Imagine this scenario: You’ve gone out several times with a woman named Mary. You really like her, and the two of you have a lot in common. You talk easily, and seem to want similar things from a relationship. But, you’re just not feeling that “zing.” Then you meet Jane, who is just your type. Jane is fresh out of a relationship and not ready for a new one. She also says a few things that suggest that she wouldn’t be a good match for you anyhow. But there is definitely attraction and the two of you end up kissing… and there are major sparks. What do you do?
A) Tell Mary that the dating thing isn’t working out, but hopefully you can be friends – and then pursue Jane, because that chemistry is just too strong to pass up.
B) Continue dating Mary while establishing a flirtatious “friendship” (or even “friends with benefits”) with Jane.
C) Thank Jane for the kiss and wish her well in healing from her breakup – and then focus on continuing to explore your connection with Mary.
OK, let’s be honest here. Most of us have a strong pull toward A or B. I know. I’ve been there. I’ve done it, too! But this is what we call PAFFing – which stands for Putting Attraction First. And we talk to women every week who’ve done that, and then gotten their hearts broken…
… because guess what? That great chemistry burns out within a few months, and then you’re left with someone who (as you actually knew all along, if you let yourself), wasn’t ready and/or wasn’t right for you.
Sigh. That’s why PAFFing is so dangerous. Sure, it’s fun for awhile, but often the pain and confusion ends up far outweighing the pleasure – and you still end up single. (And unless you’ve handled things really well, the chances are you’ve lost your chance to be friends – much less more – with Mary.)
So what’s the alternative?
Is it really possible or wise for you to choose Option C – to turn away from all those great sparks, and keep exploring with the person whom your head can see is a good choice, even if your body isn’t so sure? And, is it really possible to have it all – to have a healthy, compatible relationship with someone who is truly ready and available… and also all the thrilling power of lust, chemistry and limerence?
We say YES and YES. It is possible to make choices with your wise mind, rather than your high-on-limerence brain. (Limerence, as many of you know, is the technical name for that crazy fun consuming state of lust that often tricks us into thinking it’s love.)
Look at it this way. If you’re driving a car, and someone in your back seat keeps yelling at you, “Run the red light! Run the red light! Come on, don’t stop, just drive through that red light!” – you still have a choice about whether or not to run the red light. Running red lights can have major consequences like expensive tickets or even a serious car accident. You know this. So no matter how loud your “backseat driver” gets, you can still put your foot on that brake.
OK, so what if you do manage to cool your jets with Jane. Is there any hope for nice-gal Mary, whom you genuinely like, but just can’t imagine going wild with?
Let’s turn to research for answers here.
Studies consistently show that sometimes there just isn’t chemistry – people like each other, but that extra “je ne sais quoi” (that’s French for “I don’t know what”) just doesn’t develop. BUT, studies also consistently show that sometimes there isn’t chemistry at first – but when comfort and emotional connection grow, chemistry grows too.
We’ve all heard stories about people who were friends or acquaintances for years or even decades, but “never thought of each other that way” – and suddenly an inner door opens, and they’re madly in love.
So, it can happen! But is it just up to luck or chance – or is there a way to actually encourage this happy development?
As you might expect, we at Conscious Girlfriend are deeply interested in questions like these – since after all, our name is Conscious Girlfriend, not Accidental Girlfriend! And it turns out that there is a lot of research on the brain-chemistry triggers for lust, sparks, chemistry and limerence. Although these things are not completely within our control, there are proven ways to increase the odds of opening that magic door in our hearts and our nether regions.
If PAFFing hasn’t been working out for you, then we’d love to help you learn how to choose a partner more wisely and then consciously, open-heartedly open the door to passion!