We tend to think of love as a mystical force–inexplicable, often wild. But our friends at Care2 say there’s scientific proof we can make anyone fall in love.
A recent New York Times article has created quite a stir on the internet.
The article is the writer’s attempt at conducting an experiment by psychologist Arthur Aron in which two strangers quickly fell in love with each other.
In Aron’s experiment, two strangers were instructed to ask each other a series of 36 questions that ranged from “Would you like to be famous?” to “When was the last time you cried?” They were then instructed to stare into each other’s eyes for four minutes. They quickly fell in love and were married six months after the experiment took place. The writer who decided to give the experiment a try in her own life, also found herself in love with the person who partook in the experiment with her.
The general consensus seems to be that if we create interpersonal closeness with each other then we can quickly fall in love. That means love doesn’t just happen to us like we’ve been led to believe. In fact, we may have an active role in speeding up the process.
Granted, just because we may have a more active role in falling in love than we initially thought doesn’t mean biology doesn’t have its place. Hormones (among other factors) still play a big part in all of this.
It turns out you still can’t fall in love out of convenience or choose who loves you, but you can take an active role in generating trust and intimacy—two essential ingredients needed in order to fall in love. How do you find those ingredients?
Give compliments generously.
People like being admired. They like to hear that their partner appreciates them. Furthermore, the person dishing out the compliments gets a lot of the same benefits as the person receiving them.
By saying something like “I like the way you dress” you are incorporating the other person into your sense of self. It makes certain positive qualities that belong to the other person extremely valuable to you.
Let someone really see you.
We typically aren’t comfortable with having people look at us. In fact, we’re more likely to turn away than we are to just let someone admire us and stand witness to it.
That’s why part of the experiment in making someone fall in love with you is having the two parties stare into each other’s eyes for four minutes. According to the experiment, by letting someone see us for who we really are, we can increase the speed in which we fall in love.
The last ingredient in making someone fall in love with you is to engage in reciprocal vulnerability.
That’s why in Aron’s experiment the strangers are asking probing questions about each other off the bat. The exercise forces you to be vulnerable with each other, which is something most people have difficulty with even years after being in a relationship.
Mutual vulnerability and self-disclosure fosters trust and intimacy within the relationship. By being open with each other from the beginning you can set the wheels in motion to fall in love quickly.
Written by Amanda Abella
This article was originally published with Care2; republished with permission.
[image: via Leo Hidalgo on flickr]