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Carolyn Hax: Is it wrong to date someone when there’s ‘no chemistry’?

(Nick Galifianakis/For The Washington Post)

Adapted from an online discussion.

Dear Carolyn: I’ve been on two dates with a man who’s a great fit for me — we share a lot of values, the conversation is great, and I enjoy our time together. We talk and text a lot (different work schedules) and I’m always excited to see his name pop up on my phone.

But: there is no chemistry. The kiss at the end of the first date was like kissing my brother. The kiss at the end of the second date was marginally better. I’m looking forward to the third date because I like spending time with him so much — but I’m already dreading the kiss at the end.

He’s been clear that he is excited about me and seeing where this relationship goes. I feel like I’m misleading him at this point. I love spending time with him, but I’m not even sure I can stomach a third thud of a kiss. I’ve never had this problem, and I have no idea how to handle this. Any ideas?

— No Chemistry

No Chemistry: Sometimes the best chemistry is the kind you develop from 0, over time, just through really liking each other. It’s something you both need to agree to and it’s not a fun conversation, obviously. But if you can explain that you’ve really genuinely 100 percent looked forward to seeing him and want to keep making plans, you’re just not in a romantic frame of mind, then this could be the beginning of a beautiful … something to be named later. Something organic.

It would be sad to toss something great before it has a chance to figure itself out.

Re: Kiss: Great guy, had a great time, kissed at the end of the night. Nothing. Nada. We both knew it. We’re still friends, just friends.

Another guy, I was not physically attracted to him at all, but nice guy. We hung out for a few months just as friends. But he wanted more, so one night I kissed him. It was okay, good enough to start “dating,” and in a short time there was incredible physical chemistry.

I say be honest with the guy, remain friends, but leave your mind open to something more.

— Anonymous

Dear Carolyn: I have a decades-long friendship with a person who starts looking at her watch every time she asks about me. I do not know a decent way to bring this to her attention, or to tell her how this perhaps unconscious habit on her part makes me feel. Help!

— Wow, Look at the Time!

Wow, Look at the Time!: “Am I keeping you from something? I noticed you’re checking your watch.” It’s a polite, even thoughtful thing for you to ask, because of course you don’t want to unwittingly make this friend late for something, or add to her stress if she’s concerned about the time.

Speak up each time it happens.

If you get to a third time where she professes not to be late, then you’ll be able to say, “I fear I’m boring you then. Please tell me if I’m repeating myself or complaining too much. When you check your watch while I’m speaking, I feel hurt that I can’t hold your attention.” That’s the honesty a decades-long friendship deserves. Ideally she’ll have some in return, or, even better, some manners and respect for you.

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