In the spirit of honesty, I select the 5'10" to 6' category, which overshoots Nate.(10) The rest of the page is similarly specific—would you like your date to be slightly mean, slightly kind, moderately kind, or extremely kind?Should their intelligence level be dull, average, bright, or very bright?
In theory, it's easier to strengthen something before cracks appear than to mend it after. Tashiro is a firm believer in divulging secrets before making any commitment, whether you're moving in together or just getting a dog."The truth has a way of manifesting itself inevitably," he tells us.(8) So we run through our romantic backstories—my tendency to tumble into prolonged semi-relationships with commitment phobes, Nate's to move glacially for fear of hurting the people he's with or being hurt himself.(9) Next we fill out questionnaires about the traits that we'd like in an ideal partner—everything from race to religious beliefs to intelligence level.Actually, Nate's looking for anywhere from a six to an eight.So this holds up as long as we both think the other person is intelligent, attractive, and kind. Nate is crystal clear on this casual, one-or-two-dates-a-week situation with little communication in the interim, but insists upon monogamy.That was the plan for the night: Our respective editors set us up on a blind date (or what would come to seem like one very long, three-week blind date) to see just how compatible we might be and to learn what compatibility even means in the age of Tinder and Instant Chemistry genetic testing, and we figured we might as well take the time to get to know each other.
For our first outing, we would sit across from each other and ask and answer a list of 36 increasingly personal questions that had been devised by psychologists to foster closeness between perfect strangers like us.
Studies have shown that there is something about enduring danger together that can bring a man and a woman closer.
In one study, men's attraction to an attractive female interviewer was measured as they stood on two different kinds of bridges: One prone to swaying, situated high above shallow waters; the other much sturdier, only 10 feet above the water.
The following week, my (planned) spontaneous text to her about Valentine's Day was foiled by her texting me before I texted her, then her having plans when I suggested we go out that night, then me getting a cold that kept me from the "boozy brunch" she suggested for the day after.
And by the time I got better—with the burden of instigating the next date on me—I had spent so much time thinking about our date that spending more time thinking about a date while on a date didn't feel appealing.(11) Even the best laid plans can't control for timing.
As I finish selecting my answers, I glance over at Nate and realize that I'd like to be the type of person who measures up to his ideals.