That intense attraction, we all want it, but is it always good for us?
When we have that strong chemistry with someone it's usually based on our hormones, the cave individual within us. On a primitive level we know we'd have strong kids so we let ourselves fall in love. Falling in love is based on neurotransmitters such as dopamine (also activated by cocaine) norepinephrine (adrenalin, which makes us sweat and gets the heart racing) and serotonin (can send us temporarily insane). The incredible high feels like we have taken a cocktail of drugs, albeit naturally produced ones…
When is chemistry a problem?
Intense chemistry can blind us to people's flaws. One of my client's old boyfriends had a spiteful streak and was often unkind. Yet the chemistry was so blindingly strong, Annabelle stayed with him for seven years. This is an example of how too strong chemistry can sometimes be a bad thing, especially if it makes us ignore big warning signs.
We can also have strong chemistry with someone when there's a pattern playing out, perhaps from our childhood, from a family member or even from an earlier relationship. Full on chemistry isn't always a good sign, nor is it always as healthy as we think. The strong attraction can be because of familiarity, because of their similarity to someone from our past. Melissa was very attracted to a guy she was dating who was very unreliable, it was only later on that she realised he was like her father.
Another client Sarah was strongly attracted to a man who would show some interest but then back away. His on off behaviour kept her longing for him. More often that we'd like to admit we can have very strong chemistry for someone who is all wrong for us.
As human beings we are also programmed to find things that are not available more attractive, this applies for both men and women. It's important to remember the exact same person can seem more or less attractive to you depending on their availability. So the same guy or girl who isn't that available or interested can be intensely attractive, yet less appealing when they are very keen.
One of my clients Jane had earlier met a guy through friends. He had been interested in her and asked her out on a date, she wasn't sure how attracted she was, so she turned him down. She then ran into him again a year later. He wasn't as keen now and she found him a lot more attractive the second time around.
Once she became aware of this dating paradox, she became more open to dating great men who were showing interest, where there was a degree of chemistry and also chemistry that could grow. And Jane is now planning a summer wedding in the country with her fiancé Mark…
This dating paradox is also one of the reasons why it's important when you're building a relationship to maintain your own friendships, hobbies and interests. Otherwise if you're always free, as well as being too available, you might come across as though you don't have your own life, and that can be a huge turn off to people.
Enjoy the chemistry, but choose carefully in terms of values and character, they are what last for the long term.
Human Connections London