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36 Questions To Fall in Love – For The First Time or Again

How do you fall in love with someone? I always assumed that love is complicated and depending on a lot of different internal and external factors. In a 1997 study, American psychologists Arthur and Elaine Aron came up with a questionnaire of 36 intimate questions that help develop a close bond faster between strangers. These questions can come in handy during a first date or even for couples looking for ways to reconnect. You can use these questions to strengthen your partner’s bond or increase your intimacy with someone else. What would be a better time than to try this on a Valentine’s date? 

The Research

Two random strangers went through the questionnaire together and ended their date by staring into each other’s eyes for four minutes in silence. Other couples who did not know each other spent 45 minutes making small talk. The research concluded that the couples who worked through the questionnaire felt more affection and intimacy than the couples who had a date with small talk. They had the feeling that they knew each other for much longer and sometimes even fell in love. In later experiments with people from different cultural backgrounds, the experiment led to less prejudice. In couples who had been together for a long time, the questions made them feel more reconnected. 

Try it yourself!

Find a test subject, either a new crush or your existing partner. Allow at least one hour to answer all the questions from the questionnaire. Start with the first question. When one of you has responded to the question, the other immediately answers the same question. Feel free to ask follow-up questions! 

Part One

1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, who would you want as a dinner guest?

2. Would you like to be famous? In what way? 

3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?

4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?

5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?

6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?

7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?

8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.

9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?

11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.

12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?

Part Two 

1. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future, or anything else, what would you want to know?

2. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?

3. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?

4. What do you value most in a friendship?

5. What is your most treasured memory?

6. What is your most terrible memory?

7. If you knew that you would die suddenly in one year, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?

8. What does friendship mean to you?

9. What roles do love and affection play in your life?

10. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.

11. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?

12. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?

Part Three

1. Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “We are both in this room feeling…”

2. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with who I could share…”

3. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be essential for them to know.

4. Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you’ve just met.

5. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.

6. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?

7. Tell your partner something that you like about them already.

8. What, if anything, is too serious being joked about?

9. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?

10. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?

11. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?

12. Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.

Part Four – Make Eye Contact

Make direct eye contact for four minutes without saying anything to each other. 

Happy Valentine’s Day! 

References

Gonsalves, K. (2020, November 24). Why The “36 Questions To Fall In Love” Keep Bringing Couples Together. Retrieved December 28, 2020, from https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/36-questions-to-fall-in-love

About the author – Reini Thijssen, BA is a therapist intern with Pacifc Mental Health, Seattle. She looks  at personal challenges with an open, supportive, creative, and honest approach to support patient progress. Reini is a multilingual therapist, and can treat patients in German, Dutch and English.  

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