How to fall, and stay, in love in 58 questions

Over the weekend I had a lovely meet-up with some high school friends. We met up at our old school, sat on the grass, and talked the afternoon away.

We quickly caught up with each other’s lives (we’re kind of boring in that there’s not much outside of work), so to avoid the awkward silence that usually follows we played an upgraded version of Ice Breakers.

One friend had asked advice on his relationship so our questions revolved around romance. Some of those questions include:

What’s an ideal first date?

You’ve been dating for some time; name 3 ideal dates.

It’s time to plan for your wedding! What are the 3 things you’d go bridezilla (or groomzilla) for? i.e., What are the 3 things about your wedding you’ll prioritize above all else?

I absolutely adore these kinds of questions as the answers are always insightful. I discovered new things about my friends even though we’ve known each other for over 15 years!

So if it can do that for long-time friends, can you imagine how powerful these questions would be for perfect strangers?

Such as these 36 questions designed to help you fall in love with anyone.

The questions are based on a study by psychologist Dr. Arthur Aron (et al.) which explores if intimacy between two strangers can be accelerated by a specific set of personal questions.

The idea is that mutual vulnerability fosters closeness. To quote the study’s authors, “One key pattern associated with the development of a close relationship among peers is sustained, escalating, reciprocal, personal self-disclosure.” Allowing oneself to be vulnerable with another person can be exceedingly difficult, so this exercise forces the issue.

The series of questions is broken up into three sections in increasing intimacy. You start off with,

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

And end with,

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.

The study also encourages you to wrap up with four minutes of staring into each other’s eyes–sure to be uncomfortable if you’ve only met!

But the big question: Does it work?

Well, the logic is sound. And there’s a documented case where it worked. I’ve never given it a go myself, but I guess it couldn’t hurt to try..?


 

Now assuming you’re past the falling stage and are already together, how do you stay together?

We’ve got another set of questions for that thanks to the Book of Life, 22 to be exact.

Instead of revealing insights, these questions are centered around clearer communication and setting realistic expectations to your partner.

1. The things I would like to be appreciated for…

The Book of Life didn’t cite any scientific studies, but instead they offered explanations behind each chosen question. A lot of the explanations correlate to the five love languages, so I recommend giving that a try as well.

 


 

I realize it may be un-romantic to take such a logical approach to dating and relationships, but I think most of you will agree that post-infatuation, love is just as much about the head as it is about the heart.

These questions don’t guarantee the perfect relationship, but they can at least help with effective communication. THAT, I guarantee, is a must for any relationship.

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