Two people kissing each other

Can you really fall in love with anyone?

More than 20 years ago, the psychologist Arthur Aron succeeded in making two strangers fall in love in his laboratory. The experiment seemed quite simple, he conducted a list of 36 questions that participants had to ask each other.

The questions begin innocuously, but soon after they become more probing and gradually help the participants to share more vulnerable stories about themselves and their lives. With questions like “Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life”, and “When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?”. The idea behind these questions is that they generate trust and intimacy, the feelings love needs to thrive.

The key takeaway? Mutual vulnerability fosters closeness. To quote the study’s authors, “One key pattern associated with the development of a close relationship among peers is sustained, escalating, reciprocal, personal self-disclosure”. In a time in which loneliness peaks, facilitating vulnerable conversations might be an interesting way to boost intimacy between strangers. Let’s see if these questions can inspire us to foster intimacy…