3 Tips for Figuring Out If You Have Chemistry (Without Having Sex)

,We deserve eyebrow-twitching, rip-your-clothes-off, sweaty-bed passion! Did I have it with my Internet date of last week? (Do you have it with the dude you work with, or your next-door neighbor?),


Last Thursday, I went on yet another Internet date. The guy was a lawyer with what my father would call a "good Irish name"--let's say his name was Sean O'Shaunessey. I actually had quite a nice time--despite being in the throes of that nasty head cold, so that, by the end of the night, I had a nice pile of snotty cocktail napkins on the table, next to my glass. Sean O'Sean didn't seem to mind. He was interesting, sweet, paid me a few really nice compliments in a way that didn't feel uncomfortable or corny, and I genuinely liked him A LOT as a person.

And yet ... as seems to happen to me a bit too frequently ...

I did not feel the red hot pangs of lust for this very nice person, who was perfectly attractive, quite smart, and apparently successful.

At the end of the date, he asked if I'd be up for a second. I said sure--because the prospective of hanging out again REALLY did seem nice. And I thought maybe the second time around, I might feel more turned on.

Since we were both busy that weekend, we agreed to chat Sunday or so to make another plan. But in the days after the date, I got a few emails from Sean O'Sean, and a "thinking of you" type of text late in the day Saturday ... and I began to get the feeling he was pretty into it. So--in keeping with my belief that I should be guided by The Golden Rule in dating, and all things--I sent him an email Monday saying:

"As much as I enjoyed our time together, I didn't feel that huge, crazy spark--for whatever lamentable and inexplicable reason. But I'd truly like to get to know you better, as a friend, if you're up for that."

Sean O'Sean wrote back to say he HAD felt a spark, and that he didn't think it would be very productive or comfortable to hang again, under the circumstances.

That made me wonder if I'd screwed up. Should I have just shut up and gone through with another date? Had I jumped the gun?

A few days later, I found my answer. I happened to be checking out the next chapter of HOW TO LOVE LIKE A HOT CHICK-- the book that gave us those suggestions about single-person experiences every chick should have--which has been residing on my desk these past few weeks (alongside the two other books I'm reading--WAR+PEACE and WATERMARK). And I noticed a section titled "How to Tell If You Have Chemistry." The authors went on to list with 3 "chemistry cues" ...

CHEMISTRY CUE #1: Listen to Your Words

" ... When you first meet a guy and are in the initial stages of dating, pay attention to what you say to your girlfriends ... If you hear yourself saying things like, 'I don't know, sex with him seems like it could be kind of ... awkward,' then you probably don't have chemistry with this guy--or at least not the kind that will blow your skirt up. And that's the kind of chemistry that you, as a Hot Chick, deserve!"

Hey, right on!

They continue: "It's easy to find a guy who you'll love to talk to ... or share a sundae with, but that doesn't necessarily make him your perfect lover. You want a man who wants to eat that sundae off your hot body, right?" Um, yes. Also, I want to be excited about eating that sundae off HIM.

CHEMISTRY CUE #2: Get a Good Whiff

In this part, they talk about phermones: the natural body chemicals that give each and every one of us a fairly unique scent. And they note that when you have crazy chemistry with a guy, his natural body smell will turn you ON--to the point where even giving his armpits a sniff after a long day will be kind of nice. (Come on--you know its true. That darn Jonas Singer? Man, I was like a bloodhound, when it came to smelling him.)

CHEMISTRY CUE #3: Picture Your Babies

Here, the authors start off with a disclaimer: "Now let us be very clear--we don't mean this in a psycho, crazy girl way!" As it turns out ... they kind of do, but it's okay. They say that if the thought of whatever baby you might create with the guy makes you the least little bit happy, that's a good sign. "But if the thought of your imaginary baby makes you want to run out and get your tubes tied, we're pretty sure you and the guy aren't meant for each other."

* * *

Anyway, it's mostly CC #1 that I found helpful, particularly that one idea: We should all aim for crazy chemistry--the kind that blows our skirt up! The kind that makes our eyebrows twitch! The kind that swoops us up and throws us down on the bed! Frankly, I've never been able to have sex WITHOUT that feeling.

Guys ... what are your thoughts on all this? In your experience, can chemistry grow out of mutual affection, even when there's not a strong rip-your-clothes-off desire in the first place?



PS: Raye: I read your post yesterday and giggled my shorts off. Then I told Arlo what you said, and he was like, "Now THERE'S a woman I could do business with." ... And Laura: I picked the name partly because it rhymed with Pickle, which is what I originally wanted his last name to be, mainly because the word "pickle" is in a song we were talking about. But THAT didn't go over well at all, as you can imagine. In truth, he is neither pickly nor pumpernickly ... more a devilish egg. I don't know! I've got to work on this.