Around every corner recently I keep bumping into the research of psychologist Arthur Aron.
Aron’s research was an exploration of whether intimacy between two strangers could be accelerated through series of personal questions. The study used the premise that mutual vulnerability fosters closeness. Okay so that may be but, while closeness may be a necessity of love, closeness is not always romantic, right? I have felt close to people for fleeting moments but I didn’t necessarily want to pounce on them or hear wedding bells.
Questions kept nagging at me.
How the fuck can 36 questions lead to love?
Was alcohol consumption a variable?
Who on earth wants to feel even more vulnerable on a first date by divulging such details?
Where can I find a willing victim to play this game with?
The other week I was sat on the loo (power source of many a genius idea) and it hit me, I was ready to date again. Boom. So, I signed up and hopped to it. Then the reality of the situation hit me in a parade of sexual propositions. Sweet Jesus, beam me up. So far:
Percentage of smutty morons: 80%
(Obviously I was honored that onenightstand69me wanted to meet me)
Number of messages I actually replied to: 4
Percentage of messages from time wasters: 75%
My friends weren’t kidding when they said it was a numbers game. I am no mathematician but…
That said I am talking to someone I would like to meet. He is seemingly literate, employed, cultured, intelligent and really fucking funny. He has kind eyes and an awesome smile. The bonus is that I googled and he is a real person. So far so good right, but will I ever hear from him again?
I went back on Tinder too, it makes me laugh. It’s great for an ego boost when you get matched with lots of hot guys, who probably are neither (a) real or (b) literate. Most of all it’s like a fun five minute game of snap you can play on your own to fill time.
All in all it has been a productive period of my life so far.
I have no idea what happens next, I trust what will be will be. However, I do know with absolute certainty I do not want to play any such games. I may choose to have one basket but I accept that others have a whole cupboard of baskets. Aron’s game sounds appealing but surely falling in love gradually over time is more of an adventure? Let’s face it, if it works you have (in romantic theory) a lifetime to stare into each others eyes and question each other.
Okay, I know you’re curious.
- Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
- Would you like to be famous? In what way?
- Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?
- What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?
- When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
- 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?
- Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
- Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.
- For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
- If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
- Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.
- If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
- If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?
- Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
- What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
- What do you value most in a friendship?
- What is your most treasured memory?
- What is your most terrible memory?
- If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
- What does friendship mean to you?
- What roles do love and affection play in your life?
- Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.
- How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?
- How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?
- Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “We are both in this room feeling … “
- Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share … “
- If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.
- 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.
- Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.
- When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
- Tell your partner something that you like about them already.
- What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
- 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?
- 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?
- Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?
- 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.