Chemistry is the mysterious X factor.
You either feel it or you don’t. And sometimes it’s a bit hot and cold. Big chemistry followed by a cooling off period.
Sometimes it’s also hard to know if the other person is feeling it too.
Chemistry is hard to describe:
You feel alive and full of desire just being around them.
It’s kind of like a sparkling electricity traveling from you to another person.
Searing heat when you kiss, a feeling of calm and connection when you hold hands.
Bliss when you make love.
But before you get to that stage you need to know if they’re feeling it the way you are.
That’s why I’ve written up these 19 can’t-miss signs on how to tell if there’s chemistry between two people.
By going through this advice you’ll know whether you’re rowing alone in a little dinghy looking for a lighthouse or booked for an all-inclusive cruise on the Love Boat.
1) You just can’t get enough
Even if you’ve just met you already know for sure that you can’t get enough.
You want to be around them, talk or even just catch them out of the corner of your eye as much as possible.
And you get the feeling they’re on the same page. Sidling up to you, smiling when you tell an unfunny joke and generally trying to be around you.
Is it in your imagination or real?
Look how they behave in general. Are they like that with everyone or is this person paying you a little bit more attention than everyone else.
If the answer is that they’re a bit more focused on you then chances are the sizzling chemistry is mutual.
There’s powerful neuroscience behind why we’re captivated by someone. Your ancient lizard brain (limbic system) is getting turned on at an ultra-powerful subconscious level.
As Sally Hogshead writes:
“Fascination and love both originate in the limbic area of the brain, the part that houses rage, ecstasy, sadness, sexual arousal, and fight-or-flight. That means that when you’re fascinated by a person, experience, or even a product in the grocery store, you’re almost falling in love. As far as your brain is concerned, attraction isn’t a choice.”
2) Eye contact is off the charts
When you’re looking at a chemical reaction in high school chemistry class you watch for giant pink bubbles, steam and foam.
When you’re looking for a chemistry supernova in person you look at the eyes.
Eye contact is a powerful indicator of chemistry but there’s a catch:
It has to be shared.
And it has to be prolonged.
If you’re just quickly glancing out of shyness that’s fine, but if they’re avoiding your gaze or seem uncomfortable then you could be in a one-way infatuation zone.
If both of you are looking at each other – or wanting to look at each other – as much and as long as possible, however, then you likely have strong chemistry bubbling beneath the surface.
As the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board writes:
“Somebody’s thoughts can be ascertained by looking in their eyes. When the both of them are in one another’s company, it looks like the clock’s arms have taken wings. If you often wind up wanting to get long-lasting and intense eye contact, it’s apparent which you’re interested in that individual…”
3) Smiles for miles
When there’s chemistry with someone you can’t stop smiling. And they can’t either.
I’m talking about smiles for miles.
My only warning here is to watch out for fake or polite smiles. Some people have a habit of smiling socially as a kind of fallback, and it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re vibing with you.
With that caution in mind, go for it.
There’s nothing better than smiling at someone you’re attracted to and them smiling back, trust me.
A single smile from someone I was interested in has turned my whole day around and made the skies turn from cloudy to blue.
It’s like magic. And it all starts with a smile.
I love chemistry.
4) You connect on a deep level
The ancient Greeks used to believe that finding someone you clicked with strongly was finding the second half of the original unified soul that you were created as with that person.
It’s a nice thought.
When you meet someone with strong chemistry you’re going to connect on a deep level.
This means fascinating conversations, naturally-flowing jokes and a general desire to be around each other and find out what the other person is about at their core.
The only thing to be careful of here is a fake deep connection.
What do I mean?
When you are so physically attracted to someone or “in the moment” that you mistake your interest in their body and the situation for a real fascination with what they’re saying and who they are.
I recommend moving slow. If a deep connection and lasting chemistry is there with someone then it is going to emerge to the surface no matter how long it takes.
As husband-wife clinical psychologists and marriage therapists Drs. Les and Leslie Parrot note:
“Feeling profoundly connected to your spouse can affect both of you (positively!) on a spiritual level, in addition to the benefits you’ll feel emotionally and physically. Take time to learn more about one another. If there’s something your spouse feels passionately about, ask questions to learn more. Or if they love or enjoy something deeply, show curiosity about it.”
5) Silence is golden
When you have real chemistry there are times that words aren’t even necessary.
You feel such peace and attraction to the person that just sitting with them and a hot cup of chocolate in front of the fire or watching the sunset roll in is more than enough.
Silence with someone you have true chemistry with is like the opposite of awkward silence.
Let’s call it golden silence: it’s one of the best ways for how to tell if there’s chemistry between two people.
The late country singer Keith Whitley put this so nicely in his song “When You Say Nothing at All.”
The song has become a classic wedding favorite, and you can see why.
All day long I can hear people talking out loud
But when you hold me near you drown out the crowd
Old Mister Webster could never define
What’s being said between your heart and mine
The smile on your face lets me know that you need me
There’s a truth in your eyes saying you’ll never leave me
A touch of your hand says you’ll catch me if ever I fall
You say it best…when you say nothing at all
6) How to tell if there’s chemistry between two people? You’re jumpy – but in a good way
When there’s strong chemistry there can also be butterflies.
Like that feeling when you were a teenager and had your first crush: but with less gut-wrenching anxiety and a bit more euphoria.
You feel this connection and attraction with someone but you’re also (hopefully) not feeling dependent on it.
If it doesn’t work out you’ll be disappointed, certainly, but the best kind of chemistry is where you are sort of calm in the eye of the storm so to speak.
You feel excited and have butterflies but you also feel strangely calm.
Because you have this feeling that what you’ve found means something, and whichever way it goes you just feel blessed to have experienced it.
7) Hips don’t lie
If you’ve ever met someone with strong chemistry where you don’t speak the same language then you know what I’m talking about when I say body language doesn’t lie.
Even someone who’s shy will have certain “tells” that show they’re feeling the chemistry too.
So if you want to know how to tell if there’s chemistry between two people then learn how to read body language.
This differs a bit by gender. With women, it can include licking their lips, twirling their hair, orienting their body towards the man they are into and making extended eye contact.
With men it can be a little different, so here’s what to watch out for ladies:
“Men have their way of showing attraction to a woman. Generally, men’s body language involves preening gestures and showing off—typically to encourage the idea of masculinity and strength. A man’s body language attraction indicators also include gestures and movements that are very suggestive of what it is that they hope to happen with the woman in question—namely, the desire to remove space or obstacles in the way of a closer, more intimate connection. The following are explicit ways men’s body language can show signals of attraction.”
8) You’re 100% laser-focused on them
When you’re focused on earning money everything you see is assessed through the lens of “can this person / opportunity / place help me make money?”
When you’re focused on someone you are attracted to then everything reminds you of them and your motivations and desires are centered around them.
Be careful of this in case it turns into fixation or codependency where you feel someone will “save” you.
But as far as being laser-focused on someone you’re attracted to, it’s a strong sign of chemistry as long as it doesn’t go too far into obsession or dependency.
In some cases it’s more than just chemistry – it can even be love.
Welcome to the big leagues.
9) Absence makes the heart grow fonder
When you have a temporary attraction or lust for someone then you can forget about them quickly.
One night you’re all over them and two days later they barely cross your mind.
Strong chemistry isn’t like that:
Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
The longer you spend away from them the more you think of them.
You’re not thinking about meeting someone new, you’re thinking about when you’ll see them again.
This is a classic sign of long-lasting chemistry, and if they’re feeling it too then they won’t forget about you either.
10) You tease and play
When two animals are in mating season they often tease each other and roll around on the forest floor.
This may not be the Discovery Channel, but we can still embrace our mammal roots with a little bit of fun.
When you have chemistry with someone then teasing and playing comes naturally for both of you.
This could include little inside jokes and comments, playful touches on the shoulders, arms and head and even little half-tussles as you joke around.
If you’re swimming there could definitely be some splashing going on.
As eHarmony notes:
“This one’s a no-brainer. When a man goes out of his way to tease a woman, it not only signals that he’s interested…it also shows that he’s comfortable and confident in his own skin. This is the #1 criteria of potential boyfriend material. One of my favorite ways to tease is to pick out one of a woman’s most attractive qualities, then comment how it doesn’t impress you at all. And then, if the woman teases you back, you can consider it “signal received”…and game on!”
11) The flirting is at a whole new level
Chemistry is like an energy drink. Interactions which would normally just be “meh” become “wow!”
In terms of flirting, situations where you generally wouldn’t even flirt become like a dating show.
If you already have a rapport with the object of your affection then you just can’t stop yourself from dropping the cheesiest lines.
If you’ve just met them then the flirting can take a lot subtler forms like meaningful glances, pulling out a chair for them to sit down or giving them a sly compliment.
But either way you spin it, it’s still some intense flirting.
If it’s coming your way as well then you can be sure that some serious chemistry is cooking up.
12) Times flies at light speed
When you’re in a high-chemistry situation time flies.
You might even find yourself missing important meetings or forgetting how late it is until you look around and see that the sun’s already set.
No matter how long you’ve known this person it’s like they’re a time accelerator because when you’re around them or talking to them the clock seems to simply stop existing.
It’s kind of like being in a simpler state of being:
Good times flow;
Life seems to reach its full potential around that special person.
Relationship expert and matchmaker Talia Goldstein explains it perfectly:
“Good matches are people you have good conversation with, and time flies. At the end of the day, you’re with this person for a really long time, and you have to have enough to talk about.”
13) All the small things win your heart
When chemistry is surging it doesn’t take any big, exciting feature to capture your attention.
The small things this person does mean the world to you.
You never get tired of their stories or retold jokes. Their smile is one-in-a-million and you just can’t describe it.
Are they on the same wavelength?
This is going to be a matter of watching how they respond to things you do. Are they mainly indifferent or do they light up like a string of Christmas lights?
This is your telltale sign to see if the chemistry is two-sided.
14) Your trust levels are high despite the unknowns
Even if your chemistry partner is someone you already know well, there are mysteries about them that continue to intrigue you.
The more you find out about them the more you want to know.
You also trust them, and you often can’t quite seem to say why.
You just do.
You have this conviction that they have a good heart and are a trustworthy person on a deep level.
You feel like you can be yourself around them. And they seem to feel the same way.
It’s a win-win of the best kind.
15) They turn you on like crazy
This one could have been right at the beginning of my list, but I didn’t want to seem too shallow.
The truth is actually that the physical is more than just shallow, though.
Your body has a lot of wisdom in it and who we’re attracted to physically can sometimes be about more than just looks.
Strong physical attraction can be the basis of something special and lasting as long as there’s more there once you’ve burned through a month or two of raging hormones.
If this person is turning you on like crazy then there’s at least more than a 0% chance that you’re turning them on too.
I’m not much of a betting man, but I still like those odds.
As Zara Barrie writes for Elite Daily:
“Our bodies understand love before our brains do. It’s the unexpected electric shock of sexuality that surges through our bodies when we accidentally brush up against a stranger in a crowded subway car. It’s the palpable heat that ignites when two bodies ever so suddenly find themselves inexplicably attracted to one another. It’s when you feel that irrepressible tug, the curious magnetic pull drawing you toward another person with such a ferocious intensity; it feels almost beyond the realm of your own self-control.”
16) Banter is top-notch
Banter isn’t just something for when you’re out with the boys at the pub or with the girls for a spa day.
It can happen when there’s crazy chemistry going on.
Conversations that pop up like shining lines from a movie screen:
Funny, profound, personal, irreplaceable.
When you have someone with strong chemistry there’s just a special something that makes being around them and talking to them completely and absolutely impossible to replace with anyone else.
That’s part of what makes it so awful if you end up dating and it doesn’t work out: but it’s also part of what makes it so amazing the more you do get to spend time with them and see where things lead.
17) Your friends comment on the chemistry
Sometimes it can take an outside observer to really point out the kind of chemistry that’s taking place.
If your friends are remarking on your red-hot chemistry with this individual then they may have noticed something that’s even escaping your attention.
They might be noticing the eye contact, the banter, the smiles and the little touches.
Sometimes friends can know us better than we know ourselves.
So if your friends are pointing out that you’ve got amazing chemistry with someone stop and think it over.
Maybe they’re right.
18) Your interests naturally coincide
When chemistry is on tap then interests naturally flow together.
You may share a passion for archeology or pop music.
You might both love fashion or playing golf.
Whatever it is, it’s going to inevitably draw you together and make conversation come easy.
You may also find that your overall worldviews complement each other and fit together like a glove.
This can be very intoxicating, especially at first.
As dating coach Evan Katz puts it, shared interests can be a sign of strong chemistry, but they aren’t necessarily enough to build a relationship on:
“Runners and artists and surfers and actors and musicians and dog lovers are often attracted to those who have the same hobbies. Except these hobbies are not (or at least should not be) the things upon which your marriage is based. Two dog lovers that don’t know how to communicate are doomed. Two intellects that are stubborn and busy will struggle. Two skiers that can’t trust don’t stand a chance.
So don’t worry about whether you’re dating a sensitive artist or not. Worry about whether your relationship is easy and whether you’re built for the long haul. Your common interests may draw you together but they will not keep you together.”
19) You never get bored
Another one of the best methods for how to tell if there’s chemistry between two people is that you never get bored.
Whether your chemistry starts out more physical, intellectual or emotional, you will find that it never seems to “run dry.”
There’s always something left in that reservoir of the other person that keeps you coming back for more.
Your chemistry seems to have an endless array of aspects, from shared interests to physical attraction to emotional compatibility.
If this is what’s going on for you then consider yourself blessed.
Just remember not to let your wagon get ahead of your horses and take things so.
After all, even the best laid plans often go astray.