Dating would be so much easier if everyone was more open and honest with their feelings from the very beginning. Realistically, that never really happens. Unless you're super intuitive or just have special mind reading abilities, how to know if someone likes you and sees a potential future with you is no easy task. But according to dating and relationship experts, there are certain signs you can look out for.
"After spending time with someone, even just for five minutes or an hour, a connection or spark is usually lit when making eye contact or conversation," relationship expert and marriage attorney, Vikki Ziegler, tells Bustle. "Sometimes one person may notice a special or unique quality and acknowledge it with a, ‘Wow, that's awesome,’ or ‘I like what you’re saying.’ Other times, a person may give other compliments — anything from ‘You have a really great smile’ to ‘I like your take on life.’"
According to Ziegler, these are just some of the more obvious signs that someone notices special qualities in you. Everyone has special traits that differentiate them from everyone else. So when someone takes notice of yours, they maybe interested in you.
So how do you know if someone sees you as someone special when you first meet? Here are some signs experts say to look out for.
1They Try To Keep Eye Contact
You can tell by their eyes. "When you're introduced, they'll look directly into your eyes with a level of intensity that makes your heart aware," relationship expert and author, Cindee Bartholomew tells Bustle. "They will often continue to stare at you even after you look away and when you look again at them they will smile again." So if you notice that they're constantly trying to keep your gaze, that's a really good sign they're really into you.
2They Pay Attention And Remember Things You've Said Before
If the person remembers things you've said earlier on (or even before) and is able to reference them as the conversation progresses, Coree Schmitz, Professional Matchmaker at Tawkify, tells Bustle it's a huge indicator of interest.
"In today's society where being present in a conversation is one of the hardest things to do, giving a new person full attention during [a conversation] is one of the highest compliments," Schmitz says. "To me that says, of all the 1000 things I could be thinking about right now, I prefer to genuinely hear and think about what you have to say."
3They "Mirror" Your Actions
You may have heard before that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. According to Alyssa Bunn, Professional Matchmaker at Tawkify, that rings true for first dates and with people you're attracted to after meeting for the first time.
"You may notice your date 'mirroring' or subconsciously copying your body language, gestures, speech patterns, or attitude," Bunn says. "If your date is interested, you'll get the energy you're giving off. So it's important to keep your verbal and nonverbal body language in check. If you're closed, negative, or not fully present, you may squash the romantic spark before it even has a chance to emerge." So be super aware of the energy you're putting out, especially if you think they're someone special too.
4They Show Their Curiosity
Think "wide eyes, bright smiles," Kimia Mansoor, Professional Matchmaker at Tawkify, tells Bustle. If someone thinks you're someone special, they'll be curious about you. "They'll ... [observe] you carefully to try to learn as much as possible," Mansoor says. "They want to know more about you, but might be too nervous to ask just yet. They might seem quiet, shy, or reserved, but they are listening and paying attention to all the little details."
5They Notice Your Similarities And Make Connections
We all want to feel understood, especially in romantic partnerships. "If someone thinks you're special, they'll want to showcase how similar they are to you or how they can empathize with you," Samantha Campbell, Professional Matchmaker at Tawkify, tells Bustle.
For instance, if you're sharing a story about your cousin who's about to have a baby, they might share how they just went to their first ever baby shower. Or maybe if you complain about how your favorite snack from Trader Joe's is no longer being produced, they might joke they're still grieving over the closing of their favorite restaurant. Whatever it is, they'll try to make connections between what you say and their own experience. "Whether it's conscious or not, they're trying to say, 'Hey, I get you,' and hoping that you feel the connection, too," she says.
6They Laugh At Your Jokes
7They Make You Feel Like You're The Only One Around
A really good sign that someone thinks your special is the amount of focus they put on you and only you. "They don't want to talk to anyone else," Hershenson says. "If they were around you the entire time and didn’t bother to meet other people or strike up a conversation with anyone else, it's a sign they think you’re special."
8They Want To Prolong The Time They Spend With You
"Anyone who's genuinely smitten with you will want to extend your time together," Stephanie Churma, spiritual relationship coach and owner of The Good Love Company tells Bustle. So if they're asking you to grab coffee after dinner or just take a walk to talk more, it's an obviously good sign.
9They Won't Waste Time
"When someone thinks you're special, they strike while the iron is hot," Sophy Singer, Professional Matchmaker at Tawkify, tells Bustle. "Before the date (or random social encounter) is over, they're already testing the waters by making future plans." While Singer says they might not ask you right then and there, they will make a mention of something fun that the two of you might enjoy together in the future.
Although it's kind of hard to tell what someone really thinks of you when you first meet, experts say these signs can clue you in. But overall, if you leave that first meeting feeling special, that's super telling in and of itself.