This week was a big one for me! My girlfriend and I moved out of her dads house and into our own apartment. This, combined with the lecture on attraction, got me thinking about how my girlfriend and I met each other. Not surprisingly, all of the principles touched on in the lecture applied to the way we met each other.
The first principle that applied to us was the principle of propinquity. My girlfriend (Rachel) and I met each other the very first week of our freshman year at Tufts. We lived on the same floor freshman year, and saw each other quite often over the course of that year. Even though we didn’t start dating till sophomore year, I would have never known who she was if we hadn’t spent that year living so close to each other.
Another principle that applies to this experience is the idea of mere exposure. During our freshman year, Rachel and I saw each other all the time, which means that we became used to seeing each other and became familiar with the idea.
The idea of physiological arousal also applies to our experience. Although we didn’t start dating until sophomore year, Rachel and I hooked up casually several times during our freshman year. The first of these times was during our very first “night out” in college. In many ways, this resembles the Dutton and Aron study about walking across the bridge. Not only was it a night of partying, but it was literally our first such experience in college, which presents a whole new level of arousal given the newness of the situation.
The last principle which applies to our situation as a couple is similarity. At our core, Rachel and I are very similar people. I’m sure everyone has heard the saying “opposites attract” but that definitely hasn’t been our case. Rachel and I come from very similar backgrounds. We’e both from white, middle-class families, and our parents value education highly. We’re both science majors, and we both want to work in healthcare.
The funny thing about it is that Rachel and I didn’t get together until we became even more similar. Rachel and I had been friends since the beginning of freshman year, but it wasn’t until we found a similar hobby that we decided to start dating. I’ve always been into lifting weights and working out, so when Rachel wanted advice on the topic, she asked me to take her to the gym and show her the ropes. Two weeks later, we started dating. Rachel now holds the bench press record in her weight category in two states, and as I write this we’re getting ready to go to the gym together. Having a similar hobby definitely contributed to our relationship today.