We held off on this one, since we figured not that many first dates were happening on Valentine’s Day. But now here we go. OKCupid, always ready with the best questions for blog posts, asks, what are the best questions for first dates? Actually, they put it a much better way: “What questions are easy to bring up, yet correlate to the deeper, unspeakable, issues people actually care about?” Yes! Easy and deep-y. And did we mention easy? See, because what you don’t want — as with first “lines” — is something gimmicky, interviewy, or otherwise annoyingy. (“So, tell me, Sam. [Leans closer, significantly.] Would you rather be a cloud, or a grape?”) What you want, OKCupid determines, with the use of several handy bar graphs, is “the shallow stuff to ask when you want to know something deep.”
OK SO LIKE WHAT? Well, then we get into some frankly fascinating correlations (derived from their vast database and some fancy math). If you want to know if you two have long-term potential, ask if he/she likes horror movies, or would like to chuck it all and live on a sailboat. Couples who agreed on such Qs were correlated with couples who lasted. If you want to know if your date is religious, ask if she/he is annoyed by spelling and grammar mistakes; “If your date answers ‘no’—i.e. is okay with bad grammar and spelling—the odds of him or her being at least moderately religious is slightly better than 2:1.” Hooray for teh tolerance! Want to know if you have the same politics? Ask if your date prefers the people in his/her life to be simple or complex. The latter preference is correlated with liberal politics. JUST SAYING. (Also: clouds and grapes CAN get along!)
Read the whole piece for great fun and info, plus Kevin Costner in fingerless gloves. (The apocalypse kind, not the golf kind.)
AND: Since you’re going to need to get to that first date in the first place, here is BG’s definitive guide to opening lines.