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Scientifically proven first-date questions

Regular readers of this blog will know that we are mildly obsessed with the dating research blog OKTrends (it’s attached to the dating site OKCupid) — check out our past coverage of OKTrends on the myth of gay evangelism, the (consistent, predictable) way we lie online, misconceptions about online profile photos, and the real stuff white people like. We’re not stats geeks, but we love it when someone else geeks out to show us what we think about when we think about sex, love, and dating. The latest installment to catch our eye is a post about the best questions to ask someone on a first date. Because, admit it, what you really want to know on a first date is: Are we going to have sex tonight? Is this person liberal? How did they vote on the last election? Are we soul-mates? But it’s not necessarily considered polite to come right out and ask those questions point-blank — and even if you were brave enough to ask those questions, there’s no guarantee that (a) your date would answer honestly or (b) they actually know the answer. But the stats — the stats don’t lie!

Christian Rudder, OKTrends’ hilarious blogger, crunched a bunch of numbers and questions — in particular, the “match” questions that OKCupid’s users fill out. And because thousands of OKCupid’s members fall in love and log off and then tell OKCupid which user it was that they clicked with, Rudder was able to look at which “match” questions on a profile are most likely to predict an actual, real-world match. Drum roll please… the three questions are:

  1. Do you like horror movies?
  2. Have you ever traveled around another country alone?
  3. Wouldn’t it be fun to chuck it all and go live on a sailboat?



In other words, if you agree on these three topics on a first date, your chances of making it long-term sky-rocket.

For other polite first-date digging, the OKTrends research shows that you should ask your date, “Do you prefer the people in your life to be simple or complex?” Because people who prefer complexity are 2:1 likely to be liberal, and people who prefer simplicity are 2:1 likely to be conservative. And — our absolute favorite — if you want to know where they fall on the whole God issue, just ask them, “Do spelling and grammar mistakes annoy you?” Because if your date answers “no” — meaning they are pretty tolerant of bad grammar and spelling — the odds of them being at least moderately religious are slightly more than 2:1.

Happy Valentine’s Day, people — now go forth and sleuth out your soul-mate!

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image via OKTrends