65 Questions to Strengthen Your Relationship

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Back in 1967, coincidentally the "summer of love," social psychologist and professor Arthur Aron met his future wife, a fellow researcher. Together, they developed 36 questions meant to spark connection and intimacy between two people, which they published in 1997. And while no one question can actually guarantee love and connection, the notion is that active listening and mutual vulnerability—the willingness to really open yourself up to and receive someone else—can build empathy, trust, and warmth. 

Probing questions also tend to reveal someone's values, qualities, fears, and personal past, so even if they don't lead to love or you're already in love, they also help you learn a lot about your partner, friends, and self.

So with Aron's questions as inspiration, we came up with 65 questions of our own to ask your partner, friends, or even yourself when you want to dig a little deeper. Whether you find yourself sitting on a long car drive with a loved one, or you simply want to get to know someone on a deeper level, these 65 questions will definitely beget some interesting conversations (or journal entries if you want to treat them as introspective prompts). 

65 Questions to Dig Deeper

  1. What is your most irrational fear? What's your most rational fear?
  2. What's the biggest risk you've ever taken that didn't pay off?
  3. What's one risk you took that did pay off?
  4. What's something you would love to try but are too afraid?  
  5. How do you think you will die? 
  6. Do you wish you were raised differently? Why?
  7. What quality do you wish you had? What's one thing you wish you were really good at? 
  8. Would you rather spend a day with your kindergarten self or your elderly self? Why?
  9. What's your favorite childhood memory?
  10. What's your favorite early adulthood memory? 
  11. What key events shaped your life?
  12. If today were your last day to live, and your life suddenly flashed before your eyes, would you be proud and satisfied with how you lived? 
  13. What has been your greatest accomplishment in life?
  14. What's the most adventurous thing you've ever done?
  15. What memory keeps you up at night? What mistake you've made keeps you up at night?
  16. Do you have any recurring dreams? What are they?
  17. How did you pull yourself out of a dark time in your life?
  18. What are your favorite characteristics in a person? What are your favorite characteristics of yourself (or me)? 
  19. Is your family warm and affectionate? 
  20. When was the last time you cried? 
  21. Is there anything you've been holding onto that you want to get off your chest?
  22. What were you like at school as a kid? Did you ever get detention for anything? What for? 
  23. Who was your childhood hero? Why did you admire them?
  24. What do you think the hallmark of a good relationship is? 
  25. What are you looking for in a relationship?
  26. What's something that's missing from your life?
  27. What would you title your memoir? 
  28. If you could have a time machine for a week, what three eras would you visit and who would you be? Why? 
  29. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  30. Would your younger self be proud of who you are today? 
  31. Knowing what you know now, what would you tell your younger self?
  32. What's the best piece of advice you've ever received? How have you applied it in your life?
  33. If you could solve one problem, what would it be?
  34. If you could know one thing about your future, what would it be?
  35. What are the top five things on your bucket list?
  36. If your life were a novel or a movie, would you be entertained? Would you admire your own character and the decisions they've made? 
  37. How have you changed in the past year? Decade?
  38. How have your goals changed in life?
  39. If you could keep one New Year's resolution, what would it be?
  40. Are there any habits you wish you could break? Are there any habits you wish you could build?
  41. What's one thing you've tried that you wouldn't try again?
  42. What's the most out-of-character decision or choice you've ever made?
  43. What are your simple pleasures in life?
  44. What's your most guilty pleasure?
  45. What mundane tasks or chores do you secretly enjoy doing?
  46. What's the best part of your average day?
  47. What would be your perfect day? Map it out from the second you wake up to the moment you fall asleep.
  48. If you could easily learn one new skill, what would it be?
  49. When was the last time you laughed until you cried? 
  50. When was the last time someone surprised you with something thoughtful? What was it?
  51. Who is the kindest person you've ever met? What makes them so kind?
  52. What or who did your parents name you after? What's your relationship like to your name?
  53. If you could get drinks with anyone dead or alive, who would it be? 
  54. What was your first impression of me? How did that change as you've gotten to know me better?
  55. What are three things we have in common?
  56. What are three things we don't have in common? 
  57. Is there anything you've been too afraid to say out loud to someone? 
  58. What would you prioritize more in your life? In this relationship?
  59. When was a time you felt the most loved?
  60. What's your love language? Do you show love the same way you like to receive it?
  61. What's the best compliment you've ever received? What's your favorite compliment to give?
  62. What's your favorite thing about our relationship?
  63. What's your favorite memory of our relationship?
  64. What's something we've never done together that you'd like to do?
  65. How can I love you better?
Article Sources
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  1. Berkeley News. "Creating love in the lab: the 36 questions that spark intimacy." February 12, 2015.

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