In 1997, psychologist Arthur Aron wanted to see if he can make two strangers fall in love in a laboratory setting. As it turns out, asking these 36 questions while making eye contact can accelerate intimacy between strangers and make it possible for them fall in love with each other.
I really love this idea. These are questions that most people don't really ask when they are dating (but they should). It made me realize how unintentional I was in the 9 month period that I was dating after my divorce. It also made me realize that I genuinely only want to date guys who would be into answering these questions. Because if I learned anything from the past year, it's that I really only want to have meaningful relationships in my life and I don't want to waste time and energy in anything else.
And since I am (almost) ready to start dating again, I thought it might be good to list these. But also want to keep in mind that this is not just for romantic relationships. It could also ignite closeness and intimacy between friends.
I was going over my old writing and memorabilia the other day and I came across a short story that I had printed from an email. I do not remember who the email was from, nor the author of the story, but I thought I would share it, as I feel like it would resonate with a lot of people.
In November 2019, before thoughts of the pandemic were even in our consciousness, my therapist suggested I take a break from dating and having sex. She thought this would help me grow and find out what I truly want as I was vacillating between having casual sex and wanting a relationship at the time (which was just mere months after my divorce, by the way). I was aghast and indignant, feeling betrayed, as if she had no idea who I was after months of seeing each other on a regular basis.
You're gonna notice that I took an uber protracted hiatus from writing. I have to be completely transparent with you, dear reader, but I went through a drastic change in my marital status last year. It was a complete upheaval and I was truly unable to write (nor did I have the motivation to write). Not only did I have to say goodbye to someone I loved, but I had to say goodbye to who I thought I was as a person.
Put it this way, when I got married at 21, that marriage was so intrinsically attached to my identity that I really felt quite lost there for quite awhile. I didn't know what I wanted, who I was, or who I wanted to be. About 90% of who I thought I was no longer existed and I had no idea who or how to be.