Up at the Times is an article on how to fall in love. The author used the technique developed in a laboratory study on whether it was possible to create emotional closeness between two people intentionally. Anecdotally, some people who have used the method have in fact fallen in love with each other.
You don’t need science to know this, but it’s good that science is confirming what your grandmother could have told you: Spending time getting to know another person in a warm, receptive, intimate context is a great way to deepen a friendship.
This is why it is possible to become fast friends with a new schoolmate the first week of class. Humans are made for intimacy and emotional bonds.
This is also why it can be so devastatingly easy to destroy a marriage in three easy steps:
- Be open to the possibility of divorce or adultery.
- Neglect to build emotional intimacy and deep friendship with your spouse.
- Do build emotional intimacy and deep friendship with someone else you could find sexually attractive.
Do these three things, and it’s not necessary to be a psychopath or an abuser or a serial adulterer to wreck your marriage. Divorce is within the grasp of ordinary people with just garden-variety flaws.
Contrary to myth, adultery isn’t the sole province of vile, nasty, putrid specimens who ought to be banished to the outer planets. Adultery is a sin that any number of generally nice, well-meaning people can get caught up in. It requires a decision to do the wrong thing, but it’s a decision that is easy to act upon, because it’s a decision that can be inspired by our natural desire for emotional closeness with other people.
Or you could choose to fall in love with your spouse.If you’re married to some ordinary person who treats you decently overall, but things in your life have been difficult lately, and the two of you just aren’t as in love as you used to be, and you aren’t feeling that emotional support from your spouse you really need . . . the two of you can change that.
It takes both of you, but it doesn’t take rocket science. Just some things that your grandmother or your local social-scientist could help you out with.
- A Marriage-Affirming Romantic Comedy about Adultery
- Adultery is Not the Only Option: Five Things You Can Do to Keep Your Vows Intact