Help me design the best (and shortest) matchmaking questionnaire
September 6, 2011 10:53 AM   Subscribe

Matchmaking Judo: Help me design the best (and shortest) matchmaking questionnaire in the history of the world. I'm assembling a short list of questions that two strangers can quickly answer to determine if they might be a good match.

Questions can be any format -- essay, short answer, multiple choice. Especially awesome would be oblique questions that address big topics without presenting them as such ("What will your epitaph say?" vs. "What things are most important in your life?").

You can assume that gender/age/location preferences have already been taken care of.
posted by the jam to Human Relations (34 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
"Kids: ASAP, Someday, or Never?"
posted by Tomorrowful at 10:57 AM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

"Fuzzy handcuffs or regular?"
posted by griphus at 10:59 AM on September 6, 2011 [2 favorites]

A relevant OKTrends article, based on stats from OKCupid.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 11:03 AM on September 6, 2011 [5 favorites]

I wash dishes:
- as soon as I make them dirty
- as soon as the dishwasher is full
- as soon as the sink is full
- when I can't stand the smell anymore
posted by ttyn at 11:03 AM on September 6, 2011

Level of education. Age. Gender.
posted by yarly at 11:04 AM on September 6, 2011

religion : yes/no?
posted by radiosilents at 11:07 AM on September 6, 2011

Do you like cake?
posted by Chairboy at 11:11 AM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Political philosophy in exactly five words.
What is your strangest hobbie?
posted by Garm at 11:11 AM on September 6, 2011

Kids on No Kids?
God or No God?
Rent or Buy?
Save or Spend?
Wine or Beer?
Books or Music?
Messy or Neat?
Domestic or International?
Liberal or Conservative?
Top or Bottom?

I think that covers it, really.
posted by DarlingBri at 11:17 AM on September 6, 2011 [8 favorites]

Meat or Not?
posted by griphus at 11:20 AM on September 6, 2011

City, country, suburban?
posted by kmennie at 11:23 AM on September 6, 2011

What is the maximum number of people you are willing to have sex with at the same time?

Cats, dogs, or both?

Would you let your aging parent live with you if they were well enough, or put them in a nursing home?

Do you like to dance?

What are your stances on alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs?
posted by MexicanYenta at 11:26 AM on September 6, 2011

Boxers or briefs (or commando)?
posted by JohnnyGunn at 11:30 AM on September 6, 2011

Nice shoes, wanna fuck?
posted by Forktine at 11:31 AM on September 6, 2011

Short Answer:
Is there a God?
Do you want Kids?
Are you Liberal, Conservative, Independent or Indifferent?

Long Answer:
Match questions actually work in reverse. Rather than matching answers bringing together similar people, these sorts of questions actually serve to keep people with differing answers apart. In other words, just because you like the same things, believe the same things or want the same things doesn't mean there will be any sizzle at all. There's a reason it's often said that opposites attract. But knowing one wants children and the other doesn't helps two people who really click avoid wasting time building something that can't last. Thus, it works in reverse.

Thus... if you approach matching in reverse, to keep apart people who don't have potential for a long term relationship, you'll end up with better potential for matches. Seems odd, but it's true.
posted by 2oh1 at 11:31 AM on September 6, 2011

When I was doing the online-dating thing, I found "What's the last great book you read?" to give a lot of insight into a person. And I got a lot of good reading recommendations out of it.
posted by adamrice at 11:35 AM on September 6, 2011

Biggest debates over the duration of our marriage:

Toilet paper, over vs. under?
Cake vs. pie
Funk vs. soul
Cat vs. dog

(We were friends first, and came in knowing the answers to the biggies - kids, god, finances, politics. It's surprising how it's the little things that make a difference over a decade.)
posted by librarianamy at 11:36 AM on September 6, 2011

Pee Wee Herman: beloved cultural icon or guy who once made a stupid movie?

(Pee Wee, depending on your age, can be surprisingly polarizing. This question has actually served as a dealbreaker for me.)
posted by corey flood at 11:46 AM on September 6, 2011

Why/how did your last relationship end?

If I had bothered to suss out the answer to this question with at least a few guys I would have seen some serious red flags.
posted by Saminal at 12:08 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

1) Do you like your partners complex or simple?

2) Do you base your life decisions more on feelings or rational thinking?

3) Are you more extroverted or introverted?

4) Are you more driven or laid back in your approach to life?

5) When an appliance in your house/apartment breaks are you inclined to fix it immediately or to deal with it for the time being and wait until absolutely necessary?

6) Do you read a lot outside of your professional work? Do you own more than 25 books? More than 50?

7) Is your bedroom right now messy or neat?

8) You're on a third date with somebody who seems cool. You go back to one of your houses and have a long intimate conversation with them in which they reveal a lot of personal stuff about themselves, including some vulnerabilities.

Choose the emotional response that is most likely for you:

a) I appreciate how candid they were with me. I feel closer to them already.
b) I'm feeling kind of distant and uncomfortable now. It's kind of weird that they revealed all that so soon.
posted by timsneezed at 12:10 PM on September 6, 2011 [2 favorites]

This is dated as hell, but long ago in another world someone did a study and found amazing correlation with political leanings depending on whether you liked Elton John or the Allman Brothers. Maybe you can guess which was which.
posted by fivesavagepalms at 12:49 PM on September 6, 2011

Okay, I'll tell: Conservatives liked John, Liberals liked the Brothers.
I'll bet this would still work.
posted by fivesavagepalms at 12:51 PM on September 6, 2011

Are there any roles in a relationship a man must play? Are there any roles in a relationship a woman must play?
posted by freshwater at 1:32 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

How many times have you been in love?

Describe yourself in 5 words without mentioning your job or a single adjective.

I believe that the love in a committed relationship should be:
1. Conditional
2. Unconditional

When it comes to relationships, my family members...
1. Are worried about me; they are eager for me to settle down and/or have kids ASAP
2. Have never really been satisfied with my choice of partner
3. Usually approve of my taste in romantic partners
4. Generally support my decisions and only care about my happiness/welfare
5. Have the final say in whom I will spend my life with
6. Tend to stay out of things unless I ask for their opinion/advice about something first.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 1:37 PM on September 6, 2011

When I'm in a heated argument, I:
1. Am OK with being wrong/changing my point of view based on what my opponent says.
2. Cannot walk away until I've said my piece/the other person admits fault, even if I suspect I'm in the wrong.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 1:42 PM on September 6, 2011

These are all sort of related but I think self awareness is a huge component of relationships.

Do you have anything about your personality that you'd like to improve or you're actively trying to work on? Just answer yes or no.

Your confidence is
1) low
2) medium
3) high
4) very high/unshakeable

When somebody bluntly criticizes you, you are most likely to
a) get defensive or smile politely but ignore them
b) listen to what they say and consider if you can use the feedback to improve yourself
posted by timsneezed at 2:20 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

I can think of several sorts of "good" match, not all of which need last more than a few hours. One question: Your place or mine?

I'm not just being flip. Assuming a casual, perhaps even flirtatious setting, a thoughtful reply to that question will immediately take the conversation to the things that matter.
posted by phrits at 3:46 PM on September 6, 2011

1. Elvis or Beatles
2. Beatles or Stones
3. Star Wars or Star Trek
4. Three Stooges or Marx Brothers
5. Smooth or Crunchy
6. Automatic or Manual
7. City or Country
8. Morning or Evening
9. Progressive or Conservative
posted by Rash at 4:25 PM on September 6, 2011

Pop or rock?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:48 PM on September 6, 2011

Linked to above, in the OKCupid article, but here it is, more concise y'all:

Long term potential:
Do you like horror movies?
Have you ever travelled around another country alone?
Wouldn’t it be fun to chuck it all and go live on a sailboat?

So that, right there, is your shortest Matchmaking questionnaire.

I'd probably add -

Do we have Similar Politics?:
Do you prefer the people in your life to be simple or complex?

Is my date Religious?:
Do spelling and grammar mistakes annoy you?

(Given I'm spelling-caring religious, and would generally match better with Athiests, than Baptists).
posted by Elysum at 7:10 PM on September 6, 2011

What do you absolutely require in a relationship? (Kids, kinkiness, perfect neatness, whatever applies.)
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:34 PM on September 6, 2011

How much do you like classical music? Do you like beer?

The one-two punch for those seeking intelligent libertines.
posted by screamingnotlaughing at 10:51 AM on September 7, 2011

"Do you like the taste of beer?" was the actual question from the research...sorry.
posted by screamingnotlaughing at 10:51 AM on September 7, 2011

Oop -- forgot my last one (because these are actual choices I give people, in order to measure our compatibility):

10. Sex Pistols or the Ramones
posted by Rash at 12:44 PM on September 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

« Older Guitars similar to Martin JC16RE?   |   The How of Positive Thinking Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.