Mandy Len Catron decided to find love... but with science on her side. In a New York Times essay, the writer recalled her experience testing out a science-based formula for falling in love and what happened.
Could you use a little science on your side to find love? Well, check out what happened when this writer tried her simple scientific formula. It may just change the dating game...
Catron's idea all began when she read about an experiment that strived to make two strangers fall in love with each other. Psychologist Arthur Aron conducted the study in 1997 which was called "The Experimental Generation of Interpersonal Closeness."
A group of heterosexual men and women who didn’t know each other prior to the experiment were paired up, and took turns asking a series of 36 personal questions. Then they were supposed to stare into one another’s eyes for four minutes, without saying anything.
That’s all they had to do... and that’s apparently all it takes to fall in love? One of the pairs even married six months after the experiment!
So, off to try it for herself, Catron tried it with a male acquaintance of hers. She wrote in the essay, "Let me acknowledge the ways our experiment already fails to line up with the study. First, we were in a bar, not a lab. Second, we weren’t strangers. Not only that, but I see now that one neither suggests nor agrees to try an experiment designed to create romantic love if one isn’t open to this happening."
She too asked the 36 questions, and feelings of intimacy were there.
"The moments I found most uncomfortable were not when I had to make confessions about myself, but had to venture opinions about my partner," writes Catron. "For example: 'Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner, a total of five items' (Question 22), and 'Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time saying things you might not say to someone you’ve just met' (Question 28)."
Staying true to the study, they set off for a bridge in the evening and just gazed at each other for four minutes. She described the experience in her essay.
"So it was with the eye," she writes, "which is not a window to anything but a rather 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."
She said there was a level of intimacy and attraction and that maybe just the simple act of sharing, talking and being personal is enough to fall in love. So... did she?
While the experiment didn't completely line up with the study, Catron says yes, they did fall in love!
What do you think? Do you think it helped that Catron chose an acquaintance rather than a stranger... or the fact that she was open to it happening from the beginning and that might have influenced her feelings?