There’s at least forty full conceived outfit options strewn like a hurricane around your floor, and your palms refuse to stop sweating at a rate completely unnecessary for any human being’s hands to sweat. Maybe you, in Leslie Knope fashion, have compiled a list of index cards detailing potential topics of conversation.
What is happening to you? A mental breakdown? No, just a first date. And if you’re like any normal person, this probably freaks you out.
Well, don’t sweat it, literally or metaphorically. A study done in 1997 by Dr. Arthur Aron tested the way that first dates work. During forty-five minute periods, strangers asked each other a series of questions and then researchers tested their reported levels of attraction to one another. As the depth of the questions increased, the attraction level significantly increased also.
For example, you’re probably not going to want to ask someone their favorite color. You’ve got a better shot if asking them the way their favorite color makes them feel. In one part of the study, strangers sat across from each other and stared into each other’s eyes for four minutes. Awkward? Maybe, maybe not. The kicker? Two of these participants got married half a year later.
Mandy Len Catron in her New York Times discusses whether a mere set of thirty-six questions can get you falling head over heels.
Whether you believe it or not, give it a try for yourself and ask some of the wonky questions from the study, and ones that we’ve come up with on our own.
1. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
Things You Might Learn: just what exactly freaks your partner out. They fear being buried alive? Waking up to a chainsaw murderer? A chance to see someone’s darkest fears, and also their level of creativity.
Worst Case Scenario: your paranoid partner might have this scenario planned out all too well. Run.
2. Would you rather have a teleporter, or a jetpack that can go 100 MPH?
Things You Might Learn: whether your partner is a jetpack person, or a teleporter person, of course. The people who choose teleporting are probably all about the destination and prefer instant gratification. The people who choose jetpack probably live more by the philosophy that half of the adventure is getting there.
Worst Case Scenario: they can’t decide. Make up your mind. Knowing what you want is an attractive quality.
3. When was the last time you sang to someone?
Things You Might Learn: what type of music your partner likes, and if they’re willing to be a little goofy. You also might learn who they sang to, and props if they say their dog or cat.
Worst Case Scenario: they don’t like to sing. This would be a huge bummer, because who doesn’t want a significant other who can sing to them?
4. What’s your game plan in the event of a zombie apocalypse?
Things You Might Learn: the level of preparedness and critical thinking skills of your potential significant other. You might also find out their weapons of choice and how they would decide to kill a flesh-eating undead human.
Worst Case Scenario. they don’t have a game plan. Everyone needs a game plan.
5. If you had to eat one of your best friends, who would it be?
Things You Might Learn: how they dodge out of an awkward question, or find the best solution to a terrible problem.
Worst Case Scenario: they’ve eaten one of their best friends.
6. If you were home alone and had to cook any meal, what would it be?
Things You Might Learn: their favorite things to eat, and if they like to get creative with cooking.
Worst Case Scenario: they can’t cook at all.
7. Do you like Justin Beiber?
Things You Might Learn: their degree of detest for Justin Bieber.
Worst Case Scenario: they say yes.
8. What’s the most interesting place that you’ve vomited?
Things You Might Learn: where they like to travel the world, or just where they like to drink copious amounts of alcohol. Everybody has a good vomit story.
Worst Case Scenario: they say the place you’re currently in.
9. Do you kill spiders, or take them in a cup and put them outside?
Things You Might Learn: just how deep their fear of spiders goes, and if they have the ability to protect you from your own potential spider fear.
Worst Case Scenario: they have a pet tarantula.
10. If you could be any emoji, which one would it be?
Things You Might Learn: whether they’re a grinner, a smiler - maybe they use cat emojis. They could even get really into it and choose one of the less obvious choices - the double beer glasses is never a bad choice.
Worst Case Scenario: they don’t have a phone.
11. How many mints from a restaurant do you think you could manage to sneak out in your pockets?
Things You Might Learn: how useful they’d be in a heist, and their abilities to plan events.
Worst Case Scenario: they’ve already done this.
12. Are you open to the existence of Bigfoot?
Things You Might Learn: any number of things about what type of conspiracy theories your partner believes in, and just how willing they are to accept a little wonder in the universe.
Worst Case Scenario: they are Bigfoot.
13. How many slices of pizza are too many slices of pizza?
Things You Might Learn: their dedication to the wonderful food that is pizza, and perhaps your potential future with them eating pizza together.
Worst Case Scenario: they have a limit on how many slices of pizza is too much pizza.
14. What’s one thing you’d never tell your mom about yourself?
Things You Might Learn: they have a great relationship with their mother. Or, they were up to some crazy antics in high school or college.
Worst Case Scenario: they have a lot of answers for this question. Way too many, really. So many that you’re getting concerned and might have to do the thing where you go to the bathroom and pretend to get an emergency call and you might end up being another thing they don’t want to tell their mom about.
15. Who’s the fifth person in your missed calls list?
Things You Might Learn: who they talk to frequently - or who they decide not to talk to frequently. Maybe it will give you some insight on who their best friend is, or whether they talk to mom and dad often.
Worst Case Scenario: it’s you.
16. How many Tamagotchis did you have as a child?
What You Might Learn: their ability to care for, or more or less ignore, a tiny helpless creature, albeit a virtual creature.
Worst Case Scenario: they don’t know what Tamagotchis are.
17. How many marshmallows can you fit in your mouth?
What You Might Learn: if they know the specific number of marshmallows they can fit in their mouth.
Worst Case Scenario: you end up actually playing chubby bunny spend a night in the hospital recovering from choking on marshmallows.
18. What’s the worst place you’ve ever dropped your phone?
What You Might Learn: whether they’re a clumsy person or not - and if they go weird places.
Worst Case Scenario: they drop their phone while talking to you.
19. If you could be any dinosaur, what would it be?
What You Might Learn: if you jive well with a T-Rex or are more of the stegosaurus type.
Worst Case Scenario: they can’t name a single dinosaur.
20. Which Hogwarts house do you fit into?
What You Might Learn: whether they are just and loyal, have a ready mind, are cunning and sly, or are brave at heart.
Worst Case Scenario: They’ve never considered the answer to this question.
Well, there you have it. With your newfound knowledge, go forth into the world like the catch you are and ask the questions everyone’s afraid to ask - or just never thought of before. So what are you waiting for? Now that you've got some questions figured out, you can sign up for Hush.
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