The Art of creating Chemistry…
… and we say art because calling it a science would be too easy! Besides, “science” implies measurable results and a systematized technique. There are no such guarantees or simple instructions for the romantic kind of chemistry. But an “art” is the conscious use of a skill acquired by experience and a little creativity (thanks Merriam-Webster!), and that’s exactly what it takes to create chemistry on a date. With a little practice, a little creativity, and the guidelines from our professional matchmakers, you’ll be able to build chemistry in no time!
First impressions first – be warm and approachable
For science nerds, first impressions stem from one of the most fundamental parts of the brain, the amygdala. Essentially, this means they are instinctual, directly tied to emotional motivations, and almost impossible to override. So send the message that you are a warm, caring person who is approachable. Yes, dating can feel like risking rejection, which can make you feel shy, scared, or defensive—we understand! But those emotions do you no favors, and often can unintentionally read as coldness. After all, your date is risking just as much as you are, and being brave enough to smile or be friendly will put your date at ease.
Build on Encouragement
So you’ve already nailed the first impression, now you build on that. Encouraging your date to open up, be genuine, and have fun requires active listening. It’s more than just compliments. It’s noticing what topics excite your date, learning what lights them up, and finding out what really matters to them. Rather than trying to impress, be engaged in your partner and that will make them feel valued. Not only that, studies show that getting to talk about themselves releases dopamine in your date’s brain, while positive social experiences release oxytocin…
Let the emotional chemistry lead to the physical chemistry
Now you’ve got the dopamine and oxytocin flowing! Why does this matter? Because dopamine is a chemical credited with creating the feeling of attraction between humans, and oxytocin is the “bonding” chemical found in long-term relationships. The physical experience of chemistry often stems from positive emotional bonding experiences, thanks to these neural reward pathways! Or with less science, think of physical chemistry like frosting and emotional chemistry like cake. Cake without frosting is boring, but frosting without cake is unfulfilling and empty calories!
Strive to bring out the best in your date
All the previous tips should naturally lead to this. Being approachable makes your date feel welcome and at ease. Encouraging them by being engaged and interested makes them feel desired and bonded. Two things usually happen in response to this: first, your date will instinctually match your behavior and repay the encouragement and warmness in kind, and second, you might just realize what an incredible person you have across the table! Want someone passionate? Watch them talk about their passions! Want someone driven or exciting? Listen to them share about what motivates and excites them. To bring out the best, you must see the best; it’s that simple. And they just might return the favor!
Have fun and be open
Lastly and most importantly, stay open-minded and genuine! No date, and no human is perfect, but love is still an incredible experience that naturally finds its way out of our imperfections. Most of the success stories our professional matchmakers hear were “surprising” (at least to the client!). So stay open, because who might light you up may not be who you expect. And have fun! Because everyone wants to date someone fun to be around and open-minded.