Sunday, December 31, 2006

Anyone? Yes, Practically Anyone

"I don't get it.. I'm attractive, smart, sensitive, accomplished. Why doesn't he or she flip for me? Why can't I find love?" How many times have you beat your fists on the pillow asking yourself this question? You open this book skeptically, yet harboring hope, for the solution. You read the title: How to Make Anyone Fall in Love with You. "That's a mighty big promise," you say. Indeed, it is. But the promise of this book is yours if you are willing to follow a scientifically sound plan to capture the heart of a Potential Love Partner. Why, when history is strewn with broken hearts, do we now claim the means to make someone fall in love with us? Because, after centuries of resistance, science is finally unraveling what romantic love actually is, what triggers it, what kills it, and what makes it last. Just as ancient tribesmen saw an eclipse and thought it was black magic, we looked at love and thought it was enchantment. Sometimes, especially during those first blissful moments when we want to stop strangers on the street and cry out, "I'm in love!" it may feel like enchantment, but, as we enter the 21stcentury, we are discovering that love is a definable and calculable blend of chemistry, biology, and psychology. (And, well, maybe a little black magic thrown in.) As science sets sail in previously unknown seas, we are at last beginning to understand the rudiments of that "most insane, most delusive, and most transient of passions," as George Bernard Shaw described love. And what makes people want to stay in that "excited, abnormal, and exhausting condition continuously until death do them part"? The question, and the quandary, of ''Precisely what is love?" is not new. It is one that has been given serious consideration throughout the ages by cerebral heavyweights like Plato, Sigmund Freud, and Charlie Brown. In the darkened Broadway theater in 1950, the audiences of South Pacific were in total harmony with Ezio Pinza when he pondered, "Who can explain it? Who can tell you why? Fools give you reasons. Wise men never try." Well, recently, many wise men and womenhave tried, and succeeded. Don't blame Rodgers and Hammerstein. When they were composing romantic musicals, the scientific community was as perplexed about love as Nellie and Emile de Becque singing their bewilderment about some enchanted evening.

Science "Discovers" Sex Long before Sigmund Freud tackled the subject, analytical scientific minds agreed that love was basic to the human experience. But their rational brains also deemed that evaluating, classifying, and defining romantic love was impossible and therefore a waste of time and money. Freud went to his deathbed declaring, "We really know very little about love." His dying words remained the scientific doctrine. At least until the early 1970s when a pioneer-spirited band of social psychologists took up the scientists' constant cries of why? and how? They began asking themselves—and everybody they could lure into their laboratories—questions about romantic love. Page 3 Two women psychologists made a breakthrough by inadvertently focusing the attention of the modern press on the ancient question of "What is love?" Ellen Berscheid, PhD, with a colleague, Elaine Hatfield, managed to wangle an $84,000 federal grant to study romantic love. Berscheid convinced the National Science Foundation to open its coffers by declaring, "We already understand the mating habits of the stickleback fish. It is time to turn to a new species." Berscheid's study, like others before, might have gone unnoticed and unpublished, except for a dozen or so pages in an obscure professional journal. Fortunately for love seekers everywhere, one morning on Capitol Hill, former United States Senator William Proxmire of Wisconsin was going through his papers. Buried deep in the pile was the NSF's "frivolous" grant to two women to study relationships. Proxmire hit the dome! Eighty-four thousand dollars to study what? He dashed off an explosive press release announcing that romantic love was not a science and, furthermore, he roared, "National Science Foundation, get out of the love racket. Leave that to Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Irving Berlin." Proxmire then added a personal note: "I'm also against it because I don't want the answer." He assumed everyone felt the same. How wrong he was! Proxmire's reaction set off an international firestorm that raged around Berscheid for the next two years. "Extra! Extra! Read all about it. National Science Foundation Tackles Love!" Newspapers had a field day. Cameras and microphones zeroed in on Berscheid with gusto. The quiet researcher's office was swamped with mail. Proxmire's potshot at love had backfired. Instead of putting an end to the "frivolous pursuit," his brouhaha generated tempestuous interest in the study of love. James Reston of the New York Times declared that if Berscheid et al. could find "the answer to our pattern of romantic love, marriage, disillusion, divorce—and the children left behind—it would be the best investment of federal money since Jefferson made the Louisiana Purchase." It was as though Ellen Berscheid had pulled her finger out of the dike. Ever since, there has been a torrent of studies scrutinizing every aspect of love. Respected social scientists with names like Foa, Murstein, Dion, Aron, Rubin, and many others relatively unknown outside the scientific world have given us an as-yet-unopened gift—a gift we will unwrap now: The results of their labors, their studies, teach us (although that was not their purpose) how to make somebody fall in love. Granted, some of the studies don't guide us directly to that goal. To find the relevant studies, I had to comb through hundreds of scientific probings with cumbersome titles such as "The Implications of Exchange Orientation on the Dyadic Functioning of Heterosexual Cohabitors." (Huh?) Some studies had mice listening to classical music, then jazz and blues, to see which made them hornier. 1 Other studies which were worthless to our goal explored sexual attraction to corpses, 2 and then there were studies on tantric motionless intercourse, 3 which, I assumed, works only when a couple's honeymoon cruise ship hits rocky seas. Happily, many studies bore tastier and more practical fruit. Especially helpful were studies by an intrepid researcher named Timothy Perper, a PhD who spent many hours observing subjects in his favorite laboratory, called a "singles' bar." We also benefit from brilliant examinations by Robert Sternberg and his colleagues who explored theories of love. We learn from insightful early explorations into the elements of infatuation by Dorothy Tennov and others. There were courageous, if relatively unknown, researchers like Carol Ronai. She actually took a job as a table dancer in a topless bar to record what facial expressions turn men on. 4 How More Research Was Compiled My own firsthand research, although less daring, was no less vigorous. For more than ten years, before becoming a communications consultant and trainer, I was director of a research group I founded called The Project. The Project was a New York City-based not-for-profit corporation established to explore sexuality and relationships. During my tenure with The Project, I interviewed and catalogued thousands of subjects on what they sought in a partner. I gathered information from the students at the dozens of universities where I was invited to speak on my research. Like the work of researcher Ellen Berscheid, The Project experienced an unsought avalanche of attention which brought it to national attention. A Time magazine reporter covered one of our sessions and wrote a full-page article declaring "Sex Fantasy Goes to Broadway," which, indeed, it did. One arm of The Project had volunteers presenting psychodramatizations of their actual love fantasies on stage. Because there was no nudity and no explicit language, the squeaky-clean dramatizations were unique and caught the attention of the three major television networks, which presented excerpts of the vignettes on national programs. This, in turn, spawned dozens of articles in respected mainstream publications in America and Europe. As a result, people from all over the world sent us their stories, their fantasies, their longings for love. They called or wrote to The Project detailing precisely what they sought in a romantic partner. Most of the letters and calls we received were prefaced with comments like, "I've never told anyone but . . ." The callers and writers then proceeded to divulge their deepest desires to the anonymous Project. We listened, gratefully, as we gathered data on what made, or would make, people fall in love. How the Techniques Were Developed Let us leave the world of sexuality for a moment. Come with me to my second discipline, the field of communications. It is here I take the findings, and turn them into workable techniques to make someone fall in love with you. It has been proved beyond any doubt that there are ways to induce desired behavior from people. If there were not, allpsychologists and thousands of corporate trainers, myself included, would be out of business. There are established methods for invoking various emotions and for changing people's behavior. For example, we can learn how to deal with difficult people or howto make troublesome employees respond in the desired way. Feedback from seminars I have presented for government organizations, universities, professional associations, and corporations convinces me that we can indeed effect changes in behavior patterns. We accomplish this complex task by first understanding people's basic needs and motivations, then by employing the right verbal and nonverbal skills to modify their behavior. That is what I do in this book. Drawing from the scientific studies, I reveal the basic needs and motivations that make someone fall in love. Then I give you the right verbal and nonverbal skills to induce the behavior you want—in this case, to make that person fall in love with you. This book is the result of many years of research and exploration into several disciplines: interpersonal relationships, human sexuality, communications skills, and gender differences. We not only draw from scientific studies into the nature of love and from my personal research, but we also benefit from the work of modern therapists and communications analysts. I am especially grateful for the work of sociolinguist Deborah Tannen 5 and the clever Mars/Venus analogies of therapist John Gray, 6 who made it common knowledge that men and women have vastly different styles of thinking and communicating. What is the recipe for making someone fall in love with you? Can it be reduced to a formula? The following sounds simple, but it is actually quite complicated. You start with a solid scientific base of what makes up interpersonal attraction. Then you gather profound information about your Quarry (the person you want to make fall in love with you). Next, you employ sophisticated, often subliminal, communication techniques to meet his or her conscious and subconscious needs. Finally, you secure your Quarry with your spicy perception of precisely what he or she wants sexually. Page 7 There you have it: the formula for making a Potential Love Partner fall in love with you. How I Tested the Techniques I wasn't content with simply relying on research. I needed to see if these techniques would work in the field. Several years ago, to test my theories, I created a seminar with the same title as this book, "How to Make Anyone Fall in Love with You." Invitations flowed in from all over the country from colleges, singles' groups, clubs, and continuing education organizations. It is on this playing field that the material has been tested. And the feedback from my students is, "Yes!" You can make someone fall in love with you. Is it a simple task? No. Does it require sacrifice? Yes. You may decide, after reading this book, that capturing his or her heart is simply not worth having to give that much of yourself. But if you do want to proceed, follow me. We will explore the skills needed to accomplish the task, to make the Potential Love Partner of your choice fall in love with you. (You notice that I have used the words Potential Love Partner several times. I will do so throughout the book because, although it is bulkier, the phrase is more accurate than anyone, which my publisher wisely decided is more readable.) Who are your Potential Love Partners? First, a Potential Love Partner (or PLP ) is anyone who is ready for love. Timing, if not everything, at least counts a lot. For example, if someone has just lost a beloved spouse, he or she may not be ready for love. That knocks him or her—temporarily—out of the PLP category. Second, a Potential Love Partner is anyone free of esoteric psychological (or Lovemap) needs. These are needs that, through no fault of your own, you can't fulfill. We'll talk a lot about your Quarry's Lovemap later. That leaves many Potential Love Partners, a myriad of hearts to choose from. Let us embark now upon the path that leads you to the heart of the man or woman you desire.

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