We can probably all agree that love is weird – beautiful, but certainly odd. And just to complicate things, here’s a study that proposes all you need to fall in love with someone is 36 questions and four minutes of eye contact.
Back in 1997, psychologist Arthur Aron[i] aimed to see if he could make two strangers fall in love in a laboratory. Randomly paired partners asked one another a series of increasingly intimate questions, then silently stared into one another’s eyes. The experiment aimed to accelerate the experience of sharing and vulnerability it takes to create a close relationship.
While the study admits it couldn’t replicate certain pivotal relationship aspects that necessarily take time to develop – qualities like loyalty, dependence, commitment, etc. – they did find that participants reported increased feelings of intimacy to their partners, and several maintained relationships after the study. The best part? One pair even got married six months later and invited the whole lab to their ceremony.
There have been several subsequent similar studies since Aron’s years ago, as well as anecdotal reports of couples finding success (i.e. love) using his methods.[ii] If you have your eye on someone sweet, you may want to round him or her up and try it for yourselves. You can find the complete list of questions here.