Can A Relationship Work If You Don't Feel An Immediate Spark?

If we base real life romance on the type of stuff we see in romantic comedies, then each and every first date should be full of wonder, and not just sparks, but fireworks. Or the two characters start off hating each other and, of course, get together in the end.


But the thing with dating in the real world is that sparks, although a real thing between two people when the chemistry is just right, don't always happen when you first meet someone. So, does that mean you should not agree to a second date? No.

"First date sparks are overrated," dating and relationships expert and licensed marriage and family therapist Anita A. Chlipala tells Elite Daily. "Sparks don't mean someone will be a good fit for you as a long-term partner ... Feelings of infatuation fade for everyone, and so I really wish people would stop placing so much emphasis on first date sparks."

While there's certainly those first dates that go horribly wrong and you definitely never want to see the person again, if it was a decent date and you enjoyed talking to them, then you might as well go out on a second date (via Glamour). If you're looking for a serious relationship or the opportunity to fall in love, you can't get there by throwing every first date out the window just because it doesn't shimmer and glimmer. Had Lizzy Bennet completely dismissed Mr. Darcy after their first meeting, she would have never ended up with someone who, presumably, was the love of her life.


Why sparks aren't necessary

We all have our own idea of what love is and what the perfect relationship should look like, but that doesn't mean we should try to attain that. Things that are too good to be true often are and sparkling chemistry doesn't have much to stand on if there isn't anything else.


The fact is that people can grow on you and can grow on you in an authentic way when you're not blinded by sparks (via Psychology Today). This can lead to building the type of foundation that's necessary for long-lasting love.

"We all think that an initial spark is an indicator of compatibility; however, there is a lot more to a long-lasting and healthy relationship than the initial spark of the first date," Jessica Jefferson, LMFT tells Well + Good. "An initial spark is more indicative of infatuation than compatibility."

Infatuation ultimately fades. It's when you get to the attachment phase that you know you have something — and someone — special.

What to do if you don't feel sparks right away

First of all, hold up. If you didn't feel any sparks, ask yourself what you did feel, what you liked about the person, and whether or not it was actually a good time. Love at first sight, which would be on par with sparks, isn't just the stuff of movies, but it's also not sustainable.


"Some people believe [love at first sight] is true because it jives with their personal experience," relationship expert Dan Savage tells Insider. "But it's a logical fallacy because you may have had the exact same initial feelings for somebody and it didn't work out. Love at first sight, hate and divorce court 15 years later."

Granted, hate and divorce is always a possibility, but putting too much emphasis on experiencing intense almost love-like emotions right off the bat just isn't the best way to go about dating. 

"If you don't feel a spark right away, that doesn't necessarily mean there isn't any potential with that person," relationship coach Adam Maynard tells Refinery29. "If it's somewhere between a definite no and a definite yes, what do you have to lose by going on a few dates and seeing if an attraction develops? You might be surprised."


In other words, go for it. If falling in love is taking a risk in itself, then there's something to be said for taking a risk on someone with whom you maybe didn't have sparks with immediately. So, take your time and see where it goes. Sometimes it's the slow burn that takes us up and over the finish line to true love.