How to Tell Whether Your Date is Into You

20 December 2022 | 3 mins

The uncertainty triggers feelings of anxiety, from a mild fleeting discomfort to a full-blown sense of panic. I often get asked “How can I tell on a first date that my date fancies me?” To spare them the anguish, people just want to know whether their date is into them. It’s a tricky question.

If you know that someone fancies and wants to date you, you are more likely to feel excited when you meet up on those initial dates. You can enjoy it more. However, this is seldom the case. First dates are usually a mix of trepidation and excitement, and more often than not you are accompanied by a flurry of internal questions; “Will they find me attractive?” “Will there be a spark?” “Is this the one?” Especially if you think the person has relationship potential.

The uncertainty triggers feelings of anxiety, from a mild fleeting discomfort to a full-blown sense of panic. I often get asked “How can I tell on a first date that my date fancies me?” To spare them the anguish, people just want to know whether their date is into them. It’s a tricky question.

Firstly, your date might not fancy you – yet. They might not fancy you until date number three or four. Secondly, if they did fancy you, they might be too scared to show you for fear of rejection (and worry that you don’t fancy them). Lastly, just because someone fancies you, doesn’t mean they want a long-term relationship with you. These are just some of the things worth considering before trying to decipher your date’s actions.

While you really want to know whether someone fancies you, bear the above in mind. No two dates or relationships are the same and there is no set way relationships form.

Having said that, a good first date is often a good sign. I always think of the first date as a chemistry test – Is there enough chemistry between the two of you to warrant a second date. If the person fancies you enough, they will show you over time. Initially here is a list of things that would indicate they fancy you; but again, just because they don’t display these does not mean there is not a budding relationship in the cards.

  1. They look you in the eye when they speak

  2. They smile a lot

  3. They seem excited or happy

  4. They sit or stand within your personal space (considered by experts to be in the region of 15-45 cm away from you)

  5. They make an effort to ensure you are having a good time

  6. They may touch you, on your hand, knee, arm, or small of your back

  7. They are keen to see you again

The best indicator of whether someone really fancies you is how they are over time. So even if the first date starts off a bit rocky, if they demonstrate ‘the list’ over the next few dates, you can be sure they are into you. Your next step is to find out whether you fancy them back and what that fancy means, as in, whether you both want the same thing (fling, hook-up, marriage).

Note whether you do these things. Are you giving off signals of ‘interest’? Are you taking an interest in your date, keeping eye contact, smiling, ensuring your date is feeling comfortable etc.? Or are you holding yourself back? Playing hard to get and coming across as aloof and ‘cool’? These are not great tactics and are likely to backfire on you. Instead help your date reveal their level of attraction for you by showing your attraction to them. It’s that simple.

Otherwise, breathe. It’s just a first date. Enjoy it for what it is.

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Madeleine

About the Author

Madeleine Mason Roantree

Madeleine has over 15 years of experience in psychology, where she is trained in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Applied Positive Psychology. She is currently undertaking a PhD in Counselling Psychology, and is member of the British Psychological Society, the International Positive Psychology Association & Dating Industry Professionals Network.

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