"For each couple, we looked through the questions and said, 'let's see which questions are predictive of success,' but not just any question," said Yagan. "Which are the questions that people are rating as very, very unimportant but are still predictive of ultimate success?"
Among the questions found to be most first-date appropriate, OkCupid said the following three were the ones couples most often agreed upon by users who ended up in relationships:
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?
If you want to know if you and your date are on the same page politically, OkCupid recommends asking, "Do you prefer the people in your life to be simple or complex?"
Those who choose complexity are twice as likely to lean conservative, those who opt for simplicity are twice as likely to lean liberal, the site said.
Interested in your date's religiosity? Ask about grammar.
Tolerance of spelling and grammar mistakes correlated with being at least moderately religious, according to the site's analysis.
OkCupid's findings may not ring true for all couples -- the site has said that though it has members across the country, it skews slightly toward urban areas -- and, obviously, every first date is different.
But, if you're willing to have a coded conversation, the analysis suggests that asking simple questions might help you get the deeper answers you really want.
"It's this whole concept that the first date can be super-informative without being awkward," said Yagan. "You can have a whole conversation about do you like simple things or complex things and that could be a really interesting conversation and only you know in your head that you just asked a predictive question."
Ultimately, while it's nice to have a checklist of the qualities you're looking for in a partner, Lynn said that part of romance is being open to the unexpected.
"The trick is to have some idea of who interests you but be ready for a surprise," she said.