Necessary or Total Myth: The Elusive First Date "Spark"

The #1 complaint I hear from clients after a date is that there wasn’t any spark.

I’ve been guilty of saying it more than once. I remember being really excited about a date once. He had me laughing from the first minute but he wasn’t my physical type. He was a little short, a little bald, and a little out of shape.

We had a lot of fun and really great conversation. But I didn’t have much physical chemistry with him. I was disappointed that I didn't have that urge to go make out in the parking lot.

I went on one more date with him, but I already made up my mind that he wasn't for me. He ended up being a good friend when we reconnected years later when he was dating someone else. And I ended up wondering what if I had walked away from a really great guy?

What exactly is this “spark”?

When most of us talk about the spark, we are talking about physical chemistry. We want this indescribable palpable energy between you and the other person. We want that strong sexual chemistry to be there right away to show that there will be the potential for more of it to grow later.

Our society puts a lot of pressure on that spark. We think that the chemistry is the most important element at the beginning of a relationship. And we worry if the spark is not there then it will never be there and the relationship is doomed.

This is a lie. You do not need a spark on a first date.

Chemistry is simply biology reacting to each other and saying you would be good mates for procreating. Something in your biology is recognizing something in the other person that is complimentary. 

Chemistry can also be misleading because it does not guarantee that you will be complimentary to each other as partners. It can be misleading and giving you the illusion of knowing someone better than you actually do. It gives an urge to rush forward with the relationship.

You may be asking, “Isn’t chemistry important in a relationship?” Yes. But chemistry also builds over time as you get to know each other. 

On a first date, it’s more important for you to stay in tune with how you are feeling in general about the person. You are still getting to know them and discover who they are, and it’s impossible to know everything about someone right away.

Helpful questions to ask yourself would be “do I like how I am feeling around this person? Is it bringing out a good part of who I am?” “Am I curious about who this person is? Do I want to know more about them?”

If you feel the spark or if you don’t feel it, it really has no indication on whether the date was any good. Or even if you’ll have a great relationship.

Let’s take the pressure off the spark. Let’s focus on what’s really important- getting to know someone and seeing if we like who they are. 

How about you? Have you ever been disappointed because there wasn’t any spark between you and your date? How important is chemistry for you? Have you ever tried to let it develop or do you need it right away?