In today’s fast-paced world of dating apps, reality TV and social media our expectations of finding “the one” at first sight can be somewhat unrealistic. We may kid ourselves that we’ll just ‘know’ when we see Mr/Ms Right. Or we may think that it’s so vital to see if we have physical chemistry that we can dispense with the need to build emotional connection and just dive in. When are we ready for love?

Sadly, the chances of developing a lasting relationship or trusted companionship using the latter approach are vanishingly thin, thanks to the way a primitive part of the mammalian brain operates. It only trusts if it receives the right signals, and hot sex isn’t sufficient.

The good news is we don’t have to court endlessly to be ready for love. The idea is to develop a level of intimacy that has a chance of surviving beyond a first hook up. Remarkably, it seems we can achieve it in 45 minutes!

To fall in l0ve with anyone do this

A few years ago, my faith in the world of science was enhanced when I read about a psychological experiment that was at once really interesting and impressively practical for anyone seeking love. Journalist Mandy Len Catron recounted her own experiment using a protocol from an older study by psychologist Arthur Aron and his team. Her delightful article entitled “To Fall in Love with Anyone Do This” appeared in the New York Times.

The study proposed 36 questions to investigate whether it is possible to accelerate intimacy between two strangers by asking gradually more emotionally searching questions. The journalist put it into effect with someone she already knew, so not a stranger, and not in a lab, but a bar.

It worked! She concludes, “Love didn’t happen to us. We’re in love because we each made the choice to be”.

So why not try it to see if you are ready for love? No need to wait till the love fairy sprinkles dust on you. Take control of your own destiny. Happy questing!

Here are the all-important 36 questions the researchers proposed:

Set I
  1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
  2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?
  3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?
  4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?
  5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
  6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?
  7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
  8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.
  9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
  10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
  11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.
  12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
Set II
  1. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?
  2. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
  3. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
  4. In a friendship, what do you value most?
  5. What is your most treasured memory?
  6. What is your most terrible memory?
  7. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
  8. What does friendship mean to you?
  9. What roles do love and affection play in your life?
  10. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.
  11. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?
  12. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?
  1. Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “We are both in this room feeling … “
  2. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share … “
  3. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.
  4. Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you’ve just met.
  5. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.
  6. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
  7. Tell your partner something that you like about them already.
  8. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
  9. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?
  10. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?
  11. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?
  12. Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on 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.

Now you have another tool to help you get ready for love.

View abstract of underlying research