a social experiment: love and aliens

i love a good thought experiment
i believe they are great tools for empathy
and exploring ethical conundrums

so i decided to take
my love of thought experiments
one step
f u r t h e r
to a social experiment

i had a great experiment sample
* cough cough*
in my dating app matches

* i should clarify that my motive
was in no way to be misleading

i am very anti
the “games” of dating culture
which is why
a couple months ago
i was curious
to discover (or uncover)
what my matches
believed about love

let’s just say
i was suspicious
or daresay:
b u r n t
by dating

so i was on the hunt
not necessarily for a bachelor
but for answers:

do any of us
understand love?

can any of us describe
(let alone k n o w)
what we’re looking for?

to find answers
i asked my matches
a question
that required them
to engage in empathy
while also
drawing on their own
perception, language, experience

this was ultimately an invitation
into an act of translation
and interpretation

my theory was that
our ability to communicate love
would reveal something deeper:
our understanding love

so i asked my matches:

“how would you explain the concept of love to an alien?”

the results were
interesting …. entertaining
(to say the least)
so that is why
i thought it was worth sharing

i’m curious
how you would respond
to this question

maybe have a think
about your own ability
to articulate love
before you read
these cultural “memes”

*i’ve attempted
to categorise them

but alas, welcome to my
screenshot graveyard*

f e e l i n g

love is … just a feeling:
love is … a special feeling designed for one person:

love is … a bundle of feelings that produces joy:

love is … a feeling that leads to satisfaction:

love is …. a f***ed feeling:

love is … uncontrollable feeling that leads to loyalty:

love is … a feeling that fosters safety and growth:

love is … a feeling that is pure and good:

love is … a strong feeling:

love is … an unobtainable feeling:

love is … an uncontrollable feeling:

love is … a feeling that fulfils:

love is … a feeling that leads to attachment and procreation:

love is … an unchanging feeling:

love is … a feeling attached to a spoken and unspoken reality:

love is … a feeling of happiness

love is … an unforced feeling:

love is … an amazing feeling:

connection & action

love is … friendship and connection with commitment:

love is … a dangerous friendship:

love is … a deep caring without strings:

love is … companionship and procreation:

love is … a connection that leads to sacrifice:

love is … ultimate honestly and appreciation:

love is … a choice and uncontrollable:

love is … an irrational urge that drives your priorities:

love is … an experience and emotion and evolution:

love is … an expression of emotion that evolves:

love is … a depth that breeds strength and trusted relationships:

love is … a situation of contentment:

love is … a connection deeper than flesh:

love is … attraction that leads to connection that leads to dedication:

love is … attraction that leads to action:

love … leads people to generate ridiculous acts:

l u s t

love is … lust:

love is … temporary satisfaction:

love is … lust and personality:

love is … feeling or fucking:

love is … sacrificial and sexual:

love is …physical:

love is … connection that destination is sex:

love is … explained through action (e.g. purest example sex):

love … is sex:

a n a l o g y

love is … nurture
(mother and child)

love is … regret

love is … intimate

love is … how your dog treats you

love is … consumeristic

deflective non-responses

aliens already understand love:

love … transcends language:

love is … flying not falling:

love is … unexplainable:

love is … adjectives:

love is … a construct:

love is … important:

love is … a concept explained over a cocktail:

love is … a concept explained over a vino:

love is … obsessive attachment:

flirty deflection:

simplistic deflection:

depressing deflection:

literary deflection:

intellectual deflection:

musical deflection:

jaded deflection:

non-descriptive deflection:

“it depends” deflection

movie deflection:

“too hard” deflection

movie and chocolate deflection:

confused deflection:

dog deflection:

(another) dog deflection:

that was a
a l o t
to digest

so well done
if you made it
to the end

i’m not sure
how you responded
or reacted to those

my conclusion
is that a lot of us
have a romanticised
daresay dramatised
perspective of love

it is as though
we are culturally conditioned
to understand love
as this explosive, exciting emotion

h o n e s t l y
that sounds like lust

feelings are fleeting

perhaps it is:
how we feel and act
beyond the expression of emotion
and what lingers after lust
that taps into true
l o v e

some of the threads
that rung true for me
where those who touched
on both desire and devotion

where love was framed:
as a connection that leads to sacrifice
as an attraction that leads to commitment
as companionship and friendship (lasting connection)
as complex (an emotional, physical, spiritual, intellectual connection)

a lot

b e c a u s e

to give a language to love
is to assign meaning

b u t

if we don’t understand
the purpose of a thing

t h e n

we won’t be able to operate
with intent and meaning

u n f o r t u n a t e l y
if you came here hoping
for a definitive answer
on how to
explain love to an alien
then you will leave
d i s a p p o i n t e d

i do not have answers
only questions

endless ones
that never quite finish
their curve

b u t

i hope
this social experiment
has got you thinking
about the deeper thread
to love and humanity

and i hope
these match answers
have made you question
your own understanding

i’ll leave us with
some soul-searching:

what meaning
do you assign
to love

a n d

where did that
m e a n i n g
come from?

experience? culture?
hollywood? scripture?

Respond from the Heart