Four Statistically-Proven Ways To Identify Weirdos On A First Date

First DateHas he ever used psychedelic drugs?…Does she believe in God?

Photo: Flickr/John Amato

For those of you who still believe in pastel hearts and Taylor Swift songs, the statisticians at OKcupid have come up with a winning first-date strategy. It’s a list of questions that are statistically proven to suggest key details about your unknown dinner companion without making things too awkward.

Click here to see the questions →
Here’s the methodology that OKCupid used to come up with its definitive list.

To determine “What questions are easy to bring up, yet correlate to the deeper, unspeakable, issues people actually care about,” OKCupid began by pulling from its database of 275,294 user-submitted match questions.


Photo: OKTrends

This pool of questions was then separated into “viable first-date questions”  — mostly to eliminate queries like “Are clams alive?” and “Are you better looking than most people?”The list of “viable first-date questions” was then broken down by privacy (based on whether or not users clicked “Answer Question Privately” when asked the question online) and diversity of answers. The ideal questions were those that people did not consider private (i.e. casual topics) and led to a high diversity of answers (i.e. tells you something about the person).

Now, without further ado…

IF YOU WANT TO KNOW: Will My Date Have Sex On The First Date?

ASK: Do you like the taste of beer?

BECAUSE: Among all our casual topics, whether someone likes the taste of beer is the single best predictor of if he or she has sex on the first date.

No matter their gender or orientation, beer-lovers are 60% more likely to be OK with sleeping with someone they've just met.

Sadly, this is the only question with a meaningful correlation for women. For men there are a few others:

  • Predictive question: In a certain light, wouldn't nuclear war be exciting?
  • Implied odds of first-date sex: 83%
  • Predictive question: Assuming you were in the position to do so, would you launch nuclear weapons under any circumstances?
  • Implied odds of first-date sex: 82%
  • Predictive question: Could you imagine yourself killing someone? ?
  • Implied odds of first-date sex: 83%

(Via OKTrends, original insight and research from OKCupid).

IF YOU WANT TO KNOW...Do My Date And I Have Long-Term Potential?


  • Do you like horror movies?
  • Have you ever traveled around another country alone?
  • Wouldn't it be fun to chuck it all and go live on a sailboat?

BECAUSE: Of all questions appropriate to a first date, the three listed above were the ones couples most often agreed on.

When someone deletes their OkCupid account, they have the option of giving a reason, and if that reason is 'I met somebody on OkCupid,' they can provide their significant other's username. Many hundreds of people a day go through the trouble of doing this, so OKCupid has compiled an excellent dataset of real-world couples. Agreement on these three questions correlated best to an actual relationship.

In fact, 32% of successful couples agreed on all of them--which is 3.7× the rate of simple coincidence. These questions as a trio even out-performs OkCupid's top three user-rated match questions.

(Via OKTrends, original insight and research from OKCupid).

IF YOU WANT TO KNOW...Do My Date And I Have The Same Politics?

ASK: Do you prefer the people in your life to be simple or complex?

BECAUSE: We were very surprised to find that this one question very strongly predicts a person's ideas on these divisive issues:

  • Should burning your country's flag be illegal?
  • Should the death penalty be abolished?
  • Should gay marriage be legal?
  • Should Evolution and Creationism be taught side-by-side in schools?

In each case, complexity-preferrers are 65-70% likely to give the Liberal answer. Simplicity-preferrers are 65-70% likely to give the Conservative one.

This correlation is for a nationwide dataset; it won't be as useful in places where one ideology is much more prevalent than the other. For example, in New York City there are lots of people who like simplicity and yet have Liberal politics.

(Via OKTrends, original insight and research from OKCupid).

IF YOU WANT TO KNOW: Is My Date Religious?

ASK: Do spelling and grammar mistakes annoy you?

BECAUSE: If your date answers 'no'--i.e. is OK with bad grammar and spelling--the odds of him or her being at least moderately religious is slightly better than 2:1.

Last summer, OKCupid analysed the profile text of half a million user profiles, comparing religion and writing-level. For every one of the faith-based belief systems listed, the people who were the least serious wrote at the highest level.

(Via OKTrends, original insight and research from OKCupid).

Come Valentine's Day, expect a lot of first dates to happen here...

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