When it comes to meeting a potential partner, many people look for a spark or a special connection. It can be hard to figure out exactly what makes you click with someone, but it turns out, there are actually some factors you can control that can determine romantic chemistry. Although there are definitely times when someone is just right or wrong for you, there can be situations where you get along with someone, but don't feel that frisson you desire. In these cases, you can work on a few different things to help ignite that spark.
"People can build chemistry if they put in the effort," says relationship expert April Davis over email. "This is called being gregarious, interesting, and charming. People are attracted to those types of people and want to be around them."
Because romantic chemistry is a combination of our animalistic instincts and our higher order needs, some chemistry can't be faked. However, some factors can definitely influence your connection, and there are some that allow you to take matters into your own hands. If you're feeling like you need an extra boost with a potential partner, keep in mind these eight factors you can actually control that determine romantic chemistry.
A study from State University of New York at Stonybrook found that intimacy between two strangers can be accelerated by engaging in a series of questions. "Ask questions and be genuinely interested in the person," says Davis. "People love to talk about their favorite topics: themselves. They also appreciate when others take an interest in them."
2Make Empathetic Statements
"Acknowledge something about the what the person has said and comment on it," says Davis. Empathy is essential in romantic relationships. Put yourself in their shoes and try to relate to what they're saying emotionally. "For example, if they said the were a ballerina for 10 years, you can say, "'Wow! You must be really dedicated and hardworking. That takes a lot of ambition to do ballet.'"
3Have A Sense Of Humor About Things
"Everyone wants the funny person," says Davis. "They're entertaining and fun to be around. They add value and make people feel good, which makes them feel like they have chemistry. Joke around a bit and start with light playful banter."
4Keep Yourself Intellectually Stimulated
"While chemistry may be driven by deep animalistic drives, we also are human beings," says relationship expert Dr. Mike Dow, PsyD, over email. "We need to be intellectually stimulated and inspired by our partner. This is why partners tend to have similar education levels with similar values." Become your best self by learning new things everyday. "All of these noble, self actualization-oriented traits will make you more appealing to a partner," he says.
5Go To Therapy
Seeing a therapist won't automatically make you fall in love with everyone around you, but it can help you understand yourself and work on your flaws. "Recent studies have shed light on the fact that therapy can rewire your brain and also affect certain personality traits," says Dow. "Too neurotic? Not open enough to new experiences? Therapy can change these traits, and these traits can also help you to up your chemistry with a partner."
6Spend A Lot Of Time With The Person
Need to amp up the chemistry? Spend more time with your love interest. When people become more familiar with each other, it increases their liking for one another, which is called the mere exposure effect. This can explain why friends eventually fall for each other over time.
7Be Open With Your Thoughts And Feelings
"Let them know you like them or appreciate them," says Davis. "It's not a bad thing to give a compliment. It shows you have confidence and people appreciate and love others who see their great qualities. You can keep it simple and just say something like, 'You seem really genuine' or 'I love that your so driven.'"
8Involve Physical Touch
Respectfully, of course. Touching, such as holding hands or playing footsies, encourages the release of the chemical oxytocin, according to WebMD. Research shows that oxytocin not only helps us form monogamous relationships, but encourages romantic relationships by increasing sympathy, supportiveness, and openness with feelings.