Twenty years ago, the American psychologist Arthur Aron demonstrated that two strangers can fall in love by answering a questionnaire.
How many couples asked Dr. Aron's 36 questions on Valentine's Day? How many others have formed by trying them out ? How many strong friendships have deepened or been born as a result of this questionnaire ?
On January 11, 2015, the New York Times published an article with the following headline: "To fall in love with anyone, do this". The author of this essay, Mandy Len Catron, wrote about a scientific experiment showing that two complete strangers can fall in love by answering a questionnaire. This professor of writing at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver (Canada), skeptical of this theory, recounts that she herself experimented with it last summer with a near-unknown person she met at the gym... the one who now shares her life.
By being vulnerable, we promote closeness. What's this all about? The American psychologist Arthur Aron, a teacher-researcher at Stony Brook University in New York, has devoted his life to the study of the mechanism of love. According to him, one of the keys to developing a strong relationship is personal, sustained, growing and reciprocal self-revelation. Clearly, by being vulnerable, one promotes closeness. In order to reproduce this process of encounter, the researcher drew up a list of 36 questions classified in three sections and with an increasing degree of intimacy. Some twenty years ago, he subjected volunteers to this laboratory experiment. Six months later, a couple was married.
The principle: two strangers of the opposite sex, sitting opposite each other, take turns asking each other the 36 questions.
These questions make the mask "fall off". Since then, this writer who was already collecting stories on the theme of love for her work "The Love Story Project" has received dozens of testimonies. From San Francisco to Ahmedabad, via New York of course, collective meetings are organized between strangers eager to submit to the experience. A site even lists the dates and places of these meetings. Old or recent couples, friendly or loving duets, have written to the New York Times to tell the story of their own experimentation.
For example, Tess writes about how the questionnaire sealed a lifelong bond with her best friend in college. It's "a good way to remember that your partner isn't just the guy you empty the dishwasher with," says Amy, who is happy to rediscover her husband in a different light. Christen recounts her encounter with the man to whom she had just sold a scanner. On his side, Aleph understood that the man who was hitting on him hadn't really turned the page with his ex...
"I think people want someone deeper and more real, beyond photos and self-portraits, they want to take the mask off. These issues do that, and they do it fairly, so both people are equally vulnerable," says publisher Dan Jones. A way to get to know each other better and to get to know each other better, therefore. Dr. Arthur Aron's wife, Elaine, warns on her blog: "If you use this approach with more than one person, or more than once with the same partner, it would be best to design new questions so that your answers don't become rote." The important thing, she says, is to keep the ones that evoke what the two strangers have in common, and to maintain a gradation in intimacy... Does the adventure tempt you?
This set of questions will allow you to get closer to your partner or even fall in love... Only one condition: find a volunteer and have 50 minutes (or life) ahead of you. It's up to you to test if the magic works !