Chemistry Lessons

CW: body dysmorphia

A guy just ended things with me by saying the chemistry wasn’t right. By telling me that he had liked me more when we were messaging, than in person. I wish I could say that it was the first time someone had said that to me, that there was no “spark”, but I can’t. It’s not even the second time this year alone. 

I was never very good at chemistry at school. All I remember distinctly is copying out the periodic table, over and over, lesson after lesson, as instructed by a teacher who looked and smelled stale. The elements never did translate from the page. I never did understand compounds. I never did my homework. I understood biology though, biology was fun. 

I thought I was very good at chemistry in real life. I understand energy, I understand how it flows between two people, I understand how it feels when it’s released. I get “the spark”; I thought I was “the spark”.   

Turns out, I am actually not the spark. 

Too often, blaming the chemistry is a mask for something else. It’s that you don’t like my opinions or you don’t think I’ll get along with your friends or you think of me only as a friend or I’m too much or I’m not enough. Maybe I said fuck too much, maybe you can’t be with someone polyamorous, maybe you could never imagine introducing me to your parents, maybe you don’t like my tattoos, maybe I looked better in my photos. Perhaps it’s because I like feminist romantic fiction far more than Dickens or Tolstoy, perhaps it’s because I think you’re too centrist and I told you so, perhaps it’s because my teeth are a little crooked. 

Too many times people have told me that there is no chemistry between us after they’ve seen me naked. After we’ve fucked. After I’ve sucked their cock. I’m not sure if I’m more confused, frustrated, or impressed at the utter gall of their grift. 

I’m not an idealist; if you’re on a date and you’re not really feeling someone, but you’re horny and you think, what the hell, why not get my dick licked while I’m here, I get it. It’s happened to me a couple of times, where, by mutual agreement, we didn’t feel any romance in the air but we still found each other hot so fucked because we could. But the key was that it was mutual. Don’t string me along, telling me how much you want to meet my nesting partner, researching nice restaurants we could visit for dinner the next weekend, working out what trains you need to catch so you could be at my house exactly on time to cook dinner for when I finish work. Don’t do that. If you’re honest and open and let me know what you’re really feeling, I may still suck your dick if it’s pretty enough. 

You say you don’t feel that chemistry, after you’ve seen every inch of my naked skin, and I hear: you’re too fat. 

People seem shocked when I’m not insecure about my body when I’m with them. That I’m honest and blunt and I describe myself as fat. That I will happily peel off every item of clothing and stand before them, indignant in my nudity. My body is how it is; being shy or ashamed or attempting to hide any part isn’t going to change it. What you think about it isn’t going to change it. 

I am most confident and proud of my body when I’m nude and nothing is obscured. It’s honest. It’s real. Yes, there are parts I find extremely difficult to look at in the mirror, to accept, but there’s nothing I find difficult for others to see anymore. Because my body dysmorphia is mine; it’s my view that’s flawed, it’s my mind that is twisted, it’s my feelings that are messed up. It’s my eating disorder that helped me to gain weight. It’s my body and how I see it and judge it. It’s not about you. You haven’t earned any right to make me feel bad about it. 

I wish I could say I’m a person who isn’t easily fooled. I wish I could offer advice on how not to be used. But I can’t, because I’m fooled and used just as much as anyone else, if not more. You may think I should turn inward on myself and try to take up less space, however their rejection only makes my determination hotter. I am at my most dangerous when I’m made to feel stupid. Now, I will endeavour to fill any space I want to, can do, as the world’s biggest fuck you. 

Someone on social media suggested I am trying to force love; I’m not forcing anything. I am a person who acts and feels with the power of 15 suns when I am motivated; if I was forcing this, everyone around me, within a radius of 100 miles, would notice. There would be a supernova every time I agreed to a date. I swipe left on 25, 30 times more people than I swipe right on, I am not forcing anything. I am not currently operating at even 50% of the effort I could give this. I am just a person who is trying to find a nice relationship, for fucks sake. 

But I am sure in some people’s eyes I’m still doing it all wrong. For every person who thinks I’m forcing love, there will be another asking why I’m not giving it 100%. 

I may seem as though I am the kind of person who reaches out only for sex and a good time, however I am a romantic slut. If someone makes me feel as though they care for me, I only have optimism that they do. What is the alternative; to distrust every and all romantic overtures? To question my own feelings every time I allow myself to feel any? I can’t live that way. Next time I’m asked at a job interview what my biggest flaw is, I will be sure to say it’s my hope. 

It’s chemistry I don’t trust. My chemistry, any chemistry. What good is feeling that spark if the other person doesn’t? It’s like trying to make water without oxygen; the science doesn’t work. I want to trust good conversation, someone making me laugh, someone making me think, being cared for, being told I’m hot AF and seeing their hard dick as evidence, someone making an effort, someone being attracted to all of me. I want to trust people and their intentions and if that’s all thrown back in my face, so be it, but I don’t want it to be under the guise of chemistry. 

Don’t tell me you feel a spark between us; a spark can light a fire and I don’t like being burned. Tell me anything, but not that there’s a spark. Don’t tell me you don’t feel a spark between us; be honest. Tell me anything, as long as it’s everything, as long as it’s not about chemistry. Even if it’s a painful truth, it wounds less than the incessant questioning within my head. 

And I still don’t understand the fucking periodic table.

One thought on “Chemistry Lessons

  1. This sucks so much. The thing here is the dishonesty.

    Like you said: it’s fine not to be romantically interested, but having a nice vibe with someone and turning that into a sexual encounter. It’s *not* fine to lie about it, claiming to want things you don’t actually want just so you can get laid.

Leave a Reply