Valentine’s Day

It’s Valentine’s Day. Since today’s festive event focuses on love, and what the world needs now is love, sweet love, I thought this week’s reflection could talk about one kind of eros, romance.

With over 323 million people on dating apps in 2021 and projected revenue by 2025 to be 5.71 billion, there sure a lot of people looking for love, hookups, or friendships, across the globe. You think it would be easier to find someone to connect with, with so many people looking.

But alas, even though the pool of potentials is vast, meeting that special someone still seems to be an enigma. Since we no longer live in small villages where someone knows someone who knows the person you’ve set your eye upon, what is the best way to determine if the apple of your eye is a good investment of your time, attention, and tender emotions?

A common and important suggestion when it comes to dating is to pay attention to red flags, the revealing comments or actions that catch your inner WTF, yet get brushed off and attributed not to their personality or incompatibility but to whatever kindness you wish to bestow upon them.

When flags get raised, one approach is to get curious and ask questions. “Why are you in anger management classes?” “A trip to Italy? We just met!” “You launder, what?” (I’m watching Ozark right now.) And so on. Don’t be afraid to ask the questions that will give you more information so you can proceed with knowledge instead of fantasies.

Along those lines, this past week The New York Times published a list of questions from a study by psychologist Arthur Aron (and others)that are great conversation starters and a good way to learn about the inner workings of your paramour’s mind and as well as your compatibility. The piece is written by Daniel Jones and is called The 36 Questions that Lead to Love. The questions are broken into three sets, each more probing than the previous one. Some of the questions are more appropriate if you’ve known someone for longer than a date or two, and others you can keep in your back pocket in case there are any lulls.

Here are some of them from each set.

Set 1

1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?

3. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?

4. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?

5. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?

Set 2

13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?

14. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?

15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?

16. What do you value most in a friendship?

17. What is your most treasured memory?

18. What is your most terrible memory?

Set 3

26. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share … “

27. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner (date), please share what would be important for him or her to know.

29. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.

30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?

31. Tell your partner (date) something that you like about them already.

32. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?

Happy Valentine’s Day, mi amor!

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