11 Subtle Signs Your Date Isn’t Going Well & What To Do About It
It's totally normal to show up to a date with the highest of hopes. Maybe this person will end up being a good friend, a fun hookup, or something more. So, whether you mean to or not, you'll probably be on the lookout for subtle signs your date isn't going well. You know, as a sneaky way of figuring out your chances.
Of course, it's better to try to relax and have fun. And not worry too much about the future. (I can't stress this enough.) But it's always easier said than done. As you settle in to chat, it'll be pretty much impossible to not read your date for signs of interest and compatibility.
If things are going well, you'll likely be able to see it with their body language. "Body language is huge. It is 97 percent of communication, [while] verbal is only 3 percent," says psychologist Nicole Martinez, Psy.D., LCPC, in an email to Bustle. "Are they looking in your eyes, touching you often, leaning in your direction? This is a definite sign of interest, and a desire to be close to you."
But what does it look like when there is no compatibility, or any hope of a second date? Read on for some subtle signs that your date isn't going well.
1. They Don't Seem Present
Your first few dates should be entirely phone-free, mostly because the two of you can't stop talking, or staring deeply into each other's eyes. (OK, maybe nothing that dramatic, but you get my point.) If things aren't going well, however, one of both of you may be on the hunt for some respite. "Distractions like texting, talking on the phone, or taking long bathroom breaks are dead giveaways that the two of you aren't clicking," said Victoria Vogt on HowStuffWorks.com. When that's the case, it's probably best to call it a night.
2. They Are Leaning Away
Back to the body language, and how it's pretty much a dead giveaway. As I said above, if you're into each other there will be a lot of leaning forward, eye contact, and "accidental" hand touching. You know, cute, touchy-feely stuff like that. But if you aren't into each other, there will be a total lack of physical connection. Perhaps the worst of them all? As Martinez says, "The date [will be] leaning away from you instead of in towards you." Definitely not a good sign.
3. They're Talking Incessantly About Their Ex
Not only is it no fun to hear your date prattle on about his or her ex, but it's usually a sign of something deeper. Either they are still hung up on their past love, or they are still angry about the breakup — and may even share some less-than-glowing reviews. These are two things you definitely don't want to deal with, so it may be best to move on.
4. They Don't Let You Speak
Chatting away could be an adorable sign that your date is nervous. But it could also mean they have zero interest in getting to know you as a person. "They are not asking questions trying to get to know you, and don't feign much interest in doing so," Martinez says. If they want to go on and on about their lives, and ignore the fact you exist, then let them — they probably aren't someone you want to be with anyway.
5. Or, They're Ridiculously Quiet
On the flip side is a date who is painfully quiet. Again, it could be nerves. And yet two people who are feeling comfortable and happy with each will eventually find something to chat about. "Communication is the key to healthy personal relationships but, as with many things in life, there has to be a balance," Vogt noted. And I couldn't agree more.
6. One Or Both Of You Is Throwing Back The Drinks
Pretty much everyone drinks on a first date. Alcohol is a social lubricant, after all, so don't judge yourselves at all if booze is involved in your evening. Do judge the night, however, if it seems like alcohol is being used a coping mechanism. It could be you're both throwing them back because there's nothing interesting to say. And that's obviously not a good sign.
7. They're Rude To The Server
If you're date is taking place in a restaurant, as many do, it can be super helpful to acknowledge how your partner treats the server, according to Patrick Allan on Lifehacker.com. If he or she is nice and polite, then all is well. But if not? It may be a sign they are kind of horrible. Best to move on from them, ASAP.
8. They Don't Hint Towards The Future
As I said above, please don't sweat your future, especially on the first date. This is a time for getting to know the other person; not the time to start mentally choosing your wedding colors. You should, however, keep an eye out for signs that your date is looking towards the future. As Martinez says, "The future can be as far as another date." Basically, you're looking for hints that this person wants to see you again, even if it's just for another round of drinks.
9. They Don't Ask Follow-Up Questions
If your date is interested in getting to know you, he or she will be all about those follow up questions to keep the conversation rolling. So a lack of follow-up questions, according to a video by Kevin McShane on Buzzfeed, is a sign your convo (and date) is doing downhill fast. They may respond with something super interesting like "That's cool," or simply stare blankly. Either way, zero attempt to get to know you ain't a good sign.
10. You Just Aren't Feeling It
Signs or no signs, it's OK to simply not be interested in your date. If you feel a nagging sense of boredom, or have an incredible desire to check your phone every five seconds, then so be it. This person isn't for you, and that's perfectly fine.
11. The Date Ends Early
If the two of you are meant to be, you'll likely laugh and drink and tell stories late into the evening. If not? Well, it might be an early night. Keep an ear open for something like, "Well, I have a busy day tomorrow," according to McShane. It's the classic get-me-out-of-here line, and a sign that the first date was probably the last.
Keep in mind that none of this is heartbreaking news, and the interest (or disinterest) obviously goes both ways. Remember that dating is supposed to be fun and lighthearted. It can help, however, to know some signs that the date isn't going well, if only to save yourself from the boredom of a totally pointless second date.
Images: Pexels (12)