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Recently I’ve been watching FYI’s relationship show Married at First Sight – a show that follows 3 couples whose marriages were arranged as part of a social experiment. Four specialists pair up 6 people who long to be married based on scientific data, and these couples must legally marry each other the moment they meet. No courtship, no “peeking” at the other person to see if you like what you see first – you literally walk down the aisle to greet a perfect stranger who others have determined is your perfect match. After 5 weeks, they have to decide if they want to stay married or get a divorce.

While I can appreciate a group of experts who can pair people based on science, I couldn’t help but wonder if there are some thing you simply can’t measure scientifically, like chemistry. It’s one thing to say these two people should be together because they both like dogs, want kids, love long walks on the beach and each love sushi. While those commonalities sound great on paper, all of those shared interests can go out of the window if there is no “spark.” You know, that “thing” that can’t be seen, it can only be felt.

But can experts predict “spark” as well? What is that chemistry based on? Looks? Personality? Familiarity?

I’m sure it could be a combination of all of those things…or none of those things. It’s something that continues to baffle scientists, poets and those who sing sappy love songs. What is it about a certain type of guy or girl who gets us all tingly?

Sometimes we’re attracted to the same type over and over again without even knowing why. We gravitate towards tall men, short women, brunettes, bald-headed dudes…over and over again. Maybe he reminds us of our dad, or she has long hair like his mother. What’s “familiar” about our recurring stream of sweethearts may not always be immediately evident though – at least not on the outside anyway.

Some people may feel chemistry with someone who treats them in a way that’s familiar because it’s a dynamic they know. A woman who grew up with a father who was a rolling stone jazz musician, for example, may end up with a wild-man rocker dude, who’s similarly unpredictable but (hopefully) in more positive ways. A guy who grew up with a nurturing mother who babied him and waited on him hand and foot might be attracted to catering women who have no problem washing his dirty drawers. So, the chemistry you feel in your relationship could echo some dynamic from your past.

Unless, if you never thought your wandering father or docile mother was cool. In that case, you might be attracted to men and women are the OPPOSITE of what you saw growing up, simply because you don’t want to be with someone with those characteristics.

Perhaps it’s possible to not have a type at all and chemistry can be found anywhere – which would make it much harder for a scientist to peg you. Some people don’t see race. They don’t see “colors.” They don’t see height, or weight, or even distinguish certain personality traits from another. Some people just see each person individually to determine if there’s a spark.

So, tell me – do you think chemistry is a universal thing that can apply to ANY and EVERYONE? Or do you feel that familiarity breeds a bond? That “like attracts like”? Or does the theory that opposites attract explain why we’re drawn to someone completely unlike ourselves? And will the differences between two people presuppose passion – but an inevitable downfall since we wind up hating them for the very things that attracted us in the first place?

I’m curious to read your thoughts on this. I want to know if any of you have a certain type that “chemistry” finds you dating over and over again, and does this chemistry serve you well…or bite you in the ass. Let’s hear it!

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