Matters of the Heart: 36 Questions

“I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.” – John Green, The Fault In Our Stars.

Would our’s be a story of right person, right timing; of days littered with courage and nights ending with laughter and warmth?

On our third of fourth date (lets leave the story of how we met for another day), a breath of courage (yes breath, not liquid) led me to ask, “Have you heard of The 36 Questions that lead to love?” And I guess the concoction of curiosity and raging chemistry saw us making our way to the park. Seated by the water in the quiet of the city’s evening, and moonlit faces.. “Question 1,”

The 36 Questions that lead to love was developed by Psychology Professor Arthur Aron and was most recently brought to the limelight by an article in the New York Times “Modern Love” column. (Here for the article)

Sparing details of the actual questions, the exercise unveiled intimate details of ourselves and made it impossible for us to hide behind the well versed narratives of our lives that is otherwise broadcasted to the world and people around us. Impossible, not just from each other, but from our own selves as well.

Like Catron, parts I found uncomfortable were when the questions requested that each of us express an opinion of each other, namely, his of me. Was there a part of myself that I did not like, that he noticed? Would it reveal that our chemistry was nothing but a poor overall judgement the situation? Quite the contrary. Rather, we were celebrating the parts that make us who we are as unique individuals; a nice change from our otherwise prescriptive world.

What I found too, was a growing wealth of empathy for A the more I learnt about him.

As we soldiered on (you’d be surprised how long 36 questions can take), a feeling I liken to the feeling of “care” filled my heart. I knew there was no turning back.

Fast forward, 4 months + 1 holiday and lots of social events since we met and everyday has felt like a blessing. And whether or not the 36 questions led us to be (or it simply sped up the process for us), I do believe that it set the tone of our path together; the care and empathy I felt made me feel responsible. A custodian of his heart and he of mine.
Processed with VSCO with v5 preset

Have we unlocked the secrets of love? While I rather not conclude, I do believe that the sense of accountability to fearlessly guard each other’s hearts has made the process a lot quicker and smooth. That, with our incessant want to live by it.






iPhone 6, VSCO Came Filter V5 // Location: World UNESCO Site, Jatiluwih Rice Terraces

Have you tried the 36 questions? Let me know what it was like by leaving a comment!

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