Sometimes, dating can feel like it requires both the gift of clairvoyance and the ability to solve quantum equations. We're all trying to read the subtle cues, searching for signs your first date went well, reading between the effing lines. Because who hasn't been on a date that went really “well” only for that person to turn into a puff of smoke after? It's hard not to wonder what went wrong. Was it something I did? It seemed like such a great date. Is my radar really that off? Nah, they were probably just a sociopath. Yeah, that's it. Then it's back to: Swipe, swipe, swipe. Rinse and repeat.
Dating games are beyond exhausting. But if you're like me, then the hopeless romantic in you isn't ready to give up until you find "the one." While there is no truly foolproof way to know what the future holds with your date, there are definitely some clues to look out for to determine if your coffee date may be actually turn into something real. Is this corny? Maybe. But knowing what you want and what to look for will save you time and emotional bandwidth, since you won't be wasting either on folks who are likely to full Casper the Unfriendly Ghost on you.
Here's what you should be looking for between sips of coffee and/or cocktail:
1. You Are Yourself With Them
First dates can be extremely awkward, particularly if, like me, you tend to be shy around people you're attracted to. A good sign that there is potential for something real here is that you feel comfortable around them in the way you would with a friend or someone you've known forever. In order for there to be love, there has to be a sense of security with your partner, and that begins with just feeling safe to be yourself with them.
2. The Chemistry Is Lit
Can you literally feel chemistry pulling your body towards them? Are they leaning in, too? Are your knees inexplicably touching? Do you find ourself touching each other without even realizing it? Yeah, that's some white-hot chemistry. This is just as important as feeling comfortable with them. Either are fine on their own — comfort can lead to friendship and chemistry can lead to a great physical relationship — but, if you have both, you are well on your way to the real deal.
3. The Clues In The Conversation
Does the conversation feel effortless? Are they paying full attention to what you are saying or are they distracted? Do they ask follow up questions and seem genuinely interested in the answer? Are you discovering all the things you have in common and they seem truly excited about it? The best clue you have to gauge their interest isn't just how easily the conversation flows, as some people just have the gift of gab, but how engaged they are in what you are saying and how interested they are in learning more about you. So even if the conversation and laughs are flowing, if they aren't actively working to get to know you better or are low-key distracted, consider that a red flag.
4. Time Both Speeds Up And Ceases To Exist
Did your coffee date turn into dinner, then dessert, then drinks, then a walk through the park? Are you both finding excuses to extend the date way longer than you planned, and yet it seems like you just sat down together? Yeah, that's a great sign, because it shows how much you are both enjoying each other's company. You're having fun just talking and being in each other's presence, and that's pretty important if you are going to, ya know, be together in the future.
5. The Conversation Gets Serious, But It's Not Weird
One of the hardest things for me about first dates is the small talk. I just don't operate that way; I want to talk about real things. But sometimes, you do just need to keep it light, particularly on a first date. That being said, on a really great date, it's not uncommon for the conversation to make a more serious turn. Maybe you find yourself talking about personal struggles, past relationships, or plans for the future. Being able to have serious conversations without it becoming weird is a good sign that you're both feeling a real connection.
5. You Both Can't Wait To See Each Other Again
When the date finally ends, how excited are you to see one another again? If the date ends with plans for seeing each other again, that's a sign that there is something here, because it shows you are both enthusiastic about spending time together, which, again, is pretty important for any couple.
Sounds like a pretty exceptional date, right? While there is never any guarantee that even an epic date like this will turn into an epic love story, you should never settle for less. Don't waste your heart or your time on anyone that doesn't fit all of this criteria — and chances are, if you they do tick all these boxes, you won't be.