What are the best questions to ask on a first date?
Don’t be typical and boring. Make it fun.
Via Richard Wiseman’s excellent book 59 Seconds: Change Your Life in Under a Minute:
A few years ago I teamed up with fellow psychologists James Houran and Caroline Watt to examine the best chat-up lines when speed dating.13 We assembled fifty single men and fifty single women, randomly paired them, and asked the pairs to spend three minutes chatting. We then told everyone to make quick notes about the lines they had used to impress one another, rate their potential beau for attractiveness, and then try again with another person. To uncover the best chat-up lines, we compared the conversations of participants rated as very desirable by their dates with those seen as especially undesirable.
Those who obtained few dates from the evening tended to employ old standards like “Do you come here often?” or struggled to impress with comments like “I have a Ph.D. in computing.” Those more skilled in seduction encouraged their dates to talk about themselves in a fun and offbeat way, with the top-rated male’s best line being “If you were on a hit show, who would you be?” while the top-rated female asked, “If you were a pizza topping, what would you be?” These types of lines are successful because at a speed-dating event people frequently feel that they are trapped in Groundhog Day, having the same conversation again and again. Getting people to open up and talk about themselves in a creative, funny, and unusual way promotes a sense of closeness and attraction.
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