When you go from talking to someone on a dating app to meeting in real life, you're likely meeting that person for the first time. By no means is attraction instantaneous, and just because there isn't a "spark" right off the bat, doesn't mean it'll never arrive. Attraction and chemistry can develop over time, so it doesn't mean things are doomed if you don't know if you like someone from your first meeting.
I know for me, I can usually tell if I like someone on the first meeting or pretty fast into the dating process. But from talking to some friends, I know it can be hard to distinguish when you enjoy spending time with someone, but the chemistry isn't there from the jump. You can have questions go through your mind like Will the chemistry catch up with where my head is at? Is it worth sticking around to figure that out? How long should I give it to figure out?
I spoke with therapist and relationship expert Nicole Richardson about all of these questions to get the proper intel for you.
A strong feeling from the first date that you want to see that person again, or you want to be near them physically shows a "clear attraction for the person," Richardson tells Elite Daily.
"I think the first date or two you could be confused about how you feel, especially if the person is different from the other people you have dated in the past," Richardson says, confirming what I've heard from a few friends. "However, if the confusion persists beyond a couple of dates that is likely an indication that you aren't feeling into that person."
If you kiss or take things further physically and you aren't feeling something after a few times, it is totally up to you if you want to continue to see that person and determine if chemistry could form more down the road.
And it could totally be that the kind of chemistry you feel could just be a different energy than what you're used to. And that's OK.
"Especially if the person is different from who you thought you wanted or the kind of person you thought you were looking for, it can be a little confusing at first but it doesn't mean anything about the quality of the relationship you can have," Richardson says.
But you want to be honest about what you're feeling. Convincing yourself that you feel something when you don't, or trying to see something that's not there is only going to cause problems.
"If you are trying, that seems like a problem," she says. "There are a lot of really incredible people out there, but that doesn't mean that they are your person and that is OK. Your person is out there. If you waste time trying to force something, you could miss out on time with the person you are meant to be with."
Or multiple people you could be better-suited for, chemistry-wise and all. Basically, don't settle for less than what you want. Be honest with that person if you aren't feeling it, or give it time if you see something developing later. Stay true to your feelings and be respectful, and you'll find something that works for you.
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