There’s a widespread assumption that we are all are better off in relationships, that you can and must find your soul mate, and that true love conquers all. Mandy Len Catron has been aware of the power of love stories, ever since her childhood in rural Appalachia in the American south. As the daughter of a cheerleader and a football coach, her family stories read like the perfect American Dream. But when the reality of life fell short of these idealised, and highly feminised, notions, Mandy turned to science to explore what other narratives might be available. From her research came a blockbuster essay in the New York Times, and then a book, How To Fall in Love With Anyone. Mandy continues to write and think about how the powerful narratives from our childhoods and our culture can be flipped into something infinitely more interesting.
This episode of It's a Long Story is hosted by Edwina Throsby
Mandy Len Catron at Sydney Opera House
Mandy's New York Times Modern Love column
Arthur Aron's 36 Questions to fall in love
Elizabeth Brake on Amatanormativity