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Ask Renée: Is Zero Chemistry On a First Date a Dealbreaker?

Art by Agnes Cecile

Art by Agnes Cecile

Renée is our incognito “Dear Abby,” if you will. Veteran marriage counselor and published author, Renée gets to the heart of it without prevarication. Enjoy this week’s truism on Ask Renée…

Q: “Last week, I went on a date with someone that I really like. She was funny and smart and I was surprised to see that we had a lot of things in common. There’s just one problem. There was no chemistry–there wasn’t one ounce of it. She seemed to be attracted to me, though, and I don’t want to be superficial or miss out on something good. What’s your advice about how to move forward?” –Adam Z.

Hi Adam,

No chemistry. Hmm. In some ways, that’s a tough question. In others, it’s really simple. Guess that didn’t help, right?

Let’s start here. I think that movies and television have done a real doozy on us when it comes to how we perceive butterflies and fireworks. Somehow, we seem to believe that if we don’t want to hop in the sack the moment we look at someone, then they are probably not the one for us.

In other words, we depend far too much on infatuation (beginning stages of sexual attraction) than cultivating a true connection.

And here’s the irony. If you have a lot of things in common and you like a lot of things about her, guess what? You DO have chemistry. I think what you’re really wondering is since you’re not immediately drawn to the outside of her, should you put up a wall or save both of you the headache and put her in the “friend zone”.

My advice? Don’t do anything just yet. Well, other than ask her out on another date. It takes about three encounters with someone to truly know if you can see something more—or not. And the fun thing about first dates is they are FULL of possibilities. Don’t be so worried about whether or not you’re attracted that you miss out on what could come from spending more time with her.

That said, if after the second or third date you still feel nothing, that’s fair. You gave it your best shot. You disciplined yourself to be open-minded about it all. Now it’s time to let her know that you like her and you’d like to be friends with her, but you don’t see much more coming from it. Then let the chips fall where they may.

It’s more close-minded than superficial to judge someone on their looks. Once you know their character, if it still doesn’t make a difference, don’t force things. Move on.



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