There’s a New York Times piece that has been going on around for a while on the “36 questions that lead to love”. This set of three dozen questions posed mutually by a pair followed by some extended eye contact is supposed to make you fall in love. It sounds prosaic and clinical but also strangely magical. A blueprint for love.
Is that how love happens? Questions being asked and answered, a dedicated study of another human, an extended interview of weeks, months, years. Is it the understanding of someone else and their understanding of us that leads to love or is it simply just the act of opening? Maybe it is not what is said but rather the fact that it is simply spoken aloud in the first place.
There are of course, people who have fallen in love with far less. Sometimes a word, a glance, just the way the person moves through the world is enough to inspire the feeling of ardent devotion (if you believe in that sort of thing). These and the unloved who love, the unspoken loves are impossible fantasies.
The answers to these questions can’t be fixed. We’re always changing our minds. So with changing parameters, how do we get to the ultimate destination? Moreover it might be that love is the very thing that changes us, changes the answer to these questions.