Monday, October 6, 2008

Chemistry? Yeah Chemistry!!

One of the things I never really understood was how some relationships formed so easily. I seem to have only had troubled waters in this arena. When I was at BYU I was CONSTANTLY bombarded with hundreds of saccharine sweet engaged couples. Some getting married after only a few months of knowing of the other's existence. And I, completely baffled and incredulous, would ask how they KNEW it was right. More often than not, they would result to the syrupy cliche..."When it's right. It's right."

Um, yeah. Hasn't been that easy for me. But don't worry crowd, I'm not down about it. I love the way my life has played out!!

However, I just have to be curious. Was finding your mate easy for you? Did you know when your love came along?

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this clip from "Guys and Dolls" because Sky totally knocks Sarah off her feet. He comes in and turns everything she thought she knew about love completely upside down. Did you marry the person you thought you would? Did you find yourself falling for someone that was exactly opposite from everything you ever imagined, but when you met, you just knew? I find this the most fascinating question on earth....who do you decide to marry?

Have you ever been SO attracted to someone that you just couldn't describe it? My friend and I were talking the other day about what a funny thing chemistry is. We've both had strong physical attractions to guys that didn't treat us so well. But then when we have met super nice guys, there is NO chemistry whatsoever. Since she dates more than I do, we will talk about her. She has been casually seeing this guy who she has AMAZING chemistry with. Seriously a beautiful thing. He makes her heart pound, butterflies flutter, and all that sweaty palm stuff that makes those dates worth dressing up for. The problem is, he doesn't call very often, he is forgetful, and he doesn't really plan things. Then, she goes out with another guy, sweet as can be, so attentive, asks her questions!! I mean, seriously, ASKS her questions (I've really ever known one man to do this in my acquaintance, but apparently she has found another). He is reliable and nice. He does everything right.

And yet.

And yet.


Can there be both, or do you have to sacrifice one for the other?

It's the old, cliche dilemma. Do you go for Marlon or do you go for James? You know what I mean. James is sweet and kind and a listener and faithful. But, for me at least, I have NEVER wanted to pull James Stewart into a passionate kiss and have my way with him (some of you do, I know). Or, do you go for Brando, a little dark, a little melancholy, a little distant---but sweeps you off your feet with one piercing stare and you can't keep your hands off of each other? I could make out with a young Brando for hours. HOURS. Hours.


My question is can chemistry grow? Can couples create a chemistry if given enough time? Or does it simply have to be there?

Those of you who are married, how did you know it was right? Is it timing or attraction or something else?


Rowena said...

HOnestly, I think the first love affair has to be with yourself. Not everyone. You.

Not everyone is looking for the same thing you are. Sometimes I think people are looking for someone who can fit the bill at the appropriate time. Someone fills in all the blanks, and boom! Not saying they aren't in love, but maybe they aren't questioning as much.

You, I think have a mission in life. Don't know what it is, it might be to find the mission, or find yourself.

So find yourself. Court yourself. Love yourself. Trust yourself. Believe in yourself. Open yourself up to possibility-- the possibility of being loved, the possibility of being hurt, the possibility of being all you can be, complete and in love with your life.

Who WON'T want to be a part of your life then?

I'll tell you who, someone who doesn't belong in your life.

But someone who does will be enchanted.

D'Arcy said...


Hear! Hear!

However, I am SO dying to know how you met your husband and how you decided that he was the one to marry.

Feelings? A certain action? A look? A love letter?

Anonymous said...

I don't know. I've been married 12 years and have a good husband and I don't know. My relationship with love has been mixed and I know it isn't like the movies.

I think I took a leap of faith. It seems to have worked. I love my husband--he's a bit more Stewart than Brando. Brando would've scared the daylights out of me. Boys like that always did.

jomama said...

i think you already know this, but i had a bad boy in my life that i had amazing chemistry with. it was that weak-in-the-knees-smell-him-and-think-i-might-faint kind of chemistry. but he was so flakey. and sometimes down right mean to me. and i put up with it for so long because 1. i had no experience telling me that it could be otherwise, and 2. i was clinging to the chemistry.
then i met nate. when we first met i didn't think of him romantically at all. he was a friend and nothing more. (but i guess he liked me and felt chemistry, so isn't that strange?) as we talked more and became better friends, i could start to feel his interest in me. i don't know if that's what got me thinking about him in different terms or if it happened all on my own. y'know? things like that are so strange to look back on.
so we developed a chemistry later on that wasn't really there (at least for me) from the start. and it wasn't the same kind of chemistry that i had with the bad boy, you know? but it was wonderful, comforting, sexy, exciting, and fun all at the same time. maybe it didn't have that edge to it, but i tell you: i agonized over my decision to marry nate. i knew he wasn't the kind of guy i had thought i would end up with. i thought i would have more in common with my mate. BUT i knew that when i was with him i felt like i was at home. that might sound trite or dumb but i think you know what i mean.
so in the end i chose to marry someone who i loved, had great chemistry with, and felt really comfortable around. i didn't choose the guy with the same interests and intellectual ideas and analytical ways.
and i'm glad i made the choice i made. things can get hard and you can go back to a certain point in your life and think, "did i make the right decision?" but i know i made the right decision for me.

sorry about the rambling.

Beth said...

These are questions that I've wondered about, too.

I have no experience whatsoever in dating, so I don't really feel qualified to comment.

But I LOVE the chemistry some actors have in movies! Like Mr Darcy and Lizzy, especially in the newer P&P!!!

Also, I think Minnie Driver and David Duchovny have in "Return to Me"

I think that there has to be a combination of both. There has to be, as my older brother puts it, the "magic"

But I totally agree that it may not be there right at the start. That happened with my older sister.

As usual, all my experiences come from my older siblings. I guess I haven't lived long enough.

smiles4u said...

I have been in many relationships that were totally wrong and at the time I was in these relationships was sacraficing myself in order to be in them. Two of those relationships were marriages and they were wrong in every sense of the word...yes, I got some very beautiful children out them but I should not have been in those marriages. I married them for all the wrong reasons and although both of them killed a part of me, I learned some valuable lessons from them.

I had a relationship with a man that treated me wonderfully and we had amazing chemistry. This was at a point in my life when I had given up on men and I, like you, started to question things of this nature. Everything was right about this this day I can not say a single negative about our relationship except that it ended. I seriously thought I was going to be with him for the rest of my life. It ended because he came into my life when I could no longer have children and he had never had children. His friends put it in his head that he would someday resent me for not being able to have children because this had been a desire of his heart. Up until this point we had already discussed that we would adopt. So our relationship ended and my heart was broken for a long time.

I even went back to being in relationships with the wrong kinds of guys...until I got sick enough of it. I realized at this point in my life that I had to start loving myself and I basically did what the first commentor suggested to you. I had to fall in love with myself which you must know from the conversations we have had was no easy task. You know that there are parts I still struggle with yet today. Anyways, I took time "off" from men and just spent time with myself and did a lot of work on myself...on my shit, my road blocks so to speak that prevented me from making good choices in the men department. I came to realize that I would rather be alone then be with someone that degraded me, or treated me in less then kind ways...and the awesome thing was, I was okay with this. I just let it go and really enjoyed my time with "me".

And then out of nowhere came my husband...not only was there chemistry between us, he was a package deal. I think the thing we found immediately was that we "get each other". We both knew with in a couple of weeks that each other was "it". I know that all relationships require some work to keep it good and healthy. But, the thing is with him it doesn't seem like work and it's not hard. We both treat each other with uttermost respect and we are truly friends. Neither of us try to change the other and accept the others so called flaws. I don't know if it's because we are older and wiser in the sense we both have been there and done that in our pasts or what it is. So, yes, both of us knew in our hearts that this was right. Everything about him was perfect, even his imperfections.

Had I met him years earlier I question whether we would have connected like we do because I don't think I would have been ready for his goodness. I wasn't ready for him...I needed to get myself to the place where I was right with myself before I could be right for anyone else. I think about all the months when I was first getting to know myself...all the tears I cried to get to the heart of the matter of myself. In a sense I had to vomit myself and all those bad habits and those things which enabled me to be with all those "wrong" guys. At the time it was a painful process but now I am thankful I took this time. If I hadn't I would not be with my husband. The thing is I had to do it for me, with the intention of just being happy with me and not with the intention of meeting someone eventually. On this journey of self discovery I learned some things about myself that would have prevented me from what I have today.

If you would have told me back then that I would have what I have today, I would have laughed at you. Today, I have the love of my life because I became true to myself.

Be true to yourself D'Arcy...keep living your life and working through these things that have wounded your soul...and do it for you, not for the man that will someday come into your life. You are a beautiful amazing young woman that has so much to offer someone. Maybe the guy you are going to be with isn't ready to be with you yet...he hasn't arrived yet...he is on his own journey of self discovery and becoming true to himself, removing his own walls and preceptions of what love is suppose to look like. In the mean time, of your waiting for this person, your "right" one to come along, really love yourself and see all that you are worth...see that you will not settle for anything less then the best package deal because YOU are the best package deal.

With my husband, both of us think we are the winner...the one that got the best deal!

ophelia rising said...

I have to say, I had GREAT chemistry with my husband when we first met. It was one of those weak-in-the-knees things. I was in lust. ;)

I didn't know where it was going, but I have to say that if he had asked me to marry him 2 months into our relationship, I would have said "yes." I just KNEW he was The One. I can't explain it. We were going through that initial honeymoon stage in our relationship, we were both very physically attracted, but there was also something else. It was like we had known each other before, somehow. Really difficult to explain.

I had never felt that way before. In fact, I wasn't at all sure that I would marry anyone, or have kids. I just wasn't sure I wanted to, before I met him. When he asked me to marry him, I did not hesitate or have second thoughts.

That being said, I think it is CRUCIAL that a mate have both Brando and Stewart in there. Yes, you can have both. If there is no Brando, it's truly like you're marrying a friend - not bad at all, but you sort of need those sparks, I think. And if you marry only a Brando, then once that initial spark dies down, the lack of friendship glares through, and I think it might not last. At the end of the day, you need something else besides an amazing physical attraction. There are many years ahead of you as a couple - you need the friendship to be real and true.

Also, it's important to realize that, no matter how one gets along with one's spouse, there are always differences and problems, and one has to be reasonable and tolerant. Sometimes when I get really frustrated and angry with my husband, I take a minute just to look at him. To look at his face, in his eyes. And all that anger goes away, and I see him, his person, the person I feel in love with. That really helps.

I guess my point is, do not settle. You don't have to. It's your life - make it happen the way you want it to. There are so many people out there, and it pays to be choosy. You can have both Brando and Stewart. It's possible.

Just my two cents! :)

Mrs. Blimes said...

hey darcy! its marquesas (boothe) blimes from tally!

i love stalking your blog btw! its always so witty, insightful and entertaining!

anyway heres my thought on your puzzling question...

i dated MANY MANY TOO MANY guys in my time and lived 18yrs with parents that had "chemistry" between them but no kindness...

when it came my time to decide the type of person i wanted to spend forever with i knew i just wanted to be with someone who was kind to me. thats all. but you know what i found? when theres truly mutual love and respect for eachother the chemistry sparks itself (atleast in my situation)

so choose the one who you can sit on the front porch in a rocker with in 40 yrs cuz in the end you want to be with your best friend and just create your own sparks together...

Olivia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Olivia said...

I think dating jerks is good prep work for marriage as long as you don't marry the jerk.

I dated one too many jerks. Not complete jerks, guys with problems. Emotional, pshcological, maturity. Things some women could live with, but I couldn't.

When I met Faiyaz, I didn't think he looked that attractive. Nice guy, no chemistry. But he kept talking to me. By the end of the night, I thought of him as a buddy. I've always had guys who were buddies, not close friends, just a nice guy to hang out with. I have a picture from my junior prom, no date but I'm posing with three of these buddies. Not guys I'd date.

Then there was the phone calls, and I thought, "hmmm, not a bad guy, really." I looked at some pictures from when we met, and I could see how he was kinda cute.

Then I took that nanny job in long island, and a bunch of little things started to add up. I watched him carry a stroller up the subway stairs for a woman, and thought "What a nice guy". I watched him play with the little girl who lived in his apartment building and thought "wow, he'd be a good dad". I watched him visit with an older woman on his street, she called him her boyfriend. I watched him with his mom, his sister, and his brother. A lot of little things. I discovered he had more respect for me and my standards than a lot of "good mormon boys", even more than some returned missionaries had had in the past. Little things. He went from kinda cute to quite good looking. Now, after four years of marriage, I find myself watching him sometimes thinking "man, he looks so good!" So yes, I think chemistry can grow. It wasn't there the night we met, it's very much there now. When you know what you admire, and what you want in a spouse, and you recognize it in that person, I think the attraction starts to grow. Faiyaz is not man I imagined marrying. We're more complimentary rather than compatable. He can make me laugh in the emergency room, he tells me what he honestly thinks of my writing, he keeps me grounded in reality while at the same time keeping me from taking it all too seriously. We got married after knowing each other only a year and three months, pretty fast in my opinion, but it was right, it wasn't just physical attraction. Recently Fai was talking about what led him to want to marry me. "We wanted the same things. I was happy around you, and I knew we'd be working towards the same things." Pretty simple, but I'll take it.

Olivia said...

May I just add that Marquesas had more marriage options than most girls dream of. She is a very wise soul who saw through the many guys who were in love with the idea of her to the one who was truely in love with her. She could be considered the expert on the difference between "just" chemistry and the "real thing". I don't think anyone could have been as good for her and to her as Drew.

Steve and Jenn Fletcher said...

I have only one thing to say:

Jimmy Stewart! Raaaarrrrrr, baby!!!

HappyWifeHappyLife said...

Now, D'Arcy you KNOW I love George Bailey..... LOVE him. (And yes, I seriously considered naming our daughter - if "she" had been a "he" ... GEORGE BAILEY....!)

Now, on to your question.... how did I know my husband was The One?

Well, I didn't... not at first.

At first, it was LUST at first sight. He was 21 and HOT. We had a "fun Summer" together (and yes, feel free to read between those lines, my dear.... we had LOTS of fun that Summer....) Then I went away to NYU. He stayed in Atlanta. Ultimately, we wound up getting back together (after I had dated many "bad boys") and I realized that he WAS the one. He had it all - he was (and still is) sexy, smart, funny, a great cook (!!), compassionate & tender (good qualities for a father-to-be), treats his mother well (YES this is important!), and loves me from the top of my head down to my the soles of my feet.

He's still part bad boy (and other women still "check him out" regularly) but also very devoted to his family. (He's a hybrid.)

Is he perfect? Heck no! But neither am I - not by a LONG shot!

The secret, IMHO, to a good marriage.... is growing together in the same direction.... keeping each other laughing.... and staying best friends, and committed to one another, come hell or high water. Life will throw curve balls, and having a spouse who "has your back" makes it so much better.

Chemistry is important, esp in the beginning... and it can't be faked. And even now, 23 years after I first laid eyes on my husband I still think "Damn. I can't wait to get him home behind closed doors." ;-)

HappyWifeHappyLife said...

PS: And I'm SOOOOO glad that God invented sex. ;-)

Sugar said...

On Sunday, I looked around at the couples that I like. Not the "perfect" couples, but the ones that are real, have tattoos, and life isn't always peachy-fantastic for them. You know what? I started crying. I saw them comforting each other. I saw the guys reaching their arms around their wives' shoulders to give them a squeeze. I saw a husband's hand reach and rest on his wife's leg. They were in church and being intimate... as intimate as one could be, I suppose. But these real people were expressing very real feeling for each other in physical ways. The husbands have a little Marlo and a little James in 'em. But you know what? You know what made me cry? The thing that made me cry was that it was so obvious how much these guys loved their wives. And their wives blossom and thrive in that love.

And then I thought about how little I expect. And how I am made to feel bad when I ask for more. When I ask to feel like I can bloom in his arms. When I ask to have THAT kind of love. Not someone to pay the bills and fix things. Someone to LOVE me and someone that loves to be in my presence. Someone who I love to sit and talk with. We'd be talking because we'd have sooo much to talk about. We wouldn't always agree, but we'd respect each other's opinions. And there would always be great sex of course... but not without the rest.

That's what made me cry, D'Arcy. Not the chemistry. The other beauty of love. The beauty of two lives joining and growing and thriving together. Not doubting. Not pointing. Not threatening.

Just loving.

djinn said...

You ask hard questions. I was with my first (and only) husband for 25 years. I thought he was hot hot hot, and I liked him, too. Put up with all the rest, because, man, did we connect in bed (bed here meaning a variety of surfaces. He dumped me. I'm now with number two (partner, one divorce is sufficient) I also think he is hot, but i pay more attention to the sweetness and the kindness. Guess I'm a very slow learner.

djinn said...

No respect to Rowena, but how do you have a love affair with yourself? Forget to send yourself emails? Show up late to prearranged dates? Not getting it. No, I actually know what she means, but feel that er consideration for yourself grows as you experience the world and find success, such as it is. That is, we can't love ourselves in a vacuum, unless we're cool alien beings. Me, not so much.

Andrea said...

As differnet as we were when we met, he wore Wranglers and was five years younger than me, I had to buy his beer... I knew I found the right guy because I could finally feel comfortable around a man. I was always nervous to say and do the right thing, and a bit shy, but from the moment I met Ben I knew he was the one for me, because I was finally comfortable. That may seem a bit boring, but we always have a great time together.

djinn said...

Oh, I just want to reiterate that you don't have to sacrifice no chemistry for all those other good qualities. I really never saw the point of dating with no chemistry, so perhaps I'm not the person to ask, but Chemistry alone gets you pretty far. Sigh, sorry to admit. I'm shallow. If we all acknowledge this it will all be better. But, Chemistry, ywwwouwwww. MMmmmmmmm. Chemistry. Mmmmmm. Don't settle girls/women. A good "Chemistry" can make me feel astonishingly good for days. Cheaper than Prozac, and fewer side effects.

djinn said...

Assuming you didn't take to heart those "abstinence only" classes and know the value of a good condom (can I say that on this blog?) Well, I did. So there.

D'Arcy said...

Wow! I can't wait to comment on ALL of these tonight!

Rowena, sister, I agree. I have known SO many people in relationships who are lonely because they have depended on the other person to make them happy. I always thought that would be the loneliest feeling, to be lying in bed next to someone and yet to feel alone.

Yes! Love yourself first and then things fall into place. Luckily, I really love myself, so much more in my thirties than I ever did in my twenties. And I can tell that you do too. You seem to have a balance between you, your spouse, and your children.

Flying Girl is a reflection of this!!

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Great post with awesome pics. When you are with someone a long time (22 years), chemistry has to be revitalized. That initial thing lies low with sleep deprivation after an infant, elderly grandmas moving in to take care of, etc. Eventually building the life together creates a new kind of chemistry. Making time for each other away from all the other stuff brings it back. But you have to make it happen.

Kate Lord Brown said...

Oh - Marlon every time (store my pencils on my desk in a huge mug that says 'I love you more than Marlon Brando'! Falling in lust, falling in love is easy - the miracle is discovering a love that endures, and changes.

Dottie said...

A classmate showed the flame video to me and it was amazing. So many times people get caught up in the chemistry, but not able the look deeper into the relationship because we've been programmed by movies and media that love is just something that magically happens and you'll have great sex all the time, etc.

Sooooooooooooooo far from the truth.

I wasn't even in love with my husband when we were engaged. I'm not going to go into detail of how it all happened but all I knew is that before he proposed I just knew he would be the man I would marry. He ended up proposing that same day I felt that feeling because he had it also. But I for the most part I think we both had major life lessons that we wanted to learn, and we were best for each other to achieve them. Like Olivia we were more complementary than compatable. He both rounded each other out. Even though he's no longer on this physical earth, I wouldn't be who I am now if it wasn't for him and my experiences wit him.

I think in addition to the chemistry, knowing yourself and what you want out of your life is the most important thing. I wanted someone who could help me achieve my goals and who was willing to grow with me and keep up with me.

As for now I have been dating again, and I have dated some really great guys (and not so great ones). But I have also come to realize that I'm not completely ready to be in a serious relationship right now. But I trust that when I am ready the right guy will show up at the right time.

Until then I dream of Dick Powell from Gold Diggers of 1933! That's my dream boat!

HappyWifeHappyLife said...

I loved your comment.
Beautifully captured.

Dr. Mark said...

My wife will probably have a few choice words for me since I'm commenting over here and not on her recent posts, but I wanted to comment before I forgot what I wanted to say.

For me, once I realized that my eventual wife completed me, I knew she was the one. When I say "completed" I mean that she made all that I am better and fill in all that I am not. When I take time to think about how well we fit together, as different as we are sometimes, it is truly amazing.

In all of those thoughts and feelings I don't think I could have ever separated out the chemistry from security--again, the two just fit together perfectly. We keep playing with the formula but the chemistry keeps improving day by day.

Kate Lord Brown said...

Hi D'Arcy - chemistry or not, the recipe for Gazpacho is posted under 'Approach Love and Cooking with Reckless Abandon' - enjoy!

Ruahines said...

Kia ora D'Arcy,
I never knew it was "right", and in many ways I still don't know. I take nothing for granted anymore. Interesting about chemistry, as in in my case I felt powerfully attracted to Tara, still do, yet she did not until my dogged pursuit finally sent my love right through her resistance. Probably much to her chagrin looking back from then to now! We hardly had time to develop a connection before fate dealt us a choice. He is now 15 years old, and it has taken, and is still taking, every one of those years to REALLY get to know one another and understand one another, and REALLY begin to appreciate one another. And while the chemistry part is still there from time to time, I will take the relationship we have built, are building, through the day to day toils, tears, laughter, and beauty of each day. Kia ora d'arcy, always cool to stop by.

D'Arcy said...

Thank you thank you all for your comments!!!

Dottie, I went to the video links and was DELIGHTED!!! And I'll tell you what, I have my "questions for cupid" all written down!

Sounds like everyone is working it out for themselves and creating lives fraught with meaning!

I just love you guys and the lives you lead the people you help and the friendships you givev so freely.

Boquinha said...

Okay, I've given it a lot of thought. This is not easily answered. How do you know?

When you recognize that you don't ever want to NOT be with him.

That he's the one you tell everything to.

That he's the one whose opinion you care about.

That he's the one who helps you understand how to love yourself, leaning on his love while you learn that.

That he's the one with whom you grow, develop, blossom, because of the space he gives you to discover yourself.

That he's the one.

I believe in soulmates and the law of attraction. I didn't know I believed in it way back when, but I did. I know I'm a lucky one. And for me, it's a mix of Brando and Stewart. Really. And the Stewartness brings out the Brando. And vice versa.

Marry your best friend. The chemistry is there.

D'Arcy said...

Dr. Mark and Boquinha--It is SO much fun getting a couples perspective on this. In my view, you two are truly rich and blessed. I hope to have what you have one day.

Boquinha said...

Thanks, D'Arcy. You're very kind. I wish it for you, too.

Dr. Mark said...

Thanks, D'Arcy. We are rich and blessed.

All the best to you, too.