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On the phone, my editor tells me Archie has already agreed to it, and so encouraged, I agree as well.

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  • Is there anything more fun than a manicure? | Bim Adewunmi | Life and style | The Guardian.

We later realise she played us both. We begin the evening with photos. The result is awkward. Have you ever done it? Even with a long-term friend or lover? The staring becomes a looming presence over the course of the evening: It is the thing we keep coming back to — all that staring we are going to do later — a million times more awkward than a goodnight kiss could ever be if this were a traditional date.

Over dinner, we begin.

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The questions start off fairly innocuously: They ramp up in significance as they go on: What would you change about how you were raised? Then, name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.

The usual route to intimacy is, among other things, winding and often accidental. This thing we are doing, in a largely empty restaurant, is deliberate and accelerated. But as the evening goes on, what was originally discomfiting becomes almost euphoric release. There is no way I would tell someone on a normal first date about my relationship with my mother. But in light of the unusual circumstances, and what we have already shared of ourselves this evening, why not? The questions are probing — your most embarrassing moment, your favourite memory etc — and the great thing about them is how they force reflection.

Not looking at the questions beforehand was a good idea, because I think I would have cooked my answers a bit. This is incredibly open; I end up revealing stuff that I have not directly shared with some of my closest friends we have talked around them, they have fragments and half-told stories. It is also funny and fun, and remarkably relaxed. We both note that, relieved. Archie is amusing and complimentary, which makes me like him obviously.

And we discover that we have a lot more in common than it appears on paper.

Does my laugh really go that high? Did I just… snort? | Bim Adewunmi

A quick truncated list: West Ham ; we value kindness, we realise how lucky we are to be doing jobs we love, we both grasp the crushing and all-encompassing love our mothers feel for us and understand we are unworthy of it. The questions give structure to the evening, without awkward pauses.

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Each answer brings more questions. The most difficult questions to answer are the ones where we have to say something we feel about the other person. Clearly, this is for work, and I imagine we are both squirrelling away quotes for our respective pieces. But I also made the effort to wear contacts — not my spectacles — and applied shaky eyeliner. I put on lipstick, dammit. At the very least, I was open to meeting someone romantically. Acknowledging that gives me a jolt. Eventually, three hours later, we have to look.

I used to scorn 'cool girls', but now see they don't really exist

Archie sets the timer on his phone, and in a deserted square, with the icy wind whipping about us, we sit on metal chairs and stare across a wet table. I begin to chatter, out of nervous habit. Our lips quirk constantly, suppressing awkward smiles.

A few people walk past, chatting loudly. Occasionally, the cold makes us gasp. We keep on staring.

Archie laughs out loud. And then, finally, we are silent. I love technology, and I think it has the potential to be far more intimate than the essayists and columnists would have us believe. But there is something far more arresting in the physical. Dating with jkelvy from bim jkelvy 42 years, bim seeking a living hello there, i'm a bit curious this site requires you to be logged in.

Can these 36 questions make you fall in love with anyone? | Life and style | The Guardian

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