If You Want to Fall in Love (Again, With the Same Person), Ask These Questions

February 11, 2015 3:28 PM

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If You Want to Fall in Love (Again, With the Same Person), Ask These Questions

Valentine's Day got an early start this year, and it's in large part due to the wonderful Modern Love essay of Mandy Len Catron in the New York Times: "To Fall in Love With Anybody, Do This." The Internet is buzzing with love. Just in case your mom, your best friend and your eighth grade lab partner haven't already emailed it to you, allow me to summarize: A woman is out on a first date-ish meeting in a bar with an acquaintance from her university. Sensing the romantic possibility with this man who she'd seen frequently at her climbing gym, she decides to try a psychological experiment she'd heard about years earlier. The experiment, the brainchild of social psychologist, Dr. Arthur Aron, goes like this: Two total strangers sit down together and ask each other 36 increasingly personal, probing questions over the course of 90 minutes. In the original experiment, two of the strangers fell in love. They got married six months later and invited the whole lab to the ceremony. Swoon. Back at the bar, Ms. Catron thought, if it worked for them, why not try it too? She did. It worked.

What was the alchemy that happened in that bar? Or on the bridge later when they did the last part of the experiment -- staring into each other's eyes, silently, for a death-defying four minutes? Those searching for love or in its first blushes are eagerly taking notes, but just the same couples who...

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