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I was so impressed with the NYTimes article I saw posted this morning about a study done on strangers falling in love, that I took the questions from the original study and built an app / game. Should be a great tool for first dates or for fun with your lover. Enjoy!

The inspiration was this thread: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8866933

"most terrible memory"

Yeah, there's a fun one for a first date. Seriously how do you handle that question? Some people have had very bad things happen to them.

I'm imagining how I would look/act and how my date would look/act upon seeing that question. I think the use of that question is not in communicating the information of the most terrible memory, but rather in seeing your partner feel sad, then empathizing with him/her.

This helps create a climate of intimacy and trust, regardless of the answer to the question.

Overall, I enjoyed reading the questions and I plan to do this.

Delish! Awesome. Do you think you would use the app? Or prefer to just have a list of questions? Would love to get your feedback for some press inquiries we are getting!

I much prefer the app because me and my partner can't look at anything save the question and each other. Time, space and relationship: There's only the present question and the present partner.

I read the questions on your app without having read the list of questions on NYT or github. When I read those questions (by myself), I was filled with anticipation and not fear or apprehension. I think this is because your app and these questions pre-structure disclosure in an environment of symmetric experience. This is really important and I could talk more about this.

You can feel free to email me at zlrthn mouse geemail (replace mouse with @ and fix geemail). I haven't gone through the app with a potential partner but I'll let you know when I do.

Thank you for doing this. Made my day.

Great feedback. I'd love to talk with you more about this when the neurotransmitters are replenished in my brain after some sleep. :)

"My most terrible memory is the repeated rapes my father subjected me to from the age of 9 to 13"

It's weird that you think a first date is a suitable date to go poking around in stuff like that or that a first date could possibly do any meaningful empathising.

I understand the design of this question (edit: an perhaps the whole exercise) as making a tradeoff between providing an opportunity for two average persons to bond strongly and being appropriate for everybody in favor of the former. The average person's most terrible memory, I would wager, is something easier to share in a way that encourages intimacy, namely losing loved ones, injury and personal failure.

Well, relationships are about sharing the darker sides too.

That said, if you don't want to talk about it, say so. Or give only a very brief summary without going into detail ("my $relative died very slowly from cancer", "I had an abusive partner", ...).

The difficulty is that sometimes memories are not fun and it's hard to dissemble and move on. I had a tinder date last year and for some reason I was put in a position where it was necessary to explain that my father had died recently. I couldn't avoid memories flooding back, and could only apologise whilst I tried to control my thoughts and move on.

That stinted conversation for a good 30 minutes and honestly I nearly just walked away because it was so goddamned uncomfortable. I don't want to share that kind of pain with a stranger. Maybe once I've known someone for a few months I'd feel happy doing so.

Does it say somewhere that this tool is for a "first date"?

This is actually a great question. Some similar questions I have asked my partners:

* Tell me a secret

* Tell me your most embarrassing moment

* Tell me something bad about you

I remember a girl answering "my mother is crazy" to the first question.

The point of those questions are to deeply open yourself to the other. Share intimate moments. Create complicity. And in OP's tool it will also be about having an emotional roller-coaster (since it mixes happy questions with sad questions). Which as I've heard is the best way to get to someone's heart (debatable).

OP suggested it for a first date in the parent comment, but the author of the questions did not. I'd say it'd be good for a third date or later, otherwise you're very likely to scare off the person or get something sanitized (thus reducing intimacy).

OP just sounds dangerously optimistic and cheerful about probing into each others' psyches. "Love Actualized"? More like air out your dirty laundry and hope the other person's ok with it.

The questions get progressively more intimate. No reason to finish all 36 questions in one go. Certainly some of the earlier questions are appropriate for a first date.

"Deciding to go on a first date with you." :) I thought that was an intense question. But I also see how, why not? Also, in the context that you've built some trust with this person, you might give people space to communicate things they haven't felt safe experiencing.

I should probably create an accompanying course on how to hold space for someone and to create a safe, empathic environment.

I've had that question used on me in a scientology clinic. I assume it opens one up to new suggestions.

LOL, I've been doing the same thing tonight. Funny that I found this afterward.

How did you approach it?

You work fast my man. I saw the post and read the article when it popped up on HN. Well done.


wow, you are fast

Funny.. Some people are like "this took you all day!" others say it was fast... I felt like it was taking me forever, but looking back feel like I got a lot done.. today feels much slower and I'm a bit frozen with decisions to make...

Good work, would be great if both partners could submit their answers online separately, which then generates a page where they can compare the results together.

You're missing the point - this is something that is done on a date as a sorta really long icebreaker that tells you right away if this person is someone you could spend a lot of time with, this replaces those awkward first date questions because neither one of you has to think them up, they're someone else's and you're just "following the rules" but at the same time they're a fun thing to do.

I'm thinking of including an easter egg that unlocks a slide saying "Kiss each other" after the eye gazing ;)

Ah yes, my favorite call-to-action.

Added... http://imgur.com/6mI0NzN Let me know if you find it ;)

That would completely defeat the object. The point of this exercise is not the transfer of information, but the practice of intimacy.

Curious if there is an application for LD relationships.. Surely you could do this over facetime with a lover. Would be an interesting study actually, and fairly easy to design.

Could you simulate intimacy with a bot? Simply ask these questions and give feedback like you are listening and when asked questions, have some scripted responses.

Maybe a plugin for Siri :)

LD relationships, at this point, are not much different to F2F relationships, in my experience. If anything, the use of asynch comms (meeting via PMs, for example), means that conversations get to intimate details faster, because people involved have a little more time to be the person they want to be, rather than a jibbering bag of dating nerves. Less of that underlying ambience of subdued panic, that is common in F2F dating.

You could absolutely simulate intimacy, yes. But it would be as satisfying and useful as a digital ice-cream simulation.

The point is for folks to do it in person -- as an in person game. I figured people could fire up an iphone while at dinner and play. But would be cool to be able to invite your partner for an online only version.

Perhaps I could have people chose to play online or play in person.

Yeah, definitely keep how it currently works but the ability to do it separately too would be neat.

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