In early January 2015 Mandy Len Catron published an amazing article in The New York Times ("Modern Love"), where he explained in great detail how he fell in love with his current partner, thanks to 36 questions developed by psychologist Arthur Aron.
This researcher created these questions in 1997, after carefully examining what dialogue between two people managed to increase human intimacy as well as building a true closeness between two beings, whether in the sentimental area, as in the family or among friends.
Questions to achieve closeness between two people
The idea is that these questions foster vulnerability and consequently mutual closeness. To quote the authors of the study, "A key pattern associated with the development of a close peer relationship is sustained, reciprocal and incremental personal self-disclosure."Leaving vulnerable in front of another person can be extremely difficult, so this forces an important effort on both sides.
Another important key to this type of intimate approach is that when you finish asking (and answering both parts) to these 36 questions, the two people should look into each other's eyes, without speaking, for 4 minutes in a row. As Mandy explains, "Two minutes is enough to be terrified, with four you really go somewhere"Do you think you would be able to do it?
It takes approximately 45 minutes to ask these questions to talk
... and apparently, they almost always make two people feel better about each other and want to see each other again.
The 36 key questions
Next you have these 36 questions, which are classified into three different levels:
- If you could choose anyone in the world, who would you invite to dinner?
- Would you like to be famous? How?
- Before making a phone call, do you rehearse what you are going to say? Why?
- For you, what would a perfect day be like?
- When was the last time you sang alone? And for another person?
- If you could live up to 90 years and have the body or mind of someone in your 30s during the last 60 years of your life, which of the two options would you choose?
- Do you have a secret hunch about how you are going to die?
- Say three things you think you have in common with your interlocutor.
- What aspect of your life do you feel most grateful for?
- If you could change something in how you were educated, what would it be?
- Take four minutes to tell your partner the story of your life with as much detail as possible.
- If you could get up tomorrow enjoying a new skill or quality, what would it be?
- If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future, or anything else, what would you ask?
- Is there anything you have wanted to do for a long time? Why haven't you done it yet?
- What is the greatest achievement you have achieved in your life?
- What do you value most in a friend?
- What is your most valuable memory?
- What is your most painful memory?
- If you knew that in a year you will die suddenly, would you change something in your way of life? Why?
- What does friendship mean to you?
- How important is love and affection in your life?
- Alternately share five characteristics that you consider positive for your partner.
- Is your family close and affectionate? Do you think your childhood was happier than that of others?
- How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?
- Say three sentences using the pronoun "we." For example, "we are in this room feeling ...".
- Complete this sentence: "I wish I had someone to share ..."
- If you were to become a close friend of your partner, share with him or her something that would be important to know.
- Tell your partner what you liked most about him or her. Be very honest and tell him things you wouldn't say to someone you just met.
- Share with your interlocutor an embarrassing moment of your life.
- When was the last time you cried in front of someone? And alone?
- Tell your interlocutor something you already like about him.
- Is there anything you think is too serious to joke about it?
- If you were to die tonight without the possibility of talking to anyone, what would you regret not having told someone? Why haven't you told him so far?
- Your house catches fire with all your possessions inside. After saving your loved ones and your pets, you have time to make one last foray and save a single object. What would you choose? Why?
- Of all the people that make up your family, what death would you find most painful? Why?
- Share a personal problem and ask your interlocutor to tell you how he or she would have acted to solve it. Also ask him how he thinks you feel about the problem you have told.
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