Psychologist Arthur Aron, among others, conducted a study that explored if two strangers can quicken the process of becoming intimate. They did so by asking a field of questions dubbed as the “Questions That Lead to Love.”
To quote the study’s authors, “One key pattern associated with the development of a close relationship among peers is sustained, escalating, reciprocal, personal self-disclosure.” That means that intimacy is formed by sharing more (and more intimate) details about yourself—and if that’s the case, a deeply personal questionnaire could help spur the process on. Here are those questions you two should ask each other.
“Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?”
The questions start off easy and the early ones carry the least risk, but you can learn who the other person appreciates or if they have an idol. Maybe it’s just someone they had a crush on while they were young.
“Would you like to be famous? In what way?”
With this question, you learn if they’re more materialistic or reserved. People who want to be famous usually like glamour and the fancy things in life. Is that something you can appreciate?
“What would constitute a ‘perfect’ day for you?”
This is where you pay attention. If this is someone that’ll be in your future, you should know what he or she considers to be their perfect day. You can do a lot with this information.
“For what in your life do you feel most grateful?”
Now you’re getting a little deeper with the questions. The things that make someone grateful tell you a lot about their character. If it’s the money they make or the family they have, you’ll know where their morals rest.
“If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?”
Now, you’re seeing if they have any past traumas that need work. Depending on how they respond, you’ll learn a better way to treat them and interact with them based on their upbringing.
“If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?”
Knowing which superpower someone would want reveals a lot. If he or she wants the power of invisibility, then you can assume that the person appreciates privacy in their life, for instance.
“What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?”
Does he or she even have their greatest accomplishment yet? Maybe graduating was their best thing, who knows? But it serves you to know so you know what type of person you’re dealing with now, what they value about themselves, and what they take pride in.
“What do you value most in a friendship?”
Let’s say this person doesn’t even have friendships to value. That’s a huge red flag to look out for, so this question lets you get to know how they treat and interact with others.
“What is your most treasured memory?”
Have you ever wondered what your most treasured memory is? Thinking about this should bring someone happiness, and gives you insight on what makes them smile. Smiling together and sharing joy is a huge part of building intimacy.
“What is your most terrible memory?”
Unlike the previous question, this one lets you in a bit deeper, but things can get heavy. If it’s a memory that still haunts them today, you can expect a denser tone in their response. But like sharing joy, sharing the darker things also helps build intimacy.
“What roles do love and affection play in your life?”
Here you get to see how passionate the person is when it comes to the good stuff, love. If you want someone who is all about showing affection and love, this answer will tell you a lot.
“How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?”
Here’s another good one that should bring you closer to each other. Your mom is a pillar in your life and someone you get your values from, so if he or she has no good relation with her, you’ll know their demeanor comes from elsewhere.
“Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?”
This question gives you even further insight into the type of person you’re dealing with today. A terrible upbringing could mean a hard-shell person, but a happy childhood can explain why they’re so bubbly.
Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share… “
This is where the questions get very exciting. Having them fill in the blanks in this fashion will shine a light on the type of partner want in their life and what they might expect of you.
Make three true “we” statements each: “We are both in this room feeling … “
This question is more of a game that lets you see what the other person thinks about the potential between you two. Pay attention to their answers and remember the important stuff.
“Share what’s important for your partner to know if you two became close friends.”
If you ever wanted to know what a near-perfect question sounded like, here it is. Establishing a strong friendship is the basis of a long-lasting relationship and something you should do.
“Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.”
Here’s a chance to get a good laugh from each other and show some vulnerability. The most embarrassing moment in someone’s life is usually one of the funniest things to happen to that person.
“When did you last cry in front of another person?”
Crying in front of someone means you aren’t afraid of getting vulnerable. Let’s say someone says they haven’t done so since they were younger; does this person even have a soul?
“Tell your partner something that you like about them already.”
This is where things get fun. What do you expect them to say to you after you ask this? Maybe they’ll admit to liking your smile or the great questions you ask!
“What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?”
Knowing what not to joke about can save you a headache in the future. Knowing this answer will give you a sense of their humor and what they find too dark.