No Spark? No Problem. Date Them Anyway.

Photo by Matthieu Huang on Unsplash

I know a lot of people who swear by the “spark.” If there’s no spark, there’s no point to the relationship.

These people also tend to binge rom-coms. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve watched When Harry Met Sally more than any movie ever but that’s because I find it to be more realistic that any other romantic comedy (and also hilarious).

Two people who are unapologetically themselves when they first meet to the point that they remember each other years after not seeing each other. Two people who take solace in one another when life’s pelting them with lemons, especially in dating. Two people, when they rethink what they want out of a relationship, realize they have it with one other.

It’s relatable and it’s not someone dangling off of a Ferris wheel trying to score a date.

I’m here to challenge you to rethink this whole “spark” thing because I’ve asked around, I’ve looked online and it’s clear as day that a spark is not necessary for a healthy and happy relationship.

Personally speaking, the biggest disappointments I’ve ever had in romance came with people I was compelled to talk to. The best relationships were those I didn’t see coming.

The spark was almost a signal that my attraction was potent with this person, but who said that what I was attracted to was healthy in the first place?

If we have our subconscious ideas of love being based on how we were loved growing up, we could have some serious problems on our hands.

For example, if we were abused, gaslighted, often placed as secondary or loved inconsistently, this is the model of love that we have stored in our subconscious minds, which means this is what we are programmed to look for in potential partners.

And despite our conscious notions of what love should be and what we want, we will always bend to the programming of our subconscious minds.

It is our programming that determines our types, our relationship patterns and our predictable ends.

So if you’re not programmed for optimal relationship enjoyment, that spark is not just a spark. It could be Vesuvius, ready to kill thousands as its lava envelops people into a statue of ash, securing a place in history as one of the world’s most terrifying disasters.

Okay, that was a tad hyperbolic, but you get the point. Your spark could be an indication that things aren’t going to go well. Moreover, your belief that this shortness of breath, anxiety and focus on the future that characterizes a spark is a good thing could be a nail in your coffin.

It’s ironic. A shortness of breath and a feeling of anxiety in any other context would cause us concern, but not for love and romance.

But it does explain why when we meet someone and we’re totally calm, we think that there’s not enough attraction or not enough potential for a healthy relationship.

When in reality, this could be the fertile soil for your best relationship ever.

One of my exes told me about a guy she dated that had it all together. He had a good career, was chivalrous and was attentive on the date. It’s a small amount of information, I’ll admit, but he sounds like a decent guy, right? They got together right?

Nope. She never returned his calls after that first date. Why? There was no spark, no chemistry.

She would then go on to date others that she did feel a spark for. Without going into detail, they had no career, were not chivalrous and were self-absorbed.

This isn’t unique to my ex. This happens to anyone who didn’t have a good enough upbringing with love and relationships. It happened to me.

There are many stories of people who felt no spark and are with the love of their lives right now. Sparks at best mean nothing because the connection that makes a robust relationship is fostered in getting to know the person and consciously giving love.

It is not like a specific brand of marinara sauce you searched five groceries and six street markets for. It’s not solely about recognition.

Having said all of this, I can’t discount the stories of those who saw their future spouse and have been together for years. Those things totally exist. But it doesn’t matter if you rely on initial feelings and don’t actually invest in the relationship and in the person. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t giving of yourself.

Whether you felt a spark or grew to like someone, it takes two to make the relationship work.

So give people a chance. They could surprise you.

How long does it take? That depends on you, the person and the relationship you both are fostering. But the important thing is that you actually take the time to know each other.

That’ll help you immensely because if it’s something that can work, you have an awesome foundation to build on. If it doesn’t work, you’ll know what you like and what you don’t like.

Besides, isn’t dating about getting to know people?

So as long as you aren’t feeling repulsed by them at the end of the date, if you haven’t observed strong ideological differences between you two and they are respectful of those around them, give ’em a shot.

Who knows? It could be the beginning of something special.

Former Edu. Psychologist | Current Writer | Constant Learner | “By your stumbling the world is perfected.”

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