What does that "spark"\chemistry mean?



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Legato
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14 Dec 2008, 9:04 am

This idea of chemistry and sparks bewilders me. I have no idea how to tell whether there's a spark or not, so let me give an example...

There's a girl, we're interested in each other. We laugh together, chat, tease, flirt. Is that a spark, or is it something more\less? The answer of "you'll know when it happens" is inevitable, but what if I don't know when it happens? I've had many (6 or 7) girlfriends in the past, all were different scenarios from lust to almost love, and still I have no idea what this chemistry thing actually is.

From what I can gather from the word's context, I'm certain I've felt it before - I just don't know where that line is drawn where it suddenly becomes chemistry...



jkrane
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14 Dec 2008, 9:09 am

chemistry simply means 2 things:

1. The girl thinks you're hot
2. The girl has fun when she's around you.



AnnieK
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14 Dec 2008, 9:36 am

I think it comes down to:

- you think about each other a lot.
- for some unknown reason you feel like grinning like maniacs in each other's presence.
- the other's opinion becomes vitally important to you, far more than other people.
- when you go past them you can't help but look at them. And you find them looking back at you.
- you really really want to be with them, know about them and just well, be with them.
- you think they are really really cute (no matter what their actual physical appearance is like) and wonder what it will be like to touch and kiss them.

Well, that's more the emotional side of things. I'm not big on the physical only relationships.



ImTheGuyThatDidThat
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14 Dec 2008, 10:23 am

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Last edited by ImTheGuyThatDidThat on 14 Dec 2008, 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CanyonWind
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14 Dec 2008, 11:40 am

The chemistry/sparks phenomenon is considered all-important but impossible to define, still it's obvious and immediately recognizable. Does that give you a clue?

It's when highly effective non-verbal communication occurs between two people.

Good luck with that one.


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LePetitPrince
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14 Dec 2008, 11:57 am

it just means a mutual sexual attraction - it's simple as that , yet people tend to philosophize and "spiritualize" everything.



sinsboldly
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14 Dec 2008, 12:18 pm

I know this one! I have experienced this condition so often I wrote a senior(College) research paper on it! It is calle "Limerence" and is an actual physical thing that bonds people together for 18 months to 3 years.

Limerence refers to an involuntary cognitive and emotional state of intense romantic desire for another person. The term was coined by psychologist Dorothy Tennov to describe the ultimate, near-obsessional form of romantic love.

The concept is an attempt at a scientific study into the nature of romantic love. Limerence can often be what is meant when one expresses having intense feelings of attachment, preoccupations with the love object, and (as new research on brain chemistry shows) a similar mind-state to obsessive compulsive disorder.

According to Tennov, there are at least two types of love: limerence, what she calls "loving attachment" (the long-lasting love people are capable of having), and "loving affection," the bond that exists between an individual and his or her parents and children.

Limerence is characterized by intrusive thinking and pronounced sensitivity to external events that reflect the disposition of the limerent object towards the individual. It can be experienced as intense joy or as extreme despair, depending on whether the feelings are reciprocated.

Unlike English, many other languages have traditional terms to denote limerence, like the German Verliebtheit, Scandinavian forelskelse or Russian влюблённость (vlyublyonnost); these expressions may roughly be translated to “fallen-in-love-ness”.

"Love" differentiates between limerence and other emotions by asserting that love involves concern for the other person's welfare and feeling. While limerence does not require it, concern can certainly be incorporated.

Affection and fondness exist only as a disposition towards another person, irrespective of whether those feelings are reciprocated, whereas limerence demands return. Physical contact with the object is neither essential nor sufficient to an individual experiencing limerence, unlike one experiencing sexual attraction.

New Relationship Energy (NRE) thrives on open communication and known mutuality of feelings and is mostly seen as a positive bonding experience, while limerence can dissipate once reciprocity is established, and is characterized by uncertainty and anxiety.

New Relationship Energy also carries implications of active contrast with relationships in different stages, while limerence does not. Limerence can be longer-lived than transient forms of romantic feelings such as infatuation and puppy love, enduring for months, years and even a lifetime in the absence of knowledge about reciprocity.


This 'falling in love' has always fascinated me, the 'swept away-ness'of it, the 'somthing bigger than yourself-ness' of it. But it is all chemistry. Here is a Time article about it. Very interesting!

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/artic ... 54,00.html

Merle

the above information was taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limerence


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Orbyss
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14 Dec 2008, 6:02 pm

Merle, what's your take on how limerence is experienced by people on the autistic spectrum? I'm sure it could be less or more based on brain chemistry (not the sort of chemistry being discussed here, mind), but do you think it's otherwise different?

As for the OP (yeah, you know me):

CanyonWind wrote:
The chemistry/sparks phenomenon is considered all-important but impossible to define, still it's obvious and immediately recognizable. Does that give you a clue?

It's when highly effective non-verbal communication occurs between two people.

Good luck with that one.


I think this has a lot of truth to it. Beyond that, the terms 'spark' and 'chemistry' are, in and of themselves, romanticized and subjective. In terms of chemistry, you could look at it in a biological sense; women are often attracted to guys with the right smell, and for all we know at this point, men may have the same reaction to women. Also, as the article Merle posted suggests, brain chemistry could have something to do with it, and if two people are limerent with each other, you could call that 'good chemistry'. I would agree, however, that such intense couplings are probably less likely to last.

In my own experience limerence is a mere pain in the ass. Crushes can be long or short term. With my boyfriend, I feel a combination of limerence and true, deep love and affection, as well as full sexual attraction. Unfortunately, I can't speak for him. I feel that, as long as we have a deeply caring, loving bond beyond that, we'll have it made. If one or both of us was merely limerent, I'm pretty sure we'd be totally doomed. Gives me some food for thought.

So, when it comes to your friendship with this girl, I think you'll do well in questioning what you have together that's deeper, and what could potentially bind you both for a very, very long time, if not permanently. To me, that would be the ultimate 'chemistry,' even though I hate using that term. Sure, you like each other, but can that transcend problems and carry you through adversity? Can you pick up on anything at the core which you both share--a commonality that is rare with other people? I know it's a new venture for you, but it's always worth considering at any point.



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14 Dec 2008, 6:04 pm

i love the word limerance, its too bad both sexes have to play games to get together. it just seems so exahusting and unecessary


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ephemerella
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14 Dec 2008, 6:10 pm

sex



Orbyss
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14 Dec 2008, 6:12 pm

Addendum: Speaking of biological chemistry and how it relates to love and limerence, the hottest, most beautiful love song in my opinion is about that exactly, it seems.

Thousands of hairs
Two eyes, only
It's you

Some skin
Billions of genes
Again, it's you

XX - XY
That's why it's you and me

Your blood is red
It's beautiful genetic love

Biological
I don't know why I feel that way with you
Biological
I need your DNA

Your fingerprints
The flesh around your bones
I'd like to know
Why all these things move me

Let's fuse ourselves to be as one tonight
A part of me would like to travel in your veins

Biological
I don't know why I feel that way with you
Biological
I need your DNA


This song never fails to get me where it counts, and I don't think it's the French accents.



Legato
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14 Dec 2008, 7:12 pm

Limerence isn't quite what chemistry is, I know that much. Limerence is more like trying to psychologically define that intense romantic attraction that usually rips peoples' hearts out and is more often than not felt by only one person.

I think, strangely, that Canyon put it best with "highly effective non-verbal communication" relating to romantic interest - which probably explains why I'm clueless of what the f**k it is.



sinsboldly
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14 Dec 2008, 10:01 pm

richardbenson wrote:
i love the word limerance, its too bad both sexes have to play games to get together. it just seems so exahusting and unecessary


actually it is the pheromones that are playing a 'game.' the game is to draw opposite sexes together and make babies. (It is no coincidence that limerence usually lasts from 18 months to 3 years, just long enough for a child to be started and born and well on their way to be able to walk for their own selves.) It was a mating strategy developed by nature that worked great for hunter gathers, but had to be stomped into submission by when the culture changed to agriculture. Where the hunter gatherers had a life easily lived around it, and could mix and mingle in the social groupings, agriculture demanded by just hereditary land rights that the child had to be born the right side of the sheet and couples that owned the land together owned each other, too.

During the middle ages it was seen as 'romantic' love, and elaborate staging complete with singing and pining away saw it as a game, when the lady faire was married to secure lands and title and not because she fancied her spouse. But try as they might, even up to our day and age, they can not squash down that "wild thing" in our natures.

You notice that limerence works even if there is no outcome of offspring, too! you don't have to be 'straight' to feel limerence for who you are attracted to, you can be gay or not even sexually active and it will hit you like the 'lightening bolt' the French talk about or even 'Cupid's arrows' of the Romans.

So I have learned not to dismiss "romantic claptrap" because it is only one way limerence expresses itself. The urge to merge is strong and works though our lives always to keep life keeping on.

watch out, gang, this is one of my perseverations :roll: . . .

Merle


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ToadOfSteel
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14 Dec 2008, 10:47 pm

sinsboldly wrote:
So I have learned not to dismiss "romantic claptrap" because it is only one way limerence expresses itself. The urge to merge is strong and works though our lives always to keep life keeping on.


Except that this is a short-term attraction... I have no choice but to shut that down if I'm trying to go for something that will last longer than 18 months-3 years...



CanyonWind
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15 Dec 2008, 9:57 am

An aspie who talked about limerence
Thought they had experienced a glimmerance
But don't take offense
It would prob'ly make sense
As long as you take enough stimulants

sinsboldly wrote:
actually it is the pheromones that are playing a 'game.' the game is to draw opposite sexes together and make babies.


Got a little fact problem here. Whatever the nature of the chemistry/sparks phenomenon is, it's obvious that aspies have as much chemistry as distilled water and as many sparks as a mashed potato. Any proposed explanation should account for this fact.

I guess it's possible that Asperger's reduces chemical attraction pheromones. It's also possible that Asperger's reduces shoe size, but I don't see any reason to think it might be true.

It's certain that Asperger's reduces the ability for non-verbal communication. Since humans are the only species known to use complex symbolic language, it's true by definition that non-verbal communication is the basis of breeding partner selection in every other sexually reproducing species.

I guess pheromones would technically be considered non-verbal communication, but while you're at it, you could just go ahead and attribute every social difficulty aspies encounter to pheromones. Makes just as much sense.

sinsboldly wrote:
(It is no coincidence that limerence usually lasts from 18 months to 3 years, just long enough for a child to be started and born and well on their way to be able to walk for their own selves.) It was a mating strategy developed by nature that worked great for hunter gathers, but had to be stomped into submission by when the culture changed to agriculture.


This smells to me like a political agenda to legitimize the cruelest and most blatant gender discrimination imaginable by pretending it's biology and anthropology. Anybody who considers this an exaggeration hasn't experienced how feminists behave when the only witnesses are other feminists. As is usually the case with sadists, aspies are ideal targets.

There are a few other species whose life systems are a feminist utopia like the one we're trapped in, where males serve only as a source of semen and are then consumed by the female for their material resources.

Certain species of spiders come to mind.

Hunter gatherer societies are not exactly unknown. Do you actually know of any where fathers are irrelevant except as objects of robbery, or is this just one more idiotic feminist fantasy that has absolutely no basis in reality.

Okay, let's pretend you really believe in gender equality. Parenting involves a complex of highly subtle skills. Poetry is crude by comparison. These skills would be equally common in either gender, so I'm assuming that after the child reaches the age of eighteen months to three years, the responsibility of primary parent should go to the male parent half the time.

Equality is obviously not your objective.

The female's role of milk provider is no more significant than the male's role of semen provider. After that's over, it's the mind and the heart, and females don't have a monopoly on either one.


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Did you say that wasn't proper? Did you march out on the track?
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