Added: Janett Horstman - Date: 29.03.2022 15:42 - Views: 15543 - Clicks: 3289
More than 20 years ago, the psychologist Arthur Aron succeeded in making two strangers fall in love in his laboratory. Let me explain. If so, how do you choose someone? But this was the first time we had hung out one-on-one. And catch up on all things Modern Love. I first read about the study when I was in the midst of a breakup. Each time I thought of leaving, my heart overruled my brain. I felt stuck. So, like a good academic, I turned to science, hoping there was a way to love smarter. I explained the study to my university acquaintance.
A heterosexual man and woman enter the lab through separate doors. They sit face to face and answer a series of increasingly personal questions. The most tantalizing detail: Six months later, two participants were married. They invited the entire lab to the ceremony.
Let me acknowledge the ways our experiment already fails to line up with the study. First, we were in a bar, not a lab. I Googled Dr. We spent the next two hours passing my iPhone across the table, alternately posing each question. In what way?
To someone else? I grinned and gulped my beer as he listed two more commonalities I then promptly forgot.
We explained our relationships with our mothers. I liked learning about myself through my answers, but I liked learning things about him even more. The bar, which was empty when we arrived, had filled up by the time we paused for a bathroom break.
I sat alone at our table, aware of my surroundings for the first time in an hour, and wondered if anyone had been listening to our conversation. We all have a narrative of ourselves that we offer up to strangers and acquaintances, but Dr.
Ours was the kind of accelerated intimacy I remembered from summer camp, staying up all night with a new friend, exchanging the details of our short lives. At 13, away from home for the first time, it felt natural to get to know someone quickly.
But rarely does adult life present us with such circumstances. The moments I found most uncomfortable were not when I had to make confessions about myself, but had to venture opinions about my partner. Much of Dr. In particular, several studies investigate the ways we incorporate others into our sense of self.
We finished at midnight, taking far longer than the 90 minutes for the original study. Looking around the bar, I felt as if I had just woken up. The night was warm and I was wide-awake. We walked to the highest point, then turned to face each other. I fumbled with my phone as I set the timer. We invited college students nationwide to open their hearts and laptops and write an essay that tells the truth about what love is like for them today. I spent the first couple of minutes just trying to breathe properly.
There was a lot of nervous smiling until, eventually, we settled in.
I know the eyes are the windows to the soul or whatever, but the real crux of the moment was not just that I was really seeing someone, but that I was seeing someone really seeing me. Once I embraced the terror of this realization and gave it time to subside, I arrived somewhere unexpected.
I felt brave, and in a state of wonder. Part of that wonder was at my own vulnerability and part was the weird kind of wonder you get from saying a word over and over until it loses its meaning and becomes what it actually is: an assemblage of sounds. So it was with the eye, which is not a window to anything but rather a clump of very useful cells.
The sentiment associated with the eye fell away and I was struck by its astounding biological reality: the spherical nature of the eyeball, the visible musculature of the iris and the smooth wet glass of the cornea. It was strange and exquisite. When the timer buzzed, I was surprised — and a little relieved. But I also felt a sense of loss.
Already I was beginning to see our evening through the surreal and unreliable lens of retrospect. 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. It assumes that what matters to my partner matters to me because we have at least three things in common, because we have close relationships with our mothers, and because he let me look at him.
I wondered what would come of our interaction. If nothing else, I thought it would make a good story. Science tells us biology matters; our pheromones and hormones do a lot of work behind the scenes.
Well, we did. We spent weeks in the intimate space we created that night, waiting to see what it could become. But they quickly became probing. It seemed too weird, too public. Modern Love College Essay Contest We invited college students nationwide to open their hearts and laptops and write an essay that tells the truth about what love is like for them today.Looking for new love this week
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