Two Hundred Twelve and Eight Hundred Forty Two

Let’s talk about Chemistry.

The Periodic Table of Elements was not my favorite thing in the 10th grade.  It was a necessary evil.  My chemistry teacher had the requisite wire-rimmed glasses, and wore the requisite plaid, short-sleeved button downs (why, guys, why?!).  And, when we would have much prefered to focus on biology rather than chemistry, we had to memorize this:




You remember that, right?   I’m sure you do.   So, why, then, is chemistry so elusive?  Do you remember the element with the hottest boiling point? Tunsgsten? Uranium?  I don’t remember.  I don’t care , actually, because, these days that ‘s not the sort of chemistry I’m interested in. And, since you people pay more attention when I talk about dating or “heat”, read on.


Chemistry is an important piece of baking (ever wonder why baking soda is important?).  But, moreover, it’s an important  – integral , even – piece to a burgeoning relationship. 

In the beginning of a relationship , on a first date, say, the chemistry between two people (for this post, let’s keep it to a man and a woman – easier for me that way) is either there or it isn’t.  Nerves can be mistaken for chemistry, sure. When *everything* is funny, for example, or when your heart is racing… that’s  nerves, not chemistry. 

Over the course of a few dates, that initial chemistry that has you making out for ages on the sofa on the first date might be nowhere to be found by date number three.  Unfair, isn’t it? Well, that’s not chemistry, either.

Good solid chemistry is unmistakeable.  The glances linger. The accidental brushes of his hand (or hers, let’s be fair, I’m all about equality) are frequent and they send shockwaves through you and melt your butter. You can’t help but stare at your companion’s lips, or think about their skin, AND you’re interested in what they have to say, who they are – and you don’t want to leave.

corn on the cob with melting butter photo


That’s chemistry.

Kinda’ like the chemistry between me and Dermot.

Dermot Mulroney

But, I digress.

People get so hung up on chemistry, including yours truly.  Chemistry is fantastic – great , even.  But it’s not enough.

I have been on dates with men with whom I shared great chemistry , but there was nothing else there. There wasn’t enough for me to want to pursue it to see what else they had to offer because by date 3, I was bored. Physical chemistry is great, but not if there’s not intellectual chemistry too – and there has to be both. 

I also have known people in my life – male people – with whom I have and had incredible chemistry – physical and intellectual, but they didn’t have enough maturity or security or enough of that mystery “something” to make me want to pursue more.  

Guys, you know what I”m talking about, right? You can see a woman, go out with her, want to immediately have your way with her, but you don’t necessarily see her by your side for the long haul.   I’m not alone here, and this isn’t just guy territory. Women have needs and lusts too – and don’t be fooled – sometimes we just want to scratch an itch, just like you do.  

What to do when the chemistry isn’t mutual (and, ergo, not really there in the first place)?  Quietly, gently, extricate yourself.  You’d be amazed at how rude people can be. No need to be rude. No need to  point out the reasons why.  That’s just hurtful. Keep it to yourself.

One of the biggest chemistry killers is lack of self-confidence.

I found this on, and I think it’s for real:

“We all know that girls are instinctively attracted to confident men. This is because a confident male is percieved as being able to give a woman security and protection and thus is a very manly attribute which women loves. If you have low confidence in yourself, no worries, confident levels can be trained and there are courses to up your confident quotient.”

 confident attractive man


By “for real” I mean, someone wrote it, genuinely.  Let me tell you – the reason that I am attracted to a confident man is NOT, repeat not because he’ll “give … [me] security and protection.” (really?! who the fuck wrote that?!) It’s because I’m not worried that he still watches cartoons and eats cap n’ crunch every afternoon.  It’s because if a man is confident, he’s usually successful, or driven, motivated, an adult.  Not always, but that’s what I initially think.  I have been wrong. Sometimes a confident guy is just a dick.   But sometimes he’s *not*.  (and, by the way, there is a difference between confident and cocky. I’ll explain that another time).

Confidence is sexy – and confidence is a trait that makes the periodic table pop into my brain (metaphorically).

 I don’t pretend to know what the mystery ingredients for good chemistry are.  And, I certainly don’t know what they are for men. Sometimes the chemistry is just not there.

But, when it is, and it’s rare , and you can either grab it by the balls (gently, but firmly) and get to know it /her/him, or you can ignore it and find someone with the other elusive “it”.  Neither is wrong, but you always know when the chemical reaction is present.   Sometimes it’s really disappointing when it isn’t there.

Keep looking, hoping for that boiling point  and the spark to catch flame.  I know I am.

What do you think makes for good chemistry? What’s your hot point?



I still think food is more exciting than dating, but maybe that’s because with one, I can create a chemical reaction on my own…

Carry on.    And… keep it (or make it) hot.

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