First-date jitters are natural — you’ve probably thought endlessly about what you should wear, how to avoid awkward silences, and if you’re even going to like your potential match. There’s nothing wrong with being optimistic, but remember not to get too ahead of yourself, either. Even if you think things are going well, your date may be thinking just the opposite. And there’s no worse feeling than calling them a week later just to realize it’s always going straight to voicemail. So, we have a few tips to avoid the embarrassment. Watch for these 5 possible red flags on your first date.
They keep checking their phone
We all check our phones more often than we probably should, but when you’re on a date, it’s important to put your phone away and engage with the person sitting across from you. A companion who can’t put down his or her device is hinting how they feel the date is going.
Andrew Przybylski, a psychologist at the University of Essex, tells Live Science turning off your phone during a date “communicates care and compassion, and that the present moment is really important.” A date who keeps staring at their screen more than your face may be looking for some entertainment outside of you and what you may have to offer.
They don’t make eye contact
Body language often speaks louder than words. If you’re mystified as to whether or not your date is into you, take note of how often their eyes are connecting with yours. Relationship coach Toni Coleman explains on The Sideroad that good eye contact is a sure sign your date is interested in you. When your match retains eye contact, they’re relaxed, comfortable, and receptive to what you’re saying — they’re staying present in the situation and want to be there. A date who avoids eye contact is probably uncomfortable or uninterested.
If you can sense your date is shy from the moment you meet, then you’ll have to gauge their other behaviors to tell if they really like you. Someone who’s extroverted but still won’t look you in the eyes probably doesn’t want a second date.
They don’t attempt physical contact
You’re probably not expecting (or desiring) a ton of physical contact with someone you’re just getting to know, but the occasional knee brush or hand hold is to be expected. If your date makes absolutely no effort to touch you in some minor way, this is a signal that they may not be particularly interested.
You should also be wary of the date who will touch you in private but never in public, says eHarmony. This could be a sign they’re only there for a quick fling and don’t want to be associated with you in any serious way. Your date may not be the biggest fan of PDA, but holding, or at least touching, hands in public shouldn’t cause much resistance.
They’re distracted when you’re speaking
It’s frustrating when you’re speaking to a friend who clearly isn’t listening, but it’s even worse when you’re telling a story to your date who seems more interested in the wallpaper than your words. It’s a sure sign you’re not the only thing on your date’s mind. Unsure of if your date is listening or not? Business Insider says fidgeting, finger tapping, or turning their body away from you, means they’ve tuned out.
They don’t share anything personal about themselves
Dating is exciting because you get to know someone new. This is your opportunity to dig into their interests, thoughts, fears, and what makes them truly unique, so it can throw a wet blanket on the date when the other party shoves all of your questions aside. While there are certain topics you shouldn’t discuss on your first few outings together, your date should still be willing to give you some personal information, and they should be asking you questions as well.
If your partner seems lukewarm, analyze what your conversations are about. Psychology Today notes it’s easier than ever to keep in touch with just about anybody thanks to smartphones, but don’t be fooled into thinking your date really likes you just because they text you back. Think about your conversations — do they mention friends and family, or do they keep the conversation vague even after you continue to see each other? Your conversations should naturally get more personal the longer you date.