Let me start by saying that the article about the study with the 36 questions that cause people to fall in love resonates with me because my philosophy is that falling in love is an action not an accident. This study reinforced my belief that most humans can become very endeared to most other humans, and that the fatigue and frustration from endless dating is unnecessary for most. Although I am close to someone put into an arranged marriage with an older man as a teen (they divorced, she lost a lot of respect), I am more supportive of semi-arranged marriage than most of my contemporaries. That being said, let’s be careful about the people to whom we show our vulnerability.
Become the vulnerable type
As the study mentioned, the type of people who would sign up for this study already reflect a selection bias. If you are unahappily single because you are “too choosy” and you live in a Western, metropolitan area and do not have a strange outlier quality (membership in a tiny, strict religion, or a very unusual physical appearance or needs), I strongly recommend you cultivate a mindset that would put yourself in the category of person that would sign up for an experiment to fall in love with a stranger. I am not saying you should actually hit the labs and get vulnerable in front of a rando, but deeply look at what and how you hide from your potential partners.
Before you start bringing the 36 questions to your next Tinder date, consider the weight of becoming emotionally attached to someone. Think about your attachment to some of your family members or your friends from school with whom you no longer have anything in common, but still can talk to at 2am and make each others’ sides hurt with laughter. Whether or not you have a healthy relationship to the people you became emotionally bonded to when you were young, you can probably see how hard it is to break that bond and see those people clearly and rationally. Think about the people in your life that you have become close to through showing vulnerability and spending long periods of time bonding with. How are those relationships going for you?
To Whom Should I Ask Those 36 Questions?
I notice many chronically single women engaging in this type of bonding with other female friends who are also chronically single. Such bonds can be comforting, although consider if you actually want to trust the feedback from another chronically single person when dating for the purpose of a long-term relationship. Don’t take relationship advice from unhappily single people!
My advice for the best way to use the findings from this experiment would be to get a clear idea of the values you want in a partner and the dynamic you want in your relationship. I personally recommend casting physical qualities aside, although I am biased that way, and I am in a 15 year relationship and find myself very free from engaging in appearance based discrimination.
When I hear people say “I want to like him/her that way, because they would be a great partner for me but I just can’t”, BINGO! That is the person with whom you should try the 36 questions.