36 questions lead to love love key

36 questions that may lead to love

Almost twenty years ago, psychologist Arthur Aron and colleagues conducted research to explore whether it was possible to help strangers create closeness and develop a relationship by asking a series of specific personal questions.

The idea is that mutual vulnerability through self-disclosure, fosters closeness and has an impact of the process of building a relationship. When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable with another person it fosters closeness, “sustained, escalating, reciprocal, personal self-disclosure” is fundamental to the development of a close relationship.

The 36 questions are broken up into three sets, with a gradual increase in intensity of self-disclosure. The couple takes turns asking questions over a period of 90 minutes. 

So if you are meeting someone for your first date or wanting to build greater intimacy in a relationship consider giving it a try. The research found these 36 questions were more effective than small talk in building closeness in the relationship and may lead to love too. 

Set 1

  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 could constitute "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 (the person you are dating) 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 4 minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.

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

Set 2

  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 in one year you would die suddenly, 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 (the person you are dating). Share a total of 5 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?

Set 3

  1. Make 3 true 'we' statements each. For instance "We are both in this room feeling..."

  2. Complete this sentence: "I wish I had someone with whom I could share..."

  3. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her 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 me.

  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 life about them already?

  8. What if anything, is too serious to be 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? What 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, as your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen. 

 

Resources

Aron, A. et al (1997). The experimental generation of interpersonal closeness: A procedure and some preliminary findings. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 23 (4), 363 - 377. 

 

 

Still not sure if you are ready for counselling?

Join our mailing list to receive relationship and wellbeing tips and event news from landscape of life.

Your details are kept confidential

Recent Posts


Fairy Tale Online Dating landscape of life

Are you looking for love, like millions of other Australians? If so you might find yourself wonderi... read more

attachment in couple relationships couple of umbrellas

In Western cultures, dependency is a dirty word. In our world, healthy adulthood has been defined by... read more

surviving a relationship breakup broken heart cookie landscape of life relationship counselling camberwell

It is never easy when a relationship ends. Whether you initiated or were on the receiving end of a b... read more

Camera landscape of life Counselling

At The Health and Wellbeing Studio, we have been reflecting on what might inspire people to really l... read more