Falling in love : a study

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    I read an interesting article I thought I would share. The author refers to a psychology study wherein the participants are paired with a stranger of the opposite sex. The pairs then ask each other a series of questions, which become increasingly personal. At the end, the couple have to stare into each others eyes for four minutes.


    Evidently, the experiment succeeded in making some participants fall in love. The writer of the article also fell in love when she tried it with her date – although she concedes that they both had a liking for each other to begin with.

    The interesting thing is the results from the original study:

    ” Study 1 found greater postinteraction closeness with these tasks vs comparable small-talk tasks. Studies 2 and 3 found no significant closeness effects, in spite of adequate power, for (1) whether pairs were matched for nondisagreement on important attitudes, (2) whether pairs were led to expect mutual liking, or (3) whether getting close was made an explicit goal. ”

    In other words, having commonalities doesn’t necessarily mean two people will get close to each other. Having the expectation or goal of falling of falling for each other does not make a difference either.

    I think this has some interesting implications for pickup. For one thing, it shows that looking for common ground with a girl, something we’ve probably all done, might not get you anywhere.


    I think that when people offer advice (friends, family, etc) they make the mistake of elevating commonality as dating advice–“Hey–you and x would be perfect for each other–you both have these qualities”….

    These are important for compatibility, perhaps, and they can be things that help relationships work, but when it comes to trying to establish romantic/sexual connections, it’s completely off the mark.

    What this study suggests–and I guess this is what Lee/Eric discuss a lot too with respect to connections–is that discovery is much more powerful than commonality. If you can use an interaction to help a woman discover herself–that’s extraordinarily powerful, and it seems like that’s what this study is doing. (Incidentally, it’s also what things like The Cube, or The 5 Questions Game, and all of these pickup ‘techniques’ are capitalizing on as well.

    Another thing I like about what the author has to say is the idea of love–or even interest– as a conscious decision–not just “something that happens”. Active rather than passive–which is also something that the advice-givers in our lives always tend to ignore. Again, I always saw these things as purely passive “It just happens” or “There was just chemisty” or whatever. Which is very unhelpful to those who don’t know how to experience that sort of “happening”. So for those people, you can pretty much sit back and wait….forever. This article helps to dispel that idea.


    Yes, commonality is irrelevant. The primary objectives of the approach are 1) showing your own high standards, 2) giving her something about you that she can appreciate, and 3) making sure that there’s enough about her you can appreciate. Sharing an interest in something, belonging to the same group, having a common ethnic background, etc., etc. will do nothing for you.



    Very interesting article, thanks for sharing.



    Even forcing two people into a situation where commonality has to exist doesn’t work, as per this article 🙂


    OK, not entirely serious. But maybe if the guy had been interested he could have turned on the charm a bit….


    It’s funny because Mark Manson, who the ‘seduction community’ seems to idolize, talks a lot about the importance of social demographics. He says that you will get more attraction with people from the same subculture etc.

    I think it makes no difference, although you might have slightly more to talk about with someone who has similar tastes. I am a rock looking guy, and since I have been approaching girls in the daytime, I’ve found I am just as often refused or accepted by alternative looking girls as I am more ‘normal ones’.



    I think it’s the passive vs. active thing. Being someone’s “type” (i.e. same subculture, looking a certain part, etc.) works for the tick-box form of dating, which most people do. “Oh, that guy happens to be in the area–he’s looks like the type that I’m into…ok, maybe I’m attracted to him: he fits the criteria”

    What we’re doing–ideally–kind of bypasses a lot of that and puts things in a whole different realm. I mean–it’s not all that common for a complete stranger to stroll up, chat up a girl in a way that actually establishes a connection. (not talking about bar hookups here) So if you manage to do that, you’ve moved from passive to active mode, and pretty much bypassed a lot of the issues of social conditioning/commonality/”type”.

    I think commonalities can be useful–but they really come into play more further down the road–when things like “compatability” come into consideration.

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