I rarely browse articles but the title of this one caught my eye. After reading it I immediately realized that it was the best non-scholarly article I’ve read this year to date. I’m a psychology junkie and I love reading articles and books related to relationships, human interactions, and patterns of behavior. Very interesting stuff. Now, outside of the fact that the author is a good writer, she also took the liberty of attaching the original research article that she was referencing. This was great because it gave me a little more background on the original study that had been done. Which, by the way, would have been an excellent dissertation topic. The whole idea behind the article is that we choose who we fall in love with and that we can fall in love with someone based on interpersonal interactions we’ve had with them that were meaningful and required both individuals to be vulnerable to each other at the same time. The study the author referenced was conducted with college psychology students that were paired together. They were tasked with asking each other a set of questions and their emotional closeness was measured afterwards. There was also a component that author of the article noted that included looking into the eyes of the person for four minutes straight. Yes, four minutes. The idea behind that is that it is a way for both individuals to feel equally vulnerable at the same time. This builds emotional closeness. The author in the article tried this with a guy using the same questions from the original study and got positive results. It’s interesting how relationship dynamics can change when there are opportunities to talk about personal topics. You can sometimes see a different side of someone when they are by themselves versus when they are in a group because their defenses are down and a one-on-one interaction can foster an environment of intimacy and emotional closeness that is much harder to achieve in a group setting. So hypothetically, you could “gently persuade” someone to fall in love with you by looking into their eyes for four minutes and the facilitation of these discussion questions the author mentions and includes a link for in the article. Interesting.
I read that article earlier and found it fascinating. I always believed that we can choose to love someone as opposed to simply “falling in love” which is nothing more than infatuation which does not last. The theory of mutual vulnerability makes a lot of sense as well. It is closely related to Carl Roger’s Theory of Unconditional Positive Regard. If each person allows himself to be vulnerable and “naked” if you will, an inherent intimacy will develop. I like what you said about the type of interactions influencing the development of intimacy. The irony is that, in today’s technological culture, the art of one-on-one, face to face communication is all but extinct. Its been replaced by texting, FB, Skype and cell phones. I enjoy just sitting with someone (preferably in front of a roaring fire), sharing a beverage and talking all night long. That is when intimacy is truly shared. Thanks!
I agree. Quality communication and in person interactions have definitely decreased with the increase of technology. There’s nothing like a good stimulating conversation that keeps you on your toes.
Is it possible to get the link to the article you are referencing? I would love to read it. Thank you!
Sure, if You click on the word “one” in the second sentence of the post the articke should pop up.