From your perfect dinner guest to how you think you will die — the 36 questions you must ask to find true love
TURBO relationships are the new norm.
Keeping the flame alive through lockdown has made couples move to the next step faster than ever.
Two months in isolation is the equivalent of two years of commitment, reckoned couples surveyed by counselling charity Relate and dating site eHarmony.
The study found 36 per cent had reached relationship milestones quicker, such as moving in together, and 63 per cent thought the pandemic had made their love stronger.
More than half now knew they wanted to remain with their partner for ever. But how can you be sure your speed-romance is really for keeps?
Quiz each other, that’s how. In one famous study, two strangers fell in love in a laboratory after asking each other specific questions that researcher Arthur Aron had told them would make them feel a closeness.
Here, SIOBHAN O’CONNOR sets out those 36 questions and relationship coach Lily Walford explains why they really can help you find true love.
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 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 or 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 four minutes to 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?
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 you have dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it yet?
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. . . . and what is your most terrible memory?
19. If you knew that in a year’s time you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
20.What does friendship mean to you?
21. Share something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. You and your partner should share five items each.
22. What roles do love and affection play in your life?
23. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most?
24. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?
25. Make three true “we” statements each. For example: “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, share what wo uld be important for him or her to know.
28. Tell your partner what you like about them. Be very honest. Say things you might not say to someone you have just met.
29. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.
30. When was the last time you cried in front of another person or by yourself?
31. Tell your partner something 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 all 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 they might handle it. Ask them how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.
'Quirky experiment, but some are really powerful'
RELATIONSHIP coach Lily Walford, of lovewithintelligence.com, has looked at the questions and says:
"They are powerful because they take two people on a journey through each other’s minds, lives, fears and hopes.
In a short space of time you can get to know a lot. Some questions are quite sensitive, which quickly reveals whether you feel happy to be vulnerable with this person.
While we wouldn’t recommend making your mind up about spending your life with a person after just one conversation, there are three key points to look out for to know if they are right for you.
Firstly, do they pay attention and listen to your answers? Or are they just waiting for their turn to answer the question?
Secondly, when you share something emotional, exciting or vulnerable, do they show empathy for your emotional state?
Thirdly, do they share in your hopes and dreams and want you to be happy? Or is all of their focus on themselves, what they want from life and how you might fit into their idealised picture?
When asking these questions, have fun – it’s a quirky experiment where you have the chance to get to know more about each other. But some of the questions are really powerful.
For instance, asking someone what they might have changed about the way they were raised could reveal something that was not ideal – and give you an insight into what their attitude might be towards parenting, if children are what you both want.
Asking them about what they have dreamed of doing for a long time, and why they haven’t done it, allows you to get to know what motivates them and what holds them back.
Finding out what they would change about how they are living now, if they knew they would die suddenly in a year, can let you know if the person is humble or if they think their life is perfect and they have nothing to work on – which is a red flag.
Asking them about friendship is very telling. How they speak about friends behind their back can reveal if they are positive and uplifting or negative and critical.
Discovering how they feel about love and affection can help you decide if this person could offer what you want from a partner, and alternating compliments can give an emotional high."
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