Summary: “Thirty-Six Questions That Can Create or Revive Romance.”
Close relationships, especially close romantic relationships, have what you might call a hormonal shelf life. I’ve seen various comments by so-called experts that say this shelf life might be as long as two years if you are lucky. But what do you do when Mother Nature’s chemical cocktail wears off and the hormonally induced excitement begins to fade.
According to Arthur Aron and his research associates (and the results of their brain imaging and lab experiments) one of the things you can do is simply sit down with your relationship partner and ask each other 36 specific questions. In their scientific paper, they refer to the questioning process as “a practical methodology for creating closeness in an experimental context.” Those scientific folks really know how to make things sound like fun, don’t they?
The fact is, I think you will have fun doing this with a potential life partner, or a long-term existing life partner. Take an evening off from the TV, or whatever you do with your time when the events of the day settle down, relax, maybe pour a glass of wine and discuss the 36 questions with your partner. In the experiment, they suggested that you take 45 minutes to an hour to go over all the questions. Here’s a short article explaining Dr. Aron’s work that includes the questions.
As for the hormonal shelf-life of relationships, that just means you have to begin putting more effort into the relationship to keep it going and enjoyable for both of you. Discussing the 36 questions is a great way to do that. Here are a few sample questions:
- Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.
- What is your most treasured memory?
- Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share … “
If you care about having an enjoyable long-term relationship, or keeping the one you have going, try the 36-question exercise. According to science, it’s a good way to joyfully participate in life.
Joyfully participate in life today…Chris