{shortcode-681e8fb989e5ccdd5f56807a4a0c084a54f4f8d1}Whether you’re a lifetime hopeless romantic or you’ve found yourself pining for love this pandemic, you’ve probably heard of The New York Times’ “36 Questions That Lead to Love". Through rigorous peer review (AKA the opinions of my two friends), I’ve adapted questions from this hallowed list for everyone’s new prime date locale: Zoom. Use these icebreakers the next time you’re tossed into a breakout room with classmates you’ve never met, stuck answering the same questions at your club’s weekly social, or maybe even trying to cuff your pset partner before Valentine's Day ;)

Instead of #28, try “Tell your pset partner what you like about them; be very honest, sharing answers that you might not say to others in your class.”

If you want this relationship to go beyond the class, be upfront and let them know your priority is them, not the assignment. Tell your pset partner you like how their well defined silhouette doesn't fade in and out of Zoom backgrounds. Or perhaps let them know they freeze attractively, even with their mouth half open or while buffering with eyes half-closed.

Instead of #27, try “If you were going to become actual friends with your breakout room buddy, please share what would be important for him or her to know.”

You’ve had them pinned to your screen every section, but now it’s time to make your move. If you want to ease into taking this friendship to the next level, you might want to make a plan for a future call before logging off. Or even schedule a three hour study date because that’s how long it takes you to watch a 45 minute lecture at 1.5x speed.

Instead of #21, try “What roles do private Zoom messages and heart reactions play in your life?”

Let them know if you’re the type of person with a custom Slack react for every person in your life, or warn them if you can’t help but put up the heart emoji 20 times during every call. Does it make your heart warm to know someone logged onto a call and searched your name on the participants tab? Does it make you giddy to see private Zoom messages that will inevitably lead to you stifling laughter in the middle of class?

Instead of #13, try “If a Harvard email could tell you the truth about Fall 2021, Zoom camera policies, the endowment, or anything else, what would you want to know?”

Maybe you’re still concerned about those private Zoom message transcripts, so you would ask if Zoom really protects your privacy. Or maybe you’re still trying to place your bets on a ~moderately normal~ semester next fall, so you really need Dean Gay to slide you the plan ASAP. Time to find out about your partner’s true priorities (or favorite Harvard conspiracy theories) so both of you can be on the same page.

Instead of #4, try “What would constitute a ‘perfect’ Zoom date for you?”

No Zoom. We should really give Google Hangouts a chance.

Now, you are ready for the final step: stare past your webcam’s blinding light right into your Zoom partner’s eyes for 4 minutes — the headache will be worth it when you’re one step closer to being featured in your class’s Wedding Bells. Let us know if these reduce the amount of insufferable silence on your calls, and perhaps even lead you to true love!<3