If you want your dates to be statistically above-average successful, then you should cast an eye over this research by dating site OkayCupid.
These guys have trawled through 736million responses from their members about dating conversations and come up with a list of what lines work best. I for one am glad that some maths is finally getting introduced to this contentious area.
So, the key thing with dates seems to be finding ways to ask about the big questions without actually asking them outright. Cos it sort of kills the conversation dead if you go in with a) Will you have sex with me tonight?; b) Are we long-term compatible?; c) Are you some raving druggie?/ right-wing nut?
But you want to know the answers right?
Basically what OkayCupid have done, in some nice graphs, is correlate people’s opinions on the big issues with their responses to normal small talk questions.
> EG: if you want to know if a woman is likely to sleep with you on a first date, ask her if she likes the taste of beer. Women who do like the taste of beer are more likely to sleep with someone after a first date. There’s a 60% correlation.
> If you want to know whether a man will sleep with you on a first date ask him if in some lights, nuclear war could be seen as exciting. If he says yes, he’s more likely to be a sex on first date kinda guy. Apparently there’s a 80% correlation there. [Should we be worried about that?]
> Test if the two of you are long-term compatible by seeing if you both answer the same to the question: “Would it be fun to chuck it in and go live on a sailboat for a year?” Having the same answer to that question is a big indicator of compatibility.
To get all fine complexities of this (and the graphs) you’re going to have to read the full analysis here – it’s definitely worth it.