One of the most frustrating feelings in the world is when you go out on a first date with someone, you have no real expectations, and you're surprised to find that you genuinely enjoyed yourself for once... but then you don't hear from your date after the fact, and you have no idea why. Sometimes, the signs there won't be a second date are obvious, like when you're both clearly reaching for things to talk about. Other times, though, the indicators that your date just isn't that into it are much more subtle.
Whether it's noticeable in their body language, how they choose to pay the bill, their choice of conversation topics, or what they don't say on the date, there are a number of first date red flags you can look out for in regards to whether or not there will be a second.
I spoke to two dating coaches about how to spot these potential warning signs, what to do if you still want to salvage the date, and when it's OK to just leave and move on. Hint: It's pretty much always. If you ever feel like you need to get out of there, it's perfectly acceptable to politely cut the evening short and exit the date with your dignity still intact.
"If you feel they are not engaging with you," that's a red flag, says Bekker. "Body language is huge. If they are turned to the side and not facing you while conversing, that is not a good sign. If they are checking their phone during the date that's just poor etiquette, but may indicate they are not interested in you."
When you encounter a rude date, you don't have to stay and put up with their disrespect. Whenever you feel like you want to leave, you can. "You should never feel obligated to stay or put yourself in a position where you feel uncomfortable. It's OK to cut it short, just do it politely," says Bekker.
Bringing up an ex on a first date is a huge red flag, according to Bekker. If your date talks about their last relationship with you, it can put you in an awkward position. Talking about your exes is fine once you're in a relationship with someone, but it's not an appropriate first date subject.
"You are just trying to get to know that person to see if there is enough there to go on a second date. Talking about past relationships that didn't work out drags the tenor of the date down and can make it feel like a therapy session," says matchmaker and dating coach Karenna Alexander.
"When ... trying to court a woman, to impress her, he [or she] wants to take care of her, wants to feed her," says Alexander. She believes that if your date asks you to split the bill, that might be a sign that they only see you as a friend.
Of course, it's 2018 and splitting the bill on a date is perfectly acceptable to many people. However, it is traditional for a guy to treat a girl on the first date, especially if he was the one who asked her out.
Pay attention to the way they talk toward the end of the date. If they bring up an activity they want to try with you or simply say they'd like to see you again, great. But if your date makes no mention of getting together again, that may be an intentional choice, according to Bekker.
If they say nothing at the end of the date about seeing you again, it may mean they aren't interested in doing so.
Another not-so-great sign is if your date only stays for one drink, or makes an excuse to leave and ends the date quickly. "If a [person] cuts a date short, that's a huge red flag. When [someone] likes you, he [or she] wants to go as far as [they] can, spending as much time with you, and even trying to sleep with you," says Alexander.
If this happens, there's not much that you can do. Make sure you don't take it personally, and just move on. You barely know this person, after all, so there should be no hard feelings.
Remember: If you aren't enjoying yourself, your date likely feels the same way. There's no need to stick it out for an extended period of time just to seem polite. "If you feel it's not working out, they probably do as well, so best not to waste one another's time," says Alexander. She suggests saying something as simple as, "I don't think this is working out," and heading home. There are always more fish in the sea.
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