Wouldn’t it be great to know that following a series of steps would guarantee that you fall in love? Sounds intriguing. Just to be clear, the steps have nothing to do with swiping right or left or direct messaging someone.
The recipe for instant love evolved from a scientific study by Dr. Arthur Aron of SUNY of Stonybrook and his team of researchers.
In the experiment two people are placed in a room alone and have to ask each 36 predetermined questions of a personal nature. The question gradually become more personal, and the participants must answer honestly and openly. After the questions the participants must stare silently into each other’s eyes for four minutes.
The results of the study seemed to support the hypothesis; people can make themselves fall in love with a stranger if they make the right effort and are initially receptive to the possibility. The writer of this NYTimes article tried it and succeeded, although she already was friendly with her partner prior to the experiment.
Can this instant love formula really work for anyone?
It would seem that there would have to be a physical attraction in order for cupid to strike. That’s just common sense, at least from the male point of view.
Given that there is that physical chemistry, can this love recipe work?
Before answering this question, let’s take another look at the steps of the formula:
1. Facing each other
2. Sharing personal information in an open and honest way
3. Gazing into each other’s eyes
Yes, it’s a date. Or at least the way dating is supposed to go.
If the purpose of dating is to fall in love, then the process described by Dr. Aron’s research makes perfect sense.
Dating is the process of getting to know someone in a very personal way. As the process progresses, intimacy develops. Dr. Aron tried to speed up the process, but the steps are the same.
Assuming that there is that basic level of attraction, a date is the perfect opportunity to develop the intimacy needed to fall in love.
But the date must be conducted in the proper manner:
1. The participants must focus on each other.
Sounds pretty basic, but on many dates one or both people are focusing on everything but the person they’re with. Sometimes that has to do with a lack of physical attraction, but more often it’s just a matter of roving eyes or lack of attention. The only way you’ll have a chance of creating any intimacy is if you look the other person in the face. Focus.
2. Sharing personal information
Too many people are afraid to let down their guard and share. That’s smart. You need to feel like you trust the other person before divulging your deepest and darkest secrets. But that doesn’t mean you can’t talk about yourself and your feelings. Not everything about you is top secret, is it?
You need to take a chance by opening up a bit in order to get anywhere in a romantic sense. You can and should filter what you reveal in the initial dating stages, but you have to give something to get something in return.
Date conversations often consist of small talk and trivial information…nothing personal. That does not build intimacy. If need be, copy down some of Dr. Aron’s 36 questions to bring on your next date. Or better yet, just be yourself and open up…just a bit.
Once you do open up you might be surprised to find yourself on one of those dream dates where you end up talking for hours…
3. Eye contact
Four minutes of staring into someone’s eyes seems a little excessive…and creepy. The idea behind it is sound: to create a feeling of intimacy.
While Dr. Aron’s love experiment took only a few hours, the dating process can stretch over days, weeks or months (years is probably not a great idea). It’s a process of getting to know someone in a very personal way that leads eventually to intimacy.
One of the problems with dating today is that the intimacy building process is usually superseded by physical intimacy. The feelings of love that emerge from physical intimacy alone don’t last beyond the physical. Once the thrill is gone (which for many men is one night) the love is too, since it was solely based on that physical connection.
The way to true and lasting love is to create a relationship based on personality and emotional and spiritual connection. After you have that connection, the physical intimacy can take it to a much higher level — true and lasting love.
So can you really fall in love with someone by following a recipe?
Yes, if that recipe is dating that first focuses on creating personal intimacy based on sharing, and emotional and spiritual connections.
Give it a try.
Now’s it’s your turn. Share your thoughts in the comments, or share this post with your friends.