I’ll tell you a secret: I was pretty bad at chemistry at school. In fact, all science-based subjects, including math, would bring me out in a bit of a cold sweat. My brain just doesn’t get formulas and equations.
So maybe this is part of the reason why I’ve failed the chemistry test with several guys when it comes to dating.
With this whole online/Tinder dating thing, one has to do what I don’t normally do: have a text/IM/email conversation with someone you’ve never met. Initially I thought “this is a bit weird,” but now I think “we can get those boring what-do-you-do and where-are-you-from chats out of the way before the date happens.” Win!
Now this is where the chemistry comes in.
With most guys I’ve struck an online chat up with, it usually becomes clear within two or three messages that we’re not going to get along. There’s no banter, no wit, no interest. Chemistry fail. But then there are the guys who grab my attention, who come up with funny anecdotes and flirty one-liners. The Bunsen burner ignites. Then there comes the ultimate chemistry test: the face-to-face meeting. (Right now I’m really wishing I’d paid more attention at school so I could make some hilarious metaphor with elements coming together to make some awesome metal or one repelling the other magnetically…)
Anyway, if you could don your goggles and lab coats, and open your chemistry text books to Chapter 9: The Hulk.
The Hulk and I had liked each others’ profiles on Tinder, and quickly had great chemistry via texting. There was heavy flirting, witty banter, even a couple of photos exchanged (all in very good taste, I assure you). The Hulk and I finally arranged a date and, I’m not going to lie, I was pretty excited. (FYI the reason he’s called The Hulk – he’s an amateur body builder. Not usually my type but the spark seemed to be there so I decided to go along with it). I envisioned an evening of great conversation, smoldering eye contact and the hope of a second date. How wrong I was.
It turns out that The Hulk was nowhere near as charming and smart as he’d been in our typed conversations. He had, quite frankly, all of the sex appeal of a soggy bathmat. Where was the interesting and flirtatious guy I’d been messaging? Where was the goddamn CHEMISTRY?? And given that two quick drinks later, The Hulk made some excuse about needing to “sort stuff out with the flatmate,” I think he was fully aware of the total chemistry fail that was going on.
I was nothing short of confused. How can two people click so well in one way yet crash and burn in another? Was it me? Did I not measure up to his expectations therefore he stopped making an effort?
Then there was Northern Guy. Again, we’d exchanged many messages, we seemed to be on the same intellectual level, there was some flirting, some teasing, and I was pretty certain we were going to hit it off instantly once our rearranged-three-times date finally happened. Well whaddya know, the chemistry failed again. Nice guy, nice conversation, but that was all it was. Nice. Vanilla. Beige. Zero spark, zero chemistry. Well, for my part at least. He was perfectly keen for a second date, so this was what one might categorize as a One-Sided Fail.
One thing I’m now painfully aware of is that while you can have a great (typed) conversation with someone and begin to feel like you know them, you’ll never truly get to take the chemistry test until you meet face-to-face. And unlike school, you can’t study for this one.
Much has been written about certain types of people having better chemistry with each other, and one “category” of girl should only be attracted to a specific “category” of guy. I beg to differ. And don’t even get me started on all of that “Virgos should only date Scorpios” hooey. The chemistry factor is random and unpredictable, not to mention misleading. Two people either have it or they don’t, simple as that.