Circulating around the internet today: how to fall in love with anyone by asking each other 36 questions. Not based on those “girly” magazines that tell you 10 ways to do this and do that – reminds me of the movie “How to lose a guy in 10 days“! No, it’s based on a study from 20 years ago, by psychologist Arthur Aron, titled “The Experimental Generation of
Interpersonal Closeness: A Procedure and Some Preliminary Findings”. I think they would probably have to rename the title for the magazines. Anyways, apparently the 36 questions asked between pairs of strangers in the study proved to be successful in igniting/accelerating intimacy, resulting even in a marriage. Love concocted in a lab. Or was it just Serendipity…aww another romantic comedy!
Two things come to mind here: 1) Ya, they are just strangers – but they already have one thing in common: they participate in studies! That right there is a strong common personality trait. It takes a certain type of person that engages in studies, same as how not everyone answers polls or surveys. And 2), You need to get to know someone to fall in love – really fall in love. Not just admire how they look, or how they act. The more you know someone and the more you like what you know, the more you develop real feelings for them, true love. But what if you don’t like their answers? Turn off. May not be a love connection there.
(don’t worry we will get to the 36 questions – if you can’t wait, jump to the bottom!)
So you need some kind of commonality and attraction to the other person’s personality and character to fall in love. To say how to fall in love with “anyone” then is pretty misleading I would say.
“I suspect, given a few commonalities, you could fall in love with anyone. If so, how do you choose someone?” – I think this is a very creative pick-up line, lol. A university acquaintance used this to start a conversation with “love writer” Mandy Len Caltron. In her article featured in the NY Times this week, “To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This“, Caltron goes on to describe her answering with her knowledge of Aron’s love study. The once “acquaintance” was more than eager to try it out in their own lab, well-known to many singles: the bar. And the result, in her words: “Love didn’t happen to us. We’re in love because we each made the choice to be.” Home run.
There aren’t any “magic” questions. You can’t make someone love you or vice versa. But maybe it can be like the “Truth or Dare” game minus the Dare, and also the other person won’t feel like they’re on a job interview because of the presentation. Personally, I’d go for more the natural approach, and just ask away questions that come to mind in the moment. Then again, I’m very curious and talkative by nature.
So you wondering what these 36 questions are? Like it says on consumer items, *For best results: Try it with someone you like! Ok, here they are below, broken up into 3 sets, increasing in the intimacy factor. The questions are supposed to be followed by 2-4 minutes of staring into each other’s eyes – it’s the staring contest updated!
1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom 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?
13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?
14. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
16. What do you value most in a friendship?
17. What is your most treasured memory?
18. What is your most terrible memory?
19. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
20. What does friendship mean to you?
21. What roles do love and affection play in your life?
22. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.
23. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?
24. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?
25. Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “We are both in this room feeling … “
26. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share … “
27. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.
28. 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.
29. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.
30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
31. Tell your partner something that you like about them already.
32. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
33. 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?
34. 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?
35. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?
36. 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.
Would you try this? Share what you think in the comments! Especially if you try it with your special someone!