Wednesday, September 14, 2011

More About the Chemistry Thing

I got the following comment on this post and decided that responding to it was worth a post all its own:

"I think that chemistry attracts 99% of people to each other. Chemistry is lust. Romance movies are lust. Even the deeper ones are just emotional lust. Love happens after you give someone so much that they are an extension of you. It's not too common, and if people waited for that to happen before getting physically involved, there'd be about 3 kids born a year."

The reason I wanted to post my response to this is because I fear my meaning in the previous post may have been misunderstood. I am not exactly saying that people should wait to see whether superficial chemistry turns into non-superficial intimacy before they become involved with somebody, although I suppose you could try that as long as you're not flogging a dead horse. I am saying that superficial chemistry is superficial. Even if the connection feels really strong, if the person is resisting genuinely being with you, then the chemistry you are feeling is superficial. It does not mean anything, so it is better to prioritize it much less than people usually do.

I think what people should be asking themselves about a potential partner is something like this: does this person treat me with care and respect? Do I genuinely feel I can trust him/her and that he/she is not out to mess me around? And do I feel good when I am with him/her? Not crazy-can't-see-straight-actually-kind-of-bad-now-that-I-think-about-it, but good?

The thing is, someone can banter your wits out, give you those fuzzy special feelings, and generally make you feel like you must be God's gift to each others' boring lives, but still not be emotionally available. I think emotionally available is a term that is bandied around a lot but rarely defined, so what it means is this: they want to be in the same relationship as you, with you. They don't appear to be constantly trying to mess with your head or give you a case of the crazies. They don't disappear and reappear. They don't have a harem of besotted "friends" with whom they indiscriminately flirt both in and out of your presence. They don't refuse to acknowledge you in public after you've slept with them. They don't tell you you're needy when you say you want to see them again soon.

And to those who are thinking "but I need the fuzzy special feelings or I can't live!" I say this: someone who isn't pushy, who isn't a shameless flirt, and who maybe doesn't banter the superficial living daylights out of you might turn out to be, well, fuzzier than you may have thought if you would just give them half a chance to show you. There are a lot of good people in this world, so don't write them off so fast!

Back to the comment. I would never tell anyone to wait for anything in particular before getting physically involved, but you have to know what you are signing up for, and if what you would like to sign up for is an adult relationship, then you need to sign up for an adult relationship, not a total bunch of bullshit. Also, I would like to dispute the notion that love is not too common... although I concede that to those who habitually go after the emotionally unavailables of this world, it probably appears that way.

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