Can 36 Questions Lead to Love?

The New York Times posted an article back in 2015 about falling in love and intimacy, that a former bride sent my way a few months back. We were talking about the fact that more and more couples are getting married by dear friends and family rather than a Rabbi, Pastor, or Priest. Which is great! But what happens is they often aren’t doing the traditional premarital classes/counseling that those officiants require to have them do your nuptials. We weren’t commenting on whether this is good or bad… it was more of a concept we noticed and wondered if couples felt as prepared before saying “I Do” as they did in the past having gone through some type of counseling. With the rising divorce rate… I was curious if it was at all related and how couples were feeling before taking that next step. Prepared? Or not? We discussed some ideas on what couples could do to deepen their relationship or go over important topics together without their officiant and what that would look like. That’s when she sent me the article.

The author, Daniel Jones, goes onto to reference a study by Psychologist Arthur Aron that considered whether intimacy/love between a couple could be accelerated by asking a series of questions of each other. Sounds simple, right? Obviously the study is based on a mutual understanding of vulnerability and honestly between both parties. Otherwise, I’m assuming it wouldn’t work. But what an interesting concept! In a world filled with dating profiles (that you can meticulously plan out and edit) and so much of our communication rooted in texting… the idea of sitting across from a partner, looking into their eyes and being incredibly vulnerable seems really intense… but isn’t that what we should be doing anyways? That’s my opinion… but the question is are we actually doing this? I would argue that many are not. Or not enough.

The crazy thing is, the study proved to work. Aron’s experience led to couples actually falling in love! 2 of them actually got married months later. It worked! To read a first hand account of someone who tried this on her own and then wrote about it – go HERE asap. It’s such a beautiful and thought provoking story about humanity and love. The real kicker is after all the questions, the couples are then prompted to look into each other’s eyes for 4 minutes without talking. I dare you all to try this.

With my new Tasteful Wellness series just launching, I thought it would be fun to share this article for you all and get some feedback on these questions! Would you do this as an exercise with your partner? I feel like using it to fall in love with a total stranger is a little extreme and not practicle for what I’m trying to get across. But could it be helpful for a couple who is in the midst of wedding planning? Stressed with seating charts and timelines… a chance to reconnect and remember what they love most about their partner? I think so! So I ask you this: Would you do some sort of premarital counseling before tying the knot? DID you do premarital and did you love it/hate it? I’d love to hear your feedback! Leave your thoughts in the comments below or on our IG stories we’re posting later today.

In the meantime… here are all the questions from the study if you’d like to try them out yourself! Maybe you and your partner can make a date out of it! Maybe you and a stranger will do it and fall in love haha

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.

Comments

  1. We did this before our wedding and I’m so glad we did. It honestly really helped us to refocus on why we were getting married in the first place. And I was surprised by how much I learned about someone that I already thought I knew so well. I want to honestly do another set of questions after each year of marriage.

    • So grateful for you and your thoughtfulness on this topic! What a great idea to do something like this every year!! <3

  2. Cherylyn Hegg says:

    We did a shortened version of this over the summer at a marriage refresher retreat. We have loved and enjoyed our marriage for 41 years. Looking into each other’s eyes without speaking was one of the sweetest, most intimate and tender expressions of our love—first we were giggling which gave way to tears, for both of us. It was an unforgettable, perfectly lovely moment.

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