Since 2015, her piece has captured the attention of millions of readers around the world. Her story revolves around a series of 36 questions, designed by researchers, that resulted in two strangers falling in love. Catron, wanting to pursue love in a more intelligent way, was curious about the technique and decided to put it to the test.
The 36 questions Catron referred to in her essay come from a study conducted by Dr. Arthur Aron, a psychology professor at the State University of New York. He wanted to find out if he could, "create closeness in an experimental context."
Here is how to put Dr. Aron's theory to the test. Below are three sets of questions. With your partner, take turns asking each other the questions in order. Once you've completed all the questions, spend four interrupted minutes looking directly in each other's eyes.
Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
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?
What would constitute a "perfect" day for you?
When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?
Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.
For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.
If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
If you are wondering if Carton and her boyfriend are still in love, yes, they are. However, in her essay, Cardon admits, "Although it's hard to credit the study entirely (it may have happened anyway), the study did give us a way into a relationship that feels deliberate ... Love didn't happen to us. We're in love because we each made the choice to be."