If cinema has taught us anything, it is that love will come our way – probably in a dramatic, impulsive and soul-consuming way. But what if love isn’t something that happens to you? What if it is something that you have to make happen, at least to a certain degree?
In an experiment conducted by psychologist Arthur Aron, he managed to make two people fall in love in his laboratory.
The exercise depended on the two participants asking each other a series of questions which became more and more personal and then staring into each other’s eyes for 4 minutes. This experiment worked so well that after 6 months, the couple was married.
The experiment stressed the need for self-disclosure to build and maintain a romantic relationship because telling someone about ourselves makes us vulnerable to that person.
The questions cover everything from general ‘getting to know you’ questions to deeper probing ones. There are questions that make you list the qualities you like of this person you’ve just met. By the end of the questions, both parties know what they have in common, what they like about each other and their views on their lives.
Normally, this process is very slow and comes with halts but by asking and answering the 36 questions honestly and then doing the eye contact exercise, it can be accelerated.
Just remember that for a meaningful relationship, you have to be honest and really give it a try. If you’re mentally closed to the idea of this experiment working, then it probably won’t.