First dates can be exciting, but they can also be risky. There is that popular joke that a friend is just a phone call away if you need to get out of a bad date, but it's not always easy to know when to make that call.
Being on a first date can leave a woman with a jumble of emotions, nervousness being one of them. There is nothing to fret about anymore, though, because we have the signs to look out for so you can decide if you should stay or go.
Check out these 10 first-date signs that he’s a keeper and 10 signs that should have you running for the door.
20 He’s A Keeper: He Pays For The Meal
We live in a world where sometimes going Dutch on the first date is necessary but we never said we liked it. A winning sign that a guy is a keeper and is also really into you is if he has no problem paying for the date. We feel strongly that if a guy asks you out on a date, he should also pay for the experience. Sure, going Dutch might be more politically correct but it also gives us the feeling that he’s just not into us.
19 Head For The Hills: He’s Late And Doesn’t Text
It’s one thing to be late, but it’s quite another not to call and tell your date that you are running late. Things happen, and something could have genuinely occurred that made him late which he could not foresee. But he should at least call to let you know about it.
"He or she needs to value your time," says Erika Ettin, founder of dating site A Little Nudge, as Business Insider reports. It’s wrong to keep someone waiting and thinking that they might have been stood up.
18 He’s A Keeper: He Wants To Know She Got Home Safety
It’s such an endearing quality when a guy wants to make sure that you get home safely. If your date ends and he tells you to text him when you get home so that he knows you got home safely, that makes him a keeper. Not only is he someone who cares about your safety but it shows that he’s also into you. It’s a sweet gesture and it’s definitely the kind of thing that’s going to make you want to have a second date.
17 Head For The Hills: He’s Always Checking His Phone
There is nothing more annoying than being on a date with someone who keeps checking his phone. Nobody should be on their phone at all during a date, it’s just so disrespectful. It can be tempting to want to check your phone because we do it so often, but a date is just not the time. If he is checking his phone the whole time, then he’s not that interested in you.
Cheatsheet reports that Andrew Przybylski, a psychologist at the University of Essex, says turning off your phone during a date “communicates care and compassion, and that the present moment is really important.”
16 He’s A Keeper: He Listens To What She Has To Say
You might think that this should be obvious, but it’s really not. Some guys really do go on a blind date and don’t pay attention to a word you have to say.
As Thought Catalog reports, one woman explains how lovely it is when a guy pays attention, saying, “When I first started dating my husband, I was surprised at how often he’d reference something I’d told him days or weeks earlier. [He] was actually listening when I spoke. It blew my mind.”
If he is attentive and engaging during your first date, it’s because he’s genuinely interested in what you have to say.
15 Head For The Hills: He Has Control Issues
There are subtle signs during a first date that could signal to you that your date could have issues with control. An example is if your date controls the conversation too much. As Ettin tells Business Insider,
"While this may be nerves, it may also be a sign of a bit of an ego."
Another thing to look out for is if the guy orders something for you to eat or drink without first asking you what you'd like. It seems like he wants to control everything, and it's the sun of a manipulative, possessive person. Run!
14 He’s A Keeper: He’s Kind To Complete Strangers
While you are on your first date, watch how the guy treats the waitstaff. Kindness goes a long way. If he is rude to the waitstaff, then he may have an attitude of entitlement. People who are rude to staff often feel like other people should be catering to their needs. It’s not just waitstaff, though. Kindness (or a lack of it) to strangers in general is something to notice. It will tell you if he's a good person or not.
13 Head For The Hills: He Is Aggressively Romantic
Romantic dates are wonderful and it’s always nice to know that your date wants you to feel special, but there is a line that when crossed can make things feel a little off. It can be a red flag if your date is going overboard in the romance department. There could be something more sinister going on.
If you are being complimented excessively and he’s showering you with gifts and affection, it's unsettling, especially if he doesn’t even know you.
It can make you fall into a false sense of security which leaves you vulnerable. The showering of affection is all just an act to manipulate you, so don’t fall for it.
12 He’s A Keeper: He Loves Your Pets
You might not discover this until after a couple of dates, unless you decide to meet at the dog park on your first date. But kindness to animals is a huge sign that he is a good guy.
One Thought Catalog reader couldn’t agree more:
“When we were first dating, I came into the room one day and discovered my now-husband cradling my cat and cooing to him over what a big, handsome boy he is. He was embarrassed but shook it off.
Now that I think about it the cat was probably a little embarrassed as well.”
11 Head For The Hills: He Moves Way Too Fast
This might be another thing that could take a couple of dates to notice but it’s something to keep in mind. As reported by Business Insider, Katie Hood, CEO of One Love Foundation, says a manipulative man will be so charming and complimentary that it will feel like you are living out of a scene from a movie.
"If the pace feels too fast, it's important to pay attention. Quick 'I love you's' or moves to exclusivity before you really know each other may indicate you're with a person who wants to label you as 'his' or 'hers,' a hallmark of a controlling personality," she says.
10 He’s A Keeper: He Doesn’t Play Games
We all hate it when we text a guy and he takes forever to respond. It just makes us feel like we aren’t important. If he’s a keeper, he will message right away.
One Thought Catalog user says, “When my current boyfriend and I were still just “talking” and right up to our first dates, I couldn’t believe he’d actually respond immediately and carry on actual conversations. I’d never been involved with someone new I felt like I could just contact whenever for no reason without it being too forward.”
9 Head For The Hills: He Doesn’t Make Eye Contact
Body language is huge when you are determining if a guy is cool. If you want to know if your guy is into you, pay attention to how often he makes eye contact with you. If he maintains eye contact with you, that means he’s comfortable and responsive. It's also a good sign that he's not distracted by other things in the room. You have his full attention, which is how it should be!
8 He’s A Keeper: He Has No Skeletons In The Closet
You might find this out on the first date or it could be something you discover down the road. If you ask a guy a personal question, watch how he answers it because it can speak volumes about him.
One Hey Little Rebel user stated, "When I met Jeff, he was like an open book. Granted, I asked him outright on our first date what his biggest problem was in regards to women—but he answered honestly. I told him that if I have questions to ask him, it doesn’t mean I’m accusing him, I’m just asking for my own sanity. If [it] adds up, then I’m satisfied. He’s never intentionally hidden anything from me, he doesn’t act [weird] and I’ve never stumbled over a piece of his past that could cause issues.”
7 Head For The Hills: He Talks About His Ex A Lot
Exes are bound to come up at some point and that’s natural. Experts suggest that it’s good to talk about an ex on the first date but there is a limit to how much. Ex talk shouldn't dominate the whole conversation. It's also important to note what your date says about his exes.
"When people describe all of their exes as terrible people and put all the blame on them for the relationship's failure, this is a red flag for me,"
Elinor Greenberg, a psychologist and author tells Business Insider.
6 He’s A Keeper: He Gives Her “The Look”
We’re not talking about bedroom eyes, we are talking about when a guy gives you the look that he’s smitten. You might not even notice it yourself, but your friends will notice how your date looks at you. When they meet him, they might say to you, “You should see the way he looks at you.” If so, then chances are he’s pretty into you. If a guy looks at you like it’s Christmas morning, then he’s the kind of guy that you want to keep.
5 Head For The Hills: He Teases Her In A Mean Way
Couples who banter typically have amazing chemistry but there is a difference between banter and being mean. One red flag, according to expert Katie Hood, is when banter has a hurtful edge to it. As she tells Business Insider,
"Learning to call your partner out in a low-key way, [like saying] 'That's not love!' and paying attention if this happens all the time is critical to understanding whether you're starting to veer into emotional abuse."
4 He’s A Keeper: He’s Supportive
Some things you are likely to talk about on a first date are your careers and goals. Is he cheering you on or is he being negative? You want someone who is going to support you in achieving your goals, instead of someone who'll try to criticize you and rain on your parade whenever you share an exciting new venture with him. So, watch how he reacts to you talking about the goals you have in life.
3 Head For The Hills: He’s Already Jealous
You might ask yourself how someone can be jealous on the first date, but it can happen! As Hood states, "If you're on a date and your phone goes off, does your date ask you who is trying to reach you? Do they ask you a lot of questions about previous partners?”
He shouldn’t even be worried at that point who is on your phone. It's a sign he's a little too intense and controlling.
2 He’s A Keeper: He Makes Her Feel Comfortable
We all want to make a great first impression when we are on a date but you shouldn’t have to act like a completely different person. A great first date makes you feel comfortable with who you are so that you can be yourself.
As one Thought Catalog user states, “If you feel like you don’t have to put on a front to impress the other person and most communication feels safe and straightforward both ways, that’s a very green light in my experience.”
1 Head For The Hills: He Doesn’t Like Her Having Different Opinions
You're bound to get into some interesting topics of conversation on a first date and you might even debate things. It’s normal to have different opinions and each person should be able to express them freely. If your date is uncomfortable with you expressing a different opinion form him, that is clearly a red flag.
According to Business Insider, therapist Kurt Smith says, "You don't want a people pleaser, placater, or someone who lacks a backbone as a partner. On the flip side, you don't want someone who is argumentative or has to make their point just to make their point. Basically, how confrontation is handled can be very revealing on a first date and give you good information about the future."
References: Business Insider, Cheat Sheet, Thought Catalog, Hey Little Rebel