The importance of having chemistry.

23 Jun

I was reading an article at (where else?) Boundless the other day where a reader wrote in with a question about the importance of chemistry.  Three years ago, the reader, a college student, had a passionate – and apparently chaste – relationship with a young man who excited her emotionally.  (Unsurprisingly, he played in a band and did spontaneous things for her.)  According to the reader, they had an incredible connection with each other.  Alas, the young man dumped her, and eventually she started dating another young man who was his exact opposite:  predictable, responsible, faithful, and intentional.  They have been together for two years, and although they are not (yet?) engaged, he has indicated to her and her parents that he would like to “love and cherish only [her].”  The reader claims that she loves this young man (who is a pre-med student) but feels no chemistry with him, especially not in comparison to the band guy, and even goes so far as to say that if she and Pre-Med broke up, she could go on without him with no problem.  Recently, she met up again with Band Guy, and all of the chemistry they shared came rushing back, reminding her of how powerful a connection between two people can be.  Now she is conflicted – does she hold out for chemistry with a spouse, or should she proceed with Pre-Med?

Candice Watters wrote what I felt was an overly judgmental and completely missing-the-mark response.  First, she chastised the reader for “acting married” with Band Guy and then stated that if the reader hadn’t had a prior relationship with Band Guy, she and Pre-Med would already be married.  Because, apparently, if Reader hadn’t had that Band Guy relationship to compare Pre-Med to, she’d have been ga-ga over Pre-Med.  Or something.

But Candice didn’t stop there.  She then stated that chemistry is just a “polite way” of saying sexual attraction, and went on to relate two other readers’ stories where the young women didn’t think there was any chemistry initially but changed their minds after several dates and are oh-so-grateful that they did.  Candice also advised Reader not to marry someone she didn’t want to marry, but not to NOT marry someone just because he doesn’t measure up to Band Guy.  She then more or less urged Reader to proceed with Pre-Med, saying:

It sounds like you have a great man in your life. Are you friends? That is foundational. Are you both committed to living for Christ? That is essential. Do you spur one-another on in your faith and service to God? Are you together looking toward a God-honoring, fruitful marriage? These are the first questions to answer. From there, you can let love grow. And as I’ve seen in the stories of others, chemistry may rightly follow.

Needless to say, I think Candice was so far off the mark she might as well have set a course for China.  First of all, Reader has been dating Pre-Med for TWO YEARS.  How the heck much longer is she supposed to wait to, by Candice’s definition, become sexually attracted to this man?  Also, what kind of man stays with a woman who, after two years together, says that they could split up and she’d be fine?!  Any Roissy readers (or readers of any other Game blog) could easily diagnose what’s going on here in a jif, and it is not that Reader played marriage with irresponsible Band Guy and thus ruined herself for a quality Christian provider like Pre-Med.  The real problem is that Pre-Med is a classic, boring Beta who knows zip about female attraction psychology, has DLVed himself to a level of almost zero by virtue of his publicly broadcasted Oneitis and pedestalization, and, I’d wager a guess, not only has no clue about what’s going on in Reader’s head, but probably hasn’t made any meaningful sexual moves on Reader, either, out of “respect.”  A toothless baby sounds more dangerous than Pre-Med.  If anyone truly cared about Pre-Med’s precarious relationship health, he would send Pre-Med to Roissy and force him to educate himself before he lost Reader for good.

My other bone of contention with this response is with Candice’s definition of chemistry.  Between a man and a woman, yes, there is usually a component of sexual attraction in chemistry, but it is not the whole of chemistry.  And it’s not just men and women who have chemistry between them.  Two men can have chemistry, as can two women, though not sexual (well, unless they’re gay).  A better definition of chemistry is simply the intellectual and emotional “clicking” of two people.  Chemistry happens when two people’s energies feed into each other and produce a harmony of existence.  When two people have chemistry, conversation flows with ease.  Jokes don’t have to be explained, nor do they sail over the other person’s head.  Silences are not awkward.  Quite often, two people with the right chemistry can go for years without seeing each other or speaking to one another, yet can pick up right where they left off whenever they do see each other again.  Similarly, two people with the right chemistry can meet and be chatting with each other like old friends almost instantaneously.

This is the chemistry that I think Reader was referring to in her letter, both what she had with Band Guy, and what she is lacking with Pre-Med.  A woman longs to be known by the men she loves.  She wants to feel that he understands what is going on inside of her and that he has special insight into her mind that no other man has.  Women want love in general, but they also want a specialized love from their man.  This specialized love is what Pre-Med is sorely lacking in.  Women do not suffer feeling generic.  Ten bucks says that if Reader and Pre-Med break up, Pre-Med will treat his next girlfriend exactly as he’s treated Reader.  The success of that relationship will hinge on whether or not Pre-Med and New Girl have any natural chemistry between them.

As for the sexual component of chemistry, it’s a must for any marriage.  Few things make a woman recoil in fear and disgust more than the prospect of having to have sex with a man to whom she is not sexually attracted.  For most women, sexual attraction grows as their general attraction to a man grows; it’s not uncommon for a woman to see or meet a man and not feel anything for him until she gets to know him.  But I also think that sexual chemistry is actually chemical.  The point of sexual reproduction is genetic diversity, which strengthens the species, so we will therefore seek out matches that will result in that diversity.  How else to explain someone who is great on paper, and you may even get along well, but there is inexplicably just zero sexual attraction?  Yet sometimes you meet someone, and even though the person may not be your “type,” there is just that immediate pull towards the person, like you physically have to be in that person’s space?

Generally speaking, women, upon meeting a man, will place him in one of three categories:  (1) Yes, Please, (2) Wait and See, and (3) NEVER IN  A MILLION YEARS.  I think that subconsciously, this is heavily chemically chemistry-based, especially for categories (2) and (3).  Sometimes a Yes, Please doesn’t pan out; he’s not the guy you hoped he would be, or, equally as likely, his looks worked for you, but his body chemistry just didn’t mesh with yours.  But a Wait and See often means that his body chemistry doesn’t turn you off and you just have to wait and see if there’s more from the intellectual and emotional end that works for you.  (And vice versa for Never in a Million Years.)

It’s the Wait and Sees that I think women should be more open to.  But I resent the evangelical push to make women feel guilty about rejecting a solid Christian provider man when he is clearly a NIAMY (AND a boring beta to boot).

About these ads

23 Responses to “The importance of having chemistry.”

  1. Athol Kay: Married Man Sex Life June 23, 2010 at 4:13 pm #

    I went over to Boundless just to take a peek and poke around. You can’t even leave a comment on this article and the blog over here doesn’t even allow you to link your name in a comment. How rude!

    Anyway… agree with your viewpoint here. The girl in question isn’t really experiencing “chemistry” so much as Alpha Excitement vs Beta Boredom.

    So all in all the advice is to ruin her sex life with the boring doctor and pretend that she likes it until she dies.

  2. Aunt Haley June 23, 2010 at 8:47 pm #

    So all in all the advice is to ruin her sex life with the boring doctor and pretend that she likes it until she dies.

    I think Candice’s logic is that if a man is faithful and good, a woman will eventually become sexually attracted to him, especially if she has no one else to compare the man to. But it’s a false, or at least incomplete, premise, because female attraction is not based on comparison or whether or not a man is “good,” but whether he has any alpha characteristics. In this case, it appears that Pre-Med has none.

    IMO, it was really obvious that Reader, despite couching her words in a very diplomatic, Christian manner, is dripping with feminine contempt for Pre-Med. I hope she doesn’t marry him if she doesn’t have a change of heart, or her resentment against his boringness will just continue to grow.

  3. dalrock July 12, 2010 at 8:48 am #

    I agree that the church shouldn’t make her feel guilty for not marrying the pre med guy. In fact, I would go further and say she is an awful person if she does marry him unless she is somehow able to credibly fake being sexually attracted to him and adoring of him for every minute they are together for the rest of their lives.

    This guy deserves a good wife who actually loves him and is attracted to him. Instead he’s unknowingly playing one of her fantasy roles in her own personal version of the twilight movies.

    Could her predicament be any more cliche? The only two men in the world are a bad boy rocker and a nice guy (soon to be) doctor? Seriously?

    My advice to her would be the same as it would to a young man who said he is torn between marrying one of two women. One is a crack whore who satisfies his every sexual need. The other is actually somewhat ugly to him but a virgin and so good with kids. Who should he pick?

    My advice? Choose from the menu! And if you aren’t sure what you want, step out of the way and allow others who know what they want to choose. But instead she wants to hold beta provider off the market by leading him on while she nurtures her emotional fantasy of never ending choices.

    My above rant not withstanding, I agree with all of your points. Chemistry is crucial both in the sexual and non sexual ways you define it as. And the church should stop pressuring folks to marry, especially in disastrous situations like this.

  4. Aunt Haley July 12, 2010 at 11:43 pm #

    Could her predicament be any more cliche? The only two men in the world are a bad boy rocker and a nice guy (soon to be) doctor? Seriously?

    Well, let’s be reasonable: would the article have been as interesting if the choices had been between “kindergarten teacher” and “plumber”?

    But instead she wants to hold beta provider off the market by leading him on while she nurtures her emotional fantasy of never ending choices.

    I didn’t read the situation the same way. I think Reader rebounded with Pre-Med because he was a Good, Quality Guy and the opposite of Band Guy. Reader may have believed that she would grow to have passion for Pre-Med because he was such a Good Guy – that’s basically Candice Watters’ stance in her response! But the passion isn’t coming, and now Reader is in a bind: throw away two years with a quality guy and possibly never find anyone as good (not to mention break Pre-Med’s heart), or grin and hope she can bear it. Neither is a very enticing choice.

  5. dalrock July 13, 2010 at 8:18 am #

    The problem is that “Band Guy” and “Good Quality Guy” are actually human beings. This woman is conducting her love life blissfully unaware that she is a bull in a china shop.

    Lost in this whole conversation is the impact of her behavior on these two men (especially pre med guy) and her obligation to them. Everyone but her is being above board on what they want, yet somehow she is the one who is a victim of circumstance.

  6. dalrock July 13, 2010 at 8:31 am #

    Probably a better analogy of equivalent male behavior would be a (non practicing) closeted gay man who wants to do the right thing and get married. The church might conceivably pressure him to do this. If we were discussing this, we wouldn’t be spending much time bemoaning what an awful fate he will have keeping his secret and being forced to fake affection for a wife he can never love in the way a straight man could.

    My guess is pretty quickly someone would notice that the wife was a real person who would horribly impacted by his deceit.

  7. Aunt Haley July 13, 2010 at 9:23 am #

    dalrock, by your reasoning, a woman should never date a man unless she has great passion for him immediately, then? Because if she doesn’t, she is playing havoc with him, apparently.

    If Reader continues to date Pre-Med without coming clean to him, now that she has acknowledged that lack of passion is a major problem, then she is definitely leading him on. I just don’t see the same problem that you do in dating someone for two years – especially during the college years – and not being sure he’s the one. Pre-Med is clearly of very high value if she’s chosen to hold on to him this long despite her doubts. And she does say in her letter that she loves him; it’s not like there is NO affection there.

    I don’t feel like you are grasping what is often for women one of the heaviest weights in making the decision to end a relationship: the probability that she will be chosen by a high-quality man in the (near) future. Men, if dismissed, are free to pursue the next woman who tickles his fancy. For most men, this doesn’t take very long, maybe a few months. Women, on the other hand, have to wait to be picked. For many women, it’s like standing at edge of the abyss. There is no guarantee that there is going to be another good man coming along who will want her. So the woman is rationalizing in her head whether it’s better to have one bird in hand, or go for the two in the bush.

  8. dalrock July 13, 2010 at 10:58 am #

    You are trying to have this issue both ways.

    It’s the Wait and Sees that I think women should be more open to. But I resent the evangelical push to make women feel guilty about rejecting a solid Christian provider man when he is clearly a NIAMY (AND a boring beta to boot).

    Aha! He’s a looser she shouldn’t be forced by convention to marry!

    Pre-Med is clearly of very high value if she’s chosen to hold on to him this long despite her doubts.

    She’s not a victim. She’s lead this guy along for two years because she loves the drama.

  9. dalrock July 13, 2010 at 11:04 am #

    For many women, it’s like standing at edge of the abyss. There is no guarantee that there is going to be another good man coming along who will want her. So the woman is rationalizing in her head whether it’s better to have one bird in hand, or go for the two in the bush.

    I would be more sympathetic if the process of choosing (and re choosing) wasn’t a dominant theme in books, movies, TV, etc aimed at women. This is chick crack. So much so that a female senator felt the need to ask Kagan which guy she thought the girl in Twilight should choose. Men don’t fantasize about reliving first dates, reconnecting with exes, becoming widowers and remarrying like women do.

  10. Aunt Haley July 13, 2010 at 1:11 pm #

    dalrock:

    I don’t understand what point you are trying to make, and the gotcha game is really off-putting. Why shouldn’t a woman, especially a young woman in college, be able to take two years to decide if she can marry a man? After being burned by her relationship with Band Guy, doesn’t it make sense that Reader would choose someone very different, believing that passion would come with time? Clearly she learned with Band Guy that an immediately intense relationship wasn’t the way to go. But you refuse to acknowledge that a woman could operate this way and instead prefer to believe that Reader is dating a responsible, caring young man because she is addicted to “drama.” Should she have dumped him the moment she didn’t feel the tingle? I suppose then you would just criticize her for being fickle – SO like a woman! – and throwing away a good opportunity. Doesn’t she know she’s got a short shelf life and good opportunities aren’t going to come around much longer? Here is a woman who is considering doing what all of the manosphere hopes women will do, which is settle for a nice Beta while she’s still young. Yet according to you, she’s just a drama queen who is leading men on because she thinks she’s got infinite choices of men.

    Furthermore, where are you getting this idea that Reader is a victim or believes herself to be a victim?

    Re: choosing – All stories require the protagonist to make choices; otherwise, there is no story. Most stories aimed at women are romantic in nature, hence the common plot element of choosing between two suitors. But in real life, most women do not have multiple men vying for their attention at the same time, and so the choice they must make is often between having a man who only fires two out of four cylinders, and risking having no man at all for the possibility of having one who fires all four cylinders.

  11. dalrock July 13, 2010 at 4:05 pm #

    Hi Aunt Haley,

    As is probably overly obvious, this issue strikes a cord with me. I think I’ll explore this with a blog post of my own to try to do a better job making my case. But in the meantime in order not to leave you hanging mid discussion I’ll try to explain a bit more.

    I don’t fault her for giving the guy a chance to see if she might not develop feelings for him. But she has taken this beyond all reason. Two weeks, sure. Two months, maybe. Two years? No way! As you said, this man has options and she is deliberately holding him off the market while she figures out what she wants. This is if nothing else, unbelievably inconsiderate. This poor guy thinks they have something, and is on the verge of proposing marriage. To lead a guy on this long is utterly unconscionable.

    Here is a woman who is considering doing what all of the manosphere hopes women will do, which is settle for a nice Beta while she’s still young. Yet according to you, she’s just a drama queen who is leading men on because she thinks she’s got infinite choices of men.

    I personally wouldn’t argue that she should “settle for a beta”. If she isn’t attracted to them, then she should move aside for those women who are. As you pointed out, plenty actually are. What I would argue is that she should choose from the available options. Band guy isn’t an available option, so she should turn off that hamster wheel script. As you said in your original post, pre med guy is a NIMY, so she should turn off that script too. She isn’t doing him a favor by leading him on, and would be even crueler to marry him. She should instead go out and meet real men. If no guy who is interested in her meets her detailed requirements, she should choose to remain single until/unless that situation changes.

  12. Aunt Haley July 13, 2010 at 7:59 pm #

    dalrock, this is definitely an issue worth exploring in a post. Looking forward to reading what you have to say.

  13. Res Ipsa July 14, 2010 at 8:41 am #

    A fact that is being overlooked is what happens if she marries pre-med?

    Being male he is going to want a great sex life. I don’t care if he is the most devote christian man ever to live, he is still a man. Boobs, butt and blissful orgasms are things he needs on a daily basis.

    So she marries him because its the smart thing to do. Then she can’t get it together in the bedroom, because after all, she never loved him that way. Sure she gives it up on the wedding day and maybe even gets knocked up at some point early on. Eventually, maybe even right from the start, uninspired sex tuns into infrequent dead fish sex.

    What does she get? Money, respectability, a nice house etc. What does he get? His most important need unfulfilled and frustrated. If the relationship ends, she gets all his stuff and a claim on his future earnings.

    It seems to me that she gives up a handful of half hearted lays. He gives up his self respect and most of his money and his ability to find and share his life with a women who genuinely wants HIM. She would be getting money for sex, and giving the least quality and quantity of sex possible, sine she won’t be able to fake it.

    Candice Watters would destroy pre-med emotionally and make the girl into a whore who renigs on her end of the deal.

    Any man or women who is dating someone is looking into a LTR/marriage. If you discover that the person you are dating isn’t going to be that, you should own up to it right away. Give the other person the freedom to move on, and do the same. Don’t hang on to one while you wait for something better to come along.

  14. dalrock July 14, 2010 at 10:28 am #

    Well put Res Ipsa. This has been my point all along.

    Haley, I have posted my blog on this at: http://dalrock.wordpress.com/2010/07/14/hypergamous-addiction-to-choosing/

  15. Thag Jones November 7, 2010 at 6:08 am #

    I have forced myself into a couple of relationships (one marriage) without “chemistry”, so I can say it’s a nightmare. I would strongly advise against it. If those with whom you have chemistry happen to be lousy in other areas, that’s your problem and it’s selfish to take some beta guy who you’re not even attracted to because you’re afraid of being alone. Either learn to be alone, or get some psychiatric help, though I don’t even know how much that will help. There’s only so long you’ll be able to fake it in bed and it’s soul destroying to both parties to do this.

  16. Jaime Cruz April 22, 2011 at 5:58 pm #

    Not sure I get the point of encouraging marriage or any relationship without attraction. Mystery would definitely not approve.

    I think the point about churches doing a better job of encouraging, and preparing, young folks to consider marriage before launching careers and other life goals. The book “What Our Mothers Didn’t Tell Us” does an admirable job of advocating the benefits for young women in pursuing this option. In a nutshell, feminism and sexual liberation’s unintended consequences hurt women and benefit alpha males.

  17. Jennifer August 19, 2011 at 8:54 pm #

    Nailed it Haley.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Word Around the Campfire – the This One’s for You, Vox Day edition « Hidden Leaves - June 26, 2010

    [...] Aunt Haley: The Importance of Having Chemistry [...]

  2. Hypergamous Addiction to Choosing. | Dalrock - July 14, 2010

    [...] Halo has a fascinating piece on the bad marriage advice given to Evanglical Christian women titled The importance of having chemistry.  She references advice given to a woman from boundless.org, a part of Focus on the Family.  The [...]

  3. Women shouldn’t settle. | Dalrock - July 19, 2010

    [...] post about Hypergamous Addiction to Choosing, I referenced a blog post by Aunt Haley on the bad advice given to Christian women on dating. I was pretty critical of the woman in the example she discussed, because the woman wasted two [...]

  4. Roll your own alpha? | Dalrock - August 8, 2010

    [...] that suitable means a virgin who knows how to put the moves on women, and is looking to marry but not beta. A totally unrelated [...]

  5. Missing chemistry | flirtyintrovert - November 27, 2011

    [...] chastity talks, and that’s always cathartic reading for us church ladies.  And this post has been a talisman for me whenever I start questioning my decision to dump V. (and I do lose sleep [...]

  6. The importance of having chemistry. | sirgee - January 9, 2014

    […] The importance of having chemistry.. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 138 other followers