How to Fall in Love with a Stranger | 2015 Film Program

Melanie Horkan

TEDxSydney 2015 · 21 May 2015

Modern love is a confusing and exhausting landscape to navigate. We seek to form a meaningful relationship with another, but often find ourselves rushing to make quick judgements. Swiping left, swiping right, judging people on their profile pic and bad grammar, endless small talk, and frequent rejection. What if we just stopped for a moment to try something new? What if, by just sitting still for 45 minutes with a complete stranger, a deeper connection could be formed?

How to Fall in Love with a Stranger, screened at TEDxSydney 2015, is inspired by the groundbreaking 1990s social experiment by psychologist, Dr Aron, who sought to explore whether love can be accelerated. Dr Aron devised a set of 36 questions, which aimed to bring about accelerated intimacy in a couple.

Replicated for the first time in Australia, 14 individuals (7 selected couples) who encapsulated a sense of the cultural, societal and sexual diversity that makes Sydney such an exciting city to live in, were selected. After the couple had introduced themselves, they sat down and chose questions from three different envelopes, all of which reflected increasingly deeper questions. The first envelope contained ‘getting-to-know-you style questions’, The second envelope encouraged the couples to go deeper, and the final set of questions encouraged the couple to think about each other as an entity – as if you were going to become a close friend with your partner. Then came the stare. At the end of the 4 minutes, they’d stand up and hug.

The week after the experiment, five of the couples were asked to go on a date and try something they’d never done before. They were instructed to take photos and then to go somewhere quiet and do the last set of questions (the really intimate ones) by themselves, to see if this experience had pushed them closer together.

Filmed at Mondo Digital Studios

Made with the collaboration of Woo! Social Club

Directed by Sinead McDevitt and Produced by Melanie Horkan

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