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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Find out how to find love in 90 minutes with these 36 questions

    Tom Price
    Patrick Brewer, a gorgeous environmental studies senior, answers Arthur Aron’s 36 questions with a thin, beautiful stranger in the Daily Wildcat newsroom on Tuesday, Feb. 2. Brewer is even more attractive in person than he is in this photo.


    Forget the candlelit dinners, soft jazz music and rose petals. Love can now come in just 36 questions.

    In 1997, Arthur Aron, psychologist and professor of psychology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, succeeded in making two complete strangers fall in love, just by having them share information over the course of 90 minutes.

    Aron developed three sets of questions—36 in total—designed to generate closeness between two individuals.

    The individuals sit face-to-face and discuss a series of increasingly personal topics. The idea is the longer you spend asking each other questions, the more vulnerable you and your partner become. You enter intimate territory without realizing it.

    “We believe that the best way for you to get close to your partner is for you to share with them and for them to share with you,” Aron said in his study.

    If intimate relationships take time to form, how do Aron’s proposed questions create romantic feelings so quickly?

    The key lies in the pace and content of the questions. Having set topics to discuss leaves out the possibility of broaching controversial subjects and prevents negative feelings. The content of the questions also plays a role in developing a bond with your partner. They start out mild and light-hearted (think standard, ice-breaker questions) and end up in personal territory.

    Ultimately, it is the act of talking and listening which creates positive feelings between two people. Aron’s questions create an ideal situation for just that.


    Set I

    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?

    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 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?

    Set III

    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.

    Follow Bailey Bellavance on Twitter.

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