Portland Therapy Blog

Portland Therapy Blog

Local experts share the latest information and resources on all things mental health.

Shortcut to Love?

Posted: January 16, 2015 by Jeff Guenther

Want to be in love but hate the tediousness of getting to know someone? Try asking your date this question: “Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?” According to one (decades old) study, you’ll be 1/36th of the way there.

The study, in the spotlight after being featured in last week’s popular Modern Love column in the New York Times, investigates whether intimacy can be fast-tracked by answering a series of question with your potential partner. The questions (36 in all) start simply enough (given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as you dinner guest), and become progressively more penetrating (when did you last cry in front of another person? by yourself?), with the idea that your tolerance and comfort level will grow along the way.

It’s definitely a nice idea. And while there is no shortcut to building the true intimacy that only comes with time, asking your partner some of the questions from Dr. Aron’s study may help you feel closer. So give them a try! You can see the full list here.

If you and your partner are struggling with intimacy you might consider couples counseling, which can be beneficial for couples in all types of relationships.

Tags: relationship and family, news

Jeff Guenther (he/him)

Licensed Professional Counselor


I help people who feel anxious in relationships stop feeling anxious in relationships.

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Anxiety, Codependency, Adjustment Disorder, Relationship / Marriage Issues, Self-Esteem