What To Do When You’re In A Relationship With No Chemistry

Updated July 30, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Audrey Kelly, LMFT

Being in a romantic relationship is supposed to be exciting. You want to be able to feel those butterflies in your stomach every time you’re close to the person that you love. When you’re in a relationship with no chemistry, it can be tough to figure out what to do. Those electric feelings that you were hoping for just might not be there. Is there any way that you can fix this so that your relationship can become what you desire?

What Causes Chemistry Between Two People?

To figure out what you should do, it’s a good idea to examine what causes chemistry between two people. Simply put, chemistry is a word that is used to describe an emotional connection between two people. Sometimes you will just meet someone, and you’ll feel like you can connect with them easily. This means that you have good chemistry with one another.

In the context of a romantic relationship, chemistry is something that makes you feel drawn toward your partner. When you have good chemistry, it will make you feel like you absolutely love spending time together. You might even find that your thoughts will drift toward your partner when he or she isn’t around. For some couples, chemistry is going to be an instant thing. Others might have to work at it.

As for what causes chemistry, that question is a bit harder to answer. It’s usually going to be a combination of different factors. Some people might have good chemistry due to having compatible personality traits. Others might have the right chemistry for a romantic relationship based on a mutual attraction. It comes down to the individuals, and people value different things in relationships.

Can Chemistry Develop Over Time?

Can A Relationship Survive Without Chemistry?
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Chemistry can develop over time, but it might not be easy if there is no connection there at all. If your relationship truly has no chemistry, then you might be wondering whether or not it is worth trying to save. If you just aren’t feeling like your relationship is going anywhere, then your partner likely feels the same way. Chemistry goes both ways, and your partner is going to be able to tell if the chemistry just there isn’t just as well as you are.

That being said, your relationship might have some chemistry to work with. It just might be a smaller amount than you’re used to. Some people need to be able to warm up to each other for a while before the true chemistry of a relationship can present itself. Many people are even a bit shy until they get to know a new romantic partner. After you’ve spent some time together, the dynamic of the relationship might completely change.

Being attracted to your partner is important, but that isn’t the only thing that matters. You can have a slight attraction to someone and wind up developing amazing chemistry. You might want to spend some time doing fun things together and see if any sparks start to fly. They just might if you’re willing to let your guard down and give someone a chance.

Try to give your relationship a little bit of time to see how things develop. If you have spent several dates with your new partner without feeling that connection that you’re looking for, then you can decide together if it’s time to move. There’s a good chance that chemistry will develop as you strengthen your bond and get to know one another. The chemistry may not have been instant, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be strong once it kicks in.

Compatibility Matters Too

Compatibility is also something that matters in a relationship. People can be very compatible with one another without having much chemistry. There is a common misconception that compatibility and chemistry are the same due to the terms erroneously being used interchangeably. These two things differ quite a bit. Compatibility is referring to how similar people might be when it comes to their lifestyle choices and values.

Your chemistry with someone does matter, but compatibility is huge in a relationship. Many people even think that compatibility is much more important for the long-term success of a relationship than chemistry. Chemistry is something that can develop, but your compatibility with someone will be tougher to change.

Whether or not someone is compatible with you has to do with their personality and their background. Important things, such as a person’s values and life goals, will play a role in how your relationship plays out. Don’t write someone off because the chemistry isn’t as strong as you like. That chemistry could develop over time, and your high compatibility might wind up, making you happier.

Chemistry Isn’t the Same As Love Either

You should also know that chemistry isn’t the same thing as love either. Love develops over time, and it is about building a deep connection with someone. Chemistry has more to do with the initial connection that you have. It’s about the vibe that you’re feeling when you’re spending time with someone. Having good chemistry good lead to you developing love, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll wind up loving each other.

Some people with good chemistry wind up having short-term relationships that are more about physical lust than love. Others will use their chemistry to nurture a true bond that will grow into something long-term. The reason for pointing out the distinction between love and chemistry is to give you hope. Chemistry can grow over time, just like love does. Your feelings for the people in your life can change, so you might not have to give up just because you aren’t over the moon for your new lover just yet.

Advice For Developing Chemistry

The best advice for developing chemistry with a new lover is to spend more time together. You should try going on dates and doing more fun activities together. Sometimes you’ll discover that people are completely different when they decide to let their hair down. Plan out some fun activities that both you and your partner will enjoy.

This is going to give you a chance to get to know your new partner. You’ll be able to get a feeling for what makes your partner who he or she is. Once you’ve had more time together, you’ll likely notice that your feelings will start to change. You might become attached to your partner, depending on how well these activities went. It just depends on whether the connection is going to be there once you’ve had time to get to know one another.

If you still aren’t feeling anything after several dates, then it’s likely that you just aren’t that into each other. At this point, it’s going to be important, to be honest about the chances of your relationship’s success. Not every relationship is going to wind up being long-term, and that’s okay. Just don’t give up too soon if you feel like your partner deserves a chance.

Chemistry is Real – Here’s the Science

Everyone wants true love, and people may forget (in their quest for it) that there are chemicals in the brain involved here. It’s not just about romance, intuition, and passion. Science has a role in how we love others. The three major chemical players at work. They are dopamine, oxytocin, and vasopressin. These three chemical components foster the growth of romantic human connections. When you have spent time with your love interest, there’s a better chance of bonding with them. Your brain releases these loving chemicals. Love is a roller coaster of emotions, but it’s also scientifically driven. Romantic chemistry is highly influenced by what our brains are telling us. Your heart rate increases when you see someone you like because they’re releasing pheromones. You crave interacting with that person since they trigger the dopamine response in your brain. It’s essential to have that primal connection with your love interest. That’s what sparks the intense chemistry between you and the one you’re crushing on. Chemicals are powerful and can influence the way we relate to others. When the dopamine flows through your brain, after you meet someone you like, you crave them more and more. It’s a love high, and you’re willing to do anything you can to keep that brain sensation going. Of course, it’s not just about hormones and chemicals. It’s important to take into account that insane chemistry has to do with an emotional connection as well as a physical one. Science and love are interconnected, but it’s not the only component to making a relationship last.

Good Chemistry Doesn’t Mean True Love

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You may have a strong physical attraction to someone, and everything seems perfectly fine at the beginning of the relationship. You like them, and they’re attracted to you. It feels like things are progressing nicely, and you’re ready to see where the relationship goes. When you see them, your heart rate increases, you blush when you make eye contact with them, and they take you out of your comfort zone. It’s new love, and you’re excited to learn more about the person. You want to get to know then on a deeper level and see if that romantic love is there. You also don’t want it to feel awkward and forced. Once you have that physical connection, it’s time to see where it goes. There are practical tips to get to know your new interest, and you can ask a relationship expert or a marriage and family therapist to learn more. But you probably know the basic ones. You don’t need a relationship expert or sex therapist to tell you if you vibe, or don’t vibe with a new crush. It’s a lot easier to dive in and find out if you can see yourself falling in love with this person. Take a leap, and see if you connect or don’t feel it with this person. Trust your gut, and keep spending time with them. You’ll discover what the truth is. Let’s say you go for it and start to date them. You realize that you don’t feel any chemistry with them. It’s confusing because you thought it was there in the beginning. It could be that you’re not into them as a person. There was an attraction there, and that was perfectly fine. But you don’t want to make out with them. That’s a different feeling. You’re nervous about making eye contact with them because they will know that you’re not into them like you once were. There will be broken hearts all around when the two of you realize that you don’t feel the connection. The reality is that physical chemistry doesn’t mean there will be long term relationships ahead. You could be super attracted to someone and then realize you have nothing in common, or you’re not intellectually stimulated by the person. For many people, that’s a major factor. Every person is unique, and you need to decide what you need in a romantic connection. When your needs are met, that will keep the chemistry going.

Were you fooled?

When you’re searching for love, you want to find someone who matches up with what you need. Everyone deserves to have a person that loves them for who they are. You’re seeking a love interest that you have been envisioning, one who has particular qualities. The person is physically attractive, stimulates you intellectually, and challenges you. When you meet that person, it’s a relief. You have a romantic love with a person who understands you. But, when you think you found the one, the chemistry is there, and after some time, the spark is gone. Now you’re perplexed. You don’t understand why you were once super attracted to your love interest, and now you don’t feel the same. That’s a strange feeling, and it’s understandable that you’re confused. You didn’t imagine that physical chemistry or connection. Those feelings were real, but unfortunately, they were fleeting and not enough to sustain a long term relationship. There are many elements that go into a successful partnership, and it’s not only physical attraction. Initial physical chemistry is exhilarating, but it’s unlikely that it will result in a long term relationship. Eventually, the connection fizzles out. That’s why you may be confused. It’s upsetting to think you found someone you could be with indefinitely, and now that connection is gone. What happened? You thought you found a person you clicked with, who wanted you, and you wanted them. It turns out you were mistaken. You weren’t fooled or duped, the initial connection was there, and it wasn’t strong enough to last. The short answer is, no, you weren’t fooled. But this person wasn’t the one. There’s a person out there who you will have great chemistry with that includes a physical, romantic, and intellectual connection. You can keep looking for someone who has the full package.

Moving On Is An Option

Sometimes you do have to know when you need to move on. If your connection with your current significant other is lacking, then you might not think that it’s worth continuing to try to work things out. There are going to be relationships in your life that simply won’t last. There isn’t anything wrong with deciding to move on when you feel it is the right choice to make.

You might wind up needing to find someone that you have better chemistry with to feel comfortable in your relationship. When chemistry doesn’t seem to be developing between you and your new partner, it can be disconcerting. Don’t be afraid to talk to your partner about your concerns. It’s always going to be best, to be honest about things rather than to lead someone on for too long.

The truth is that staying together could wind up holding you back from finding someone that is a better fit. You also might be holding your partner back from finding a better love connection. It’s tough to say what the right decision is without knowing more about your situation. You might be able to develop chemistry, or you might want to start seeing other people. You must examine your relationship with a critical lens and then go with whatever option your gut instinct says is right.

Online Couples Counseling Can Also Help

Can A Relationship Survive Without Chemistry?
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Online couples counseling is another option that you can consider. If you want to try to work on your relationship and develop your bond, then a counselor might be able to help you. They can work on issues that might be present in the relationship and can also give you important advice. These professionals understand romantic relationships, and they’ll be ready to help you with the best possible advice.

This is always going to be very convenient for you, as well. If you’re a busy professional, then you might not have time to seek out traditional therapy. This is completely different since it allows you to get therapy from the comfort of your own home. You’ll be able to reach out at any time and will be able to get the help that you need on your schedule. Consider signing up for couples therapy today if you want to work on building your chemistry or if you need any type of relationship advice.

Counselor Reviews

“Sessions with Natalie are very insightful and give practical advice on implementing new habits and changes. Be prepared to engage and be challenged to think in a different way. I know that my partner and I can already see improvements in our relationship and feel more positive about working through our issues together.”

“Austa has been wonderful thus far. She has helped my partner and I during an unimaginably difficult time... She has also guided us in communicating effectively and setting appropriate boundaries in our relationship. I was hesitant to pursue counseling at the beginning, but I truly believe that it is making a difference for our relationship. Austa is easy to talk to and she is a great listener. I would wholeheartedly recommend her as a counselor.”

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