Wow, you clicked on that link. It’s hard to believe you’re that gullible. It’s hard to believe anyone is that gullible. But hey, you clicked on it, and for better or worse, now you’re here. Let’s see if we can’t at least make it worth your while.
Truth is, I want you to fall in love. Thankfully I know how to teach you to fall in love. Even more thankfully, I’m going to share. Not some ridiculous Hollywood version of falling in love. Not the love-that’s-only-love-till-the-lust-runs-out. I’m talking real, honest-to-goodness, lost your footing at the precipice of “us” and fell into a lifelong, identity-altering, love.
It’s not romantic unless you want it to be. I’m not talking about the love that winds up with two people happily married, at least, not necessarily. You want that to still be a choice, right? This is about intentionally falling into love, the kind of love that makes both parties better for having taken the plunge. What you do after that is your business.
I want you to find the love you already have, hopefully abundantly. It’s the kind of love you have for your family, your spouse, your close friends. But why stop there? Why just love the people you’re supposed to? What if you could love everyone? What if you at least tried?
The cardinal rule of falling in love is a double sided coin - you are going to devote yourself to the task of leaving the other person better than you found them, and you are going to give them every opportunity to do the same for you. In other words, the central tenet of falling in love is to realize that more often than not it’s going to be a very short drop - a very short, potentially life-altering drop.
Step 1: The Importance of Being Ernest
Each step has six fundamental questions. You should be able to answer all the questions for a step in a conversation of about 20 minutes. So, if things go well, in roughly one hour and four minutes, you’ll find yourself mid free-fall. Feel free to take the time if you have it, but be intentional. Falling in love is largely about ensuring that you and the Other feel good, and feeling good has the unfortunate property of being disappointingly transient. The best way for anyone to feel good is to feel clever, witty, creative, and surprising; terribly few of us are capable of feeling that way for long.
The main goal to step 1 is to establish something, anything to answer the following six questions:
- What is something that makes people important to the Other?
- What is something that the Other believes is an ideal outcome or chain of events?
- What is something the Other sees about themselves in the future?
- What is something that makes the Other feel?
- What is something the Other appreciates or regrets about their past?
- What is something the Other would change about themselves or their life?
Do not, I repeat, do not ask these questions directly. If the Other mentions they don’t really like their boss, ask if they’ve ever had a good boss and what made them a good boss. If the Other mentions the traffic was bad and made them late, ask what their favorite route home is, or the city they most like to drive around in. If they mention it was a long day, ask them how long they think their long days are going to last, and what they look forward to doing when the long days are behind them.
The key here is to just find something about how they view themselves past, present and future, a way they measure people, a way they measure ideals, and the kinds of feelings they’re quick to share.
If you get good at being this kind of intentional, you’ll find it’s nearly second nature. I can get through the bulk of these questions while I check out at the grocery store or while I’m ordering from a waitress. Yes, I completely, 100%, wholeheartedly recommend falling in love with your grocery store clerk and waitress. And the receptionist at the hotel you’re checking into in the city you will never again visit, and the nurse taking your blood for your yearly physical, and your car salesperson, and the guy who’s tearing out your sheetrock after your laundry room floods, and the random person responding your latest tweet.
It’s a common misconception that you have to be charming or clever or attractive to fall in love. Ridiculous. Everyone wants to feel important. Everyone wants to connect.
Make step 1 your standard way of interacting with human beings. Listen for their somethings. Share your own somethings. Make sure to repeat their somethings so they know you were listening to their somethings. Be gracious when they let you know they were listening to yours.
Are you falling yet? I know I am.
Step 2: The Real Thing
Each step has six fundamental questions designed to peal away the layers of self we build up around our real selves. The somethings in step 1 aren’t the real somethings, they’re just some somethings. Step 2 is about uncovering the real somethings. Yes, you can get to real somethings in 20 minutes. Just understand, you’re about to reveal your own in that same span of time. It’s almost scary to consider, and you haven’t even seen the questions yet.
- What does the Other most value about something?
- What does the Other most want to do / know / be / change?
- What is the one thing the Other could never forget?
- Who does the Other love?
- What does the Other think about love?
- What does the Other think about you?
Do not, I repeat, do not answer any question from any step about yourself until you’re asked. You are almost certainly the best gift they’ve gotten in the past 5 minutes. Let them unwrap you. A snake nut can is a prank, not a gift.
It’s okay to push the question a bit. They may not necessarily be asking about love directly, but you can hint that you have a good relationship with your brother. Let them discover you; show them how to discover you by discovering them.
Step 2 isn’t about getting to know everything about the Other. It’s about getting to know a few very select, very important facts as deeply as they can be known in a relatively short time. And if you think about it, we all want to share these things. Any time we get to share any one of these things we almost instantly feel connected to the Other. Isn’t that funny, we all assume it works the other way, but it turns out we’re wrong.
Most of us wait months or years before sharing any one of these questions with someone else. What if you only waited about a half hour? Wouldn’t you feel surprisingly good about that half hour? Wouldn’t you feel surprisingly good if you let someone else feel that surprisingly good over the same half hour?
Isn’t it a little ridiculous how easy it is to fall? Isn’t it a little ridiculous how little we do it given how easy it is? Let’s fall more.
Step 3: A Crazy Little Thing Called “Us”
Yeah, I know, not a famous play by a famous playwright - what of it? Maybe it’s not a famous play yet; maybe you’re about to become a famous playwright.
Each step has six fundamental questions that are specifically about identity and perception. The ultimate goal is to be a functional catalyst for transformative change in the life of the Other, and to simultaneously empower them to be the same for you. Falling in love changes you, changes them, by creating, for at least a little while an “us” that is more important, more valuable, more just-plain-stinkin’-awesome than either of you could ever hope to be. And it’s that “us” that sticks with you and them, it’s the “us” that ultimately can transform you into something better than “you”. If that doesn’t scare the pants off you, I don’t know what could.
- What does the Other think about us?
- What does the Other most want to share with the people close to them?
- What does the Other need me to know about them? What do they need to know about me?
- How is the Other broken?
- What can’t the Other let go of? Who can’t the Other let go of?
- How does the Other feel about you? How does the Other think you feel?
Do not, I repeat, do not balk at these questions. Thoughts and desires and needs and feelings are the fundamental building blocks of identity. If you want to fall in love, and I really desperately hope that you do, then you have to be intentional about digging these blocks out of the shell of the human across the table from you. And you have to let them dig around in the wretched mass of flesh you’ve become as well. You have to take all those squishy flesh blocks and dump them on the table and mash them around. Mash them together until you can’t remember which bits belonged to whom.
And when you’ve mashed them around until they’ve blended together, paint the fucking walls with it. Spread your mashed up feelings and thoughts and wants all over the walls and ceiling and floor. Smear it on each other. Make everything you can see for as far as you can see all about “us”.
Terrifying, I know. But that wasn’t the scary part. That was just the warm up for the scary part. The sloppy, squishy dry run for the really scary part. It’s so scary I’m even stalling about writing it…
Step 4: Shut the Door, Open the Window
Fine, yes, I’ve totally given up on famous plays. I hate the whole “When God closes a door, he opens a window” thing. It’s a trite thing, it’s a horrible thing, but it’s not the scary thing. I’m saying all this to keep stalling. You might think I’m just being silly, but I can’t begin to explain to you my fear of writing. I’ve been writing on this blog for around 10 years, and if you’d seen the things I’ve seen, you’d be terrified of writing terrifying things too.
I lied. There are no questions in step 4. There aren’t six of them, not even one. You just have to do one thing. But you have to do that one thing for 4 minutes. Set a timer on your phone if you have to. Four long, terrifying, excruciating minutes. Don’t stop and start over. No excuses. If you’re going to fall, if you really intend to fall in love, do this one thing for 4 uninterrupted minutes.
- Look into the Other’s eyes.
Do not, I repeat, do not look away. Don’t even think about it. Don’t talk, don’t say a word. Don’t hum, don’t whistle. If you’ve done the other steps in the last hour, I’m going to go out on a limb here and tell you that you’ll be doing good if you remember to breathe. You’re here to fall in love right?
Yeah, you’re not going to be able to do this at the counter while you’re ordering a double burger with bacon and provolone. Let’s be honest, you’re going to get to do this a tiny, tiny handful of times in your life, and that’s if you live a really long and really lucky life.
Do not, I repeat, do not ever pass up the opportunity to look into someone else’s eyes for 4 straight minutes. Entire lifetimes can pass in those 4 minutes. Seasons will pass. Things passing will pass. Those things you knew you could never let go of… you’ll have a hard time remembering what they were. All that brokenness - those are just new windows to look out of after you’ve climbed into the first two.
And you won’t believe what you’re going to find when you stare long enough to get past all the awkwardness and discomfort and goofy smilies and eyebrow adjustments. When your palms have gone past clammy, past some sort of strange water production, to suddenly not even existing. When time stops and reverses a tiny bit, just long enough that you start to wonder if you’re collapsing or gravity just turned off or turned up or flipped over, but somehow just the gravity around your stomach, or is that your appendix, you really should have payed attention in Biology, I bet she payed attention in Biology. I bet she pays attention to everything. I bet she… oh God, she’s paying attention to me.
It will click, you’ll almost hear the sound. It will break somewhere in the back of your head. The tape. The tape with all the voices. Maybe it snaps. Maybe they finally have mercy and just press the stop button. But it will stop. Everything will stop. You won’t be falling any more. You’ll have fallen; you’ll have stopped. You’ll have landed squarely in what can only be described as “in love.” And you’ll do what everyone does when they’ve finished falling and finally find they’ve stopped. You’ll turn around…
And find yourself.
Posted with : Carbon 14