I stumbled upon a New York Times article that really piqued my interest. It was about a study done on making people fall in love ("To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This"). My internal hopeless romantic is long dead, and has since been replaced with a cynical control freak who still desires companionship and frequent sex. While this article kind of crushes the "magic" of falling for someone, it gives me hope that it's not all that difficult to accomplish.
The idea is forced intimacy. Kind of like anyone who sits too close to me for a long enough period of time. But this is about getting to know someone quickly, through a series of questions that become more intimate as you proceed. Share an embarrassing moment, your relationship with your mother, the last time you cried, and so on. "Tell your partner something that you like about them already." The majority of these questions expose themselves through the course of a real relationship, but the idea here is to make it happen.
Sure enough, the author of this article tried the questionnaire and now she's in love. Her experiment wasn't nearly as scientific as the actual study, and she admits it may have happened either way. But it did make me wonder.
The questions mostly get at your personality and experiences, and feed into your own ego. There's nothing about religion, work, living expectations, or family goals. I guess that's the stuff that potentially ends "love" - money, kids, profoundly different beliefs.
I have a hunch that the people who volunteered for these studies may be the type that believe in astrology or the Long Island Medium. There's that cynicism again.
My takeaway from all this? It doesn't take much to find a "soul mate". "The one" is a load of shit. Humans might not be as complicated as we think. And my definition of love holds true: a best friend that you also like to fuck.