36 Questions To Fall in Love: Does It Work?
By: Stephanie Kirby
Updated February 04, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Whitney White, MS. CMHC, NCC., LPC
It's an interesting idea that two strangers could fall in love. You've probably heard about "love at first sight,” but even studies that show it could be possible also show that it is usually one-sided. However, Mandy Len Catron believes that it can be done. In fact, she fell in love with a perfect stranger and later married him, but it wasn't love at first sight. It was love after answering 36 questions and staring into each other's eyes. In the New York Times’ “Modern Love” section, Len Catron shared her story along with the strategy that was used. In the article, called To Fall in Love with Anyone, Do This, she listed 36 questions to fall in love with anyone.
The 36 Questions to Fall InLove Theory
Her theory is that any two people can fall in love by spending around an hour discussing36 questions that lead to increased intimacy and closeness with each other. If you want to give it a try, here's what you need to do: find a stranger, sit across from each other, and begin answering the questions below. Take turns asking the questions, with whoever asks each question being the first person to answer. You will each answer all of the questions, alternating who leads. When you have made it through every question, you will stare into the other person's eyes for at least two minutes, though the closer to four minutes you are, the better the results are.
Here Are the 36 Questions to Get You Started:
- Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
- Would you like to be famous? In what way?
- Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?
- What would constitute a "perfect" day for you?
- When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
- 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?
- Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
- Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.
- For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
- If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
- Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.
- If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
- If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?
- Is there something that you've dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven't you done it?
- What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
- What do you value most in a friendship?
- What is your most treasured memory?
- What is your most terrible memory?
- If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
- What does friendship mean to you?
- What roles do love and affection play in your life?
- Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.
- How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people's?
- How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?
- Make three true "we" statements each. For instance, "We are both in this room feeling … "
- Complete this sentence: "I wish I had someone with whom I could share … "
- If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.
- 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.
- Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.
- When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
- Tell your partner something that you like about them already.
- What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
- 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?
- 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?
- Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?
- 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.
Why Would This Work?
Some of the “questions that lead to love” that are contained in the 36 questions are deeply personal. They force you to open up and share things about yourself, like what's important to you, what your fears are, and what your dreams are. They force you to be vulnerable with the other person. There is something about being vulnerable with someone and having them accept you for who you are that can cause deep feelings to form
The answers to these 36 questions will give you a very clear picture of the other person, who they are, and what's important to them. This will help you determine if you have enough things in common with them that you want to continue building a relationship. Through the answers to your questions, there is a chance that you will feel a connection begin to form.
Because you are doing an "experiment" of sorts when going through the 36 questions that lead to love, you tend to answer them easier than if you were just naturally asked these questions on a date. This allows the connection to begin forming without you realizing what is happening. Sharing personal things with another person might feel awkward at first, but the questions start small and progress as you continue, which helps you to ease into the process slowly. This makes it easier to share more, and on a deeper level, as you continue.
Why Would I Stare Into Their Eyes?
Why spend up to four minutes gazing into the eyes of the other person at the end of the experiment? Well, you have probably heard that the eyes are the windows to the soul and now science is backing that up, on a certain level. Staring into someone's eyes has been found to cause sexual arousal. After sharing intimate details with each other, taking the time to stare into each other's eyes can be the final thing needed to create the spark.
Science has also proven that when we are interested in someone, our pupils dilate. One study found that a woman with dilated pupils was rated as being more attractive than she was with regularly sized pupils. Research has also found that when two people are in love and attracted to each other, they tend to gaze into each other's eyes. So, by doing this as part of the 36 questions to fall in love, you are taking a step that is natural for two people that love each other. After getting to know each other on a deeper level through the questions, this final step can help seal the deal.
Another Way to Use the 36 Questions
If you are already in a committed relationship, don't waste time wondering whether or not this would work for you. Instead, use the 36 questions to fall in love to deepen your existing relationship. Take the time to ask one another these questions, and make sure you include looking into each other's eyes for 4 minutes when you are done. If your relationship has moved to a place where you are living together, working together and coexisting but not connecting, this can help you reform the connection that you had when your relationship first began.
The important thing is that you are open and honest as you answer these questions. Do not say what you think the other person wants to hear; instead, give your honest answer. This will help you to go back to sharing your dreams and fears with your significant other. It's easy when you're living day-to-day life together to forget to take time to do these things, but these 36 questions to fall in love can help you renew your relationship. If it can help two strangers fall in love, imagine what it can do for two people that are already in love?
Navigating Love With BetterHelp
Studies have shown that online therapy can help those who are having trouble in their relationships, either individually or as a couple. One study, published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, concluded that online therapy is effective in improving relationship functioning and individual mental health. In fact, the broad-based report discussed the benefits for both distressed and satisfied couples, citing multiple relevant studies that have proven the efficacy of online platforms for counseling. Generally, these guided therapy plans include remote access to counseling sessions, as well as interactive exercises, groupinars, and video and audio files. According to the study, progress can be made by ensuring both individuals are on the same page when it comes to relationship difficulties.
with traditional therapy, with online therapy through BetterHelp, you can attend counseling sessions and access mental health resources completely remotely. From the comfort of your own home (or wherever you have wifi), you can interact with your therapist—via voice call, text, live chat, or video call. If you choose, you can also seek therapy anonymously, as BetterHelp does not require your full name or contact info when signing up. No matter how you choose to participate, the licensed mental health professionals at BetterHelp can help you connect with a potential love interest, or reconnect with your current significant other. Read below for counselor reviews, from those who have experienced similar issues.
“Lee has a great view on relationships and is truly great at noticing when you're not being truthful with yourself. If you are having relationship issues or issues involved with relationships she's your gal.”
“Mark has been extremely attentive to everything that I disclose. He’s not only provided me support but insight and encouragement to let me know I’m on a good path to self improvement and discovery. Furthermore, Mark has provided me valuable insight on my romantic relationship, specifically with learning more about the relationship dynamics and how to build a stronger, healthier relationship.”
If your relationship is on the rocks, don't think that working through these 36 questions will be the singular key to strengthening your bond with your partner. Depending on why your relationship is struggling, it could be helpful to spend time in counseling. If you are in a relationship that could use help, try the questions to increase intimacy and begin the rebuilding process, but don't hesitate to seek professional help in order to work through all of the trappings and difficulties associated with modern love.
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