Get us in your inbox


You could fall in love with a stranger at this social experiment in London

By Stephanie Hartman

A few years ago The New York Times published an essay in its Modern Love column called ‘To Fall In Love With Anyone, Do This’ and people went absolutely wild for it.

It was written by Mandy Len Catron and explained how – after coming across a study made more than 20 years before by psychologist Arthur Aron, in which he made two strangers fall in love in his laboratory – she decided to give it a go herself.

Dr Aron’s study explored whether intimacy between two people previously unknown to one another could be accelerated by the pair asking each other a series of 36 questions. First-date chit-chat, it was not. Questions included: ‘What is your most terrible memory?’ ‘How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?’ and, ‘When did you last cry in front of another person?’ Reads more like a therapy session than first-date conversation material, right?

Following the interrogation sesh, the strangers were then required to stare silently into each other’s eyes for four minutes. Four whole minutes!

We won’t spoil Mandy’s personal experience for you (listen to the podcast version if you want to get up to speed on the sly at work), but that couple Dr Aron made fall in love? They were married six months later!

Now Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen is looking to recreate that loved-up lab this Valentine’s Day. The venue is inviting anyone on the hunt for romance and keen to answer the questions for themselves to take part. You’ll be matched with an unknown, and tasked with conducting the line of inquiry over a drink or two.

You’ve got until Thu Feb 1 to apply online and if you’re selected will be required to head along to Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen on Wed Feb 14 at 7.30pm. Now, how do you feel about your relationship with your mother?

Already found your beau? We’ve got your Valentine’s Day covered.  

Hungry for more? These are London’s most romantic restaurants.


    Popular on Time Out

      Latest news

        Read next