“Intimacy transcends the physical. It is a feeling of closeness that isn’t about proximity, but of belonging. It is a beautiful emotional space in which two become one.”
~ Steve Maraboli
Chemistry in a relationship is the complex psychological and emotional interaction that occurs between two people.
It is what gives you butterflies in the stomach, causes your cheeks to blush, your heart to race, and your palms to sweat.
Physiologically, your pupils dilate from the surge of oxytocin and dopamine in response to being romantically or sexually attracted to another person, and norepinephrine makes you feel excited.
It is what draws two people together, and keeps the togetherness sustained over long periods of time.
This chemical reaction is important because it is motivating and rewarding which allows you to want to commit to one individual.
But what if there is no chemistry?
- What if one person in the relationship is just not feeling it? I would first want to know, was there ever chemistry?
- When and what happened to it?
If there was a time that this person felt chemistry and that strong emotional and psychological connection, this is good.
We can work with that.
There could be a reason that one person’s attraction or energy has changed including boredom, neglect, being in a rut, stress, age, health, and sometimes these feelings are less intense and fluctuate throughout the relationship, which is natural.
Chemistry changes and does not necessarily remain at the same intensity throughout the relationship.
If the relationship started out with a lack of chemistry and connection, I want to explore what brought the two individuals together.
What has sustained the relationship up to this point, and can this continue to maintain the relationship in the future?
Perhaps the couple is in a transition. Marriage, moving, having children, changing jobs, children starting school, children moving out, death of loved ones, health challenges, income changes, retirement, and divorce are some of the stressful life transitions people face.
It can be hard to recognize the chemistry during times like these.
Sexual boredom or lack of sex in general can impact the attraction, desire, and drive which is also a part of relationship chemistry.
Sex can become dull, lackluster, unexciting, monotonous, repetitive, and humdrum. It might be time to shake things up between the two of you by being creative with time of day, location, role playing, toys, romantic dates, wooing, and adapting your sex life to the phase of life you are at now.
Changes in age and hormones can change past sexual behaviors and it might be time to open up and talk about different ways to make sex or intimacy enjoyable again.
Sustaining those strong feelings that appeared at the very beginning of the relationship is not always possible and can be impacted by many things outside of your control, but sustaining love is a choice.
Dr. Tracy S. Kelly, LMFT – www.DrTracyKelly.com
Chemistry is when there is effortless attraction to someone that can feel magnetic.
It is sometimes difficult to explain and has a lot of moving parts so it can be tricky to fully define. It can be emotional, physical and for many people, it can be feeling connected to someone because of their intelligence.
When you are in a relationship and there is no chemistry, it may cause concern that you aren’t able to connect the way you want or should.
What to do when there isn’t any chemistry can depend on whether you previously had chemistry that has since went away or maybe you never had but wanted to.
Determining where you are at can make a big difference in how you move forward.
For women who never really had chemistry but started dating someone because they wanted to try and see if something would develop or thought they were a nice person may struggle to produce that feeling.
There are ways to try and connect to develop chemistry.
Find something that you have in common, open up and ask questions to learn more about each other and see where you can find things you can appreciate, laugh together, or do things that promote intimacy such as going to the beach and holding hands.
This can put you in a mental space to allow some connection and bond to show through if it will have the ability to build.
If you are in a relationship and used to have the chemistry but lost it, you want to go back in time and see what is missing.
- Maybe you had more date nights, more communication, more fun. It is important to have eye contact.
- Take the time to truly “see” the person and not just look at them. It can make a difference if you are focusing on who your partner is and not thinking of things they didn’t do or the laundry, mail, etc.
- Give more compliments, you may get some back, surprise your partner and do something they will appreciate as the thank you that comes back may make you feel appreciated.
- Take the time to snuggle more, slow kisses, gentle touches, focusing on affection and not the intercourse from sex.
Maybe that will be enough to bring back some of the chemistry you had but may have lost along the way.
For many women, doing a few different things to build or rebuild chemistry can make a difference in having a friend or a relationship.
Many times the chemistry is rebuilt in a relationship when you feel closer to your partner intimately which comes from being open to trying new things.
Both people need to be a part of helping the chemistry stay strong or to improve the way things are, you can’t do it alone. When both people are willing, they can hopefully find a way.
Stacy Friedman, DHS, CSC – www.drstacyfriedman.com
When you fall in love with another person, there are many chemicals and hormones that coarse through your body to give that “in love” feeling.
You know the feeling where your heart skips a beat, you get sweaty palms, and your stomach has feelings of butterflies. These feelings (and many more I’m sure) are very exciting and can be addictive, which is why some people end their relationship when they no longer have these physiological responses with their partner.
Some people mistake lust and the lover’s high feelings as being, “in love!”
When those chemicals subside, they may believe they no longer love their partner, and they need to have those feelings but this time with another person; they need to feel “smitten” again!
According to Dr. Helen Fisher, there are three stages of love: Lust, Attraction, and Attachment.
- Lust stage: (regardless of gender): the sex hormones (testosterone and oestrogen) are at play in the first stages of love.
- Attraction stage: adrenaline, serotonin, and dopamine influence how you think, feel, and behave. For example, you have more energy and need less sleep.
- Attachment stage: this is the stage that keeps the two of you together long enough to have and bring up children. Scientists believe there are two important hormones at play during this stage; vasopressin and oxytocin.
It is important to know what stage your relationship is in so you understand the chemicals and hormones that are possibly “out of balance.”
Please note, I have focused on the third and final stage of relationships in this article; attachment. I will assume you have gone past the first and second stages and you’re wondering how to reignite the passion and chemistry in your relationship.
According to scientists, vasopressin and oxytocin are hormones released during orgasm and deepen the attachment feelings of couples in long-term relationships. Oxytocin has been labelled the “cuddle” hormone, because our brain releases it when we get close to our partner, and connect on a physical level.
What does this mean for you?
In a nutshell, the excellent news is you can ignite chemistry and passion in your relationship if you regularly connect with your partner on a physical and intimate level!
Okay, how can you and your partner inject more passion in to your relationship?
Why not have a relationship retreat with your partner where you can connect on an intimate and exploratory level?
You could take this time to discuss your fantasies, what you desire, and how you can safely create these in your relationship.
What can you do to spice up your love life? How can you bring more intimate and physical moments in your life where you can connect and just enjoy one another?
- Maybe you can make rituals where you both cuddle up on the sofa before going to bed.
- Or, you take time to give each other a long hug before you part ways and start your day at work.
- Or, you have a heart-centered gaze where you stare into each other’s eyes for ten minutes (embrace one another on a spiritual level) whilst romantically holding one another’s hands.
- Or, you enjoy going to sleep in your partner’s arms.
The options the two of you can explore are endless.
The possibilities for your relationship are only limited by your imaginations. What is holding you back from having the love, connection, passion, and happiness you deserve?
It’s time to get exquisite and delight your senses!
Sharon Craig, Dating and Relationship Coach — www.coach2connect.co
“Chemistry” is what attracts a couple to each other and the loss of “chemistry” can make it ever-so-difficult for a couple to sustain their relationship.
Couples are most drawn to each other during the Attraction Phase when they have first connected and their brains are producing powerful hormones including Dopamine and Norepinephrine.
These hormones can cause a couple to seek much affirmation of mutual interest (e.g. quick responses to texts and phone calls) and want to make love as often as possible.
The Attraction Phase is eventually (between six and eighteen months) replaced by the Attachment Phase which features heightened relationship security with brain chemistry generated by the “love hormones” oxytocin and vasopressin.
This drop in dopamine can be troubling to a new couple. It can feel as if their “chemistry” is gone.
Engaging in high intensity activities (think Skydiving) can provide a short-term fix. Fighting and then making-up may also offer a temporary fix.
Experimenting with role playing, costumes and exotic sex toys may help as well.
Longer-term fixes can include understanding (and accepting) this universal phenomena.
Americans, especially, celebrate an adolescent view of relationships, believing that the buzz of the Attraction Phase is confirmation that their relationship is mutually valuable.
Being that some couples cannot tolerate a continued loss of dopamine they might open-up their relationships to engage the spark of “new chemistry.”
This can take the form of Swinging and/or Polyamory. Engaging in Polyamory (consensual non-monogamy) can fortify the home-based Attachment Phase brain with the compelling Attraction Phase brain brought on by being (temporarily) smitten by a new lover.
Leanna Wolfe, PhD – www.wisewomansexandrelationshipconsulting.com
What do you do when there is no chemistry in your relationship?
Most people think about chemistry only in terms of physical chemistry, but there are different types of chemistry, and different ways of looking at this situation.
First of all, there is emotional chemistry.
When you have emotional chemistry, you are intuitively able to understand one another emotionally, and at levels that go beyond words. You speak the same language and feel understood and supported by one another.
Emotional chemistry is not always present at the beginning of a relationship, but can develop over time as a couple moves from the infatuation stage towards mature love.
Many couples who have a long history together have developed s relationship based on partnership and solid friendship. They often consider each other their best friend. They have been through many stages of development in their relationship, resolved their power struggles and conflicts, and have a deep and solid bond.
When it comes to sexual chemistry, things can be more complicated.
It is difficult to either create or extinguish sexual chemistry. It tends to just be there and have a life of it’s own, and both people know it. In some unfortunate cases, one person may feel it and the other one does not. That can be a very painful situation.
If there is no sexual chemistry on either side, you may or may not be able create it.
Most couples need some time to learn one another’s sexual preferences, and this can happen gradually as they explore their sexual relationship. You can teach one another about yourselves, and a certain amount of honest and clear communication is necessary to do this.
If you don’t have the communication skills to be open about your sexual needs, try to develop your ability to communicate in this area.
People cannot read your mind and automatically know exactly how your body works, and no two people are exactly the same.
If you have tried to work things out in your physical relationship, and there is still no chemistry, then you have to make a decision about whether or not the rest of the relationship makes it worth staying.
There are many couples who have a very deep and intimate relationship, yet never had sexual chemistry. There are couples who have celibate relationships, but share many other aspects of life and are true and lifelong partners.
If having sexual chemistry with your partner is important to you, and you don’t have it and feel that there is nothing more you can do, then you have some decisions to make.
These are not easy decisions, and I would recommend getting some help.
Speak to a professional and sort out your true values and priorities, the issues in your life, and then decide what will work best for you.
People have many different types of relationships, make all kinds of compromises and arrangements.
Anita Gadhia-Smith, PsyD, LCSW-C, LICSW – www.drgadhiasmith.com
In a romantic relationship where there is no more chemistry I often call it the missing piece.
The missing piece is when there is no more attraction or intimacy, “that feeling” is gone. If you are currently in a relationship where the missing piece is gone it’s time to reflect and maybe even go to therapy.
When I hear about this in my sessions, I often ask when did the connection start to go away, when did the feelings change and what is happening now?
I hear about the feelings of just being roommates, or really good friends. The reality is somewhere along the way, in the relationship, the couple stopped connecting with each other, they maybe tried to avoid conflict or just tried to “play nice” and only focus on the fun.
So what do we do if there is no more chemistry?
One, ask yourself, when did you start to turn yourself off?
Ask yourself about a reset. What would it take to get you to turn toward your partner again and start to see them as a romantic partner again?
The other thing to consider, it’s not about them changing it’s about you being able to see your partner through a different lens.
I tell people that it starts with being friends again. It starts with trying to get to know each other again. Creating positive connections of kindness, compassion, respect, affection, admiration, and playfulness.
If you are feeling the loss of chemistry then I would suggest trying ways to connect with playfulness, ask yourself how you are creating admiration for your partner and do you respect them?
Often we want the magic just to happen again or we think we can get “that feeling” back right away.
The reality is that it takes time to find the missing piece, and passion/chemistry in your relationship may look a little different this next time around.
Different isn’t bad it’s just different. Part of rebuilding chemistry is respect for the other person; it isn’t just about intimacy.
Important tips to remember when the chemistry is gone:
- Time for personal reflection
- Is there still respect?
- When did you turn yourself off and how can you turn toward you partner again?
- Cultivate a new and different Friendship
- Remember it takes time to rebuild chemistry
Monica Burton, MS LMFT – www.monicaburtonlmft.com
You’re in a great relationship, enjoying time with your partner, feeling all the feels, except in the bedroom. What do you do to remedy this situation, when all other aspects of the relationship are great but there just isn’t that spark?
First, take some personal inventory.
Is everything really great in the other aspects of the relationship?
As women, we rarely are able to compartmentalize like men are able to, so if something is off in another part of the relationship, or if there is some long-held resentment or anger at past behaviors of your partner, that could ultimately affect the intimacy factory.
So take some time to really analyze when you first noticed the chemistry missing from the relationship.
See if you can trace back to a moment, or an incident, or a specific argument or fight that could have triggered it for you. Sometimes it’s that simple.
Figuring out when the chemistry shifted could point you in the direction of why it shifted, and possibly lead you back to the road of intimacy with your partner.
Sometimes it’s not that simple.
What if you’ve never felt chemistry with your partner?
If all other aspects are wonderful in the relationship but there is just no za-za-zoo, how can you fake the chemistry in order to balance out the relationship?
It’s not cheating!
Imagine you are making love to your dream partner (celebrity, high school crush, high school teacher, etc) and really get into it with your current partner.
Sometimes just thinking about someone else while being intimate with your partner is enough to really get the juices flowing and allow for some actual chemistry to arise.
When being intimate with your partner, put all of the focus on yourself and your needs. Have your partner work hard to get you off!
By focusing solely on yourself, you are showing your partner exactly what you want and need in order to be satisfied in bed.
If that doesn’t work, be more direct with your partner. Verbally tell him or her exactly what it is you need to get to the sweet spot.
Everybody is different, and perhaps your partner has not yet learned the particular language of your body. Translate it for them.
Show him how you make yourself hummm.
Being vulnerable and showing your partner how you get yourself off can sometimes crack open the doors of intimacy between the two of you.
If, at the end of the day, you feel the lack of chemistry is a deal breaker, it’s only fair to yourself and your partner to have that conversation sooner than later.
If you have tried all the things to spark chemistry and it just isn’t there (and sometimes two people can have a great relationship without the spark) know that it’s okay to be honest with yourself and with your partner, and then move on.
You’re allowed to want and need the chemistry with your partner, and you are allowed to feel unsatisfied if you don’t feel it.
Stephanie Weinblatt, MA, LCPC – www.facebook.com/stephanieLCPC
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