When I was a preteen we used to play this game. We would go into the bathroom, turn out the lights, and spin 3 times, stopping each time we faced the mirror. Each time that you face the mirror you would say something (I cannot for the life of me remember what you were supposed to say). Anyways, on the third spin a ghost was supposed to jump out of the mirror and chop your head off.
I never got to the third spin. I just couldn’t bring myself to take the risk. I mean, really, why play with fire in that way?
Well this morning my Dad posted an article on my timeline that reminded me of this childhood dilemma.
The article is written by a Vancouver woman, Mandy Len Catron, who tried an experiment with an acquaintance. The experiment was to ask each other a series of 36 increasingly personal questions and then spend 4 minutes staring into each others eyes. The process she followed was based on a nearly 20 year old theory by Arthur Aron that two people could fall in love by doing this. (The questions they asked each other were from Aron’s study).
And guess what?
Catron and her acquaintance fell in love.
She’s very clear to state that this may or may not have happened without the experiment but that the experiment created an intimacy that would have taken much longer to form on its own.
This whole thing fascinates me.
I really want to try this experiment. It’s so interesting. It can’t possibly cause one to fall in love so what’s the harm?
(And suddenly I’m on that third spin, unable to complete it for fear my head will be chopped off).
Catron’s states in her article…
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.
I couldn’t agree more. I do think that love is an action. We are not passive or unable to control our fall. It is not something that is happening to us but rather something that we are participating in.
If we are already dating in a deliberate way (aka online dating rather than meeting people in a more organic setting) why not take this next step towards a deliberate relationship?
I was surprised when I glanced through the questions that they weren’t the traditionally recommended “first date” questions such as “do you want kids?” or “do you believe in marriage?”. (I think that those questions are a ridiculous place to start anyways, FYI). The questions were altogether more and less intimate than that. I mean, it’s easy to tell a stranger about what I’d like to be famous for… much more difficult to talk about the last time that I cried or my worst memory.
I’m all about letting things evolve naturally. But there is something about this experiment that appeals. The Curious George side of my personality would love to be hooked up to wires while doing it so that my brain activity could be monitored. I just want to know what would happen, how it would feel, if this is some sort of elaborate prank. And is it inherently wrong to go about these things in such a deliberate way? Does it take the romance out of a new relationship?
I don’t know why I keep thinking of it as playing with fire. I guess that the key would be to do the experiment with someone you have an interest in… that way if it has some magical power to make you fall in love, it’s okay.
I like that these questions would create a strong intimacy early on. It can be awkward and difficult to talk about these things so why not just lay it out there
I’ll leave you with these three questions: Would you risk it? (Is it a risk?) Do you think that it could work?
Catron’s article: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/11/fashion/modern-love-to-fall-in-love-with-anyone-do-this.html?_r=1
The questions: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/11/fashion/no-37-big-wedding-or-small.html