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How Important is Chemistry?

Lucy wrote to me this week:

“Dear Kathy, I just started on eHarmony.  I met a gentleman and we proceeded to have a meeting over coffee which was for 2 hours.  We then went on a lunch date and again talked for 2 hours. Our third date was dinner…we had a lovely time.

I felt I was getting to know this man slowly, no “sparks” on my part.  But possibly potential….in 8 hours how do you really know someone?  Secondly, the next day he gave me a “dear john” email saying that we were not on the same paths.

I was totally shocked…is this the norm?  He also asked to kiss me at the end of our dinner date.  On the cheek was acceptable to me.  Am I too slow? Or is this the norm? I need to be enlightened.”

Hi Lucy,

I think the answer to your question lies in something you said in your letter. You said that despite going on three dates and getting to know the man slowly there were no “sparks” for you.  Even on the third date you only felt inclined to let him kiss you on the cheek, I would guess probably because you didn’t have any real sense of attraction to him. Generally women are much easier for men to read because our actions and body language are fairly good signals of our feelings, and perhaps he picked up that you weren’t really into him. Ever heard of the old adage “actions speak louder than words”?

Unless your date was only looking for the occasional social companion, or just someone to become good friends with, he probably sensed that this would not become anything more than platonic.  As shocked as you might have been, it seems to me that he did you both a favour by ending it and moving on before someone got hurt. You don’t want to end up in a relationship where neither person can meet the other’s expectations – a surefire recipe for failure.

Was it wrong that you didn’t get into a major lip-lock with him on that date instead of offering your cheek?  Absolutely not! You should never do something that you don’t feel right about. I really believe that you were only acting as your heart dictated and as much as he was a nice guy, your heart wasn’t into it.

If you can honestly say that you saw a future with this man, perhaps when you offered your cheek you could have said something like “I really like you a lot, and I hope you feel the same. I have to take this slow because I haven’t dated anyone in a long time and I am worried about going too quickly and getting hurt. If you like me too, I hope you can respect that.”  There is nothing wrong with taking things slow and any man that is worthy of your love will respect your needs.  But you may have to spell it out for him otherwise he may get the wrong message from your behaviour.

Lucy, you need to ask yourself what you are really looking for on eHarmony or any senior dating site.  Are you looking for just companionship or do you desire a romantic relationship?  If it’s romance you are looking for, I strongly recommend that you move past the men that you don’t feel any chemistry for (“sparks”) and write off your dates to experience.  It isn’t easy getting back into the dating scene if you have been out of it for many years. However I do believe you will know when you meet someone (especially by the third date) if there are any “sparks”.

If it’s companionship only that you want, you cannot expect the dates that you meet to have the same agenda as you – unless you have had in-depth talks about this before you actually meet up.  And even if you are on the same page, friendships too require a certain chemistry to work. Only once you meet someone in the flesh will you know if that chemistry is there.

In the early phase of dating, always remember to be yourself, be honest and frank about your intentions, and if you haven’t dated in a while read my article about conversation topics to avoid.

Good luck Lucy!

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About This Site

Kathy Damer is a University Graduate in Sociology and worked as Director of Marketing in the Retirement and Senior care industries for the past decade. Kathy has a deep understanding of the issues unique to senior dating and relationships and has been featured on the radio.

Kathy founded senior-dating.org as a way to provide free advice and resources for anyone looking to enter the world of senior dating. Please feel free to send Kathy your questions, comments and suggestions for topics that you’d like to see covered.

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