When it comes to first dates, a lot of guys have a routine — a preferred restaurant, a trusted bottle of wine, a short list of questions and topics of conversation.
In a recent New York Times op-ed, comedian Aziz Ansari and social scientist Eric Klinenberg, authors of the new book “Modern Romance,” pointed out three questions you might want to add to your routine:
1. Do you like horror movies?
2. Have you ever travelled around another country alone?
3. Wouldn’t it be fun to chuck it all and go live on a sailboat?
According to OkCupid trend research done in 2011 by one of the company’s founders, Christian Rudder, how closely you and your date’s answers to these questions align could determine how well you’d function in a relationship.
To figure this out, Rudder analysed 34,260 real-world couples who met on OkCupid. He found that 32% of successful couples agreed on all three questions, which is “3.7 times the rate of simple coincidence,” writes Rudder.
It’s interesting that all three questions seem to deal with how a person handles stress and anxiety, and their tendency to plan things out. So with that, you could say that two people who deal with stress similarly might make a good couple.
For Ansari and Klinenberg’s purposes — the op-ed about “How to make online dating work” — Rudder’s study is used to reinforce the argument that algorithms can predict whether you might want to go on a date with someone. However, as the two end up concluding, online dating allows for way too much filtering and you’re “better off vetting dates in person.”