In 2015, Mandy Len Catron wrote a column for The New York Times about a scientific study involving 36 questions that could purportedly make people fall in love with each other. She’d tried the questions on an acquaintance in a bar and, sure enough, they fell in love.
Since then, daring daters around the world have tried the questions themselves to see where they might lead. (I myself tried them with an ex. Not long after, we proclaimed our love for each other, but I’m fairly sure we were on our way there anywhere.)
The 36 questions are great if you have a partner, a date, or a random stranger you want to take a risk with, but what if you’re single?
What if you’ve been through a breakup or a string of disappointing dates and are feeling shaky about not just your faith in humanity, but your own innate desirability within it?
What if the answers to your problems don’t lie in another person wanting you or apologizing to you or being someone you wished they were?
What if the person you currently need love from, most of all, is yourself?
I am a firm believer that like attracts like. If you want to be loved, start by loving yourself and your life… fiercely.
There is a slogan for a bank in Canada that says “You’re richer than you think.” Maybe, maybe not.
But I do know from coaching multiple people that most of us are stronger and more capable, gifted, blessed, and important to this world than we give ourselves and our lives credit for.
When you recognize your value, others do too.
So, here is a separate set of 36 questions: each designed to help you get to know yourself more deeply, appreciate those things you bring to this Earth and, perhaps even, fall madly, deeply and passionately with the person, affectionately known as You.
You are strong:
- Describe a time when you were afraid of doing something and got through it.
- What have you let go of that was not good for you?
- Recall a time when you overcame an obstacle. How did you overcome it?
- What are your flaws? How have they made you stronger in other parts of your life?
- Describe a time when you did the right thing.
- Who are your heroes? What do you have in common with them?
You are capable:
- What achievements are you proud of in your life?
- What is something you’ve done in the past year that makes you smile?
- What motto do you live by? Describe a time when you did something that reflects that motto.
- What’s something you are currently doing toward a goal of yours?
- What would amaze your 10-year-old self about your life today?
- Recall a time when you learned something new despite it being difficult.
You are important:
- Recall a time when you cared for another living thing (animal, plant or person).
- Describe a time you were generous, compassionate or a good listener.
- Remember a time when you laughed with someone.
- What is something people often thank you for?
- Remember a time when it felt good to do something nice for someone.
- What are you super passionate about that you often talk about or share with others?
You are gifted:
- What is something that comes easy to you but not so easy to other people?
- What do people often come to you for help with?
- Think of a good friend or loving family member. How would they describe you?
- What do you do when you lose all track of time? What could you spend hours doing?
- Think about an experience where you felt alive and in love with life. What qualities described you in that moment? Guess what? That’s who you are!
You are showing up for yourself:
- When you were a kid what did you do for fun? How could you do some of that now?
- What is your favourite body part? What do you like about it? Thank that body part for being so awesome.
- What would 90-year-old you say to you at your current age?
- Imagine yourself as a small child. Promise to speak to yourself with all the kindness you might speak to a small child.
- What is something you could do to be good to yourself today?
You are blessed:
- Who is someone who is there for you in your life?
- What’s going right in your life right now?
- What is something you like about where you are?
- What is something your body allows you to do that you enjoy?
- Who or what has taught you your biggest lessons in life?
- Have you ever imagined a worst-case scenario or disaster that didn’t happen?
- What are some simple pleasures that you enjoy in life?
- What is something you are looking forward to in the future?
Every time you see your reflection in a mirror or window tell yourself something nice about yourself.
Seriously. You do!