Last year, The New York Times’ weekly column, Modern Love, featured a piece by Mandy Len Catron and her look into a study by psychologist Arthur Aron that revolved around 36 questions that supposedly, if answered by two people looking into each other’s eyes, would lead to love.
The writer, tried this, and is now married to the person she shared her answers with that night.
Now, I know I’m not doing this correctly, but I always wondered what the questions in the study were and if it would work. I’m super skeptical that these questions would lead me to anything, or anyone special, but hey, let’s see.
So, below are the questions and my answers – unless the question is not applicable to me as I sit here on my couch with my cat Blanche.
Here we go:
1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
Living or dead? It would have to be the fabulous Jackie Collins. She lived a life of glamour, while capturing my two favorite things: Hollywood and writing. Okay, and scandal, too. And she did it with grace and style.
2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?
Yes. Not in a household name type of way, or in a way that was dangerous, but I have always wanted to be well-known for my craft, whether it’s because I’m a great writer or a cool blogger, a fantastic podcaster (yet to come) and film writer (coming soon), that type of thing. As a creative, I feel like you have to be well-known in some way if you expect to pay bills while doing what you love.
3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?
I suppose it depends on the type of phone call I’m making. If it was a really professional call, say an interview for an article I’m working on, I would definitely prepare for that call. But if I was calling a friend, no. I am a firm believer in being yourself, no matter what.
4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?
I always say I want to do nothing, or just sleep, but at the end of each day, I like feeling productive. The perfect day would involve all things creative – whether it’s a great meal, perfect drinks, or a great concert. I love expression and I’m energized by talent in many forms.
5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
Uh, probably today? I always sing to myself or to my cat. I sometimes sing cover songs or make up songs on the fly. I wish my life was a musical.
6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?
Definitely the mind, even though this is something I am always working on. I am much more aware of my age now, at 31, and I know it’s only going to get worse as I get older. My body, well, I’m just hoping that’s something I’m not worried about at 90. I’m not worried about it now, mostly.
7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.
9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
Breath in my lungs. I feel very lucky to have even lived this long and am terrified I’ll die before I’ve accomplished anything I really wanted to. I am fearful of illness or injury, and I’m grateful to be healthy.
10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
My father was very tough on me as a child, and although I’m sure it instilled work ethic in me – I wish I had the chance to just be a kid sometimes. And I know if he read this he would disagree completely.
11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.
12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?
What path to take – career-wise.
14. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
So. Many. Things. Write another book, move to California, travel the world, write a movie, record a podcast. Why not? Fear.
15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
Moving out of Indiana at 18.
16. What do you value most in a friendship?
17. What is your most treasured memory?
My most treasured memory is being on Pensacola beach in a lounge chair at the end of summer. I had my bare toes in the white sand, I was reading a Nicholas Sparks’ book, and I was drinking a beer. Pure heaven.
18. What is your most terrible memory?
Anytime I’ve had to say goodbye to someone good.
19. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
Yes, I would change my day-to-day life to actually get somewhere, or accomplish one of those dreams I’ve dreamed about for so long.
20. What does friendship mean to you?
Friendship means the world to me. I don’t have much of a family, so my friends are often all I have. There are times I feel like I barely even have friends – and when I do, it’s only a few, who mean everything.
21. What roles do love and affection play in your life?
Love and affection to me means romantic love and affection, and this hasn’t played a part in my life in a very long time. I worry that it’s been so long, that I wouldn’t even know where to begin. I don’t even have a desire anymore to have a partner.
22. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.
23. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?
Not very. My family isn’t very close, and I’ve always felt some of them were even pretty cruel to one another. I’ve had family members call me fat, try to sue me, and make fun of me for my job. I do not feel my childhood was happier than most people’s.
24. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?
Great. My mom is my best friend. We’ve had down points, but I feel like we’ve resolved it, and talk every day. I really appreciate the relationship we have.
25. Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “We are both in this room feeling … “
26. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share … “
Everyday, little moments.
27. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.
Quality time is really important to me.
28. Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you’ve just met.
29. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.
Ugh, there are so many. I peed my pants at school in second grade. I also threw up during art class in elementary school. I screwed up during a dance recital and my dad laughed at me. I honestly feel like I did a lot of things kids do, but either got in trouble or was laughed at by my family.
30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
A few months ago, at work. By myself… hmm… Saturday.
31. Tell your partner something that you like about them already.
32. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
Donald Trump becoming president, and mass shootings.
33. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?
I probably owe people some apologies. But I haven’t come to terms with it yet.
34. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?
My framed picture of a dear friend and I. I had a very deep connection with this person and I believe he watches over me by way of the photo.
35. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?
My mom. Because I talk to her every day, and she’s really my only family. She knows pretty much everything about me.
36. Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.
…So that’s it. Have you ever asked anyone all of these questions? How did it turn out? Would you ever ask anyone these questions?