Falling in Love in Under an Hour

Teresa Sahhar Couples, Love

Have you noticed the buzz on the internet lately about the 36 questions that can help you to fall

in love? I have. It’s shown up on my Facebook feed over and over again. When I got curious

about it, a Google search gave me lots of choices. Everyone from the New York Times to

Psychology Today seemed to be talking about it. I even saw an article from the Telegraph in the

UK. Now I was really curious! Was this just Pre-Valentine’s-Day hype, or was it serious?

Are you curious, too? If you are, keep reading. I decided to track down the source of all this

excitement and found out that…


it’s actually based on a scientific study!


Back in 1997, Arthur Arons and his colleagues conducted a study find out if it was possible to

create interpersonal closeness between two people who didn’t previously know each other. Each

person was paired with another. The pairs were asked to spend time asking questions or doing

tasks that would theoretically create closeness. The questions started out more general and

became increasingly personal. I won’t bore you with the scientific details – I’ll just give you the bottom-line.


The paired couples reported feelings of closeness after the 45 minute exercise – many even continued the relationship!


So – what does this mean for you? It means you might have more power over feelings of intimacy and closeness than you realize.  It means that taking the risk to be vulnerable with those

important to you might increase the intimacy in your most significant relationships.


Are you brave enough to give it a try? Here are the 36 questions. I suggest you give it more than

the 45 minutes used in the study. Take time to answer honestly and thoughtfully – your

relationships are worth it!


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 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


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


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 people’s?

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

25. Make 3 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.



Aron, Arthur, et al. “The experimental generation of interpersonal closeness: a

procedure and some preliminary findings.” Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin 23.4

(1997): 363+.Expanded Academic ASAP. Web. 25 Jan. 2015.