Then they had a long discussion, talked about how to rid themselves of the need for hiding, for deception, for living in different towns and not seeing each other for long periods. How could they free themselves from these unbearable bonds? “How? How?” he asked, clutching his head. “how?” And it seemed that, just a little more – and the solution would be found, and then a new, beautiful life would begin; and it was clear to both of them that the end was still far, far off, and that the most complicated and difficult part was just beginning.
Anton Chekhov, The lady with the dog
“There’s a story, about a woman who falls in love with anyone who saves her from falling off a cliff, I forget the details. The point is, it could have been a tramp, or a politician, or a celebrity, or a horticulturalist that saved her, and she would have fallen in love regardless.”
Andrew Cheah, “Anaesthesia” in Best New Singaporean Short Stories Volume Two
Reminds me of that experiment where the researcher/interviewer is regarded as more attractive when she meets the subject at the top of a shaky suspended bridge. Maybe it becomes even more intense when you are actually about to fall off a cliff.
Researchers have said that the suspended bridge experiment points towards falling in love more easily when in a state of fear. But can’t it be the case that the interviewer – who was equally afraid at the suspended bridge – was the one who appeared more attractive in her state of fear? Dilated pupils. Pheromones. A vulnerability in her voice.
There is a moment in our lives, however, when we all act differently—when we are in love. We fall under a kind of spell. Our minds are usually preoccupied with our own concerns; now they become filled with thoughts of the loved one. We grow emotional, lose the ability to think straight, act in foolish ways that we would never do otherwise. If this goes on long enough something inside us gives way: we surrender to the will of the loved one, and to our desire to possess them.
Robert Greene, Seduction