Imagine going out with a guy more than half a dozen times and not kissing. That’s the scenario a good friend of mine, B, has just experienced – one that got me to thinking about just how important (and elusive) physical chemistry is.
B attributes her man’s circumspect behavior to the fact that he’s religious. For her part, she’s trying hard to develop an attraction toward him because he’s a nice guy. The thing is, as I told B, a spark either exists or it doesn't. And there’s only so much time during which it might develop.
I’m certainly no stranger to allowing some wiggle room—a maximum of three dates--for an attraction to emerge. Last fall, three evenings with a charming Englishman failed to yield a kiss goodnight. But, years ago, it was my third date with dog lover Shawn that sparked fireworks and a year-long relationship. More recently, date #2 with hunky cop Rich lit the match between us.
As far as mutual attraction only happening quickly, there is one exception to the rule and that’s what I call the “When Harry Met Sally” principle – i.e., longtime friends who end up becoming more. I’ve experienced it twice in my life. When it comes to crossing the platonic line, years of knowing someone can be pretty powerful foreplay.
However it unfolds, physical chemistry is kind of like yeast is to bread. It’s the key ingredient in a recipe without which nothing else can rise. And who really likes flatbread anyway?