So apparently this guy, Arthur Aron, did a study where he came up with a series of questions with increasing intimacy for two people to ask one another, culminating in staring into one another's eyes for 4 straight minutes.
Then this woman..this New York Times writer, Mandy Len Catron, tried it with this guy she'd had her eye on. In her story, it worked. She and that guy are now happily married. And she says, at the end of her article that they didn't fall in love...they chose to be.
This is a question I ask myself and other people all the time. Do people fall in love? Do people believe in the kind of love that just happens to you, the kind that you can't even help or stop or steady? The kind that overtakes you like the waves of an ocean all warm and giddy and alive?
The kind of love that happened to me and Tad is as undeniable to us as God is to people of faith. It wouldn't be fair to tell us it doesn't exist. It would be blasphemous. I want to find more and more people that believe in that kind of love. That would be my kind of church.
I looked up the questions and found them in this New York Times article.
And then, last Saturday night, when we had a date because my parents agreed to take our kids overnight and he asked me what I wanted to do...I told him.
I wanted to answer those 36 questions and stare for four minutes into eachother's eyes.
Uh oh. He said to me, smiling.
Now, let me clarify...the kind of love that I believe happened to Tad and me...it happened. But the kind of love we share now, the marriage, the partnership, the raising of children and running of a household? That we choose. We work really really hard and some days it's wonderful and some days one of us wants to other one of us to bugger off for a while.... That's how relationships are. But love...love is something else entirely.
Anyway, we went out for Italian food. Actually we drove all the way to Hales Corners for our favorite Italian food at Mia Famiglia to find it is closed and moving! So we drove to another restaurant in the third ward that I knew about and it was closed too!!! Finally we found an Italian place downtown and went there. We made it through 31 questions during our appetizer, salad and meal. Then I wanted to go to Purple Door ice cream to finish the last five questions. Wouldn't you know, it was closed too!!! But we drove over to Outpost and bought food for the morning and desserts and asked our last four questions.
It was awesome. We just listened to each other and talked and reaffirmed things we believe and reminisced and it was great. We talked about our dreams and fears, family relationships, best and worst memories, things we have in common, things we like about each other. After one of Tad's answers I told him, "See, now if we were first dating or just met, I'd be like, YEP, I could be with this guy." But at another answer I frowned and said, "Well, that one would have been a turn-off!" "Hey!" Tad said, his hands up in mock surrender, "There are thirty-six of these!"
We did the eye gazing too. And it was nerve wracking and scary... deep and serious...silly and lovely. It was another kind of communication.
I don't know.... maybe that study would work with perfect strangers, maybe not..I think the series of questions for SURE gives you the intimacy and connection with another person that makes you closer.
But I still believe in the kind of love that takes you over without you choosing it first....