the way we date often means that chemistry does not happen in scene two or three but rather with effort and intent.
When a date seems promising, focus on the admirable traits that are clear to you and your feelings will grow. When you admire your date’s sense of humor, notice his wonderful smile and your feelings will grow. When your date arrives smartly dressed and pressed, observe his care and your feelings will grow. When he is insightful, take note of his depth, and your feelings will continue to grow.
While it is true that chemistry can be felt immediately, it can also take time to build and develop. Allow yourself to notice the attractive qualities in your date, and engage your emotions so that both an emotional and physical connection can develop. Sometimes we simply don’t feel chemistry regardless, but if the connection is solid, giving yourself permission to be vulnerable and to “feel.” This will encourage a relationship to blossom and bloom.