So much of dating seems to reinforce a person's insecurity: What you are wearing, what you talk about, and what signals you give off are all like tiny offerings for someone to judge you. On a first date, I think it's healthier to assume that everyone likes you. And if they don't, that means they aren't worth your time anyway. Instead of thinking of these as signs your date doesn't like you, think of them more as signs that you don't need them.
Especially when you are still at the early stages of getting to know someone, what you think of the other person matters way more than what they think of you. If you are trying to prove to someone that you are worthy of their time and attention, then that means the entire relationship is going to be based on external validation that needs to be cultivated within. You don't want to be with someone just because they approve of you or make you feel worthy. You want to be with someone because you like being with them.
If a person you're on a first date with does any of these five things, it means that they're not into you. But that's perfectly OK, because you're probably not really that into them:
1. They Don't Stop Checking Their Phone
When you're getting to know someone, it's polite — actually, it's common decency — to be as present as possible. And while I get that work emergencies come up and urgent texts from roommates need to be responded to, a person on a first date ought to be giving you the bulk of their attention. If they are repeatedly distracted by the phone and don't explain that they have a pressing matter to attend to, then it means that meeting you is not a priority to them. Plus, they are probably rude.
Do you really want a second date with someone when you have to compete for attention with their phone? Not only are they more interested in their screen than they are in you, but they're also giving you many reasons not to be interested in them. Unless your kink is trying to get someone to put their notifications on silent, don't expect a second date — because you probably don't even want one.
2. They Don't Make Eye Contact
When you are on a first date, you should at least have one period of sustained eye contact. You don't need to touch, you don't need to have sex, and you don't even need to make out. One period of eye contact can be enough to know whether you and your date have a connection — emotional or physical — or not.
If your date avoids eye contact, then it means they probably want to avoid connection, too. And I'm going to venture to guess that they also are not even in touch with their own emotions to know that this is what they are doing. Do you want to go on a second date with someone who isn't able to connect with you? Or are you simply trying to force a connection that isn't wanted or isn't there? Sometimes, people take a while to open up, but if you don't even see a tiny crack of vulnerability on the first date, it probably isn't going to happen on the second date either.
3. They Put You Down
Sometimes, teasing is super cute. I love being teased. It's my number one preferred way of flirting. But there's a difference between light, flirtatious teasing and negging. If someone is negging you on a first date, it means that they are trying to cut you down to size. They're not interested in you as the person you are. Instead, they want to turn you into a person they expect you to be.
If someone is challenging what you do for work, your accomplishments, or your tastes on a first date, then it's really not a good precursor to a second one. It means they are more interested in how they measure up to you than they are interested in, well, you. They aren't interested in dating you, but in stroking their own ego. They're probably a narcissist. Why would you want to go on a second date with someone who would probably prefer spending the night talking to their own reflection?
4. They Spend More Than 10 Minutes Venting About Their Job
Sometimes, people like to complain. If you're meeting someone right after they get off work, and they've had a rough day, then it would be kind of understandable if your date lets off some steam. However, there's an enormous difference between letting off steam and hitting you with an onslaught of stress and anxiety. If your date spends a great length of time belaboring you about how awful their job is, then they aren't interested in dating you. They're interested in making you their therapist.
Do you want to go on a second date with someone who is not paying you to do emotional labor for them? If you do, then you better make sure they are paying for the dinner. You might get a second date with this one, but chances ar,. you'll be way too worn out from being a sounding board for their frustrations that by the end of it, you'll be completely over the idea of a third.
5. They Make You Uncomfortable About Your Race, Gender Identity, Or Sexual Orientation
I have been on first dates with people who fetishized my queerness or my gender identity or who treated me like a reference source on queer femme identity. If, on a first date, the person you are seeing probes you about your identity in a way that feels uncomfortable, invasive, or downright hurtful, then their interest in you is one-dimensional.
Your date should be interested in who you are for you. And while aspects of your identity definitely shape who you are, nobody should be bringing up the topic of your identity markers without asking whether it is OK first. A first date should not involve having someone cross your boundaries. If they did, and if you let them know that it wasn't OK, then you probably aren't getting a second date, and that means that you won't continue to have to waste your time on someone less than worthy of it.
This might not have been the list you were expecting if you were wondering whether the person you went on a first date with was or wasn't into you. The truth is that more people than you might think are emotionally vulnerable, shy, and withdrawn. Just because someone doesn't exalt over you, doesn't mean that they aren't interested. They might simply need to take their time.
If you're really curious about whether ,or not you can expect a second date with someone — whom you are seriously into — who didn't do any of the things on this list, then you don't need to wait for them to ask you out. Why don't you find something fun that's going on next weekend and invite them? You won't know unless you try.
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