A photo of a woman and a man looking into each other's eyes


To Fend Off Love With Anyone, Do This

The 36 questions guaranteed to repel an inappropriate suitor.

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On Sunday, the New York Times’ “Modern Love” column published “To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This,” an essay that instantly went viral, in which the author by Mandy Len Catron described finding love after asking her date a series of 36 specific, personal questions devised by psychologist Arthur Aron. 

However, Dr. Aron realized the inherent danger in what he had wrought.* (After all, what if the next stranger you encounter happens to be a Swiftie or a Bitcoin enthusiast?) So he created another list of 36 equally specific, personal questions guaranteed to help you put an immediate halt to any incipient love match.



1. If you wrote an autobiography, what would you title it? Do you suspect it would be remaindered?

2. Share your three least popular status updates and explain why no one “liked” them. 

3. Do you think it’s ever acceptable to use air quotes? What about air hashtags? 

4. Do you really think yellow is your color?

5. Which of my adorable quirks will you find cringe-inducing in about two months’ time? 

6. When did you last talk to yourself? When did you last berate yourself to the point of tears?

7. Which celebrity did your ex most frequently fantasize about when having sex with you?

8. Share the names of the three people you most recently cyberstalked.

9. When exactly did you start thinking it was okay to wear a V-neck sweater without anything under it?

10. Name three ways, off the top of your head, that you and I will probably never see eye to eye.

11. If you were a marine invertebrate, which one would you be?

12. What would it take for you stop talking about the Paleo diet?



13. Tell me in which ways I remind you of your mother.

14. If you had to murder one of your closest friends in cold blood, which one would you choose?

15. Who on Earth wears Crocs to a dinner date? In the winter, no less?

16. If you were my boss, explain how you would slowly, almost imperceptibly chip away at my feelings of self-worth on a daily basis.

17. When did you decide that “alcoholic substitute teacher” was the vibe you were going for?

18. Define happiness in one word.

19. Describe love in 1,500 words, single-spaced, and using MLA style.

20. What would constitute a perfect minute for you? Describe it, second by second.

21. Recount your most forgettable moment.

22. Make five “we” statements that are true of both you and me at this precise moment. For example, “OMG, wehave not even made it to the main course yet.”

23. Which of your siblings did your parents most favor? Name a key attribute this person has that you seem to lack. 

24. Which of your childhood dreams have you yet to achieve? Why have you been such a disappointment so far?



25. A nuclear bomb is detonated near your home, and you are slowly dying from radiation poisoning. Name the internal organ you’d like to keep functioning the longest.

26. What are your future children’s future therapists likely to blame you for?

27. When you play the Game of Life, do you tend to choose the college route or the career route? Do you realize that no one (seriously, no one) picks the career route? 

28. When was the last time you were thoughtlessly callous to a sick orphan or confused octogenarian? 

29. Which part of your body is aging the least gracefully? 

30. Imagine you slept with my best friend. How was it?

31. Complete this sentence: “I continue wearing Crocs despite the public opprobrium, because…”

32. Share the last time you faked a British accent to sound smarter.

33. Which painful experience are you not yet ready to talk about, and why not?

34. Look into my eyes for the next four minutes. Are you getting sleepy … very sleepy?

35. If you were on your deathbed, and your life flashed before your eyes, which of your bad choices would haunt you the most? Would that sweater be in the running?

36. Don’t you think it’s time to call it a night?


* Well, he didn’t really. This is an imagining on his behalf.


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