I’ve heard it time and time again…
“We’ve gone on a couple of dates but I still don’t feel any chemistry. We’re just missing that spark, you know?”
The spark. The spark. Oh that elusive spark.
You can’t put your finger on it…but you KNOW when it’s there and you definitely know when it’s not.
But…do you really know how to spot a spark?
I’ve noticed a problem guys encounter in dating: they think that a spark naturally just “happens”. And when it doesn’t happen, they think it wasn’t meant to be.
I hear guys recount stories about how they found a woman attractive but the overall vibe wasn’t there. And they feel like there was absolutely nothing they could do to change the situation — it was up to fate to make them feel something more.
I’m here to argue AGAINST fate. I’m telling you that a lot of the time, you can create the spark yourself — it’s just hiding underneath the surface. All it needs is a little kindling, a little TLC, and a small flame to get it going.
Don’t give up so easily on a connection that could just need a little more stoking to ignite. Make the most of your opportunities and learn how to build that chemistry for yourself.
What is that “spark” and how does it feel?
First, it’s important to understand what’s exactly going on when you feel that “spark”.
That instant connection happens when you experience an overwhelming, visceral desire for someone. Not just sexually but as a person, too. It’s those moments when you’re both so damn excited to learn more about each other and share personal stories. And it’s that feeling when you just don’t want the night to end.
This spark is more accurately described as emotional attraction.
You feel emotional attraction to people with highly desirable qualities. You’re drawn to people you see as valuable.
So if you want to feel that spark with someone, you need to discover something about them that you admire. You have to see character traits that you truly respect, like intellect, creativity, or ambition. You have to experience firsthand their fun sense of humor.
In some instances, a woman is obvious about what she has to offer. She shows you her best qualities, all on her own. This then makes it easy for you to get intrigued and feel like there was a natural connection.
But in many cases, a woman doesn’t necessarily seize the opportunity to show the best parts of herself – but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist! When you don’t get a chance to see those wonderful qualities in such a short time frame, you assume that there’s no spark and there never will be.
When in reality, she may just need a little nudging to bring out her most interesting, unique self.
Why we don’t feel the spark sometimes
There are numerous reasons why someone’s best self isn’t always revealed right away.
The first few dates with someone can be nerve wracking. You’re concerned about how you’re going to be perceived and whether or not you’ll be judged. You don’t want to come across as too eager or too available.
So many of us wear a mask with new people. We don’t drop them until we know for sure that we’re accepted and we won’t get hurt.
This is especially true for a lot of young women in courtship. They have gotten used to being on guard and protective of their personal lives.
A woman usually wants a man to be the one to take the first step of expressing his more unique, edgy, or quirky side. That way, she can get a clearer picture of who he is and determine whether or not she’s ready to reveal herself, too.
But if you don’t take initiative in getting more personal…and neither does she…well, you can just about imagine the most boring, crickets-chirping, tumbleweeds-blowing kind of date conversation. No spark whatsoever.
So the tough answer to creating a spark is: you’ve got to take the lead.
Creating positive emotions = creating sparks
Let me paint the picture of what happens on a date where nobody digs past surface-level conversation…
You’re both feeling a bit apprehensive. You ask factual questions about topics you don’t really care about. You’re just filling dead air.
She then answers your questions with half-hearted, short answers. Her voice is calm – not impassioned or excited to share her next sentence with you.
You start to feel apathetic and disconnected. You haven’t revealed anything interesting about her and you sure as hell haven’t revealed anything interesting about yourself. You check your watch for the time.
You, my friend, are caught in a negative emotion loop. And you’ve got to break the cycle to create some real emotional attraction.
Only YOU know what turns you on or off in a woman. Only YOU know what makes for a really enjoyable date for you.
So instead of waiting around and hoping for her to show you a good time, why not uncover her fun side for yourself? Why not help her reveal whether or not she’s got those amazing qualities you desire? You’ve got to stop being passive and play some offense.
When you take that lead, a new, positive emotion loop is formed. The picture has changed drastically…
She answers your thought-provoking questions and you learn that she’s got a wild side. You’re surprised and immediately captivated. You lean forward and get curious about her ambition. Your eyes widen, your face becomes more expressive, and your voice is brimming with excitement. Your words flow freely and you lose yourself in the moment.
She starts to feel your warmth and approval. She engages you back with openness. She answers your questions with personal details and funny anecdotes. She smiles widely and playfully teases you.
You’re getting to see the qualities that make HER attractive. She’s getting to see the qualities that make YOU attractive.
And zing! Sparks fly.
Sparks are only possible when you know what you want
To create this positive emotion loop, start by thinking back to your previous dates or relationships.
What’s the best date you’ve ever had? What’s the worst? Who have you been the most attracted to or excited about? Who you did you feel zero chemistry with?
Have you thought of a couple of examples? Great, now dig into why you felt this way.
What did they say or do that made you feel either positive or negative towards them?
If you don’t have that much dating experience or find this challenging, that’s okay. Instead, reflect on what you like or dislike in people in general.
Write down these ideas. Here are some examples:
Things I like in a potential partner: ambition, sex-positivity, is comfortable with flirting and intimate topics, has a dark sense of humor (or an appreciation for it), is open to controversial discussions, is okay with disagreeing, believes love exists, is curious about future technology even if it’s not their number one thing.
Things I dislike in a potential partner: obsessive social media use, hates having pets, anti-drug, anti-games, is anti-social (it’s fine if they’re an introvert but they can’t shame other people for being social), expects to have everything paid for them, is looking for a relationship based on their partner’s money.
How to see if she has what you’re looking for
From there, choose a few characteristics that are really important to you. Brainstorm ideas about how you could figure out whether or not a new date possesses those qualities.
Consider the questions you could ask or the statements and actions you could take. For example, let’s say…
You want a woman who is more comfortable with her sexuality.
As you’re getting to know each other better, test the waters and ask her a slightly more intimate question: “How important do you think a strong sexually connection is for a relationship? ” This gives her the chance to open up and embrace her sexual side or say that she needs more time to share that with you. Or, you’ll know the truth when she tells you that sex makes her uncomfortable, ignores the question, or is honest about her opposition to sex before marriage.
You want a woman who’s looking for a deeper connection and doesn’t expect a guy to only take care of her financially.
After you’ve paid for a dinner or two, when the check comes for drinks at the bar, say, “How about you grab this round?” You’ll see how she reacts: either she’s happy to pay and totally unphased OR you could see hesitance, a discontented facial expression, or even a verbal challenge.
You don’t want someone who is judgmental about your “nerdy” hobbies.
Ask her something like, “What do you think about virtual reality’s role in our future society?” Discuss the topics you love and be honest about your pursuits. For me, I’ve told women about my past in competitive gaming and watched their responses. Now because of that, I’m living the good life, playing video games with my awesome wife.
You don’t want a partner who believes all drugs are evil and won’t let you ever smoke a joint.
Ask, “What do you think about all the states legalizing marijuana recently?” or “Have you ever smoked? What did you think?” Be transparent about how you sometimes smoke with friends to unwind.
You want a girl who balances using social media with living in the real world.
Lead with how you don’t use social media that much and you’ve personally felt happier because of it. Ask her (in a non-accusing tone), “How do you feel about Instagram? What do you like about it?” She might say that she finds great artistic inspiration from seeing other people’s posts and she likes to keep in touch with old friends by commenting on their pictures. OR you might figure out that she really only likes social media to post selfies and take pictures of sushi. Either way, now you know.
This is best your opportunity to make sparks fly
A date is largely about determining compatibility. Don’t judge a woman until you’ve given her a chance to show you who she really is. This is your shot to see if that spark could be there, even when it’s not immediately apparent.
When you play it safe and wait for chemistry to just happen, you’re killing your chances of creating emotional attraction. But every time you take the lead, you give the two of you the possibility to reveal your true selves and feel something more.
Even if this only goes to show that you’re not compatible with someone, that’s great. It’s better to know sooner than later.
Doing this also shows a woman that you’re a man who knows what he wants. This is the essence of self-confidence and makes you that much more attractive.
When you lead with what you want, you’re more likely to get it.