If you're in the market for a serious, long-term partner, there's nothing more annoying than going on a date with someone who seems great in the beginning, only to later find out they were being fake AF on the first date. But the signs your date isn't being genuine aren't always easy to recognize, especially in the context of a first date: if you just met someone, how are supposed to know if they're being "real" around you, or if they're just putting on a front?
"Being 'genuine' on a date is all about being yourself," Amica Graber, a relationship expert for the background checking site TruthFinder, tells Bustle. "First dates can be nerve-wracking, and it's easy to slip into a mode where we want to make a good impression, and we want to be liked. This desire to be liked can supersede the big questions. Can you be yourself with this person? Do you even like them?"
It's normal to want to put your best foot forward on a date, but it's pointless to waste time pretending to be something or someone you're not. After all, the whole point of dating is to get to know each other, so being genuine on first dates is an absolute must — at least if you're looking for a long-term boo, that is. If you're ever unsure whether or not a date is being sincere, here are seven subtle signs that your date isn't being genuine to look out for, according to dating experts.
1Their Responses Seem Calculated
When you’re on a date, of course it’s wonderful to feel like you and your date are really hitting it off — but be wary of anyone who seems like they’re just telling you exactly what you want to hear instead of being genuine.
"If they seem more calculated, it might be a red flag that you're dealing with someone slippery," Graber says. "Do you get the feeling that they're just telling you what you want to hear? Do their stories about themselves seem too good to be true? If so, they might have an agenda up their sleeves."
2They Seem Disinterested In You
On the flip side, there’s always the possibility that, instead of telling you what you want to hear, your date is only focused on talking about themselves — or worse, looking at their phone.
"[Beware if] they are acting like they have something to hide, such as checking their phone frequently throughout the date," relationship expert Emily Mendez, M.S. EdS, tells Bustle. "They don’t really seem interested in you. They aren’t asking you any questions about yourself."
3They're Overly Vague
One of the hallmarks of a good date is if the conversation flows naturally — but it’s difficult to have a stimulating, authentic convo if your date is being super vague and refusing to give you straight answers when you inquire about them.
"[It’s a red flag if] the person is overly vague," Mendez says. "When you ask them questions, they refuse to give specific details."
4They Let You Do All The Talking
Conversations are a two-way street, and there's nothing more awkward than being on a date with someone whose lips are totally sealed — especially if you get the vibe that they're so quiet because they don't really care to get to know you.
"If your date lets you do all the talking and doesn’t reveal much, it shows a lack of genuineness," Jonathan Bennett, relationship and dating expert at Double Trust Dating, tells Bustle. "While some people are just shy, a person who is genuine will want you to get a true sense of [their] personality."
5They Don't Express Any Disagreement
Just like you should be wary of a date who seems to be telling you everything you want to hear, you should also take note if your date doesn't seem to disagree with anything you say. If they just nod and smile at all your opinions, chances are they're not being totally themselves.
"The odds of two people agreeing on everything are slim," Bennett says. "While you don’t want to date a combative person, if [they] agree with everything you say, it could be [they're] being fake to try to impress you. A genuine person will express disagreement when necessary and do it in a way that doesn’t involve being a jerk."
6They Have Nervous Body Language
Being nervous on a first date is totally normal, but there's a big difference between feeling some pre-date jitters and displaying tons of nervous body language that's super noticeable throughout the whole date.
"If your date seems nervous or anxious, like by fidgeting, closing up (e.g. crossed arms), or stumbling over [their] words, it could be a sign of not telling the truth," Bennett says. "Natural body language usually indicates comfort and genuineness."
7Their Stories Seem Exaggerated
It's OK to talk yourself up a bit when you're out with someone you really like, but if you notice that all your date's anecdotes are over-the-top and self-aggrandizing, it's something to be wary of.
"If your date says things that seem too good to be true or contradictory, it could signal a lack of genuineness," Bennett says. "Genuine people not only tell the truth, but have no need to manipulate or hide who they really are through posturing and exaggeration."
Ultimately, it's almost impossible to tell whether or not someone is truly being themselves on a first date. After all, first dates are meant to be just a glimpse into someone's personality, and it'll take time before you can really get to know someone. But if you're able to spot the signs that someone isn't genuine right away, it'll save you time and energy — which you can then use to go out and find someone who's more sincere.