What Happened When I (Accidentally) Played 36 Questions to Fall in Love

My friend recently called me announcing that on the next date she would go on, she was determined to play 36 Questions to Fall In Love.

"What's that?" I asked her, taking a while to process her explanation as I went through my chemistry slides. I listened nonchalantly but then suddenly interrupted her, realizing in that moment that I was already one step ahead of her.

Let's backtrack a bit.

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By the summer of 2017, I thought I'd been through every first date scenario that existed: a grocery date to Safeway, a normal date at an ice cream shop, a plot-twist of a date with a guy who (surprise!) wound up eleven years older than I was. At that point, I had met so many different people, that what I originally thought was a good vibe had become just average. Every first date since left me for the most part underwhelmed, and the rare times things ever got past that typically ended in disappointment.

This was specifically why my first date with Guy X (he who shall not be named — sorry) caught me off guard completely.

Late for our originally planned movie, we decided to scratch our initial plans, and instead walk around the shopping center until we stumbled upon a local fair. Funnily enough, I'd gone on a frantic app-downloading spree the night before just in case we wound up with too much time and not much to fill it with. This was what led to the moment I whipped out 36 Questions on our way there, ironically unaware of the important "...to Fall in Love" part that hadn't been included in the app's name.

This set, compiled by Arthur Aron, was designed to heighten the level of intimacy between the two individuals playing. Aron's theory was that the more vulnerable each person was, the more capable the pair was of developing a deeper connection. Completely unaware of this at the time, I had no idea that the questions we shared could've impacted the bond we formed. And while falling in love overnight was a stretch, his theory may have admittedly done a little something.

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Asking for our summarized life stories and best and worst memories, Aron's questions pushed us to know so many things about each other that we would've probably never known without it. At one point, it even asked us to list five qualities we liked about each other (as a usually reserved person, this was hard to get through without internal cringing). Yet despite being someone who sucks at directly expressing her feelings, I felt free to be far more open this past summer than I normally ever was when dating.

As we ended that first night playing Pictionary on his foggy car window, I realized in that moment and some of the others that followed, that the right click actually did exist. Despite the reality of going to two different schools and leading two different lives, the few fleeting memories we gained over the weeks of getting to know each other helped me learn more about myself and what I want in a person.

Love has a unique definition to every person. For those hoping for a fairytale ending, I can't say I ever fell in love since for me, it takes both time and experiences to build love. But if falling "in like" is a thing, I could've vouched for it completely by the end of summer. I can't say that 36 Questions works for everyone. If anything, it helps prove how compatible or incompatible a pair can be. As for Guy X, the compatibility was definitely there; the proper timing and distance however weren't.

Since leaving summer behind, I've had no clue what he's really been thinking or doing, even aware that he may have realistically forgotten about this past summer or found another person entirely. Despite reality, I doubt I'll ever regret the experience. I say: try the game. It won't hurt. You may learn a thing or two about person you're with — or maybe even a thing or two about yourself.

Image source: Pexels

Cover image source: Pexels