02/27/2013 06:41 pm ET Updated Apr 29, 2013

How to Determine Compatibility Before Ever Going on a Date

You know when you make a new acquaintance and casually meet for coffee or tea to determine whether or not this person is someone you can potentially love, but before the steam ceases to caress your cold fingers, you realize the ostensibly intriguing person is, much to your chagrin, boring.

This has never happened to me.

That's because I send each potential friendly friend a short list of questions before our date. It consists of 48 philosophical quandaries, and it's yet to fail in determining whether or not we'll hit it on (because, really, nobody should be trying to "hit it off" on a date).

Now this list works wonders for me, but I can't guarantee it will do the same for you simply because you are not me. However, just slightly tweak the questions to better reveal the desired characteristics you're looking for.

I'm supplying you with the bones, you must learn to jump them, so to speak.

My favorite six questions are now yours. Mi casa es su casa.

1) A mother is pushing her baby in a stroller through a park. You are informed the baby will die before losing her virginity. However, if you literally walk over to the baby, forcefully punch her in the stomach, and run away, you will save her life, and she will grow old enough to forget her first time.
Can you punch the baby?

2) You're writing something for your grandma. Your brother usually does this for her, but you're a selfish kid, and you want to do everything he does. Your grandma owns some property, and your job is to write a notice that states she will no longer be paying for trash service.
What is the possessive form of you: your or you're?

3) A car accident occurs right in front of your eyes. You swerve, narrowly missing the pirouetting car. You pull over and race to the overturned vehicle. Smoke billows from the engine. You kick through the window and pull out a complete stranger, rushing him to safety just before the car explodes. You suddenly notice he smells like roadkill, shit, and peanuts. It's the worst stench you've ever experienced. in. your. life. Your mouth waters, and you have to will yourself not to vomit. He stands up, tears streaming down his face as a result of your heroic gesture. He opens his arms, beckoning to embrace you in his moment of unparalleled gratitude and emotion.
Do you hug this person?

4) You've been studying for the MCAT for three months. You bought three study books, and you read every word in each of them. The morning of the test arrives, and a man in a three-piece suit offers you a pill as you're washing your hands in the bathroom. If you take the pill, you will score in the upper ninety-fifth percentile. However, doing so will cause two other genuinely good people to bomb the test, virtually eliminating their chances of being accepted at any medical school.
Do you take the pill?

5) You're on death row. On the night before your execution, you can't sleep. You were hoping for some pleasant final dreams, but you can't stop thinking about the thousands of volts that will stop your heart in a few hours. What you really need, you decide, is an excellently boring book to beckon your last slumber.
Which do you choose: Tess of the d'Urbervilles or the Bible?

6) You're vacationing in Rome. For one day, you can go back in time and watch the festivities that took place in the Coliseum, in all their gory glory. However, if you choose to do this, nobody will ever be able to watch Gladiator again. Nobody. Ever.
Do you go back in time to see real gladiators and accept that you eliminated Russell Crowe's sculpted, sword-wielding physique for historians and horny teens everywhere?

How would you answer these questions? Let me hear about it in the comments below.

By Max Londberg, University of Oregon