YVES & HEATHER: A lesson on reflection. The king asked, what is the hardest thing to look at? Meet me, the matchmaker and host, Yves D. Ropper. In March 2020, I was laid off and quarantining alone in a 1 bedroom apartment in Manhattan. In search of connection, I create an anonymous matchmaking experiment on a whim. The twist - no pictures, no names, no direct contact. They can only get to know each other by exchanging 1 voice memo a day, for 30 days. I solicit 100 strangers to participate and within just a couple days, people started sending 40 minute long voice memos to their matches. From behind the scenes, I listened to my participants. By the end of my experiment, I collected 100+ hours of audio from their voice memos. What I heard was empathy, acceptance, and real intimacy. They are all strangers to me, yet after listening to their voices, I feel connected to them. This story is as much about the experiment, its participants, and how it forced me to see myself. Listen to how Yves met Heather.
3 things to explore after this:
1. Essay by Mandy Len Catron for the Modern Love column in the New York Times - “To Fall in Love with Anyone, Do This” https://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/11/style/modern-love-to-fall-in-love-with-anyone-do-this.html
2. Ted talk by Helen Fisher on the biochemical foundations behind love - “Why We Love, Why We Cheat” (23 min video) https://www.ted.com/talks/helen_fisher_why_we_love_why_we_cheat
3. The research paper behind the 36 questions by Professor Arthur Aron and colleagues - “The Experimental Generation of Interpersonal Closeness: A Procedure and Some Preliminary Findings https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0146167297234003