Two decades ago, psychologist Arthur Aron conducted a famous test to see if he could make two complete strangers fall in love. The test was simple enough: just sit down across the table from someone you don't know and stare deep into their eyes (without speaking!) for four uninterrupted minutes.
In his study, the couple ended up getting married 6 months later.
So why is everyone struggling with online dating, awkwardly being set up with someone by your parents, or trying to meet people in bars? Why not just pick a stranger and fall in love in less than 5 minutes?
Well, that's exactly what Mandy Len Catron wanted to know in college when she asked an acquaintance to try out the test with her. They didn't meet in a lab - they met in a bar.
Aron's study requires the couple to answer a series of 36 questions (anywhere from what is your biggest fear to what is your favorite feature about your partner) and then have a four minute stare-down. As Catron and her partner got into the questions, she realized began to feel "the kind of accelerated intimacy [she] remembered from summer camp" when you stayed up late with strangers and exchanged life stories.
Just when I thought the story was going to end up being cheesy, she explained what she felt after the four minute staring experiment.
"Most of us think about love as something that happens to us. We fall. We get crushed. But what I like about this study is how it assumes that love is an action."
Of course, the couple ends up together, but they don't say it is completely because of the study. They asked intimate questions, trusted each other, and opened up to each other as equals. Falling in love isn't something that just happens, it is something you need to put work into, it is something you need to actually do.
In Catron's words: "Love didn’t happen to us. We’re in love because we each made the choice to be."
Read the full article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/11/fashion/modern-love-to-fall-in-love-with-anyone-do-this.html?smid=fb-share&_r=0