On a normal day in the summer of 1967, two young students kissed in front of the food hall, at the University of California. They fell deeply in love and are still together to this day. Their names were Elaine and Arthur.
Their love was all consuming and intense. Their fascination with one another was undeniable. But where does the human psychology come in? And how does it occur?
Arthur was one person, that was particularly interested with these questions. He would also later on the known as Professor Aron, The lead psychologist at the university SUNY. His curiosity about love, led him to a journey of discovery, whether or not profound intimacy could be sparked in an instant, with the help of the right questions.
Professor Aron later published an article, which had devised a set of 36 Questions, which he had found though trial and error, order them into three sections to create a sense of mutual vulnerability and rated them according to the level of intimacy. He believed that there was a different way to opening up, and that the 36 questions that we created, was key to building trust and understanding and falling in love.
The article was based on the study that he made, where he invited heterosexual strangers into his lab. During the 90 minutes, they had to complete a questionnaire that explored the concept of instant love. The only instruction they got, was to “get close to your partner”
While the questions seemed trivial, they slowly progress into an ever more intimate territory during the experiment. What professor Aron found, was that many of the participant who came out of the study felt genuinely lovestruck for their questionnaire partner. One of the couples actually ended up marrying each other.
According to Professor Aron himself, one of the most key patterns that are associated with a development of intimate relationships, is the effort of escalating, reciprocal and personal self-disclosure. We know that it can be hard to allow yourself to be emotionally vulnerable, even if two people are close. This experiment allows for this to happen directly through the questions and are then able to reap the benefits of this.
In recent years, this study has seen a great rise in popularity, as the information has been available online. This means that both couples and sometimes even stranger, are wanting to try out these questions on each other, to see if there is something to this approach in developing emotional intimacy.
One of the most incredible things about this experiment though, is how it ends. They way that the interviews finish off, is by the participants being instructed to stare into each other’s eyes. They are instructed to stare into each other’s eyes for four minutes without any interruptions. This is for many people very intimidating to say the least, and many of us are simply not accustomed to this.
So how do people deal with it? You might laugh, smile, or even start talking gibberish. But the only thing you have to do is breathe and let go.
You must immerse yourself into the thrill of staring into the soul of another human – as the other person does the same to you. Behind their eyes there is a story of memories, love, worries, laughter and pain that words can’t describe. So, bear your soul out loud.
When the four minutes has passed, you’ll fell that the time both passed in the blink of an eye, but also that It took a lifetime. But you will have accomplished something outstanding, and you might be choked how intense this feels.
Professor Aron study was truly one of a kind. In our day to day life, we are rarely exposed to this level of intense relaying of personal information to a stranger, unless we’re at the doctor’s office. What the experiment teaches us, is that falling in love can be accelerated. It is not that hard to generate trust and intimacy. It’s actually simple to asses each other’s completability, when you’re talking about your shared dreams, hope, and values.
As a matchmaker, the idea of Aaron’s study has resonated with me on a different level. At Maclynn International we understand that having these common dreams and values, are of great importance. Our compatibility led ethos has helped us to guide people into successful relationships. With our exceptional clients, who are all looking to settle down with that someone special, this brings us such joy and meaning to what we do.
We believe that shared values are one of the greatest forces behind a successful relationship. With our unique expertise in the blend of psychology and business, makes us a leading company in the field of matchmaking, winners of serval industry awards and creators of fantastic relationship worldwide. Contact us to see how we may be able to support you on your journey to falling in love.