First dates are awkward. They can be stressful and fill you with anxiety, but they can also be really fun! You're getting to know someone for the first time and there's the potential that you'll continue to date this person in the future if it goes well.
So how do you know if you should keep dating them? There are a few things you should ask yourself after a first date before you start planning your future wedding.
Did You Feel Safe?
Feeling safe is different than feeling comfortable, but if at any point in the date you felt intimidated or threatened either by that person or by a situation they put you in, they might not be the right person for you to continue dating. That is truly rule number one.
Did You Smile Or Laugh A Lot?
This seems like an obvious one but having fun in a relationship is crucial. Were you smiling and laughing a lot during the date or was it a mostly serious conversation? A serious conversation is a good thing too, but you also want to be able to have fun with the person you're dating and feel good around them!
How Many Times Did You Check Your Phone?
PSA: if you felt the need to be checking your phone while you were on a date, you probably weren't that into him. Sending a quick text or two while they go to the bathroom is one thing, but if you're checking every notification you get instead of listening to his story about his roommates, maybe don't bother with that second date.
How Many Times Did They Check Their Phone?
It works both ways. If he was on his phone a lot during the date or was distracted by notifications, he probably wasn't that into it (even if you were.) You don't want to spend all your time trying to hold a conversation with someone who's distracted by other things.
Were They Flexible?
Being adaptable and flexible in a relationship is so important, and in life in general. Things aren't always going to go how you plan or how you expect them to, and you don't want to be with someone who can't handle a little change. Think about their reaction to the waiter saying they couldn't make the order he wanted or that you got the movie time wrong — was it reasonable or did he freak out?
Are They Your Usual "Type"?
And more importantly, is it a good or a bad thing if they're the type you usually go for? Something to consider is that maybe the reason you're single is because the type of people you usually go out with aren't the right fit for you.
Were They Nice To Everyone?
Obviously it's important that they were nice to you, but were they nice to everyone else you encountered too? If someone is rude to customer service workers like waiters or cashiers, that says a lot about who they are as a person, and it doesn't say good things.
Were They A Glass Half Empty Or Half Full Kind Of Guy?
Everyone has bad days and you want the person you're in a relationship with to be someone you can complain to — but not on a first date. If he spends the whole date complaining about little things and only talking about negative things, try imagining being in a relationship like that.
Are You Ready To Be Dating (Again)?
Maybe you're just coming out of a relationship and you're looking for a rebound or you've been single a while and you're ready to jump back into the dating pool. Whatever your reasoning, make sure you're dating for yourself and not because you feel like you should be or because you're sick of your friends telling you to get over that last boyfriend no one actually liked.
What Are You Actually Looking For?
Before you go on a second date with someone, you should figure out if you're looking for something serious or casual, because if they didn't ask you about it during the first date, chances are they'll probably ask you soon. You need to be on the same page as the person you're going out with, and you can't be on the same page if you don't know what that page is.
Was He On Time?
Being a couple of minutes late because they got lost or stuck in traffic is one thing, but if they show up wildly late and don't offer much of an explanation, that's a red flag. If they're willing to be late to a first date, that shows they think their time is more important than yours and that's not going to change the further you get into a relationship.
No, this is not about gender roles. The norm nowadays is either to split the check on a first date or whoever did the asking will be the one to pay. If he asked you out and then says he forgot his wallet, that's something to watch for. It's possible he really did forget his credit card this time, but if you continue to date him and he never pays for anything, that's a red flag.
What Would Your Friends Say?
Think about what your best friend would say if they had been on the date with you. Can you picture going for drinks on a Friday night with him and your friends or would they say they're sick of him only talking about himself?
Did They Ask Questions About You?
No one wants to spend their time with someone who only talks about themselves and never asks questions about you. That's boring and draining and that's not someone you really want to waste your time on.
Did They Share Any Information About Themselves?
On the other hand, if they only asked questions about you and skillfully avoided any questions you asked them, that's a concern too. If you come away from the first date feeling like you didn't actually learn anything new about them, even basic things like what they're studying in school, that's a warning sign. You don't want to date someone that's too private or reserved.
Were You Actually Attracted To Them?
Be honest with yourself. He might own his own house and have a great job with a 401K and a cute dog and seem like a really nice guy, but were you actually attracted to him or do you just feel like you should be? Sometimes it takes a couple of dates to warm up to someone, so don't ghost him just yet, but keep it in the back of your mind.
Could They Make A Decision?
Being laid back is one thing, being indecisive is a whole other issue. It's hard to be in a relationship with someone who is indifferent to everything and isn't interested in ever taking control. Even if you are Type A and like being in the driver's seat, he has to be able to pick where you go for dinner.
Are Your Eating Habits Compatible?
If you're a vegan and they're not, that's not a reason to break up with them, but it is something to consider if you see a future with that person. Will it become an issue down the road when you want to cook dinner but he refuses to eat anything that doesn't involve meat?
What Color Were Their Eyes?
Seriously, can you remember what color their eyes were if someone asked you? Eye contact is a sign of someone who can communicate properly and is confident in themselves, plus if you were engaged in the conversation you'll have been returning the eye contact and you'll remember what color their eyes are.
Were There Just Too Many Red Flags?
Obviously you only went out with them once so you don't know them that well, but you also have to trust your gut. One weird off-handed comment is okay, but if you're thinking about the date and realizing there were quite a few red flags, don't ignore that.