There’s a New York Times articles called “To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This”. It covers different actions psychologists believe can help anyone fall in love. Yep, even strangers. One theory is that 4 minutes of staring into someone’s eyes, uninterrupted, can bring them closer. To test this theory, SoulPancake documented six couples in different stages of their relationship trying it out. Here’s the video:
4 minutes. Uninterrupted staring. That’s tough, especially when you’ve got a lot of things on your to-do list. I immediately related to the couple with the little boy on Mom’s lap. I loved how the couples felt a little awkward in the beginning but began growing more connected as the minutes passed by.
The old lady said, “In 55 years of marriage, we’ve never really looked into each other’s eyes like that.” Her husband said, “When I look at you really closely, I realize how much I need you and what you mean to me, because that’s the truth. I couldn’t imagine being with anybody else.”
I was in tears by the end of the video.
Look into each other’s eyes for 4 minutes: My husband and I try it out
After we finished watching the video, I turned to my husband. “Let’s try this!” We were lying in bed with our 5-year-old, just relaxing and enjoying a lazy evening. “C’mon!,” I insisted.
He began laughing, then turned his head to me while still lying down. Then he began staring at me, making faces in the process.
“Noooo, we have to sit facing each other,” I groaned. So we sat across each other, our little boy beside us singing to himself while playing Legos. I set the phone timer for 4 minutes and the kinda-like-a-staring-contest began.
I still remember how my husband looked last night. His eyes were crinkling from trying not to laugh, from trying to make me laugh. They were happy eyes. 4 minutes was a long time. Our gazes kept shifting from each other to our son, then back again to each other. When the timer buzzed, we laughed. It was funny. It felt good.
“So what’d you think?,” I asked.
“You really do look like Timmy,” he laughed.
“What else?,” I added.
He laughed, then hugged me. “I love you.”
“I love you, too,” I smiled. “What I saw were happy eyes. It’s been a while since I’ve seen your eyes like that — joking, laughing. I missed them.” He smiled and hugged me again, understanding what I was saying.
I was referring to how busy we both have become, how we’d talk mostly household stuff and work stuff when we were together. We haven’t gone out on a date in ages, and when we’d talk, just the two of us, it’s always about our son or work or something else — hardly about us. That’s why when one husband in the video said he was thinking about how nice it was to just look at his wife and not talk about anything else, I understood. That’s how I felt.
Stress steals laughter from the home, and those 4 minutes of connecting with my husband eye to eye was a surprise gift.
Did my husband and I feel more connected after that exercise? Yes, we did. I want to try this theory everyday! Maybe today we’ll try it at 4 minutes again. Then tomorrow, 5 minutes. The following day, 6. It also emphasized for me how love is a choice. You can choose to put other things before it anytime of the day. Or you can choose to make time for it and nurture it. 4 minutes was all it took for my husband and myself to slow down and just focus on each other. It was a lovely moment.
What made it lovelier? When the timer buzzed, our little boy said, “My turn!” Then he jumped onto my husband’s lap and began staring at me. Oh so lovingly, I must add. It lasted for 15 seconds before he realized he’d rather play with this Legos. My husband and I shared a good laugh and a warm embrace, which our little boy jumped into again.
This is a great theory to test for couples, especially for busy ones. Set aside those phones. Turn off the laptops. Set the timer. Look into each other’s eyes for 4 minutes. Watch out for what happens next. It will be beautiful.