Is chemistry something that only happens in the movies?

No. It doesn’t even happen in the movies. All that ‘natural’ banter you’re seeing is the result of innumerable script revisions being played out by a professional actress whose job is to look excited beyond words that Channing Tatum’s character happens to like bumble bees and early Kings of Leon just as much as hers does. The point is, ‘chemistry’ is a spun confection of rom-com treacle that does more harm than good.

Sure, people click instantly from time to time, but go in expecting seamless wit, fluttering hearts and the ability to finish each other’s sentences – “OMG, I was just going to say that!” – and you’ll end up dismissing a guy with real potential. You see, the man you are connecting feverishly with over that third margarita (because alcohol is such a help when evaluating character) is not the dude you will end up in a relationship with. In the quest for that all-elusive ‘spark’, the insecurity-riddled men that we really are take a back seat to the one-dimensional construct we think you want us to be. It’s all smoke, mirrors, embellished stories about the 20 minutes of community service we did in 2009 and jokes we stole off the Internet. Besides, if there’s the faintest hope it will get us into your bed, an unscrupulous guy can fake ‘chemistry’ with just a cursory glance at your Facebook page.

In other words, if a lasting relationship is what you crave, I’d like to view chemistry a bit like Apple gadgets in post-Jobs era: over-hyped, a bit flash and not quite as good as what else is out there. All you have to do is look beneath the surface. 

Text: David Smiedt
Image: TPG

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