What to do when there’s no chemistry on a first date

You’re having dinner. Or maybe out for coffee. The two of you are getting along great, talking, laughing, never a lull in the conversation. But you’re waiting for that fire. That little something extra that maybe makes you really want to end the date with a kiss and definitely see them again. But instead you feel like the chemistry is missing, and that this person feels more like a new platonic friend than a potential romance. Ughh why must dating have so many layers of difficulty! *Shakes fist at universe*

“There were no sparks,” we shrug and say to our friends or anyone else who asks about the date. And then it’s uncomfortable because for all intents and purposes, laughing and enjoying the other person’s company is traditionally a sign that the first date has gone really well. And then you wonder if you should give it more time, or is this a gut instinct thing. Shouldn’t I feel everything all at once? Also the fine line to walk with chemistry is that a crazy instant attraction can cloud everything else and because you feel it, you might assume everything else will accordingly line up as well. As many of us have learned the hard way, that isn’t always true.

But back to the no-chemistry date: how do you handle the lack of sparks, how seriously should that factor into your interests, and what do you do next? Here are your options:

The second date theory.

A lot of us want lightning to strike and that’s OK! Because it does happen. Sometimes the instant you click, you click on all levels. Other times you click buuuut it’s not quite all the way for you. But think about it. You like this person. You had a good time. Are you sure that it’s not worthy of a second or third date, just to get to know each other better? Chemistry is a sneaky little thing that can appear immediately or sneak up on you. Maybe if you already had fun, it might be worth spending a little more time together just to confirm whether or not you want to take things further.

The going with your gut option.

Then there are the times you might be adamant in your stance. You are POSITIVE that you know right away that there will never be sparks because you didn’t feel them on the first date. I have stated to my friends on certain occasions, “he’s great, but I didn’t FEEL anything.” And there’s nothing wrong with that either. You’re entitled to your own instincts, as well as your own expectations for a lasting relationship. (For some people that first spark is a just a must.)

The ‘let’s be friends’ option.

I’ve played this card before and it worked, surprisingly, in my favor. If I really like a date as a person but just don’t feel a spark, I may still ask if we can be friends. Note: They might say yes, they’re entitled to say no. And it’s hard to blame someone, especially if they’re hurt by your sentiment. I’ve had guys turn me down and I’ve had guys agree that being friends sounded cool to them. For the record, one date who I didn’t think I had chemistry with at first, ended up being someone I DID have chemistry with much much later!

Overall, when it comes to dating in general, no matter what, it’s always a good idea to remember to treat others how you yourself would want to be treated—whether there’s crazy chemistry or just good old fashioned, spark-free friendship.

(Photo via NBC)