Following on from Xavier Toby’s piece about the 36 Questions, Natasha Mann wants to see if they work…if any TBSers give them a try, be warned…if you read the list out loud, you may fall in love with yourself…


Disclosure these days is a dime-a-dozen when it comes to relationships. We spill our guts in blogs, share our intimate details on Facebook, answer a zillion prefabricated quizzes on dating sites, and are tirelessly snapping selfies to imprint our image on the world.

Social psychologist Arthur Aron did an experiment in 1997. Heterosexual strangers were paired up and had to ask/answer 36 questions then look into one another’s eyes for four minutes. After the experiment one of the couples tied the knot.

Recently, Mandy Lee Catron, love writer at the NY Times decided to trial the 36 questions and fell in love with the guy who asked them with her…and those 36 questions are now circling the media.

One-on-one time (as in, not via a screen, but in the flesh) with a potential love interest is actually a novelty for a lot of us these days. If someone sat me down in front of a man unknown to me…who, at first sight had just a whiff of what I consider physical attractiveness…then made us trawl through 36 confronting questions, with me boring my eyes into his and then turning the tables, chances are I may feel quite connected to him by the end of it all. (Add four minutes of eye-boring minus the questions, where we both get to study how bloodshot our eyes or how big the other’s nose pores are.)

I started looking at them and then vagued out. Probably because I didn’t have a male at hand with whom I could question-share.

Before you go jump up from your screen and trap the nearest person you fancy into a headlock to force them to answer the questions, take a minute to ponder the comment I pulled from a punter on the web:


Aaron Rauscher, Colorado State University

Directions unclear: read entire list out loud and fell in love with self.

Reply ·998 · January 15 at 8:55am


I am now in love with Aaron Rauscher because of that wee comment he made. I think I share this love with one thousand other people who also gave his comment a high-thumb “like”.

So, perhaps 36 questions are actually unnecessary?

If you are looking for something deeper than the belly chuckle and the FB thumbs-up bonding as I now have with Aaron, perhaps you should consider the questions. I am guessing it would take about an hour and you do need a guinea pig of the human variety. The 36 questions are divided into three sets, one being less intense, three being the most confronting. Good luck my lovelies…

Set I

  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 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?

Set II

  1. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?
  2. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
  3. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
  4. What do you value most in a friendship?
  5. What is your most treasured memory?
  6. What is your most terrible memory?
  7. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
  8. What does friendship mean to you?
  9. What roles do love and affection play in your life?
  10. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.
  11. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?
  12. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?


  1. Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “We are both in this room feeling … “
  2. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share … “
  3. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.
  4. 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.
  5. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.
  6. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
  7. Tell your partner something that you like about them already.
  8. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
  9. 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?
  10. 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?
  11. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?
  12. 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.



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