In 2015, the New York Times published an article called „The 36 Questions That Lead to Love“. The article features a list of 36 questions that psychologist Arthur Adams and his team used to foster intimacy between strangers. While their study was mainly of scientific interest, the 36 questions started to travel across countries and were translated in many languages.
The development of a close relationship is associated with „sustained, escalating, reciprocal, personal self-disclosure“, the authors of the study write. I experienced similar closeness in workshops with Points of You®. The tools support personal self-disclosure and create authentic communication between partners. What if, I thought, we adapt the idea of the 36 questions and create a small exercise with it, using Points of You® cards? Here’s the outcome.
Before we begin:
1. Draw 4 cards face-down (TCG) each. Use the first card to begin a story with 2 sentences. Take turns in building on the story with 2 sentences per card until your cards are empty.
2. Choose a card (F) that shows a person that is a perfect friend. Explain to your partner what makes a perfect friend for you.
3. Choose four cards (P) that show your life story. Tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible in 5 minutes.
4. Choose three cards (P) that show what you’re dreaming of. Explain your dreams to your partner.
5. Choose a card (F) that you believe shows your strengths. Let your partner read the card to tell you what strengths he or she sees in you.
6. Choose three cards (TCG) that show what you value most in life. Explain it to your partner.
7. Draw a card face-down (TCG). Explain your partner how this topic relates to your life at the moment.
8. Take out the mirror card from the Faces tool kit. Hold it in front of you and tell your partner what you feel about the person you see in the mirror.
9. Choose three cards (TCG) each and use them to make three „We“-Statements that are true about you.
10. What is something you regret in your life? Draw a card face-down (TCG) and explain with the card your regret.
11. Choose three cards (F) that show character traits that you already like about your partner. Explain it with the cards.
12. Draw a card (TCG) and share with the card where in life your cup is half-empty at the moment. Let your partner choose two cards that show how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.
At the end of sit in front of each other and look into each others eyes for four minutes.
Enjoy the process.