No Chemistry?


Young Singaporean adults are meeting with other young Singaporean adults through online dating apps but getting hitched is not so easy, as many eventually find out.

Many report that they are able to hit it off with single members of the opposite sex and “click well over text.” But for many, things aren’t the same when they eventually meet in-person. Many do not progress to the second date citing a lack of ‘chemistry’ as the main reason.

Chemistry, according to Helen Fisher, author of Why we love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love, is caused by chemicals generated in the brain which create a sense of attraction to another. And this could be based on a number of things such as physical appearance, interesting personality, common or compatible views among other things.

This chemistry can lead to or can be confused with limerence. I have written about it in my earlier post which you can read here. Limerence describes someone who feels that he or she has fallen in love. It feels good but feelings can be deceiving.

Limerence has a shelf life of about two years, which is enough time to fall in love, date, get engaged and married. Then when you wake up the morning after the wedding, you start to wonder “Who is this person I married?” Over time you feel as if he has changed, or you have changed. And you conclude that you are no longer love your partner. You’d be correct because it was never love you had for the other person. Rather, it was infatuation.

Some young Singaporeans wisely prefer to look for qualities (in the person they are dating) that are more than skin deep. But it can get quite confusing when you are dating a different person each week, which is the practice of many. Everyone has some good qualities and some not so good ones as well. So, how do you decide?

Love is a discipline, a muscle that can be trained.

As a single person, you need to know what is important in a life partner, not just in the short term but also in the long run. Do you wish to still share a common interest or be able to have long conversations? Would you be looking for someone with similar life goals or a compatible personality?

Believe me when I say that these considerations are much more important than having chemistry. You might love some things about the one you are dating. But will you love that person no matter what? Love is more than a feeling, an emotion; it is a discipline, a muscle that can be trained. Having been married for thirty years, I love my wife more today than I did at the beginning. Our love has matured as we have matured.

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