A study by Dr. Arthur Aron explores whether love and intimacy between two strangers can be accelerated by answering a series of personal questions. Dr. Aron paired strangers up, and then they took turns answering 36 questions about themselves. The idea behind the study is simple: by being vulnerable with partners, we become closer to them, which can eventually lead to falling in love.
I have known my boyfriend for over a year now, and prior to answering the 36 questions, we were already very close. However, I thought it would be fun and interesting to see how much we could learn about each other by answering the questions.
I told my boyfriend we were going to have a “long conversation,” and he immediately thought he was in trouble. I reassured him that it would be a good conversation. One night, we sat outside on his porch by ourselves, and I explained to him that he and I would take turns answering personal questions. He actually studies psychology and is interested in this kind of stuff, so he was enthusiastic.
The first question was, “Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?” While it seems relatively impersonal, this question reveals a lot because it shows who you and your partner admire. Some of the 36 questions might seem irrelevant to the ultimate goal, but each one actually has the potential to reveal valuable information.
The second question was, “Would you like to be famous? In what way?” I believe this question is important because when my boyfriend and I answered it, we were able to glance into the type of future that each of us wanted. When you are in love with someone, the goal is usually to have a happy future with that person. After answering the second question, I realized that my boyfriend and I have similar goals for our future.
Because he and I have known each other for a while already, we didn’t learn as much about each other as complete strangers would. Some questions surprised me, however; I definitely did gain more insight into my boyfriend’s past, who he is now, and who he wants to be. Questions such as “If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?” reveal how your partner wants to improve him or herself, and questions like “What is your most terrible memory?” dig into your partner’s past and invite him or her to open up about life experiences.
The last few questions are the most personal, and probably the most vulnerable. “Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life” forces your partner to talk about something he or she feels embarrassed about, which is something that many of us don’t enjoy doing. My boyfriend and I are already comfortable with each other, so this prompt wasn’t too difficult for us. I could only imagine telling a complete stranger about one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. No thanks.
The final prompt is, “Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.” This one was my favorite because it allowed my boyfriend and me to discuss our own individual problems as well as problems we had in our relationship. By talking about our own issues, we became closer and gained insight into each others’ feelings on our problems. We also felt motivated to find solutions to our problems instead of allowing them to get in the way of our relationship.
Overall, I really enjoyed taking the time to answer the “36 Questions That Lead to Love” with my boyfriend. I feel closer to him now than I did before. I doubt you can fall in love with anyone just by answering these questions, but I think it is a great way for two potentially compatible people to learn more about each other. I think it’s also a fun activity for couples to do. Regardless of what stage of your relationship you are in, the “36 Questions That Lead to Love” might be beneficial to you. It will definitely give you deeper insight into who your partner is and possibly help you to realize whether you two are romantically compatible or not.
Now, it’s your turn! A user-friendly version of the “36 Questions That Lead to Love” can be found here.
Thanks for reading! If you try this, let me know in the comments how it goes. I’d love to hear your own thoughts on this relationship study.