Steering conversations to build rapport with strangers can be difficult, but Psychologist Dr. Arthur Aron came up with 36 questions which helps slowly introduce yourself before delving deeper into your motivations and lifestyles. Even if you've been dating for some time, here are some great questions for you to ask each other over dinner and who knows, you might just find out something new about your partner!
1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
At this point in time, I'll like to talk to Moses and talk about the journey of going into unchartered territory.
2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?
No, but I would like to know I made a positive impact on the people whom I come across, by helping them curate their memories which they can happily look back upon, or enabling businesses to use visual media to engage their consumers and grow their businesses.
3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?
Yes if it's a business call. It's almost like a meeting and presentation, and client's impressions of you go a long way. It's always good to be prepared, and even if things don't go according to plan, you would always have a back-up and something to fall back on. It helps to sound confident on the phone too instead of err-ing and ah-ing.
4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?
Being outdoors swimming in the beach or hiking through the cool forest with people I love, conversations over a home-cooked meal with people who genuinely care, and having a good night's sleep.
5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
In the car on a roadtrip on the Great Ocean Road. It was more like humming to myself.
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?
If I'm physically healthy, I guess that means my brain is still functioning well, so I'll choose the body as I'm still able to go and enjoy the gift of life with the grand or great-grand kids.
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.
Love of history, Love of our family, Love of Overwatch to a certain extent.
9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
Family & Friends who stuck by me unconditionally
10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
Talk more about charting goals and the future.
11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.
Wow. We can meet over coffee for this one.
12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
Being able to speak & understand any language. Communication is the most powerful tool.
13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?
I would like to know where the world ends up.
14. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
Camping in the forest under the stars & Northern/Southern Lights. Finding the right people and funding.
15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
Creating memories for wedding couples they can look back upon.
16. What do you value most in a friendship?
Unconditional companionship, and I am thankful to those who have shown me that.
17. What is your most treasured memory?
Moments spent with friends and family.
18. What is your most terrible memory?
We probably need a bottle of Soju or Makgoli for this one.
19. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
Yes. I would spend more time using my skills to help charities involving the next generation so there would be a brighter future for them.
20. What does friendship mean to you?
Be present, be fearless, be unconditional
21. What roles do love and affection play in your life?
Loving someone in their language is very important. If you're not sure about your love language, check out 5 love languages and learn your love language.
It can be:
1) Words of Affirmation
2) Acts of Service
3) Receiving Gifts
4) Quality Time
5) Physical Touch
How you display that affection can be affected if it's not the kind of affection your partner needs in a particular situation. Personally, I value Acts of Service and Quality Time, but it can be nice sometimes to hear words of affirmation and thanks to my former university roommates I have come to value Physical Touch and learning how to reciprocate in other love languages rather than just my own.
22. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.
Considerate, Loyal, Responsible, Intelligent, Accommodating.
23. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?
As warm as they tried to be, and I do think I am closer to my siblings because of it. Every family goes through their own trials and tribulations, so it would be unfair for anyone to try and compare against other families when you don't know what is happening behind the scenes.
24. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?
She still takes care of me even though she can't stand my belongings and equipment taking up every free bit of space
25. Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “We are both in this room feeling ... “
Been going through LDR* for the past few years, so we'll have to meetup for this.
*LDR: long-distance relationship
26. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share ... “
Because I already have someone who loves me and my family, now I would want friends who are crazy and likes chasing sunrises, sunsets & storms, and is always experimenting for that one perfect shot.
27. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.
As my partner put it, I "come with a lot of baggage" (equipment on holidays when he just wants to be handsfree)
28. 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.
We've known each other for a long time so...
29. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.
Too many to count. Probably setting off the fire alarm in a foreign supermarket by opening as escape door and doing the walk of shame to the entrance instead of exiting through said door.
30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
Last month. Tears are a good release for resetting your feelings and before proceeding on with the next step.
31. Tell your partner something that you like about them already.
Encouragement always go a long way and sometimes we(I) tend to focus more on the small habitual things so it's always good to put in a good word like how my partner is very family focused.
32. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
Suicide, mental illnesses etc. Don't be a Logan Paul, and start a bad PR storm you can't rebuild from.
33. 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?
I do speak my mind with boundaries, as I do believe it's important to let the person know your feelings instead of letting it fester within you or assume they can read your mind. However, you should be delicate in your delivery as there is always a right time, place, and way to do this. You should also consider how important the matter is and it's impact on the future. Hence, at this point of time, the answer to the question is no.
34. 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?
My giant and heavy camera cabinet with some equipment already inside. Gotta save what I can.
35. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?
I think my immediate family would all have an equal impact on me, but if they were to die suddenly instead of a long-term illness, I guess it would be a cascade of unexpected sadness and sorrow.
36. 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.
It's a good sign when you can deliver the truth and your partner can handle it maturely. Sometimes it's good to settle problems face-to-face instead of sending instant messages to one another, but everyone has their own way of communicating effectively and some people need time to gather their thoughts and carefully word them to avoid any miscommunications and needless arguments.
I would love to hear your experiences after going though these questions your partner, so do drop me a note or message on your personal thoughts!