Ask Wendy

How Long Should I Date Someone without Chemistry?

Friday, January 6, 2017
first date with flowers, chemistry not necessarily included
Hey Wendy,

I’m actively dating and need your help. What should I do when I meet extraordinary guys that I don't have any chemistry for? When do you know that chemistry is definitely not going to build over time?

Anna S. — Portland, OR

Hey Anna,

This is a tricky balance between giving a guy a chance to grow on you and walking away when it’s just not happening. I’m not a fan of concrete rules, but dating expert and matchmaker to hundreds of happy couples Julie Ferman requires her female clients to go on at least three dates with him if she thinks he was amazing but that there just wasn’t much chemistry. By the third date, if they’re going to flip, they usually do.

I had this experience during my 121 first dates. Date #60 was someone I was crazy about, but it wasn’t until three a.m. on our third date when it hit me like a ton of bricks. We had been sitting in a parked car in front of my place for four hours, trying to wrap up a thread of conversations unsuccessfully because we didn’t want to leave each other’s side. Before then, I could have easily passed.

If you need a place to check-in, listen to your gut. Not your head—cerebral won’t give you the answer. Not your heart, because feelings can be fleeting. But your gut, your instincts, usually know. And if you’re just not sure, give it three full dates before you walk.

Happy dating!

Do you have a dating, sex or relationship question for Wendy? Send it to