4 Signs Someone Is A Good Communicator That You Can Spot On The First Date

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When it comes to dating, I'm an anomaly in more ways than one. For starters, I'm a dating writer who rarely takes her own advice (and almost always tells my dates about that one time I bit a kid so hard he needed a tetanus shot, like, right off the bat?). And beyond my generally awkward and open disposition, playing hard-to-get does not work on me. Unlike the majority of singles — and lab rats — I appreciate unfettered communication. Which is why I'm on the hunt for signs someone is a good communicator as soon as the first date, if not sooner.

It's funny, because communication is a major pillar in any healthy relationship (professional, familial, romantic — you name it). And yet, we tend to do it so horribly at the beginning: Calculating the timing of our texts, stressing about saying too much or too little, masking our hatred of raw fish and seaweed when asked out on a sushi date. It's insane, and maddening, and honestly, just really silly. Rather than painting over our true thoughts and feelings for the sake of seeming normal, or playing a cat-and-mouse game, we should all start being a bit more open with our crushes and expecting them to do the same. Right? Right. After all, if someone's not showing great communication skills in the early days of a new relationship (or a relationship-type-thing), how can we trust that they'll be a candid partner in the long run?

With that in mind, here are four signs that your crush is, indeed, a good communicator (signs you can spot on the very! First! Date!).

They set and verify your plans in advance.

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Before you and your potential partner have even met up IRL, you can get a taste of their communication skills based on the way they've arranged your date night. For instance, if they don't confirm your Happy Hour plans until, like, the hour before, it's not a great sign...

As Erika Kaplan, senior matchmaker at Three Day Rule, explains, you can tell your crush is a good communicator if, "He [or she] confirms the date the morning of. Women always gripe about wondering whether or not the date is on. Dating can be stressful enough without this big question mark of what your evening plans are."

Amen to that.

PS: If you need a quick lesson in what great communicators don't look like, just watch Arie Luyendyk Jr.'s season of The Bachelor.

They maintain eye contact.

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Now, not to make generalizations or anything, but if someone avoids eye contact with me, I tend to assume they've just committed a crime and simply need me for their alibi.

OK, that might be, like, a little over the top. But the fact remains that making eye contact during conversation is not only a sign that someone's interested in you, it's also a sign that they're a solid communicator (and a solid listener!). It's hard to maintain a conversation if their eyes are constantly flashing around the room, distracted by anything and everything going on around you two. If they're looking you in the eye, they're focusing on you. And probably, hopefully they're not a criminal, either.

They ask you about your life.

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If your date shows an interest in your life — asking about your work, your hobbies, where you live — it's another indicator that they've got strong communication skills (and probs like you, too).

"This shows that he [or she] takes initiative and is thoughtful," says Kaplan.

Communication is a two-way street, y'all.

They're answering as many questions as they ask.

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Keeping that in mind, you want to make sure the convo's balanced throughout the date — meaning that your crush is asking as many questions as they're answering.

"Dating is a give and take game," explains Kaplan. "Make sure you aren't monopolizing the conversation, and as a rule of thumb, ask as many questions as you answer. Everyone likes to talk about themselves — so give your date the opportunity!"

If you're the only one chatting, you'll never get a sense of their communication skills at all, you know?

At the end of the day (or date), if you and your crush have a nice back-and-forth and they've demonstrated thoughtful, attentive behavior, it likely means they're going to be a good communicator in the long run. And, if not? It might be time to move on. Because who's got time for mixed messages and games of telephone? Not I.