How to Know if There's Chemistry

Have you ever had that moment when you look at someone and all of a sudden your body feels like it’s been hit by lightning? With every brush of the hand or gentle knocking of elbows, electricity zings through every part of your body?

Now most people call this phenomena “chemistry” between two people. But I don’t know. Chemistry is a scientific phenomena with defined actions and reactions. The ingredients are known, the resulting explosion predictable.

But chemistry between two people is far from predictable and, as much as science can give us partial explanations for the cause (something to do with histocompatibility), let’s face it: the phenomena is more like alchemy: that magic, elusive, seemingly random reaction people have described as an electric shock, a burning need to touch the other, to fuse with them RIGHT NOW.

Here is Merriam-Webster’s simple definition of Alchemy:

  • a science that was used in the Middle Ages with the goal of changing ordinary metals into gold
  • a power or process that changes or transforms something in a mysterious or impressive way

"Alchemy." Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 29 July 2016.

When we talk about alchemy between two people then, we are talking about how simply the presence of that person changes us in mysterious ways. But how, in this world of online dating where you rarely get to know somebody first by meeting them in person, do you know it’s there?

Alas, you don’t.  At least, you will never truly know until you’re sitting face to face and their body is acting like a huge magnet, drawing you in.  But don’t despair! There are still signs you can look for, little sparks that will be evident during your chats or, if you are using Zepeel, through video chat.

Similar speech patterns

With dating online, the first step  is usually messaging each other. But even at this beginning stage you can tell a lot from a person. According to this article in the Guardian, researchers “[] found that speed dating couples were more likely to mutually wish to see each other again if their language style matched better. "

When you’re chatting with a Prospective Date (hereafter to be known as PD), does the conversation flow naturally? Do you know exactly what they mean or do you have to take a moment to  decipher the meaning of their texts? Do you instantly “get” their references, that by all intent and purposes should be totally incoherent or do you have to puzzle it out or ask for clarification?

Chances are, if you are always a little puzzled, confused and sometimes borderline offended by comments made by someone, you won’t be a good fit in person. However, if the conversation flows easily and you don’t have to go all Bletchley Park and decode their meaning, then it’s time to move on to the next level.

Where did the time go?

At this stage of the game, whether you are still in texting mode or have had actual phone conversations, another good way to gauge whether there’s that magical spark is to take a step back and see how long you’ve been talking with your PD.  If you think you’ve only  been chatting for a half hour then look at the clock and realise it’s 2 am, well, far be it for me to state the obvious, but that would be in the category of a Good Sign.

Feel like you’ve known them forever

When you’re chatting, does it seem like you’ve known this person forever? That you implicitly understand each other’s weird quirks and bad jokes? That’s part of the magic- you meet someone and you feel so at ease, so comfortable talking to them it feels like they must have always been part of your life.

Eye contact and Body Language

Okay. So you’ve had some lovely chats with your PD. Time to take it to the next level.  If you’re using a video dating app like Zepeel, you have the advantage of being able to gauge body language and eye contact before plunging into that first face to face encounter.

Here are a couple of things to notice when you are video chatting with your PD:

  • Are they fully present? Meaning, do you have their full attention or are they doing the dishes or working on another screen while they are talking to you?
  • Are they looking directly at you or do their eyes dart away? Eye contact (within reason- someone who stares at you without giving it a rest from time to time is, let’s face it, a tad creepy) is extremely important. It shows that someone is engaged, listening and interested.
  • What does their body language say? Do they look relaxed and comfortable or do they look like they’ve got something better to do, shaking their legs, glancing away nervously every two seconds?

Don’t be too picky

The data is in, folks and it seems that the person you have chemistry with is rarely the person with whom you think you will have chemistry. According to this 2008 study quoted in this article in The Atlantic, “there was little association between the traits participants said they wanted in a partner on paper and what they actually liked about the mates at the speed dating event.”

So don’t dismiss people offhand. Sometimes chemistry (or alchemy!) isn’t obvious. We might be too focused on our list  of criteria and blinded by the fact Joe across the screen doesn’t fit exactly what we want. But then, maybe he smiles, and his smile, well does something to you. You smile back. He smiles wider. You both laugh, a little confused, but weirdly happy. You talk more..

As much as we would like to think we are rational decision makers when it comes to some of our life’s biggest decisions, we’re not. Most of our big decisions in life —buying a car, a house and yes, choosing a partner are emotionally-driven and not logical.

So keep your criteria as a guide, but also your open heart;  you never know what will spark that magical reaction and turn a regular encounter into gold. Join Zepeel today and let the alchemy begin!


By Lina Branter

Bio: In her previous life, Lina Branter was a writer and high school librarian in Montreal, subversively feeding excellent novels and other important information to high school girls. Now she's living the gnome life in a backyard garden shed in Victoria, BC, writing, watching humming birds and occasionally emitting a maniacal laughter as she plots to right all the wrongs of the world one blog post at a time. To read more of her writing go to

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