There is an interesting TED talk that you can view that I recommend to you by Mandy Len Cantron. Go to TED.com and search for her name or “falling in love” and you will find it. It is just under 14 minutes long. She was researching falling in love and happened to try it herself. In the research, the couple would read and answer 36 questions that were increasingly personal and then stare into each others eyes for four minutes. In the research, people were falling in love after doing this with each other. And Mandy, herself, fell in love with her friend (and he with her). She got a great deal of attention from people because this is an important topic for almost all of us. The question that she gets most often is, “Are you still together?” I’ll let watch the video (she doesn’t tell the answer until towards the end) to find out.
As a couples therapist, this TED Talk was very interesting. I wondered, in therapy sessions, could I ask ever increasingly personal questions of the couple that has come to me with their struggles and then have them stare into each others eyes and then they would…
Love each other?
Fall in love with each other?
Get over the affair?
…along with a number of other questions. I liked that Mandy was working on and thinking about the sustaining of love at least as much as “causing” two people to fall in love with each other. I certainly feel like, in my work with couples, that we, over the course of our work together, are asking increasingly personal questions of each other and working to clarify our thoughts and feelings that are the answers. And it is very often floating around the room somewhere the issue of making love stay in the relationship and sometimes reviving it.
Couples therapy is often about underlying love (and hate); opening up more (and closing up more); learning to love other more (and deal with not loving the other better); along with a number of other, deep issues. Asking each other more personal questions and opening up with each other is a task you can do to falling in love (along with staring) but also something that can be used to build any relationship.