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Bored? Ask Your Partner These 36 Questions

Be honest, be brave, be known. 

So, love isn't a feeling, but rather an exceptionally curious nature? 

Relationships are tough. They can bring out the best in us, yes, but also the worst. 

Even the strongest of them have their pitfalls, but apparently, getting over a hump in any romantic relationship just requires some hardcore grilling. 

As flippant as that statement sounds, we do have some science to back it up.

A 1997 study by psychologist Arthur Aron examined whether the intimacy between two strangers can be accelerated by answering a specific set of 36 personal questions, each intended to become increasingly probing, stimulating closeness, intimacy and ultimately love. 

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And while '97 was an age ago, in 2015, Mandy Len Catron wrote an article for the New York Times called ‘To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This’, pivoting off Aron's study from the ‘90s in which he successfully drove two strangers (in a lab) to fall in love.

Catron applied Dr Aron’s technique of '36 Questions That Lead To Love' to her own life, and the damn thing worked... again. 

Love, via science 

Unsurprisingly, this “scientific approach” to love was catapulted into the public sphere as a result – spawning countless readers to try the questions for themselves and an app was even developed. 

Although given the original study was developed for love in a lab setting, if you're already in a relationship, you might want to skip on the clinical white surrounding and opt instead to grab a bottle of wine and make a commitment to not leave the couch until each of you have answered all of the questions. 

Answer honestly, and hold eye-contact as you reveal yourself even more deeply to the person who already probably knows you best in the world. 

Here it goes... 

Set I

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 you constitute as 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 3 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 4 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?

Still looking at each other? Good, you're two-thirds of the way there! 

Set II

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 5 items.

23. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other peoples?

24. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother

One third to go, but great ready, these are really deep!


25. Make 3 '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, 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 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/she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back on you and how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen?

Not necessarily only applicable to fostering romance, you can try these questions with friends and family members too, to deepen your ties.

Be honest, be brave, be known. 

Watch Mandy Len Catron of The New York Times' TedTalk on her experience with the love questions.

Main image by @dualipa on Instagram

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