Scientific way to save love, 100% guarantee
Arthur Aron, an American psychologist, is known not only for 36 questions with which you can fall in love with a stranger and fall in love with him. A real scientist, he explores the psychological phenomenon of love. The experience of “falling in love with 36 questions” was put about twenty years ago and is still amazing. But falling in love, in the end, is a simple matter, it’s really interesting how you can save the feeling, carry it through decades of life together, washing, children, animals, crises and diseases.
Arthur Aron has a very interesting answer to this question, which intuitively seems extremely true.
Expansion of the person: basic instinct
Aaron adheres to the theory of constant expansion of personality. This means that our personality always wants to grow in size, absorbing new knowledge, impressions and experiences. A kind of “cadavre, dissatisfied intellectually.” And romance or falling in love becomes an excellent way to expand the personality. The personality is rapidly expanding at the expense of the partner – new smells, new sensations, new knowledge, friends and even relatives. And this, of course, is a mutual process, the identity of the partner is also expanding. By the way, one of the reasons why parting is experienced so hard – instead of expanding the personality, contraction occurs, compression, we become “less”, and this is a wildly traumatic process for the psyche.
The same theory explains the decline in mutual satisfaction of partners in long relationships. The first amazing period of mutual expansion, when people giggle together until morning, sharing skills, secrets and post-revolutionary cigarettes, has already passed (it usually takes from six months to two years). And then the couple already knows everything about each other, and the expansion stops.
In some cases it helps to have children – this also contributes to the expansion of consciousness. Children grow all the time, change all the time, open the world to themselves – and we do it with them. But for most couples, constant joint admiration for offspring is not enough.
This all looks so far as a banality from Captain Obvious, but it is not. Aron and his colleagues conducted several very interesting experiments on long-term relationships. He took 53 middle-aged married couples and persuaded them to follow his instructions for ten weeks, spending one and a half hours a week on certain activities. A third of these couples had to choose an active leisure, a leisure time qualitatively new for themselves: skiing, hiking, dancing, concerts. The second group was supposed to do “pleasant”, but more calm things: cinema, restaurants, to visit friends. The third group was the control and did nothing. It turned out that the level of satisfaction with marriage was much higher among those who engaged in delightful and amazing types of outdoor activities.
A more accurate and carefully controlled experiment was performed in the laboratory. Half of the couples were forced to do something ordinary – household chores, for example. The second half was made to engage in a strange and wildly gambling thing, namely: they were tied to each other by their ankles and wrists and forced to crawl together, overcoming obstacles and pushing a small and not very heavy barrel with their heads. It was necessary to do this for a while, and the experimenters initially cheated and made it so that two times the couple could not meet the deadlines, and the third time could barely. Next, standard tests measured the level of satisfaction with relationships, and it always turned out that those who pushed the barrel with their heads were much higher than those who, for example, peeled potatoes together.
It makes no sense to peel potatoes together
The main thing this theory leads us to – the advice of family psychologists to spend more time together and do household work together is complete nonsense. “If relationships do not provide opportunities for expanding the personality, finding partners alongside relationships can only hurt.” In other words, why spend more time together if this time is devoted to watching the same serials and the same cleaning?
Dr. Aron recommends avoiding routine. It is clear that not all couples will be able to ascend together to Everest or float along mountain rivers. But in any case, it is necessary to have dinner at each time a different restaurant, and not always at the same. It doesn’t matter that your favorite restaurant is good, and all the others are as usual. We must try every weekend to try new hobbies, do different things, and do it together.