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No Spark? Here’s How To Connect Better With Your Dates

If you or your dates never seem to be feeling a “spark”, you might be making these mistakes.

time lapse photo of fireworks

The concept of the “spark” has long held a prominent place in our ideas about love and relationships. It’s often depicted as an instant, undeniable feeling of connection, a sense of destiny or fireworks, that supposedly signifies long-term potential. But what is it exactly, why is it so hard to find, and how do you stop having so many dates with no spark?

We’ve all been there: you go on a date with someone seemingly wonderful – kind, funny, and seemingly compatible on paper. But as the night goes on, a nagging feeling creeps in: the dreaded “no spark.” You might be left wondering, “Is there something wrong with me?” or “Am I settling for the wrong reasons?”

Or, you’ve had a wonderful date and you think you want to get to know the person better. But when you ask them for another date, they get back to you with the dreaded “Sorry, but I didn’t feel any spark.”

If you’ve found yourself repeatedly facing dates with no spark, or having dates that always seem to be “not feeling a spark,” you’re definitely not alone. This blog post will delve into the complexities of this common dating experience, offering insights and strategies to help you navigate the search for a truly fulfilling connection.

What is “Spark”?

a couple that seems to be having fun on a date

The concept of “spark” on dates is a complex and multifaceted one, often shrouded in an air of mystery. From some viewpoints, it’s a potent, undeniable feeling of immediate connection, a kind of emotional lightning strike that signals a potential soulmate. Others see it as a combination of initial attraction and shared interests, a sense of easy conversation and comfortable energy flowing between two people.

For some people, there is a sexual component involved. Yet another perspective views spark as more nuanced, something that can develop over time as individuals get to know each other on a deeper level. And sometimes, it’s just a nice way to let someone down when you’re not interested. Ultimately, the “spark” remains a subjective experience, shaped by individual expectations, past experiences, and cultural influences. But that isn’t very helpful when you keep dealing with “no spark”, and we have a definition that hopefully will be a bit more useful.

The Four Types of Attraction

To understand spark, let’s talk about the four types of attraction (you may see it split up differently by different sources). Humans experience a diverse range of attractions towards others, and these attractions can play a significant role in shaping our relationships. Here’s a brief overview of the types that are relevant to dating:

1. Physical Attraction: This refers to being drawn to someone’s physical features, such as their body type, facial features, or overall appearance. It’s important to remember that physical attraction is subjective and influenced by individual preferences and cultural norms. For some, this is strongly correlated with sexual attraction.

2. Emotional/Platonic Attraction: This is a feeling of connection and closeness towards another person. It involves appreciating their personality, values, sense of humor, and emotional intelligence. Emotional attraction can be the foundation for strong and lasting friendships.

3. Sexual Attraction: This refers to a desire for intimate physical contact with another person. It’s often accompanied by feelings of arousal and excitement. Sexual attraction can be independent of emotional or romantic attraction, and vice versa.

4. Romantic Attraction: This is a complex mix of physical, emotional, and intellectual attraction towards someone. It often involves feelings of love, intimacy, and a desire for a long-term committed relationship. It’s the type of attraction that lets you imagine a life with another person.

How does this relate to spark? We believe spark occurs when multiple types of these attractions are present. To explain, let’s talk about the two most common scenarios.

Why Do I Always Feel Little / No Spark?

couple where woman feels no spark

If you are the one who is never feeling any spark on your dates, don’t fret. Take stock of what is happening on your dates. Refer to the types of attraction above.

You’re Only Feeling Emotional/Platonic Attraction

So, you’re finding people that might make good friends, but no one you’re romantically interested in. Some questions to ask yourself are:

  • What kinds of conversations are you having with your dates? Sometimes, this happens when you have conversations about the world around you—your common interests, your daily lives—but not so much about yourselves and your hopes and dreams. Try asking questions about what your date is looking for, or their thoughts on relationships.
  • When are your dates happening? If you are doing lots of day dates, or the kinds of things you would do with friends, in non-romantic scenarios, reconsider. Try going on dates that are more romantic in nature.
  • Are your dates and conversations becoming routine? Don’t let your dates become an interview. Escalate to flirting. Let your sense of humor show. The more romantic energy you bring, the more likely your date will reciprocate, open up, and bring that kind of energy as well.
  • Are you dating the right people? If you aren’t feeling any physical attraction whatsoever, take note of that. Do your dates look wildly different in person than their profiles? Has your type changed? Think back to previous dating experiences and relationships. Are there any instances where your physical attraction to a person grew over time?

You’re Only Feeling Physical Attraction or Sexual Attraction

This can happen by accident, especially on dating apps—if we pick people to date based solely on their looks. If you aren’t feeling platonic attraction, it could mean that you don’t have a lot in common, other than them also being wildly attractive. 😉

  • Look for people who seem to want the same things as you, or share your common interests and values.

You’re Only Feeling Romantic Attraction

This one is rarer, as romantic attraction encompasses some of the other types of attraction. However, if you only feel romantic attraction, it could be a sign that you may be rushing to get into a relationship, even with someone who you don’t truly feel attracted to in other ways.

You Feel None of the Types of Attraction

All your dates bore you, and you’re not intrigued by anyone. You could be someone who needs time to feel attracted to people—if you aren’t giving anyone a second date, experiment to see if you start to like people more. You could also be wildly going for the wrong type of person for you—try meeting someone who isn’t your usual type, if you have a very specific type.

Remember, not everyone is going to excite you, no matter how hard you try to give your date an opening to impress you. If none of these changes seem to help you at all, don’t worry. Just keep at it—you might just have bad luck.

Why Do My Dates Always Feel No Spark?

couple where man feels no spark

Saying that you didn’t feel any “spark” on your date can sometimes can be a kind way of letting someone down. If you’re getting this feedback a lot, however, and it seems to be a pattern, there’s a few things you can make sure you’re doing on your dates. Be sure to also read the section above this one to understand what your dates might be feeling—that will help you pinpoint the changes you’d like to make as well.

Common Scenarios & Potential Changes

Common Scenario #1: The date seems to go okay, but they say they felt no spark.

From your perspective, the date went well—you had a standard conversation, you had a nice dinner, and you met someone new. You thought it went well enough, at least for a second date. You ask them, and they hit you back with the “didn’t feel a spark” response. (Or they ghost you and you’re left wondering what on earth happened.) You never speak again.

If you’re having this happen a lot, you may have the urge to yell at your dates and say “IT CAN BUILD OVER TIME!!!” Don’t do that. Instead, work on the first impression that you make on your dates. Bring excitement and energy to the date. Let your sense of humor show. If you’re struggling with having mostly surface-level conversations, work on finding common ground or mutual interests; try to deepen the conversation.

Common Scenario #2: The date goes well, but they say there’s no spark and they just want to be friends.

The date goes great! You have a really good conversation, had a lot in common, and your date is someone you’d like to get to know better. But then they hit you with the “I didn’t feel a spark, but I would love to be friends.”

This happens when you let platonic attraction dominate, without any hints of other types of attraction. Did you attempt to flirt with them at all, or did you just talk about all the things you had in common? Did they seem receptive to your flirting? Did you talk about what you’re looking for in a relationship, or just talk mostly about your common interests or daily lives?

Try going on dates that are more romantic in nature. Instead of meeting for coffee, have a picnic at a scenic viewpoint. Find a quiet and cozy bar rather than a loud and busy one. Change the setting and try to let your romantic and/or sexual side show.

man and woman in front of horizon

Common Scenario #3: The date goes great, but they tell you they’re not looking for the same things.

There’s obvious chemistry, you’re flirting, it’s a lot of fun. Isn’t that spark enough? But then they hit you with the “I had fun, but I don’t think we want the same things.”

If your date is communicating that, that’s kind of them—they aren’t going to waste your time. But it also means you may want to be more explicit about what you’re looking for in your dating profiles, so that you’re less likely to match up with people who aren’t looking for the same things.

Other Potential Causes

If none of these scenarios seem to be the case, make sure you’re not making one of these easily fixable mistakes. Go through this checklist to make sure you’re doing all of these:

  • You show up to your dates with impeccable hygiene.
  • You look like the pictures in your dating profile.
  • You are dressing appropriately.
  • You don’t let the conversation be steered into dull topics for long periods of time.
  • You make sure to ask questions about your date—not just try to talk at them or impress them.
  • You do not give off an air of desperation.
  • You are not accidentally displaying one of these red flags.
  • You bring your full self and sense of humor to dates. (Okay, this one’s not as easily fixable—but if you have trouble opening up and being yourself on dates, you may want to assess why. Is it anxiety? Shyness?)

This list is taken from our dating journal, a guided journal that will help you diagnose your dating life and improve your dating experience. It has content and exercises like this about some of the most common scenarios you might face in dating. It will help you actually make changes, not just read about potential changes you could make. Please check it out!

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Is That Initial Spark Even Necessary for a Good Relationship?

Despite having defined spark as the presence of multiple types of attractions, we believe the notion of spark deserves a closer look, as it can be misleading and even detrimental to finding a fulfilling partnership.

While an initial spark can be exciting and enjoyable, relying solely on it as a predictor of long-term success is problematic for several reasons. Firstly, the “spark” can often be fueled by factors unrelated to genuine compatibility. It can be influenced by temporary physical appearance (bad haircut, bad hair day), charisma, or simply novelty. These factors might create an initial feeling of intense attraction, but they don’t necessarily translate into shared values, healthy communication, or the ability to build a strong foundation for a lasting relationship.

man carrying a woman on his back

Furthermore, focusing solely on the “spark” can lead us to overlook individuals who might be excellent long-term partners. Sometimes, deeper connections can take time and effort to develop. Compatibility and shared values often reveal themselves through genuine conversations, shared experiences, and mutual understanding, which might not be readily apparent on a first date.

Instead of solely chasing the “spark,” it’s beneficial to approach dating with an open mind and a focus on genuine connection. Look for individuals who share your values, interests, and goals. Pay attention to how they treat you and others, their communication style, and whether they make you feel respected and valued. These aspects are far more indicative of a potential for a healthy and lasting relationship than the fleeting feeling of a “spark.”

Ultimately, while a spark can be a fun and exciting part of the initial stages of attraction, it shouldn’t be the sole deciding factor in pursuing a relationship. By focusing on building genuine connections based on shared values and mutual respect, you’ll be well on your way to finding a fulfilling and lasting partnership.

We hope this was helpful and that you have a better understanding of what exactly spark is, and whether or not it’s something you need on your first dates. Thanks for reading, and happy dating!

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