A formula to fall in love?
Falling in love is challenging – so many tough questions and so few answers. How can you fall in love with a stranger? What if they don’t love you back?
And if you’ve already fallen in love once but weren’t successful? How could you get yourself to do it again?
Hold your breath! A study by Dr Arthur Aron and his team at the State University of New York seeks answers to all these questions. Dr Aron looked to solve the most complicated and somewhat messy human challenge of falling in love; he wanted to find scientific techniques that would ensure that two people would fall in love.
36 critical questions
Dr Aron’s team designed a set of 36 questions (check some of them out at the end of this article) and got a man and woman who had never met before to answer the questions to one another. After that, the 50 or more participants taking part in the study were told that they had to perform a bunch of tasks together like looking into each other’s eyes for four minutes.
After six months, a pair of participants were married and they invited the whole lab to the ceremony. An article in the New York Times appeared where the writer tried this method with another person who was an acquaintance of hers from college. The two of them ended up in love. So is there some truth in this after all?
Just imagine, you are going to spend a lot of your time with one person and that person is supposed to be your life partner. It only makes sense to love that person. Sure, generations of parents have told us that eventually the two of you will fall in love. Does that mean you have to wait for decades? Let’s see if the method that Dr Aron developed can point us to what makes love work.
Love in an arranged marriage
An arranged marriage is a very big life event for a young person and the biggest fear is not forming a strong bond with your partner. It only makes sense that the young couple-to-be spends time getting to know each other first.
Dr Aron’s study could be a great way to help you fall in love as soon as possible and make your relationship strong from the very beginning.
The first and most important step is making sure both parties genuinely want to fall in love with each other because no methods can make people fall in love against their will.
This desire to fall in love starts with getting to know the person on a deeper level and this is step one of the program, which involves asking and answering 36 questions about yourself. The 36 questions that you honestly answer are deeply personal. The idea is that if you share these very deep details about yourself with somebody, you trust them.
Moreover, some of these questions focus on revealing what you like about that person. This is normally the kind of information you don’t usually share immediately. Which physical or mental traits you like about them (their hair, smile or laugh etc.)? In admitting these things, you tell the other person why they are valuable to you and they feel good about that.
Willingness to be in love
Lastly, four minutes doesn’t sound like much but looking into someone’s eyes for that long is a personal boundary that is rarely crossed. If you can get the person whom you will marry to do these things with you, it is definitely going to make the relationship stronger and the love deeper.
There are many factors in love, which might be about timing and nature but sharing your beliefs, deepest secrets, and your willingness to be in love is a choice that can lead you to your life partner.
Try it yourself
Go ahead and try asking some of the questions and see what will happen:
- Tell your partner about what you like about them; be very honest.
- Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.
- Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.
- take 4 minutes to tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.
- What roles do love and affection play in your life?
- Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of 5 items.
- What do you value most in a friendship?