A reader wonders if her new relationship is doomed because it doesn’t have the chemistry she remembers having with her ex.
This is part 2 of myself and Robert Dunn on his Orion Group Podcast, episode 36– which is now offline.
Robert: Let’s see. Sonia:
“So I’ve recently started dating again after a year of being single. I was really cut up about my relationship break-up and it has taken me about a year to get over it. But now I’m ready to move on.
I’ve been dating a new guy for the past few weeks and he is a great person and he is everything I’ve ever wanted. I really like him and when I’m not with him, I’m messaging him and I want to see him. But I feel like there’s something missing and I don’t know what it is. It doesn’t feel like – or it doesn’t feel as exciting and feel like I’m not into this one like I was with others. But I don’t want to end it with him because he’s great. So what is this I’m feeling and why am I not fully into it like I’ve been before with others who were not what I wanted and he is?”
Elizabeth: First of all, there’s a little bit of pursuit there. It sounds like she’s kind of stuck in that place of wanting an old feeling but it isn’t exactly the same as the old one.
Also, when you’ve narrowed your dating down to one guy, it’s kind of hard to maintain perspective, especially if you haven’t had a conversation about exclusivity.
She might not be feeling that there’s enough drama. And, when people don’t feel like there’s enough drama, they create it.
Elizabeth: It’s better to nurture your hobbies maintain your own life while you date this person. Get to know them rather than starting to think all about how it felt in the past and what your ex was like in comparison.
You have to give somebody time to fall in love with you. You have to give them a little time to warm up and start being romantic and have those feelings because men don’t always want to – they’re not ready for that. It’s a lot of responsibility for a man to fall in love.
Women don’t really think of it like that because that’s not the way that we operate. But it’s best to just sit back. Keep dating other people. Don’t narrow your focus on one and let this one decide if he wants more with you or if he wants to make it an exciting and romantic connection.
Robert: This sounds like exactly the situation people find themselves in when they’re no longer dating their type or they’re dating somebody who isn’t their type. So there’s this weird feeling of a lack of chemistry. That’s what it sounded like.
So there’s a whole argument right now. There’s a big deal because I think most of us are default setting this need for chemistry. That’s how we go about looking for somebody.
We say, “this is somebody I have chemistry with.” Not necessarily the type of chemistry that happens as you get to know somebody. But the chemistry that it’s just kind of biological, that instant attraction…
Robert: I’ve said it before. I’m a big believer in dating off type because you’ve never heard someone say, “I’ve had such great experience when I date my type,” right? You don’t really hear that.
I’m a big believer of dating off type because you can finally think.
It sounds to me that you’re finally in a position where you’re like, “wait a minute. There are some things that you’re probably thinking about now that you probably never had to think about before because there’s just so much attraction.”
But, when you’re used to that chemistry and it becomes your normal, dating somebody who’s not your type, feels weird because it doesn’t seem like that taste is there.
So it feels uncomfortable. It almost feels wrong and a lot of people say they feel like they’re settling. A lot of times they’re dealing with somebody who they don’t have a ton of chemistry for but it doesn’t mean that it’s wrong.
This is exactly what you hear, “They’re a great person. I mean there’s attraction there. But it doesn’t have the taste of the bad boy.”
So you have to really understand that and exactly like Elizabeth said, you have to give it time.
Don’t just ditch it even though it’s going to feel weird at first because it isn’t what you’re used to. That’s a good thing because all those other relationships ended, right? Obviously.
Being able to date off type does require you to get used to not dealing with someone with huge chemistry and that can definitely feel off at first. So it’s something that takes getting used to. It’s an acquired taste. But, it’s not settling because I don’t recommend people settle and I know that’s a very real thing as well. Settling is a completely different thing. When someone is settling, it’s more about trying to fulfill some need and trying to get something settled. So they can ease tension, not pick a partner.
If you don’t try it, you can never get used to a different taste. There are some things you don’t like when you’re young that you like now that you’re older, right?
It’s just a part of maturity and as you become more mature, you start realizing love does require a little bit more than just feeling. It requires having someone you can count on, you can trust and all the different things that life brings. So you realize that there are other elements you need to look for and I think this is one of them.
Elizabeth: To build on that point, feminine energy falls in love between our ears.
In our really sexualized culture, women have masculinized themselves and they’ve started looking for sex and chemistry first. That’s a very explosive way to date. That’s how you end up having awesome sex on the kitchen table. But …
Robert: Great sex, having fun all the time, right?
Elizabeth: Yeah, exactly. But it’s not always how we find a good life partner and a good person to build a family with or create a solid relationship with.
When women sit back and start to evaluate who they’re dating and focus more on what they’re hearing from him and whether they have connected conversations and whether they start to feel connected to a man, that’s when they start to really feel love for him.
But, if they don’t give themselves the opportunity because they’re hoping for this sexual connection right away or chemistry, that’s when they really sell themselves short.
Robert: Absolutely, absolutely. And I don’t want to underestimate this. This is going to be very difficult for a lot of people because chemistry is a very powerful thing. It’s the most addictive drug on the planet because you know, there’s nothing like chemistry.
Elizabeth: It’s glue. Yeah. It’s just glue.
Robert: It’s literally glue. Exactly. It’s job is to do is bond you. And so, it does that.
We’re not cavemen and cavewomen anymore. You don’t need a man’s protection to be able to survive in life but your instincts don’t know that.
Your instincts say, “This is what we need. We need a guy who’s taller than six feet because that’s what says someone can protect us.”
If you think about that rationally, that makes no sense. But every girl you hear says that they want a guy over six feet. Where does that come from?
Elizabeth: Right. To a great extent, our biology hasn’t caught up with our modern world.
Robert: All right.
Elizabeth: The other thing is, it’s good for kids to be raised by their parents in a nuclear family. It’s good for women to have solid relationships with their partners to show their children.
Elizabeth: It benefits everybody if we date between our ears.
Robert: And it’s so much better to be able to– because most people don’t know what it’s like to be in a relationship or to be in a romantic situation when there’s not crazy drama.
There’s not that chemistry and it’s boring. That’s why a lot of times the people say, “this person is cool but they’re boring.”
What they’re saying is, “I need that fix”. And, it does become a fix.
Robert: At the same time, this is why a lot of times you have to get your heart broken so many times? Because…
Elizabeth: Oh, yeah.
Robert: It’s the only thing you’ll listen to. A lot of times you’re not going to listen to us when it comes to that.
Robert: You’re not going to be able to avoid sex on the bathroom floor at 3:00 in the morning. You’re not going to be able to avoid that. Right?
Elizabeth: Even when you’re craving boring by then.
Robert: Exactly. And that’s exactly why it happened, you end up at a point where you start craving boring because you realized that this is not going to work and you need more than that.
Some people are just not there yet, some people are, and some people are still in the middle. I think I’m in the middle.
Elizabeth: But, boring is stable. You can do things within your relationship to spice it up but it doesn’t have to be this constant drama, where you’re wondering, “is he chasing me, is he not?” all the time.
Robert: Exactly. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t start to crave stability until they go through enough pain.
Elizabeth: Pain and anxiety are how we learn. It’s how we rewire our brain.
Robert: Yeah, it does. I’m trying, personally to hold it but I have to go to some ways to get the point across to myself, I’m hard headed too as well.
Elizabeth: Yeah, aren’t we all? It’s just a process.
Elizabeth: On a continuum, you know.