A question a day keeps the therapist away: 36 questions to fall in love again
Do you ever feel like you have a roommate and not a spouse?
It's easy for the mundane procedures of life to get in the way of connecting with the ones were closest to. I often propose to couples 15 minutes a day of connecting without talking about the bills, the kids, the jerk boss, the money, etc. This allows for discussions about each other-getting to know one another on a deeper level. The issue is, what is there to talk about? How do we connect with someone on a deeper level in 15 minutes a day? Dr Aron, a researcher of social and health psychology at Stony Brook University, came up with 36 questions to do just that. In his, much publicized article*, (it was even on The Big Bang Theory) Dr Aron lists questions in three subsets that increase in intensity as they go. The questions are listed below. Ask your partner a few of these questions and listen when they answer. I wager you’ll find something knew about each other, regardless of how long you’ve been together.
*The experimental generation of interpersonal closeness: A procedure and some preliminary findings. Aron, A et al. 1997
Each of you should take a turn answering each question. Here they are, in order:
1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, who would you want as a dinner guest?
2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?
3. Before making a phone call, do you ever rehearse what you're 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 choose?
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 one quality or ability, what would it be?
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 dreamt 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?
article continues after advertisement
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?
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 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?
article continues after advertisement
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.
Rodney is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Certified Clinical Anxiety Treatment Professional with 10+ years experience working with couples of all shapes and sizes. Contact Rodney at 603-892-9777 or at www.603counseling.com to learn more and schedule your free 15min consultation.