Love is fickle, love is blind, love is something it takes 36 questions to find.
20 years ago, psychologist Arthur Aron worked out the formula for human intimacy (shockingly, it’s not “wine, a game of strip Scrabble, and Harry Potter themed erotic role play”). He put two hetero humans in a lab, gave them 36 questions to ask each other, and made them stare into each other’s eyes for four minutes. They fell in love, and Arthur changed legally changed his name to The Don Juan of Science.
Cut to 2015. A writer called Mandy Len Catron does the experiment again, and falls in love with a man after luring him in with those 36 questions and some extended eye contact standing on a bridge at twilight. Her New York Times article — To Fall In Love With Anyone, Do This — has gone what’s known in the business as “batshit crazy viral”.
Suddenly, everyone’s talking about these magical 36 questions. They’re asking hot bookshop attendants “When did you last sing to yourself?” and forcing hot bus strangers into four minutes of eyeball perusal.
Truth be told, the 36 Magical Love Questions are a bit morbid for my liking. I’m on board with #1: “Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?” but by the time we get to “Do you have a secret hunch about how you’ll die?” my answer is YES, DOING THIS QUIZ.
So, here’s a list I prepared earlier:
36 Less Morbid, More Fun, Still Weirdly Revealing Questions To Fall In Love To.
Try it with someone you fancy like mad and get back to me, yeah?
1. Do you like questions?
2. Would you rather your partner or your boss read your Google search history?
3. How often do you call your mum?
4. Who would play us in a movie of this date?
5. Cat, dog, fish, bird or ferret person?
6. Should All Day Breakfast be compulsory for food and beverage outlets?
7. Would you rather eat nachos in bed with Justin Bieber, or spend a whole day holding Robert de Niro’s hand?
8. In a romantic relationship, how often should you “yodel into the love canyon” or “play the pork bassoon”?
9. What’s your reaction when you hear the phrase “Stop The Boats”?
10. What is your stance on gym selfies?
11. Who is your hypothetical celebrity spouse?
12. Which period of history would you visit for a day?
13. What age did you move out of home?
14. Have you ever posed for a photo with a tranquillised jungle cat?
15. Who would you choose to be stuck in a lift for 3 hours with?
16. Is climate change a man-made catastrophe proven by all living reputable scientists, or a leftwing conspiracy?
17. What’s your stripper name? (First name: The name of your first pet. Last name: The first street you lived in.)
18. What are your thoughts on the combined couple’s Facebook page?
19. When is it acceptable to lie to someone you love?
20. What is your spirit animal?
21. Would you rather fight an army of rat-sized horses or a single horse-sized rat?
22. Which FRIENDS character do you most identify with and why?
23. Have you ever chosen not to vote in an election?
24. What would your superpower of choice be?
25. What was your first (probably hotmail) email address?
26. What’s your secret talent?
27. If you could only eat one type of national cuisine for the rest of your life, what would it be?
28. Can you succinctly explain the difference between the words “your” and “you’re” please?
29. Who is in your favourites list on your phone?
30. Which side of the bed do you sleep on?
31. Would you rather win the lottery and get a payout of $10 million or $500,000 a year for 20 years?
32. If you had the same dilemma as Ariel in The Little Mermaid, would you swap your voice for legs or stay a mermaid forever?
33. How would you deal with the situation, if I wanted to call our first born Sir Squishington Clarington or Lady Cuteface Magee?
34. What’s the worst movie ever made, and does it star Cameron Diaz?
35. How do you sexily fit two adult people into a bathtub?
36. Would you like to see me again?
Upon completion of this questionnaire, please stroke each other’s thighs for a full 4 minutes and see what happens. Love? Are you in love yet? You’re welcome.