I recently broke up with a woman who kept explaining to me as we dated (over a period of months) that she had concerns about our “chemistry”–I frequently asserted my strong feeling that we had great chemistry, but she wasn’t quite so sure, and eventually she broke up with me, saying that the spark she needed just wasn’t there for her, finally.
OK. We’ve stayed friends and she has (sometimes painfully, for me) shared her experiences on the dating scene with me, and all she talks about is guys who are “cute,” guys who “turn her on,” who “make her panties damp,” (she’s dating on-line, and screening by brief descriptions but mainly by photos). It occurs to me that despite all the talk on these dating sites about people’s interests, natures, hobbies, it’s all about the physical appearance, and that was whast my ex- was trying (nicely) to convey to me–but rather than assert, “Listen, I’m much hotter than you are [and she was–she’s totally gorgeous], so see ya” she felt better about herself to say “There’s a certain chemistry that’s always been lacking between us…” I think I’ve figured out that that means she never found me all that attractive, and tried get around that and failed, because we always had a great time, had fun in bed (she raved about that part), great conversations–and I don’t think she would argue with any of that. I think that was all positive, but the negative (“When you walk into the room, I want my heart to do flip-flops, and that isn’t happening”) was purely and simply physical attraction.
I’ve been there. I’ve been out with women who simply didn’t cut it for me, just on a physical basis–too fat for me, too old for me, too ugly for me–and sometimes I liked their personalities enough (or was horny enough) to try dating them, often congratulating myself (prematurely) on my centeredness in not over-valuing physical appearance, but it always ended the same way: I would break up with such women after a few weeks or months beause the physical attraction wasn’t there. And the signs would be the same as I now observe with my ex-GF: I wouldn’t be eager to meet their friends and family, I would delay them meeting mine as long as possible, I would make noises about having my personal space, I would sincerely request that they NOT give me presents, make a big fuss about my birthday–all clear signs (in retrospect) that I just wasn’t into them, yet I know that if they were better looking, I would have done none of these things. I would have felt that we had a future, and I would have been eager to meet each other’s friends and family, exchange presents regularly, required much less personal space, etc.
And like my ex-, I was uncomfortable telling these women that I needed someone better-looking than they were, and that maybe I could find a better-looking GF if I tried, so I would break up with meaningless cliches: “this isn’t working out for me,” “something isn’t right.” But is all this BS just a smokescreen for “good looks”? In my case, I think it is, and I’m beginning to think that it’s also so with my ex (with several of my exes, in fact–I tend to date women who are above my own level of hotness) and I’m wasting time trying to improve the chemistry, find out what she means by “that spark” and try to create it. If the whole thing comes down to how good-looking I am, well, there’s not much room to change that, is there?
There’s also the whole “bad boy” thing here too–I got all bent out of shape about this one, trying to figure out what she meant by “I like bad boys,” because she certainly didn’t mean what I took that to mean–a guy who’d mistreat her, stand her up sometime, keep her waiting, assert how little he cared about upsetting her, etc. I now think that what that means is that she might be able to tolerate more self-centered behavior in a man, and even be turned on by it–but only if he was sufficiently good-looking to warrant such devotion on her part. IOW, she wasn’t complaining that I was too considerate of her, I think, as much as she preferred (and even encouraged) LESS considerate behavior if I were only better looking, but merely caring about her less wouldn’t have done a thing for her. Again, it was all about the looks, and I was overthinking when I tried to decode her desire for a “bad boy,” for someone with “chemistry,” for that “special spark that made her heart do flip-flops.” Looks certainly play a bigger role for me when I’m deciding to go out with someone than I’m willing to divulge in my own verbal assesment of a relationship, and certainly to that woman’s face. I wonder if my ex- was saying to her girlfriends at the same time she was complaining about our lack of “chemistry,” “Hey, you know what? He just isn’t good looking enough for me.”