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Ep 1. Once Upon a Time, a Girl Needs a Distraction in Quarantine

This is a story about human connection told through a voice-forward matchmaking experiment. The twist: no names, no direct contact, no pictures. Over 30 days, matched pairs exchange 1 voice memo a day with each other. Through 6 episodes, the creator of the experiment and host of this podcast shares 6 lessons, told 1 pair at a time. You’ll get to eavesdrop into private conversations and hear these strangers fall into like, reciprocate vulnerability, and develop intimacy. We all want to be heard, but we forgot how to listen. This is what human connection sounds like. 


“Ep 1. Once Upon a Time, a Girl Needs a Distraction in Quarantine”, is about Yves and Heather. It shares a lesson on projection. Meet me, matchmaker and host of the show, 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. I solicit 100 strangers, who are open to finding romantic connections in a new way, to participate. From behind the scenes, I eavesdrop into my participants’ conversations. By the end of my experiment, I collect 100+ hours of audio from their voice memos. Within just a couple days, people started sending 40 minute long voice memos to their matches. What I heard was empathy, acceptance, and real intimacy. They are all strangers, yet after listening to their voices, I feel connected to them. This story is as much about the experiment, its participants, and the story of how it changed my life. This episode is about how Yves met Heather. — Yves & Heather

from It's Nice to Hear You

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Ep 1. Once Upon A Time, A Girl Needs Distraction In Quarantine
00:00 / 37:43

Listening Instructions

  • However you feel the most comfortable that gets you in your listening mood.

  • Headphones would be great — if accessible — since there is a little bit of panning here and there.

Three More Things...

​Here are three things to explore after listening to this:

 1. “To Fall in Love with Anyone, Do This” by Mandy Len Catron

2. Why We Love, Why We Cheat” by Helen Fisher

3. “The Experimental Generation of Interpersonal Closeness: A Procedure and Some Preliminary Findings" by Arthur Aron, Edward Melinat, Elaine N. Aron, Robert Darrin Vallone, Renee J. Bator


Producer, Writer, & Co-Sound Design: Heather Li

Co-sound Design & Mastering: Morgane Fouse

Editors: Jesse Carrey, Katya Stepanov, Camila Kerwin & Max Miller

Brand Design: Jen Ng

Website Design: Lizzy Joelson

Story Consultation: Stephanie Foo

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