The Barrier: If you don’t instantly feel fireworks, you’re not interested. Anything less than off-the-charts chemistry on a date and you’re plotting your escape route. Without that high, you envision being stuck and suffocated in a boring relationship forever, as the walls close in on you and you start to hyperventilate. You know right away if it’s going to work or not based on that initial attraction, so why waste your time? Certain that the guy sitting across from you is not a match, you internally debate whether you should climb out the bathroom window, fake a family emergency, or both.
Relationship Rx: Great theory. Except that based on your checkered dating past, the instant chemistry that you crave has not actually proven to be an accurate predictor of relationship success. In fact, the opposite has been true—when you feel sparks right off the bat, it usually signifies that this relationship is going to crash and burn and probably fast. Replace your need for instant chemistry with a curiosity about who this guy is as a person, and be open to attraction that develops slowly over time as you learn more about him. Ditching the first date fireworks doesn’t mean a relationship has to be boring and suffocating—attraction that takes longer to build usually lasts longer, too.