I am one of those people who falls in love with everything. And everyone.
I’m constantly telling my boyfriend how “I’m completely obsessed” with product X or about my “new favorite person in the world…” in fact, he’s dubbed my over usage of superlatives as “Amberisms” because I make these all-or-nothing claims so often.
My love affairs are usually quick and intense. Something or someone will pique my interest and then I’m immediately relentless in my pursuit of knowledge. I want to know everything RIGHT NOW. Cut the small talk- I want to know what keeps you up at night or what your magic bullet is.
According to this article by the NYT, that’s exactly the recipe for falling in love. I just figured it out naturally. (Hair flip.) Science says so. And it’s easier than you think.
For SINGLES- start at Step One. For those who find themselves ATTATCHED and want to fall even more in love, start at Step Four.
Step One: Find someone attractive.
How to find someone attractive, from least risky to most risky:
1. Ask your friends and/or co-workers for a referral. My (happily married) hair stylist recently set up her friend with one of her ex-boyfriends. Now that is a good referral! Put out the energy. People want to help you. We all have someone in our rolodex (Google it) that we know could be good for you. And you’re more likely to get a good reference when people have their names on the line. Dating, job references, dog walkers… it’s all the same.
2. Start grocery shopping in the right neighborhood at the right time. You need to go where the business professionals are. The people that are popping by after work to pick up something to eat. Shop in mid-town at about 6:30 PM. Then, look around. Put your phone away, make eye contact. Then judge what’s in their shopping carts. Double check for a naked ring finger & get brave.
3. Online dating websites.
4. Tinder. Tinder does not count as online dating, so it gets its own category.
(Let me head off your criticism: ‘O-M-G, Amber is so superficial, the first step is to find someone ‘attractive…’ how shallow!’ YEAH GUYS, IT IS THE FIRST STEP! It’s super fair that one of the first qualifiers for a potential partner is sexual attraction… and besides, if you’re not attracted to this person, Step Five is going to be really awkward.)
Step Two: Set up date number one & vet ‘em.
Make the first date easy. Skip the candle lit dinner. Please don’t go to the movies. Please don’t get shit-hammered drunk. Do something active and plan the date during the day. Secret trick: make your own plans for later in the day to ensure you can make a clean break away and have a finite time-frame for your time together. People do better with deadlines and it also gives you an out if things go terribly wrong. You most definitely want to do something where the focus is on an activity, not on each other.
For day date suggestions, think: Cooking Class at Sur La Table, bike ride along the boardwalk, paddle boarding through La Jolla cove, etc. Start watching Millionaire Matchmaker on Bravo and learn to Google “day date suggestions.” I can’t give you all the answers, kids.
At some point in the date, when real conversation starts to happen, you’ll need to dig for those golden nuggets of information. Is this person down for the same type of relationship as you? You’ll need to figure out if this person is a serial dater, looking for a hook-up or down for love. The most important thing you’re going to want to judge is if this person has a good sense of humor and is down to get playful. If they are more uptight than they are playful, this will not work. Get out now.
Step Three: Set up date #2. Use these scripts.
Option A, for the Hipsters: “Since you ordered a Blue Moon last time we hung out, I think it’s time you get schooled on craft beers. Are you down for a flight at ______ (craft beer bar?)”
Option B, for the Anthony Bourdain wannabe: “Hey, I want to try ____ (cocktail) at ______ (bar) that just opened up, are you game for taste testing?”
Stop overthinking it. Cut the crap, get to the point.
Step Four: Ask these questions.
Script over cocktails: “Oh random- my favorite person in the world, Amber Nicole, just sent me the silliest get to know you game- you down?”
The questions are backed by science to help you fall in love, ya’ll! Pass the phone back and forth like the subjects in the story did and take turn asking each other the questions. The level of intensity of the questions increases the further you get down the list. According to the study, the writer of the NYT article states:
Mutual vulnerability fosters closeness. One key pattern associated with the development of a close relationship among peers is sustained, escalating, reciprocal, personal self-disclosure. Allowing oneself to be vulnerable with another person can be exceedingly difficult, so this exercise forces the issue.
We believe that the best way for you to get close to your partner is for you to share with them and for them to share with you.
Step Five: Stare into their eyes for 4 minutes.
Actually, yes. Okay, I’ll compromise. 2 minutes seems to be enough. But the act of “gazing” into someone else’s eyes is incredibly intimate. People bond when they’re in frightening situations OR when they try new things together. I bet staring directly into someone’s eyes for 2-4 minutes is new for you and I can’t think of anything more terrifying. Furthermore, according to Scientific American:
Emotional bonds often get stronger when people feel vulnerable, and this works for two reasons. First, when you see someone who is in a weak and vulnerable state, you often feel like comforting or protecting that person; those tendencies make you feel close to someone, and they often bring you physically closer, too. Second, when you are feeling vulnerable yourself, you might interpret your emotional state as a loving one—especially if someone nearby happens to reach out to comfort you. If two people feel vulnerable simultaneously, these two tendencies can interlock and increase synergistically.
So by the end of this experiment, you ready to put a ring on it. Or at least this will help you weed out someone you have zero connection with. If you’ve been in the dating game for a while and want a different outcome, get specific and follow the scientific protocol. It just makes sense. I might have struggled in biology and physics, but chemistry is something I know about... wink wink wink…
WOAHHH how GOOD was that cheesy pick up line! There you have it, ladies & gentlemen. Love advice from the girl with pick up line GOLD.
Lots of love,