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An Afternoon to Fall in Love


The Blue & Gold invited a randomly selected group of students to try out the 36 questions to fall in love created by Psychologist Arthur Aron and others. The participants were randomly paired up and asked to go through the 36 questions together one afternoon. The participants then wrote an account of the experience. These two essays below were some of the many we received. They were written by two different students.


Can you fall in love with anyone?
Psychologist Arthur Aron thinks you can. He constructed 36 questions that he believes will send two complete strangers head over heals in love with each other upon completion.
Does it work? Well, last weekend I tried it out myself by going through the 36 questions with a complete stranger my editor paired me up with.
The questions start in a way that brings out your character and gave me more confidence in answering the more personal questions later on. These “ice breaking” questions like “would you like to be famous? In what way?” help you get to know your partner a lot quicker than how you would otherwise. I mean they were designed to create intimacy very quickly.
I don’t think the test will always lead to roses and candlelit dinners at the W Hotel though, but I will say it helps you get extremely close to your partner.
I think it’s best to take this test if you already know your partner a bit. This will spare you the awkwardness of sharing your secrets with a complete stranger.
Luckily for me, my trial of the 36 Questions went fairly well as my partner and I had similar opinions and views. We kind of just clicked; we just kept on talking about our relatable interests half of the time. I’d imagine very contrasting test results if we had no commonalities.
Everything went really well, but the realization of how close we got was quite shocking. I didn’t notice it until it suddenly just happened. A few days ago I barely knew her, but now I felt like we’ve known each other for a while already.
The 36 questions are designed to reword the same questions differently a couple of times. “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” and “Tell your partner something that you like about them already” are pretty much the same question. I found this making us pinpoint exactly what we enjoyed about each other quickly and directly. It’s a great feeling to be complemented. Maybe these were the questions that bonded us so closely within the three hours.
The test stated that after 36 questions, the couple would have to stare into each other’s eye for four minutes. Sadly, we did not have time to do this last step. It is possible that this could have affected the results even more. The questions itself were already a lot to take in.
At the end of the day, I feel really lucky to have been paired up with someone this awesome. I think the experiment only works if the two partners find each other interesting. After the test, I did find myself thinking about her a lot. In fact we should go watch a movie sometime.
Note: The author of this article requested to remain anonymous.


I’ll admit that I wasn’t really convinced that this experiment could make people fall in love. I figured it was more about bringing pairs who were already compatible close together in a short period of time.
When I first read through the 36 questions, I had no idea what my responses would be. I was nervous about answering them with someone I didn’t know very well, but knowing that we’d both be answering them really helped. It felt a lot less like a super personal interview and more like a conversation.
For a large part of the time we talked, it actually was both experiment and conversation. While a question might sound simple, it opens up more opportunities share ideas and opinions after being answered. Often we’d realize we’d gone completely off topic and that we had to go back and check what the question was. After the first set of questions we realized we were taking much longer than planned. Getting to know a person in a short period of time is actually pretty fun, because you find out what you have in common way faster than you normally would. It’s like watching a bond form but on fast-forward.
?Creating intimacy can be hard, especially in high school, so sometimes a push like this experiment can help. Overall I thought it was a good way to meet someone and connect with them really well, but I definitely can’t say I fell for my partner, at least not immediately. I could see it happening in the future but not right after the 36 questions.
Note: The author of this article also requested to remain anonymous.

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