Chemistry is an important social element between two people that is difficult to define. In fact, many who haven’t really experienced it start to doubt its existence. What does “chemistry” even entail anyway, and what’s its significance? It’s more of a spontaneous feeling that either shows up or it doesn’t.

I like to think of chemistry as a type of energetic flow, an unseen kinetic force that either draws us to someone, repels us, or leaves us feeling indifferent. Is it possible to create good chemistry? At the very least, there are steps we can take to make sure we create an atmosphere that’s more conducive to chemistry and gives ourselves a good first impression. Let’s say you don’t feel any particular chemistry with a certain someone, here are some ways you can bring walls down to really find out if there’s some spark hiding.

1. Plan Something Fun: It’s hard getting a good feel for someone’s true personality just sipping coffee in a cafe. Planning a fun activity like bowling, swimming, or attending a paint night will provide a more stimulating environment, and you’ll get to see some of their fun sides. Being able to have fun with someone is crucial to building chemistry and long-term compatibility.

2. Create a romantic atmosphere: It’s difficult for sparks to fly in an underwhelming setting. Going to a place that’s too loud and crowded, or being seated next to the busing station and hearing the loud crash of dishes is likely to distract you from making a real connection.

3. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone: Do something that will spark excitement and get you both out of your comfort zone. The study “Evidence for Heightened Sexual  Attraction under Conditions of High Anxiety,” published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, showed that doing something exciting will release dopamine that your date associates with you, not just the activity.

4. Look Your Best: Yes, physical attraction plays a big role in physical chemistry. To do your best in this department, make sure you’re maintaining good hygiene, keeping well groomed, and take some extra time to have yourself looking your best. Men should try emphasizing their masculinity and women their femininity.

5. Show Vulnerability: By vulnerability, I mean to show that you can be sensitive and not emotionally closed off. Sometimes in the dating world, people become jaded and hard to crack, which is a chemistry blocker. Being standoffish or playing it too cool is going to kill any potential chemistry.

6. Bring Your Sense of Humor: Laughter is infectious, not only that, but it relaxes the whole body, releasing tension and making you feel more at east. Laughter also releases endorphins, which are powerful feel-good chemicals. Unsurprisingly, laughter is great for bonding and people are highly attracted to those who laugh often or can make them laugh.

Sometimes, even under the best circumstances, the chemistry just won’t manifest with a particular person, which might be your cue to move on. But with the right person, using these chemistry-building tips will set you up for success to get sparks flying. You don’t want to cast judgement without giving yourselves the proper chance.

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