He May Not Be 'The One' If You Have Romantic Sparks -- Huh?

Say What!? 8

Ask most of us what we look for in a romantic partner and we'll answer something like, "Chemistry!" or "Attraction!" or "Magic!" or "Sparks!" Of course, the majority of us also want a mate who is kind, has a sense of humor, has things in common with us, and blah blah blah ... but what we want is "chemistry" on top of all of that. We've all met that guy (or gal) who "looks great on paper" and has all of the qualities we're looking for in a partner, and yet with whom there is just no "spark" generated. Ho hum. We usually don't stick with that person very long. But one psychologist says the last thing we should look for in a mate is a sexual "spark." That, in fact, for those of us who have a history of unfulfilling relationships, an excited fluttery feeling we get in the gut when we meet someone means, "Run, run, and don't look back. And then run!!"

Says Seth Meyers, a clinical psychologist (and not the Saturday Night Live comedian):

You need to walk away when you meet someone with whom you feel a serious spark. In such cases, the spark signifies that there is a part of you that is afraid that you couldn’t 'get' him or her to be with you, which triggers excitement and the attempts to try to prove to yourself that you’re good enough to get him or her to be with you.

Er, seriously? So you're supposed to go for people with whom you feel no spark? While many people testify to the power of falling in love long after they were married, I've also known people who tried that and had it fail miserably.

One woman I know married her "best friend" after a long, tumultuous relationship ended. "Look what passion got me," she told me she thought. "Nowhere." So she decided to try a marriage based on friendship. But after their first child was born, she said she could barely stomach the idea of touching this man sexually again. They eventually divorced.

Also, Meyers doesn't say what his proof is that a "spark" is generated by the idea that you're "afraid" you can't "get" this person to be with you. No one knows what generates sexual chemistry between two people. I've even read (in Helen Fisher's illuminating book Why We Love) that chemistry could be an instantaneous instinct that kicks in when we've met a mate whose DNA would match up with our DNA to produce the healthiest offspring. After all, back in the caveman days, there wasn't a lot of long-term dating. People only lived until like 12, you know?

I do agree that a "spark" can't be your only reason for being with someone. But I do think it has to be there. How much drudgery would it be to be with someone who doesn't make your heart flutter occasionally? Besides, my great-grandmother and great-grandfather said they fell in love at first sight. Neither had good relationship role models. And they were happily married for 70 years. It happens!

Do you need to feel a "spark" with your partner?


Image via sociotard/Flickr

dating, love, marriage, sex


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miche... micheledo

I don't think there needs to be a spark right away.  I didn't feel it with my husband until after we had been dating a while (a couple of months - we only dated 6 months before getting engaged).  He had everything I wanted in a husband and then the spark came! :)

I think it is stupid to run from someone because there is no spark.  If he is everything that you like/want, give it some time!  See what happens.

nonmember avatar NoWay

I felt an immediate spark with my husband. He walked by and I smiled and he smiled back. *ZING* I didn't think much of it at the time since we both had other SO's. I just passed it off as a stupid crush on a local "rock star". (He was in a local band). Over time we got to know each other and we fell in love (the other SO's were no longer in the picture). Now he is not only my husband, but my best friend and soul mate ... and that spark is still as strong as ever. :)

FourD... FourDaughtersMI

I can see if a spark develops over time... but not AFTER marriage. I've had friends that I had no attraction to initially, but it grew into a pretty strong attraction as we got closer. A spark certainly isn't a reason NOT to date someone. If they're solid in every other way, then that's awesome! If you're going to marry someone, you should want to rip their clothes off at some point. lol

nonmember avatar blh

i quite agree. Nothing good has ever come from "chemistry" for me.

fleur... fleurdelys3110

I've been with my boyfriend for about 3 years, and truth be told, I wasn't that sexually attracted to him for the first couple months we were dating. However, as time went by, I realized what an amazing person he is and the attraction blossomed because of that. I connected emotionally with my boyfriend before physically, which is totally ok. Now I love my boyfriend more than anything and I can't imagine spending my life with anyone else. So my point is, the spark can be there or it can not be there; what is most important is having stuff in common with your SO and being able to connect on an emotional level, and the rest will most likely come later.

cleig... cleigh717

Me and my hubby have been married for almost two yrs and together for almost four. When I did date, if I didn't have a spark, I didn't enter a relationship. PERIOD. That spark was my internal compass. And I'm still following it to my hubby consistently.

Kinda makes me sound like a dog or something but I m a very feeling oriented person. If I'm not feeling something I just can't do it.

Kevin Moore

bullshit! you've just "boxed" all possibilities out and narrowed a focus on one possibility. how about this? instead of "walking away", you invest some time before you drop your pants with this person to figure out if they look "right on paper". what would you have then? hmmm...oh yeah...EVERYBODY's DREAM of a nate. great sexual chemistry PLUS all the other stuff you want. You see, this research may be accurate, but the advise behind it sucks! My advise, and i'm just using plain old wisdom here. Guys, keep your gun in your holster until you know more than just "we have sparks". ladies, keep your undies on until you know if this guy is more than just fireworks. Again, you want the best of both worlds. NEVER "run" without investing time to learn first.

Amanda Tedford

Met my husband at 16. He became my friend, great chemistry, barley ever fought, loved spending every moment together. Now 8 yrs later we have two wonderful kids, he is my best friend and soul mate, chemistry is even better, sex is awesome, and still love spending every moment together and guess what, we never argue. Love him with all my heart and am blessed to have found him ; )

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