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Proust's Questionaire :: 35 Questions to ask your love on Valentine's Day

Marcel Proust believed that in order to understand others, it was important to fully know oneself. He developed the questionnaire help people discover their true selves and the inner personalities of those around them.  Whether you're celebrating a new or long-lasting love, these are great questions to share with your Valentine.

The Proust Questionnaire :: 35 Questions to ask your love. Photo via Love Story

The Proust Questionnaire :: 35 Questions to ask your love. Photo via Love Story

The French novelist, essayist and critical thinker is known for his monumental novel, Remembrance of Things Past, published in 7 parts between 1913 and 1927. He is considered to be one of the greatest authors of all times. Proust's questionnaire is widely used today from HR departments seeking potential candidates, to writers developing characters or interviewing their subjects. 

I was first introduced to this questionnaire last winter when I was in Boston for the weekend with someone whom I was just starting to get to know and love. As we sat in a popular. crowded Back Bay restaurant dining on Tapas my critically thinking and introspective partner pulled out his Blackberry and together we started down the list. As simple as the questions seem at first glance, they can be quite hard to answer. I don't think we got more than halfway through them that night. These questions are great for any dinner party conversation, or simply home alone with family. 

How you answer these questions is really up to you. They can be as brief or lengthy as you wish.  The point is to be honest with yourself and your partner. Some might require a bit of thought, but many are best answered simply by blurting out the very first thought that comes to mind.

Proust's Questionnaire

  1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
  2. What is your greatest fear?
  3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
  4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
  5. Which living person do you most admire?
  6. What is your greatest extravagance?
  7. What is your current state of mind?
  8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
  9. On what occasion do you lie?
  10. What do you most dislike about your appearance?
  11. Which living person do you most despise?
  12. What is the quality you most like in a man?
  13. What is the quality you most like in a woman?
  14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
  15. What or who is the greatest love of your life?
  16. When and where were you happiest?
  17. Which talent would you most like to have?
  18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
  19. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
  20. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
  21. Where would you most like to live?
  22. What is your most treasured possession?
  23. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
  24. What is your favorite occupation?
  25. What is your most marked characteristic?
  26. What do you most value in your friends?
  27. Who are your favorite writers?
  28. Who is your hero of fiction?
  29. Which historical figure do you most identify with?
  30. Who are your heroes in real life?
  31. What are your favorite names?
  32. What is it that you most dislike?
  33. What is your greatest regret?
  34. How would you like to die?
  35. What is your motto?

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