Thursday, January 22, 2015
He loves me, he loves me not
He leaves his chicken steak aside and sits up straight looking like a convict at a court hearing. I have just sprung The Love Game Quiz upon my unsuspecting date. Thirty-six questions stand between us, by the end of which we may or may not be in love. Apparently, one can fall in love by answering these three dozen questions. Ah, such is modern love.
Yes, this is the very quiz that Mandy Len Catron, a lecturer at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver ferreted out and applied to her own life before writing a column about it for The New York Times. Ever since, the questions have gone viral sparking a debate on if this is really possible. Formulated by psychologist Arthur Aron in the 1990s, this questionnaire, a part of a lab test, tried to determine if two strangers could bond and get into a relationship within a span of 90 minutes. The couple he experimented on did end up falling in love. It might be randomly called The Love Test now, but back then, for lab purposes it was titled: “The Experimental Generation of Interpersonal Closeness.” Who knew that something with a name as uninspiring such as this would end up being quite a phenomenon the world over?
Acquaintances, friends, best friends, crushes, current love interests… are all busy taking this quiz, some for the fun of it and some hoping they get to walk into the sunset holding hands with the fellow quizzer. It starts with this question: “Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?” I say Sachin Tendulkar while my date sweetly replies, “You.” (Hate to admit it, but a total “Oh, how sweet” moment is happening in my head. Aron, you clever, clever man!)
It progresses from innocent questions such as, “Would you like to be famous? In what way?”, “Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?”… to personal ones like: “How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?”, “When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?”, “Tell your partner something that you like about them already.” And then comes the intimidating part — that of silently looking into your partner’s eyes for four minutes. Never has four minutes seemed this long. This is the part that leaves most people nervous, clammy-handed and even giggly. As the timer steadily starts ticking from 3 minutes 59 seconds to 2 minutes and then the final 60 seconds you feel less unnerved. “It made me feel like he could see straight through me. I was shy and yet didn’t want to look away,” says a 21-year-old who tried this quiz. Another person who took it up says, “I could gauge my partner’s integrity by looking into her eyes. The fact that she didn’t look away or look shifty tells me that I can bank on her.”
The questions can tend to make you feel vulnerable with the other person getting to know your fears, worries, insecurities and other emotions that you may not even have thought of sharing. But they help in opening up, connecting and getting to know each other better. It opens you up to situations that you may not have thought of and knowing what the significant other would make of it. Chances are you might find yourself grinning stupidly as you unlock more facts about the other person.
Surely does beat having to Facebook-stalk them to determine their personality, past and preferences. By the end of it, it doesn’t matter if you are in love or not. Atleast you have had something to break the ice.