1. Treat the conversation like a ping pong match.
On an ideal date, no one person should dominate the conversation. Even though it may seem selfless to let him or her do all the talking, it's actually quite boring. In the book Brain Trust, researchers explain that when your date makes a statement, or begins to discuss a certain topic, you should find a way to add to what they say, then bounce the ball back in the form of a question.
2. Don't talk about movies.
According to a study by Richard Wiseman, less than 9 percent of couples who talked movies wanted a second date. Travel was a much more successful topic, with 18% of couples that talked about their journeys wanting a second date.
3. Let them in on a secret.
According to Arthur Aron, a psychologist at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, exchanging emotional or personal information on a first date creates powerful feelings of connection and closeness.
4. When in doubt, be controversial.
Dull topics like the weather and what you did last weekend aren't very memorable. An experiment by Dan Ariely limited online daters' conversation to a pre-set list of controversial topics, like whether or not they had an STD or the number of past sexual partners.
"Everyone, both sender and replier, was happier with the interaction…What we learned from this little experiment is that when people are free to choose what type of discussions they want to have, they often gravitate toward an equilibrium that is easy to maintain but one that no one really enjoys or benefits from."
5. Ask them if they like beer.
Dating site OKCupid found that the single best predictor of whether or not a first date would end in sex was the answer to one simple question: "Do you like the taste of beer?"
"No matter their gender or orientation, beer-lovers are 60% more likely to be okay with sleeping with someone they've just met," reports OKCupid.
distractify h/t TIME