In a viral article by the New York Times, it talks about this study that shows how these thirty-six questions can accelerate intimacy and bring two people closer. The set of questions is broken up into three parts, each part getting deeper and more intense. The questions first start pretty basic. Then, it goes into depth about family, background, and even thoughts about life and death. There is also a series on YouTube that experiments with these questions. In the "Tea for Two" series by Jubilee, two strangers are brought together to try this challenge in an attempt to see if it really fosters a connection.
After reading the article and becoming more intrigued by the results, I tried it with my boyfriend, who I've been with for a few weeks now. Although we are very close and know pretty much everything about each other, I still wanted to give it a shot. My boyfriend and I always take turns asking each other random questions in our free time anyway, so it was nice not having to come up with something to ask and having this set list. Sitting in a parked car, we began the experiment.
According to the study done on this, you are supposed to spend at least 15 minutes on each question. In my experience, we didn't. Some of the questions took a minute or two because they were pretty basic. But as we got deeper into the sets, the questions sparked other topics of conversation. I learned a lot about him that night — his views, how he thought. It definitely did bring us closer and made it so we were able to understand each others' functionalities. I think communication is key in a relationship. I don't like having too much room for assumptions and questioning.
Doing this experiment allows you to understand your partner emotionally and mentally. You become more aware of their mindset and personality. You can recognize their priorities. After a while, some of the questions became repetitive. For example, "Share XX things you and your partner have in common," or "What do you like about your partner?" To be completely honest, we skipped them after seeing them several times.
One of the questions, number 27, asked, "If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for them to know." My boyfriend and I discussed qualities and tendencies about ourselves that we wanted each other to be aware of, for future reference. For example, one of our answers was, "I am very sensitive sometimes. I tend to remember things that people say to me." I think this is a very important question because you really need to know how the other person is in a relationship, just in case something were to happen.
At the end of the questions, there is this segment where you are supposed to make direct eye contact with your partner for four minutes. Since we ran out of time, we didn't get to complete this part. But let's be honest, I look at my boyfriend enough.
In conclusion, I think all couples should try this. It really does help emphasize that emotional and mental connection that should be there in a relationship. You can find the interactive version of these questions here. Have fun!
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