Navigating the dating landscape can be tough especially in today’s times. Everyone shows their best side on social media and on the first dates. But after a few days, slowly the red flags start showing up, and you feel like where did you go wrong. The secret lies in the first date itself. Before you decide to take things further with someone, make sure there are a few things you look out for on a first date.
How can you recognize if what the person is portraying is really who they are at the core or if they are just wearing a mask? How can you get a good read on the person? Wouldn’t it help if you had a first date checklist to help you navigate the way?
Yes, knowing what to look for on a first date is crucial to deciding your future with that person. So, keep your eyes and ears peeled and try to understand who they truly are.
Here Are 10 Things To Look For On A First Date
1. Are they punctual?
The first impression is the last impression – you must have heard this adage before, and this rings true whenever first dates are concerned. Someone who makes you wait a long time for them doesn’t respect your time and the effort you put to reach the date on time. And if someone does not value your time, you cannot expect them to value you either. This is not at all a good start to the date.
Yes, there might be many justifiable reasons for them arriving late, but the least they can do is inform you about that, instead of keeping you waiting and wondering if at all they are going to turn up or not. Just a simple text or call is sufficient to convey that they are running late and let you know that they are looking forward to the date, just like you are.
2. Is the conversation flowing smoothly?
There is nothing more attractive than being with someone with whom conversations are effortless and organic. The way your conversation flows with someone is a fair indicator of mental compatibility and ease. There are a few things you should look for when it comes to smooth communication:
Do they seem interesting and fun and are able to make you curious to get to know them better?
Is the conversation effortless or contrived?
Is there a balanced give and take or is it one-sided and awkward?
The answers to these questions can help you understand whether you are on a date with the right kind of person or not. So, focus on these pointers and see what they tell you.
3. Are they polite to the service staff?
This is one of the most important things that you should look out for on a first date. Anyone who treats waiters and other service staff with rudeness, contempt, and impatience is not a good person. Anyone who tries to show their power by putting down people who are ‘inferior’ to them, do not have the right values and are honestly despicable.
If you go on a date with someone who is respectful, nice, and courteous with the staff, then it’s a big green flag. Their pleasant demeanor tells you that they treat everyone around them with respect and niceness, irrespective of who they are.
4. Are they interested in knowing you?
There are always two people on a date. So if the person you are with is not interested in knowing you at all, you better not pursue it further. Small talk can feel awkward and forced at times, but it is necessary, at least initially. Once the small talk is out of the way, see how the conversation is flowing. Are they asking you interesting questions so that they can know you better? Or are they constantly talking about themselves, and showing absolutely no interest in you?
They don’t need to know everything about you on the first date itself, but you should feel like you are with someone who genuinely wants to know the real you. If they do ask you about yourself, see what kind of questions they are asking and whether they are asking the right follow-up questions to your answers. Simply nodding is not listening, focusing on what you have to say is listening.
5. Do they fiddle with their phone while on a date?
Now when you are on a date, and if it’s going well and they are interested in you then there is no need to fidget with their phone right? When your date is constantly on their phone, texting and scrolling through their social media, and don’t show that much interest in your company, then that’s a huge red flag.
If they are constantly checking their phones, then you or this date is not a priority for them at all. Is their Instagram or Twitter more important than the person sitting in front of them? If you feel the answer is yes, then it’s better for you if the first date turns out to be the last.
6. How do they fare on the hygiene meter?
When you are on a first date with someone, this is one of those things that you should definitely look out for. What are their hygiene standards and how do they fare on the hygiene meter? Are they mature adults who can take care of their basic hygiene and never compromise on it? Having basic hygiene standards is non-negotiable, and you shouldn’t in any way be with someone who doesn’t know that.
Hygiene is an important indicator of how well a person is taking care of themselves and that again reflects the level of self-love and self-esteem they harbor within themselves.
7. Do they keep on talking about their exes?
Anyone who brings up their ex on the first date is not over them. At all. If your date not just brings up their ex, and even compares you with them, then it’s a warning sign. If you are in a serious relationship with them and both of you are talking about your exes, that’s still fine; talking about them on the first date itself isn’t.
If someone can’t stop talking about their ex, that means they are still emotionally and mentally connected to them and somewhere they still hope that things will work out. You don’t need to take on this baggage, and you should be with someone who has moved on from their past and is solely interested in knowing you and who you are.
8. Are they fun to be around?
Okay, this one is important. You want your relationship to be your space of solace and comfort and not a stress zone. Life is complicated, hard, and stressful as it is; at least your relationship and the person you are with should help you let go of all the stress and have some fun. In order to understand, whether your date is the right person for you or not, you need to look for these things:
Are they generally chilled out in life and know how to have fun?
Do they know how to be present in the moment?
Do they know how to hold space for someone?
Are they emotionally balanced and comfortable in their own skin?
These questions can help you know them better, and most important understand whether they deserve to have a place in your life or not.
9. Do they keep their hands to themselves?
A simple handshake or a friendly hug on the first date is fine, but if your date is trying to be very touchy-feely with you, then stay away from them. Having sex is not the only reason for going on a date, so if your date gives off the vibe that sex is the only reason they have come on the date, then they don’t deserve a second one.
Getting over-friendly on the first date itself is not cool, and there needs to be some amount of familiarity between you two to take things to the next level. Otherwise, being too physically or sexually friendly is not something you should entertain.
10. What sort of vibe do you get from them?
Your body and gut instinct have a way of picking up vibes. Sometimes you come across people and feel something is off, there might be no logical explanation but it is just the vibe that you feel when you are with them. If you are feeling unease and tension in your body when you meet someone, it could be because your body and gut instinct is trying to warn you.
Pay heed to how your body reacts when you are with someone. More often than not, your intuition and gut instinct is on point. If something feels off, then it’s better not to force it just for the sake of one date.
This checklist is a general guideline to help you to navigate the dating space.
Remember that everyone is different and their likes and dislikes are also different. What’s a deal-breaker for someone could be the very thing you could be attracted to and vice-versa. The best strategy is to do your inner work and gain self-awareness so that you have enough clarity on what attracts you and what are your absolute deal-breakers. Last but not least, follow your inner compass and let your intuition guide you.