My Experience with “36 Questions to Fall in Love”

Have you heard of the 36 questions to fall in love study? Here is the way I remember it. A psychologist, Arthur Aron, proposed that he could cause 2 people to fall in love by asking progressively intimate questions of each other and then have them stare silently into each other’s eyes for 4 minutes. The study was published in the late 90s but became popular during the time when I was online dating. The TV show, The Big Bang Theory, even did an episode about the questions. As the story was told to me, the two people who were used in the initial study actually did fall in love. Since I was looking for true love and intimacy in the online world, I thought I might as well give it a try.

I remember sitting across the table at a restaurant from the man I was currently dating. “Want to play a game?” I asked him. His eyebrow went up and he asked what kind of game? I explained to him about the 36 questions. He was skeptical but agreed to play along. We began taking turns asking each other the questions. We pushed my phone back and forth across the table asking each other questions. Alternating who asked the question first. I have to admit it was a fun way to get to know each other and to deepen the relationship. In the end, he and I dated for about 6 months but did not fall in love. I did do the questions with a couple other of the men I dated.

One of the men I did the questions with became my husband. We did the questions while driving to go on our first camping trip together. Again the questions were a great way to get to know each other. I think the key was that the conversation was going on during the long drive and initiated many side conversations. This time the questions revealed a whole new experience. This time the questions deepened a closeness that was already forming. The questions took us a couple of days to get through because we didn’t rush them and we allowed them to take us down bunny trails and into other conversations. I am sure this was not the intention during the study but we’re not scientists, just two people getting to know each other on a deeper level. When it came time for the 4 minutes of gazing into each others eyes, it was magical. It was almost like a meditative experience.

In the end, did the 36 Questions cause my husband and I to fall in love? No, we already were in love (although we had not expressed this to each other yet) when we asked each other the questions. I believe true love is really about a soul connection. The questions did help us to know each other better. Our relationship was brought to the next level and the questions prompted deep and meaningful conversations over the course of the weekend. It was on that same weekend that we did profess our love to each other. Did the intimacy, spun out of asking the questions, allow for our comfort in saying the words? Maybe.  We just celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I wish you a lifetime of deep and meaningful intimacy.

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How I Found Love

I have a great man. It is true, but it has not always been true. I have been with physically and emotionally abusive men in the past. I have dealt with lies and cheats. I have had the disinterested and the disengaged. I also have had my share of users. Recently a friend asked me for relationship advice. She wanted to know how to differentiate between the really great guy and the “trickster”. This really got me thinking. I believe in the “law of attraction” also known as the “secret” or “manifestation”. No matter what you call it, I believe what we put out into the Universe is what we attract back to us. So the fact that I have a husband who is perfect for me and a really great guy, means I changed something within myself. What was it?

Trust me, once I decided that I wanted to be in a committed relationship again, I set out to accomplish this task. I am not someone who fails when I set my mind to something. I read relationship books, created and put pictures on my vision boards, started online dating with gusto. I wrote manifestation lists under the new moon, listing all of the attributes I wanted my perfect partner to have. I even worked a spell with a friend. One of the most powerful manifestations I did was redecorating my bedroom. I made it soft and romantic with lots of draping white fabric and even an old crystal chandler to make it seem like a princess lived there. I decorated with pictures of couples in steamy romantic poses. I had a couple tasteful porcelain couples dancing. The goddess Aphrodite held a place of honor on my dresser. I had a boudoir photo shoot and put up sexy pictures of myself. This was to remind me that I am sexy and desirable. I also created some art work myself, depicting couples. The day I completed the bedroom remodel, I had my first date with Marty, who is now my husband.

Was manifestation enough to bring to me the perfect guy? I do not believe without making changes in my own self esteem and worth that I would have been as successful. When I started online dating, it was really hard to let a guy open a door for me. I can do it myself. I soon learned that most men like to do things for women. I also learned that by allowing a man to do things for me, I was confirming my own self worth. A wise friend told me that I am “the prize”. I think this really started to shift my thinking. I started to view dating differently. No longer did I see myself as desperately looking for a man who would see the value in me. Instead I found the value in myself. I knew I did not need a man, although one would be nice to share my life with. My life was glorious just as it was. Any man who put me low on his list of priorities did not get the gift of my time.

Another change that happened was me deciding that I wanted choices. In the past I would meet a man and give him all of my time and attention. Then, when I realized he was not the one or things did not work out, I would have to start all over. Suddenly I learned they needed to earn the right to be my one and only. Immediately committing to the first guy who paid attention to me quit. I had casual dates and deep conversations with several different men during any period of time. I did not give myself to the first guy who looked my way. I did not enter into a committed relationship with someone just because he was willing to give me some attention. This did two things for me. It helped me decide what I wanted and what I didn’t want in a relationship. I got to meet a lot of different men. I exchanged emails with even more. I learned about their interesting jobs and even more interesting hobbies and I met people I could not have met in my everyday life. The other thing it did was allow myself to see that potential suitors were plentiful. The world changes when you see it with abundance. You are no longer willing to accept “not good enough” as a way of life. You demand more from the universe.

On my 28th first date since deciding I wanted to be in a relationship, I met my future husband. He had to earn the right to be my one and only. I am eternally grateful for all the other men I went on dates with, exchanged emails with, or spoke to on the phone. They taught me a lot about life and even more about myself. They helped me become the person I am today. I wish them all successful and happy lives with their perfect partner, if that is what they want. Mostly I am grateful for my husband. He is a truly marvelous man! I appreciate him so much every day! I do not claim to be a relationship expert or to know what you need to do to attract your perfect partner. I can only share with you what I did and hope that it helps you in some way.

If you have been able to successfully navigate relationships, please share any words of wisdom with others. May all of you find your perfect partner, if that is what you desire. Blessings, Stacy!

 

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What Would I Tell You?

The post below is from a journal entry many years ago when I was dating. I was frustrated with a relationship I was in and was trying to figure out how to improve it. I was learning that my blunt direct approach does not work with everyone. I wrote a letter to him. Telling him everything I was afraid or unable to say to him. I never sent the letter and the relationship did not last much longer. I think the letter explains how so many people feel within relationships. That is why I have chosen to share it here today. I would love to hear your comments and feedback. What does this bring up for you? Have you had similar experiences in relationships? What has worked in dealing with situations like this in your past? 

What would I tell you…if I could tell you anything?

That I want you to want me. I need to feel desired by you. I need to know you see/notice the specialness that I know is within me.
I want you to give me affection. I am affectionate by nature so I currently find myself holding back from touching and kissing you as much as I would like. I do not want to have to ask you for affection. It makes me feel needy. I find neediness in myself unattractive. I can remember being in relationships where I was touched too much and I have no desire to make you feel that way. I have also been in a relationship where I was not touched enough. I have no intention of living like that again. I realize you can’t read my mind and have no way of knowing how much touch I want or need, without me telling you. I also realize the same is true in reverse; that I have no way of knowing how much touch you want or need, unless we find a way to communicate that to each other.
I am not perfect but hey… who is? No one. We are all flawed. I guess that is part of this whole dating thing. To see if I can live with your flaws and if you can live with mine. I do not want to campaign for reasons why you should want to be with me. I am a great catch. If you do not see that or appreciate that within me, who am I to convince you?
I need depth from you in our communications. Not all the time… sometimes just silly nonsense is perfect… you know I love to play.
I also need conversation where you share memories, what you think about various things and how you feel about different topics. I will wither and die in a relationship that does not contain some level of depth.
I have in the past, tried to use sex to try to form a connection. I need passion in my relationship to feel alive. More than this, I need connection and I feel connection is formed by touch and sharing.
I see such goodness and beauty in you. Somehow this causes you to take points away from me. How confusing is that? If I was still questioning whether you were worth my time, would that somehow make me more attractive?
In many ways I am the girl next door. I am scared of things that go bump in the night. I want my parents to be proud of me. I want my children to be productive members of society. I want to help my grandchild see the beauty and magic in the world. I want them to be better people because I made a difference in their lives. I want to contribute to society through my donations, work and deeds. I want to leave the places I have been, a little bit brighter then when I came. I want to live my life and allow others to do the same. I love my friends and family. I do not want anyone or anything to hurt them, nor, do I want to hurt anyone else. I work hard and have climbed my way out of poverty, poor decisions and failed marriages to become very successful in my career field. I am nowhere close to done in my growth. My life is a magical ride. If you choose to climb on board and come along, you will enjoy that magical ride too. The sky is the limit for me and my life has a way of allowing magic to happen.
I love my family but they do not define me, nor does my career or marital status. I am not desperately seeking a man to take care of me. I am more then capable of taking care of myself. I am looking for the right man to care for me, to connect with me, and to share my life with. Are you this person? Time will tell.
I am a continual work in progress. I attempt to sit back and watch how I react to things. This has taken years of working on myself. I am not perfect at it. At times, I still react to things without thinking about why I am reacting. The goal is to notice when I am getting “triggered” and exploring why I am feeling whatever I am feeling. Often it will relate back to baggage from the past and really not have much to do with the current situation. It has been interesting when opportunities to explore these things come up, I continues to help me grow and heal. I will probably never be completely healed or done growing. I am still human and will still react to things with out exploring what is underneath it from time to time. Nobody’s perfect, right? At times I may still get into the drama of the moment, but please know, I am seriously trying not to.
I do not want to create drama within our relationship. I believe we still have things to learn from each other and adventures to have together. I believe to have a successful relationship, autopilot will not work. We will both need to learn how to communicate what we are feeling and what we are needing within the relationship. We need to feel safe sharing those things that are at our core. We will both need to be vulnerable with each other… something neither of us is completely comfortable with.
All of this is what I would tell you… if I could tell you anything.