In 2015 Mandy Catron got curious. She’d been reviewing research from the 1990’s that was about intimacy between strangers. She wanted to know if what these researchers learned could be applied to falling in love with someone you don’t know. After seeing that it actually worked, she applied it to herself and a distant friend. And yes, they fell in love. And are still in love.
Mandy wrote an article about her experience that was published in the New York Times called How to Fall in Love With Anyone. At the time, she had her own blog with a few hundred readers, and knew this would generate more – maybe even a few thousand. What she got were more than 8 million readers from around the world.
She talks about her experience in the Ted Talk below.
Mandy re-discovered something that has been known for a very long time. I’ll mention one out of many leaders in psychology – Martin Buber – who’s main focus was exactly this. He called it “I-thou”.
Buber gave as one example the relationship he had with his horse as a boy. He loved his horse, and every chance he could, he’d be with him. He couldn’t explain the unique attraction he felt; he only knew it was mutual, and that it was love.
Then one day while gazing lovingly into his horse’s eyes, he was startled by something. That broke his attention momentarily, and in that moment, his horse walked away. The intimacy – the love connection – was broken. What had been an “I-thou” moment had become an “I-it” one.
Mandy and Martin each discovered how we fall in love, and passed this wonderful knowing to the rest of us. The thing is, I suspect that every baby knows this already, and that we lose this knowing as we encounter life’s challenges.
I don’t know about you, but I have a new mission. And that is to fall in love with someone every day.
Quote of the Week
The basic word I-It can never be spoken with one’s whole being.
― Martin Buber, I and Thou
At times we need more – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us. I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages. For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org . Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach. To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .