Can We Fall in Love with Anyone?
We fall in love in ways that are completely subconscious and intuitive. It is not necessary for us to do complicated mathematical equations, nor to make a list of pros and cons, for someone to steal our heart.
“Falling in love is like jumping off a cliff. Your brain screams, telling you it isn’t a good idea, and that it will cause you inevitable pain and harm. But your heart believes that it can raise you up and help you fly.”
Our intuition is trained so we avoid overthinking the question of whether or not we like someone. It has evolved like this so we are able to make quick judgements and decisions. For that reason, we subconsciously know when we are attracted to someone, or that we could fall in love with them.
36 questions to fall in love
In 1997, the psychologist Arthur Aron, a professor at the State University of New York at Stonybrook, developed a test of 36 questions to confirm that we can fall in love and form an intimate bond with a complete stranger in 45 minutes.
Aron’s test came into the spotlight again January 9th, 2015 when Mandy Len Catron published an article in the New York Times. In her article, she tells the story of how she fell in love using Aron’s 36 question test.
Aron sought to create intimacy between strangers. He carried out a study with several people to determine which questions should be asked in order to make two strangers fall in love.
Finally, Aron chose a few heterosexual couples to answer the questions and discovered that by asking each other these questions, a high level of intimacy between them could be achieved. The test is completed when, after asking all the questions, the two test subjects stare into each others’ eyes for a period of 4 minutes.
Why do we fall in love with one certain person?
When we fall in love with one person and not another, we act based on our intuition. We understand that we like that person without having to resort to logic to give ourselves a reason.
We simply experience a certain sensation that makes us see clearly that this person, and no one else, is who we like and who we want. That intuition depends on two fundamental factors: one is psychological, and the other is chemical.
Our belief system is the psychological factor that makes us choose a certain person. In general, we search for people with likes and lifestyles similar to our own. Sometimes, we subconsciously search for people who resemble family members or friends whose qualities we admire.
“The meeting of two people is like when two chemical substances come into contact: if there is a reaction, they both transform.”
Human attraction is also a question of chemistry. The chemistry of love is composed of all of the hormonal processes and the unleashing of neurotransmitters that takes place when two people come into physical contact.
Helen Fisher, a researcher in the Anthropology Department at Rutgers University in New Jersey, says that men fall in love more quickly than women.
Fisher states that, based on her research, it has been discovered that the part of men’s brains that is associated with visual stimuli is more active. Because of this, throughout history, women have tried to be physically attractive and pleasing to men.
However, it was detected in women that, when choosing a mate, most of the brain activity is centered in three different parts of the brain related to memory. In order to know if a man could be a good husband or a good father, a woman has to remember how he has acted and what kinds of things he has said.
Can we fall in love with anyone?
Aron actually created his 36 question test in order to prove that intimacy can be generated between two strangers in 45 minutes.
Every couple should ask each other the series of questions. They are divided into three groups, and asked in phases, with each phase becoming more intimate than the last. The final, most intimate, phase of the test asks questions like:
- When was the last time you cried in front of another person? When was the last time you cried alone?
- Tell your partner something you like about him or her.
- Share a personal problem and ask your partner to give you advice on how he or she would handle it. Also, ask them to reflect on how you seem to be feeling about the problem you chose to share.
The experiment consists of responding to the questions, which in turn gradually generates a mutual understanding with the other person. The questions become more and more personal, and allow us to get to know the other person little by little, but in an overall profound way.
What comes out of this deep and intimate knowledge is the feeling of intimacy needed to allow us to fall in love with one another.
It may seem like a rushed and accelerated way to fall in love, but the concrete aspect of what makes us connect with one person instead of another is actually strengthened in the process. This aspect is, of course, intimacy, and intimacy can lead us to love.
“My strategy is that one day, I don’t know how nor in what context, at last, you will need me.”