Found! The Scientific Formula for the Perfect First Date
The first date is easily one of the most nerve-racking life experiences any of us will have. What should you wear? Where should you go? But most importantly, what should you talk about? According to research collected by Business Insider, there are certain subjects to embrace when getting to know someone for the first time—and others to avoid. But what those topics are depends on who you ask.
For instance, leading psychologist Richard Wiseman suggests entirely skipping movies as a subject of conversation. Instead, he says, talk about travel. In Wiseman’s study, he found that 9% of couples who talked about movies wanted a second date, whereas 18% of couples who talked about travel intended on seeing each other again. Wiseman’s reasoning is that conversations about movies tend to become argumentative, whereas conversations about dream holidays or past adventures make people seem more attractive to one another.
Meanwhile, Duke University professor of psychology and behavioral economics Dan Ariely suggests guiding the conversation to more controversial topics. Ariely conducted a study in which he limited the kinds of questions online daters could ask one another. So instead of the usual entry questions about the weather, daters had to ask things like When was your last breakup? or Do you have any STDs? Another: Have you ever broken someone’s heart? While this may seem like an aggressive approach, Ariely insists that controversial topics “make people happier with the interaction” and help you get to know someone better.
Finally, in a 1997 study, researcher Arthur Aron found that total strangers are likely to feel closer to one another by skipping small talk and sharing secrets right off the bat.
The lesson here seems to be that rather than falling back on whatever feels comfortable or easy, the best way to having a good first date is to move out of your comfort zone.
Pick the perfect date spot with the help of Where the Locals Eat, and let us know if you plan on using any of the above tips on your next first date.