Can you fall in love with anyone? More than 20 years ago, psychologist Arthur Aron made two strangers fall in love in his laboratory. How? He asked them 36 questions. This year, Mandy Len Catron tried out the 36 questions with a guy she barely knew. Now they’re in love.
Falling in love is easy. Staying in love for 30 or 40 years takes some skill. Social psychologist Arthur Aron identifies some of the techniques devoted couples use to keep the spark alive. Aron's the psychologist who figured out how to build intimacy in just 36 questions. He gives us some more lab-tested tips for keeping the love you find.
Maybe love is numerical – or at least, statistical. Comedian and NPR host Ophira Eisenberg went on forty first dates before she found the right guy. For her, the secret to true love was a large sample size.
Psychologists John and Julie Gottman are famous for being able to predict with 94% accuracy whether a couple will break up, stay together unhappily, or stay together happily. In their Love Lab, they've identified hidden patterns of behavior that can strengthen or weaken relationships. If we'd known the secret to a good marriage was non-linear differential equations, we might have paid more attention in math class.
Even when there's no one else in the room, we're never really alone, argues Joshua Wolf Schenk. We're in constant creative dialogue with the voices in our heads. But we need solitude to hear them. So this Valentine's Day, go spend some time alone!