PALO ALTO, CA—Marking a major breakthrough in the study of highly charged atmospheres and intense fields of emotional instability, scientists at Stanford University announced Thursday they had synthesized an entirely new and extremely volatile form of romantic relationship.
According to project head Dr. Stuart Barnard, this highly combustible pairing was created by taking two wildly incompatible people—24-year-old test subjects Colin Buckner and Lisa Mullins—and then rapidly colliding their personalities together until they briefly formed an unstable bond.
“Our experiment succeeded beyond our wildest expectations,” said Barnard, noting that all prior evidence suggested Buckner and Mullins were completely wrong for each other and should never be together. “By combining a high-intensity, type-A male with an overly reactive, anxiety-ridden female, we managed to create an attraction between two opposing forces that released unprecedented levels of exploitation and aggression.”
After designing a meticulous replication of a modern-day living room in which to study the relationship, scientists reportedly observed phenomena such as intense bickering and shouting that could last an entire evening, as well as elevated levels of pent-up mutual resentment capable of combustion at any moment.
Barnard told reporters that the newly discovered romantic bond could only exist under carefully controlled laboratory conditions—and then for no more than several minutes at a time.
“As soon as the relationship forms, it immediately starts to decay,” Barnard said. “The sheer frequency with which the subjects are able to interrupt one another just so they can make insincere apologies for hurtful statements that they obviously do not regret even the slightest bit surpasses anything we anticipated.”
“Inevitably, they both break down, and the bonded pair reverts back to its constituent parts,” Barnard added.
Researchers confirmed they are still grappling with the inner workings of the synthesized codependent relationship, explaining they do not yet fully understand the opposing “on again” and “off again” states between which it vacillates violently, unpredictably, and often very loudly.
But the most perplexing phenomenon, they said, is how the relationship, when operating in a vacuum, can continue generating large quantities of bitterness out of what appears to be nothing.
“Our working hypothesis is that the two subjects’ super-massive egos somehow interact to produce a polarizing field that transforms very small, almost undetectable disagreements into huge arguments,” said Barnard, who speculated that if it could exist outside the safety of the laboratory, the relationship would immediately destroy Buckner and Mullins’ social lives. “And whereas a stable couple would talk through a given problem like reasonable adults, these two invariably blow it up into a whole big thing.”
“For instance, when one person accepts a party invitation on behalf of a couple even though the other member of the couple does not wish to attend, the normal response would be to have an honest discussion about it,” he continued. “But with our test subjects what we instead observed was a cascading chain-reaction of blame and accusation that exploded in spectacular fashion, humiliating both in front of all their friends.”
The research team also announced that in a follow-up study it would try to introduce the relationship to Mullins’ parents, an experiment Barnard described as so hazardous that it would need to be conducted on a remote and uninhabited island in the Pacific Ocean.