In a 1997 study published by Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, the psychologist Dr. Arthur Aron guided pairs of strangers in tasks specifically designed to generate closeness. Part of the experiment involved answering a series of 36 questions and then staring into your designated partner’s eyes for four straight minutes. Dr. Aron’s methodology famously resulted in an official marriage. According to his findings, reciprocal self-disclosure plays a critical part in relationship building, perhaps more so than common interests, expectations, or pheromones.
Here are the 36 questions, divided into three sets which scientists believe “foster closeness”. The study authors advise “the best way for you to get close to your partner is for you to share with them and for them to share with you”. After finishing answering the questions, the participants are supposed to sit and look into one another’s eyes for four minutes.