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Ask Ava: Building Chemistry

Couple Sharing Wine

Q: Dear Ava. My question concerns the chemistry between a man and a woman. I’ve got strong feelings for an older lady I used to work with and now consider a friend. We met at our job and we slowly got to know each other. I knew right away I was attracted to her, but I kept it cool because we worked together. But as soon as I knew I was leaving, I asked her out for lunch to tell her how I felt. That’s when I got the whole “I like you but just as a friend” speech. Demoralizing for sure, but I haven’t given up.

My guy friends say I’m a glutton for punishment, but I think if she really gets to know me she’ll see me (physically different) and there might be a chance. We always have a good time when we get together. Is there and advice or experience you can share?
-Persistent in Washington

A: Dear PAW: When I think of chemistry, I think of an instant attraction between two people that is mutual. And that kind of off-the-charts explosive chemistry is rare. So rare, that I wish I’d enjoyed it more the few times I had it.

I like the way you’ve dealt with your attraction thus far; slow and steady often wins the race. The good news is she does consider you a friend which is the place where many a great romance start, and many relationships that are long-lasting. Don’t listen to the naysayers; the heart wants what the heart wants, and although you can’t force someone to love you, a little persistence can often change a gal’s perspective.

Let me share a personal story. I met a younger man through a friend at work. We met first online, just emailing back and forth; we had a fun, even flirty, repartee and he wanted to meet. I wasn’t expecting anything romantic, but it did feel a little like online dating. When I walked into the restaurant to meet, I didn’t feel instant chemistry, but as we got talking and connecting through conversation, I found myself looking at him a little differently.

I didn’t see him for a few months, but we emailed here and there, and I found myself thinking more and more about him. The next time I saw him, it was like I was looking at a completely different person. I was feeling a bit of chemistry. And this happened a third time, with my feelings growing a little more.

I won’t tell you how that one ended, but it was a fascinating experience (and not my only one) where I didn’t think there was any immediate physical attraction, but by getting to know someone’s personality, my view and feelings (butterflies) emerged. So, I think you might be onto something, that quiet perseverance can build chemistry.

I say, continue the relationship, with patience and grace… sometimes good things do come to those who wait. Good luck, PAW!

Read: How to Turn a Friend into a Girlfriend

Need advice on dating, relationships, or sex? SUBMIT YOUR QUESTION HERE, and who knows, you may appear in the next Cougar World newsletter. -xo Ava

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