The 36 Questions That Lead To Love

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the 36 questions that lead to love
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Once, a close friend of mine asked me, “If you could gain one ability today, what would it be?” Back then, I didn’t know he was asking me one of the 36 questions that lead to love, so I treated it casually and said something silly in response. These questions, as I got to know later, help in intimacy acceleration, even between two strangers. Call it a psychological test about love, if you may!

The YouTube channel ‘Jubilee’ has a series called Can Two Strangers Fall In Love With 36 Questions? Russell and Kera were brought together for a blind date. By the end of the video, these interesting questions to fall in love helped them create mutual comfort and a strong friendship. The same thing happened in Big Bang Theory. You probably remember Sheldon and Penny taking this falling in love quiz and the kind of closeness they felt after going through the deeply personal questions list.

The connection it creates between two people doesn’t necessarily have to be of passionate love that lands them in a romantic relationship. It could just as well be an intense platonic intimacy between two friends or acquaintances. That’s how modern love acts. Sounds a little implausible, right? Then let’s dig deeper and find out more about these questions to deepen intimacy.

What Are The 36 Questions That Lead To Love?

Do you think a quiz can help you fall in love? Especially with someone you don’t know? That is the premise on which these 36 questions that make you fall in love is based. Popularized by a viral New York Times article and a psychological study on intimate relationships, these questions are the new, innovative way of falling in love with a stranger or strengthening your bond with your partner.

Ever since the study and its popularity from a 2015 essay in the Modern Love column written by Mandy Len Catron, To Fall In Love With Anyone, Do This, these questions have taken the world by storm. Divided into three sections of 12 questions each, this relationship experiment can be way more impactful than you think.

It’s not limited only to strangers. Married couples, partners in new or long-term relationships, and all the people who have a teensy bit of interest in social psychology and developing meaningful connections can give it a shot. In a nutshell, we would say to fall in love with anyone, do this! Later, come back to us and take our ‘Are you really in love?’ quiz to see how you feel about that person.

am I in love quiz

How the 36 questions that lead to love were created

In 1997, Dr. Arthur Aron and his colleagues at Stony Brook University published a paper in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin based on a series of case studies on intimate relations. The idea behind the study was to observe how closeness with a person operates in the human brain and in human attitude, as well as how intimacy between two strangers could be accelerated.

As an accessory to the study, Dr. Aron’s team came up with 36 questions to ask someone to fall in love that would roughly take around 40-45 minutes to answer. Dr. Aron carried out this test by presenting the questions to a heterosexual man and woman, both complete strangers to each other. They answered the questions along with 4 minutes of continued eye contact. The most startling result? The couple got married just 6 months later!

The way these 36 questions that lead to love have been designed is perhaps the most important factor in their success. They are premeditated in order to help people develop feelings of intimacy and be vulnerable with each other, which are key components of love. Read on for the research behind these 36 how-to fall-in-love questions.

Related Reading: 11 Signs Of Magnetic Attraction Between Two People

The Research Behind The 36 Questions That Lead To Love

What makes people fall in love? For sure, you would want to know the person better, for who they really are. Naturally, it seems incredible that a set of questions can wind up with two people falling in love. In an interview with The Statesman, Dr. Aron shares his thought process while developing these questions that create intimacy. He says that one of the three basics of this technique is “…connecting by revealing personal stuff. It must not be too much too fast. ‘Too fast’ sort of puts them off.

“So what we did is we came up with a set of questions that people ask each other that gradually escalate in personalness. It’s not very hard to answer [the early questions] but then they get more and more personal toward the end.” He adds, “It’s not so much about revealing personal stuff, it’s about the feeling that you are heard, it’s the responsiveness of the other person.” Here are a few things to remember before we get to the magical questions that make you fall in love:

  • It was found that vulnerability in a relationship and self-disclosure played major roles in developing attachment
  • When the subjects of the research gradually moved down the ’36 questions that lead to love’ list, they eventually started to build trust in each other
  • Another key to the success of this experiment is reciprocity. It won’t work unless both subjects handle each question with absolute honesty
  • While the questions aren’t guaranteed to make you fall in love, the study shows that they have been adept at creating feelings of intimacy and understanding

The ’36 Questions That Lead To Love’ List

The technique of asking these questions to your significant other, a close friend, or even someone else with whom you want to establish a connection, nudges you out of your comfort zone and subtly forces you to reveal things about yourself that you wouldn’t normally talk about. The questions are ingenious because they help people understand the importance of gradually exposing themselves to self-disclosure. 

From your life story to a personal problem or an embarrassing moment to a treasured memory, everything would slowly come up in the conversation. So, if you’re looking for questions that create intimacy to ask a crush or vulnerable questions to ask your partner to deepen the emotional bonding in your relationship, here’s the complete set of the falling in love quiz with all 36 questions:

Set I

Most people won’t be comfortable talking about their childhood trauma or something that personal with a stranger in the beginning. Keeping that in mind, in this 36 questions that lead to love list, the first few were designed as icebreakers, very fun and interesting, to make them comfortable in each other’s presence. If you are not sure how to strike up a conversation with a crush, here are a few safe things to ask them that will positively make them take an interest in you:

Related Reading: 9 Things That Happen When A Man Is Vulnerable With A Woman

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 the 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?

falling in love quiz
This conversation is bound to bring you and your love closer than ever

Set II

Now that you have broken away from the initial awkward moments, it’s time to know some of the important aspects of the person sitting next to you. For instance, their dreams and goals in life, their values and morals, their parameters of success and love, and so on. And, that’s how the second set of questions to fall in love is structured:

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 of 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?

Related Reading: 15 Simple Ways To Make Her Fall In Love With You

Set III

This is the stage where the game hits another level. The questions in this set may seem breezy but they are meant to reach your innermost emotions and dig out some delicate feelings and revelations. It talks about your boundaries, your perspectives on certain matters, things that you hold close to your heart, and what breaks you down.

Answering these can be a pretty big thing in a budding relationship; it’s like you are directly on your tenth date to know something so personal about the other person. Believe it or not, such deep questions for couples have the power to bring them closer when they are drifting apart in a relationship too:

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 them 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 the most disturbing? Why? 

36. Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how they might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you on how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.

More stories on art of wooing

Do The ‘36 Questions That Lead To Love’ Work For Couples?

These queries focus on different components of a person’s life, like their relationship with their family, their friendships, how they perceive themselves, etc. These are also particularly helpful on a first date. After all, the 36 questions that lead to love are perfect for people who don’t know how to hold a conversation. This way, you talk about the things that actually matter and establish closeness instead of generating superficial chit-chat.

Gloria, a reader who has been in a relationship for four years, shares her experience, “My friend came across this article titled Questions to Make Him Fall in Love. I personally thought it was clickbait but she persuaded me to try these out on my next date. I did, and what do you know! Shaun and I stayed in the restaurant for 5 hours, just talking and talking. 

“And the best part was that these ‘questions to make him fall in love’ didn’t feel like separate entities in our conversation. After the first few, they evolved into relationship-building questions that I genuinely wanted his answers to. That’s how it started, and look at us now.”

One thing in common among all the dates was that this technique helped bypass the perfunctory questions and answers, and the awkward and superficial part of getting to know someone. Be it platonic or romantic, all relationships require trust, intimacy, and the knowledge that this person likes you. And if that is your goal, you should totally go with these deep questions to ask partner and see the results for yourself.

If the questions don’t guarantee love, what use are they?

The researchers who formulated the ’36 questions that lead to love’ technique clarify that the questions do not necessarily make you fall in love. Though some people have fallen in love in this process, others have formed a deep, platonic bond, and some have found a comfortable familiarity with strangers. The questions unlock vulnerability and genuineness.

Meaningful questions about friends and family help the other person know more about the intimate relationships in your life, and how much they matter to you. Other questions test how vulnerable and honest you can be with your partner, traits that are usually discovered later in a potential relationship. This creates a sense of comfort, trust, relatability, and intimacy.

Related Reading: 3 Ways To Improve Your Close Relationships

Dr. Aron believes that it’s essential to take turns answering one question at a time. In an interview with Brides magazine, he shared, “If you reveal deep things to the other person, and then they reveal them to you, you feel safe about it. You are likely to be responsive because it’s going back and forth. This part is crucial.”

Key Pointers

  • In 1997, a psychological study was conducted by Dr. Arthur Aron and his colleagues to observe how closeness with a person operates in the human brain and in human attitude, as well as how intimacy between two strangers could be accelerated
  • They formulated these 36 questions which create intimacy and a sense of familiarity even between complete strangers
  • These questions help people understand the importance of gradual self-disclosure
  • The questions focus on different, important entities of a person’s life, like their relationship with their family, their friendships, how they perceive themselves, etc., and skip the superficiality of small talk that people generally indulge in

When it comes to the 36 questions that lead to love, it’s not exactly romantic love that is the end goal. Love can be of various types – romantic, platonic, or familial. The end result of the whole exercise is forming a deep soul connection, even if you part ways amicably. A connection that will transcend awkwardness and initial mistrust. If you can bond like that with someone with just 36 questions, why wouldn’t you?

This article has been updated in June, 2023. 

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