Going on a First Date? Here Are the Questions to Ask

OkCupid finds the most revealing questions to ask on a date.

ByABC News
February 9, 2011, 11:03 AM

Feb. 9, 2011— -- Politics. Piety. Putting out. There are so many things you'd like to know on a first date but can't come right out and ask.

To help couples navigate those first date delicacies, the dating website OkCupid mined its database to uncover the most revealing questions.

Your budding romance might be over in a matter of minutes if you straight up ask if he has sex on the first date. But according to OkCupid, asking whether he likes the taste of beer might get you the answer to that question.

To figure out which seemingly innocuous questions correlate with the most revealing ones, OkCupid looked at its database of millions of answers to the more than 275,000 match questions it asks users answer when they first join the service.

The site flagged the questions that users ranked as the least significant (figuring those would be the least intrusive ones to ask on a first date) and then determined how they correlate with the more soul-searching, personal questions.

The site found that whether someone likes the taste of beer is the best predictor of if he or she will have sex on the first date.

"No matter their gender or orientation, beer-lovers are 60 percent more likely to be OK with sleeping with someone they've just met," OkCupid said in its blog post on the topic.

For women, OkCupid said the beer question was the only one with a meaningful correlation to first-date sex, but for men they found a few other key questions.

Asking, "In a certain light, wouldn't nuclear war be exciting?" implied an 83 percent chance of first-date sex.

Two other questions -- "Could you imagine yourself killing someone?" and "Assuming you were in the position to do so, would you launch nuclear weapons under any circumstances?" -- both implied an 82 percent chance of sex on the first date.

Sam Yagan, OkCupid's co-founder and CEO, told ABCNews.com that the trick to the project was to find "the low-stress question you can ask that reveals a sort of more intimate question that you can't ask on a first date."

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.