12 Signs A First Date Is Going Well

It's pretty rare. When I was dating, I went on a lot of first dates, and very few second ones. I'd meet someone for a coffee, we'd talk for an hour, we'd mutually agree that we had a nice time, and that would be that. I'd have no interest in a repeat experience, and if I heard from them, I usually wouldn't respond. Every so often, though, I'd have a killer first date. You know the kind: a quick coffee turns into a long walk, which turns into dinner, and then you find yourself making out on the street. All the signs it's a good first date. In those cases, I welcomed a second date. Obviously.

With these types of situations, there are usually telltale signs to let you know how well (or badly) your date is unfolding. We all know that boring first dates are red flags for a bad match, but exciting first dates — however few and far between they may be — are a good indicator that a second date might be in your future. The best kind of first dates are the ones that make you feel amped up the whole time, fluttery and giggly and ready to burst. Not every date will be this good, but here are 12 hints that a first date is good enough for a second.

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1. You're really attracted to them

This is important. You might think they're super hot, but find their personality off; or you might laugh at all of their jokes, but have no interest in making out with them. Both are a problem. If you're considering a second date, it's vital to be attracted to this person on all levels.

2. They're making you laugh

Nothing is worse than a boring first date. Maybe your date would make someone else laugh, but if you're sitting there stone-faced, you probably don't want to do this again.

3. They ask smart questions

Some people will listen, but never ask a follow-up question. It means a lot if your date hears what you have to say and asks something about it — and not just in an obligatory sense, either. You'll be able to tell if he or she genuinely wants to know the answer.

4. They don't just sit there talking about themselves

People can go on and on about their job, apartment, childhood pets, favorite kind of spaghetti sauce and morning commute ad infinitum. Not cool.

5. They're present and paying attention

If this person is sitting there clear-eyed and having a rational conversation with you, hooray. It's the worst when someone asks the same question twice in a row ("Wait, where are you from again?").

6. They're not on their phone

A first date is no place for a phone. Unless they have an amazing reason to look at it, their phone should not be making an appearance across the table — and if it happens more than once, be prepared for this to happen again, on date two, three, four ... you get the picture.

7. You have some things in common

Sure, opposites attract, but it's always a good sign if you both love the same short story writer, or watch the same movies, or like waking up early and going for a run.

8. They're positive

No one wants to date a person who finds the negative in everything. If your date is comfortable with bemoaning the state of the world on a first date, there's a good chance he or she will find the worst in things on an ongoing basis. Positivity is crucial!

9. They're open-minded

If they say they've never had sushi and never will, or hate hiking because they can't stand bugs, or would never listen to classical music because they hated that one song their grandfather played when they were a kid, well — you might want to consider skipping a second date.

10. You can't stop smiling, and neither can they

If you're both twitterpated, you probably want to see them again — and vice versa.

11. They compliment you on something

It doesn't have to be your hair or your looks — in fact, a compliment on something that requires more observation ("You're really funny!" or "I've never thought of it that way before") is an even better sign.

12. They're thoughtful

Maybe the air conditioning is on full-blast and they offer you their sweater, or you drop your napkin without noticing and they lean over to pick it up. Whatever the case may be, being thoughtful is one of the best qualities in a partner — and will go a long way toward a second date. Happy dating!

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