The 13 Questions That Lead to Divorce

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Modern Love

To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This,” which highlighted the 36 questions that one psychologist says can lead to love, is one of the most popular Modern Love columns ever. Here, an alternative take.

First, grab someone you hope to someday divorce. Choose anyone. Oh, hey, how about the person next to you in bed clipping their toenails and eating leftover kimchi with their hands? They seem super-divorceable.

With these questions, keep an eye out for mutual disdain. When resentment surfaces, lean into it. It’s the key to splitting up. Allow it to push you further apart until someone ends up alone watching “Roadhouse” at a Motel 6.

Before starting this exercise, one of you should read the following instructions aloud while the other removes any sharp objects from the room. Hide the blunt potential projectiles, too.

1. Read each question aloud while the other shuts up and doesn’t talk over me. The other just listens. Can the other do that? Just listen?

2. It’s important to answer each question in order, though it’s hard to tell what’s important to you anymore.

3. The questions are divided into three sets. Each set will take about five minutes but feel like an eternity. That’s why the questions are divided into three sets. Because an eternity divided by three is … um.

4. Do not rush through the questions, but answer each one at a comfortable, quick-to-turn-defensive, deeply spiteful pace.

5. You probably won’t get through all the questions in each set, and that will be your fault. Just like everything else.


1. Which one of my siblings do you find most attractive?

2. If you were to die tomorrow, how and by whom would you want to be killed?

3. Name 4,000 things we don’t have in common.

4. What does the inside of a gym look like? (No Googling this!)


5. Where’s the Apple TV remote?

6. If you were given the chance to bring peace to the Middle East, would you also make that about you?

7. It’s not under the couch. You had it last. Where is it???

8. I don’t want to grow old with you. (Whoops — more of a statement.)


9. Our house is on fire. What’s the one thing you grab before escaping the flames besides the original copy of our prenup?

10. Do you think a new shower curtain rod is going to buy and install itself?

11. If you could go back in time, would you mind staying there?

12. What’s one thing you like about me? (LOL kidding, skip this.)

12a. If we were the last two people on Earth, whom would you want to divorce and why?

13. Should we have sex now?

After answering “I’m all set” to the last question, take four minutes to quietly stare into space thinking about who gets to keep the Apples to Apples decks.

Read new Modern Love essays and follow-ups from past favorites here.