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Looking for opinions and other people's experiences of finding someone who you wanted to be with (or even your 'soulmate'). I'm not really naive enough to believe in love at first sight anymore (although I don't discount anyone else's experiences of it - I'd love to hear your stories!). I just wonder how long it took people to feel a connection with someone and know they were a person you had potential with. How long after meeting your SO did you know you wanted to be with them? Did you have an instant connection and feel like you'd known them for years? Or did it take a while to get to know them and realise they were someone special? Did you dislike them at first then realise later that were actually great?


I don't have any opinion over what is right or wrong because I know these matters are in the greyest of areas and are totally unique to individuals - that's where my interest lies - in what other people's experiences of meeting their SOs has been.


Some background on me/clairification on where these questions are coming from:


Mid-twenties female with one previous serious relationship of two years. Relationship wasn't great and learned a lot from it - have managed to maintain a friendship with the guy which is great. Turns out we weren't in love and are much better friends than we were a couple. Relationship began after two years of friendship so went very quickly from friends to a very intense, first love, redefining-the-world-kind-of relationship. Happy and in love for a few months then things started to deteriorate. Lots of angst and soul searching, a year of pretty full-on misery before I ended it but hoped to remain friends. Have managed this and have finally started getting back out into the (awful) world of dating. Had a couple of 'meh' first dates. One second date with a guy with lots of potential in terms of lifestyles, values and interests but zero attraction. Now semi-seeing a new guy who I'm attracted to but don't know very well at all. Opposite of my first relationship in terms of how well I knew him going in compared with knowing nothing about this new guy whatsoever. Think there could be something there with him but not sure.


And this makes me question whether there is potential because I have always felt that when I met someone with whom I had a future or at least a connection I'd know pretty much instantly. That there'd be a kind of recognition and a sense that I'd know them for years. That I'd be attracted to them physically and mentally and it would feel more sure or in some way that we were 'clicking'. With this new person I'm having a nice time, we have plenty to chat about and I'm fairly attracted to him. We share some interests and values and I'm pretty sure I'd like to see him again. I'm just not feeling particularly wowed or *sure* that any of it is enough to signal that we have a future or I could grow to be wowed by a relationship with him. My rule has always been 'if you're not sure then it's a no because you would know if it was a yes'. I just don't have enough experience with relationships to know if that's accurate. Am I chasing something imaginary or have people met someone and just clicked? Would I know more instantly if we had chemistry or is a slow burn just as good? I know that relationships take time and work and I'm more than willing to put in those things, but question New Guy when people talk about 'just knowing' and 'feeling at home' with their SO. I don't know or feel at home with him yet. Which isn't to say that I won't further down the line - I just wonder how far down the line I'll feel like I know with more certainty.


Would love to hear other people's experiences of meeting new people and having connections with them. How soon did you know they were right for you? How long were you willing to persevere to see if there was something there? Is settling for something ok and 'nice-enough' enough? Should we hold out for the magic? Isn't that why we're here? Or is it all a fairytale? Is reality always more practical and less, well, magical? In short, do soulmates exist? How do you know when you've found yours - is that a moot point because you *would* know if they were the one?


All opinions on this stuff welcome, no judgments or prejudices here. Unnecessarily harsh words are unwelcome though - it's just an interesting topic that I'm trying to gain more understanding of 👍


Cheers guys 👍

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A relationship can happen any number of ways. A lot of young women expect Prince Charming to show up in a golden coach and whisk them off their feet. When that doesn't happen, they become cynical and marry someone who is well off and can keep them in new shoes. As women get older, they're looking for more stability, friendship and companionship rather than romance, and of course older women are just looking for a man who can breathe on their own. (Just kidding, sort of.) I know, my three major romances in my life were with women who were friends first. That just worked best for me. We knew each other before anything romantic happened. I can understand you're looking for love like in the romance novels, but you might find being friends first works best.

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I am very skeptical about the "instant connection"/"just knowing" lines. When I hear these, I often wonder whether these impressions were formed retrospectively following a positive result i.e. "instant attraction" being renamed "instant connection"/"just knowing". Plus, it is my impression that just as many (or more) "instant connection"/"just knowing" relationships crash and burn. "Instant connection"/"just knowing" has never happened to me. "Instant attraction", most definately I feel that the "friends first" relationships have a higher chance of stability though.


As for the "dislike them at first then realise later that were actually great", my experience with that has been very negative. In my case, it turned out that that first "gut reaction" had actually been accurate...

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My experience with the instant "click" has been that it's an illusion. Hormones and intense feelings mask the fact that there is no real relationship there. The instant-click relationships burn themselves out pretty fast.


I did have one instant-click relationship that lasted a long time (20 months) but that was mainly because I resisted him for the first year. I was in my early 20s and reluctant to settle down with any one person. But I loved hanging out with him. So, for quite some time, we hung out and got to know each other without all of the suffocating relationship-constraints. So there was an instant click, but not an instant relationship.


The best relationships I have had have built up over time.

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With my ex....no we were certainly not love at first sight. In fact, it took more than 3 dates to feel a chemistry. Initially I was just like meh, whatever don't care if you like me because I don't feel butterflies anyways. Of course it didn't last but I believe you can grow to "connect" just with anyone if you try hard enough.


I think what you mean is chemistry which is biological. It's how your body respond to their pheromones. Mutual chemistry is rare because it can't be negotiated. You just know it when you feel it, words can't describe it.


Like you, I also casual date, I have been doing it for a couple years, and I can say that 99% of the men I feel zero or little chemistry with so don't be discouraged. It has nothing to do with how physically attractive he is. Therefore, I give most men 3 dates to prove that we have chemistry or a deeper connection. If not, I kindly reject them. The first date is too early to give up hope.


Now, I am fortunate enough to say that I have finally felt the 1%. This is the first man I've ever felt instant chemistry with with all my years of casual dating. Before the date, I didn't care to see him because his pictures were whatever. But as soon as I saw, heard, touched, and smelled him in person on the 1st date, sparks flew. I know he felt it too because we started talking as if we had known each other since forever. Our conversations flowed naturally, it was blissful and refreshing. I wouldn't call it love at first sight but my goodness, you just know when you feel it because it's so rare that you can't overlook it. Anyways, we've been dating consistenly ever since and the chemistry is holding strong. We never run out of things to say and do, who knows if it's just infatuation but I'm sure loving every moment.

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From my experience on chemistry and connection, chemistry is instant, you don't need 3 dates to find this out. It's clear on the first date. But the chemicals themselves are so very dangerous. You pretty much have no chance to extricate yourself once you got into it, and oh my, the person in front you can be so unsuitable for a good relationship.


As a result of being on dating apps since NY, I had the privilege of three crashes in the space of four months. I know it sounds almost unbelievable, but yes this is my record. My first crash/instant chemistry guy was just getting out of a LT marriage, and not at all ready to invest emotionally. This was not apparent to me until later in our relationship. I ended it after 2.5 months. Second guy - a massive crash and mega chemistry - turned out a sever commitment phobe, and I am still dealing with emotional uncoupling from him. Strong chemistry between us is a trap.


Guy 3 was the one where I "knew" after 20 min of talking to him that I'd fall in love with him. And he 'knew" he said to me later, that he had known me for a long, long time. We were almost identical in just about everything. I almost fell in love with him, but we were really incompatible physically - his physical affection output and sex were insufficient for me. I noticed this early on, but because of all the "knowing" in my head and his head, and our almost identical everything, I thought we sure were the soul mates and it all would work out fine. What an illusion. He broke up with me after 2.5 months.


On a crash of some years before and an ensuing relationship of three years. There I felt it was my soul mate, I felt "at home" looking in his eyes, and we were a great match physically and emotionally. But mentally it was a disaster. I was bored to death after a year with him. In the end we both sabotaged the relationship, and it took us both a long time to recover, again because the chemicals and attachment were to strong.


On friendship, I hear this is very good, but have not such experience. Been trying to make it happen and see for myself. One conclusion: friendship needs context, it can't just flourish after meeting a guy on the app and deciding to be friends. I did this with a couple guys, and it just doesn't work. Friendship needs time and context (school, work, neighbours etc). Hence my other conclusion: for apps and OLD people won't bother with low level attraction when pool is so large. Guys all want about 8 out of 10 to start with to justify time and effort. Girls, myself included, can accept 5-6, with the view for it to grow, but in my experience it doesn't go anywhere. I dated about four guys now with the initial attraction level of 5-6, it just stayed there. One 5-6 guy I might re-date - having a pause now, and it might flourish. I heard that it can flourish from 5-6 to 9, and that in fact that's how we should ideally have it. It just hasn't happened in my experience. What I am trying to do now - friendship route having been given up on - is to continue to see what happens with the 5-6s, and to continue to look for the 8-9s from the outset, but be more discerning going forward. It maybe easier said than done.

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