If there was a handbook or road map for dating, we'd all be much better off. Seriously, is dating the most confusing thing on the planet or what?! When we're single and looking for love, we tend to go on a lot of first dates... so we totally expect to become pretty good at them. We want to be dating experts, basically, and we don't think that's too much to ask. After all, when we perfect our craft in anything else in life, it starts paying off. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for the dating game. No matter how many times we've sat across from a guy with a glass of Chardonnay, we always seem to get things totally and completely wrong. From who picks up the cheque to how much to drink to whether or not to order food, we're always pretty confused.
Here are 15 things we misinterpret on dates.
15 His Body Language
We're often told to interpret a guy's body language like it's the entire key to figuring out if he's into us or not. We tend to agree with this since it definitely makes sense. If he's leaning toward us a lot, or if his legs are crossed in our direction, or if he touches our arm or seems to stare into our eyes for most of the evening, that must mean that he's got a crush, right? What else could it possibly mean? Unfortunately, things aren't quite this simple when it comes to dealing with the opposite gender (no matter how much we might tell ourselves otherwise). So if we think that our date is into us based on anything that he's supposedly communicating through his body, we're sometimes pretty wrong. It's easy to misinterpret this. But we've definitely had dates where we think the way the guy is sitting means he likes us... and we never hear from him again. Sigh.
14 When He's Friendly
There are two kinds of people in this world: people who are super friendly to literally anyone that they are dealing with... and people who feel the total opposite. It's easy to think that our date likes us because he's being really friendly toward us. But really, he could just be a friendly and warm person so we honestly misinterpret this on most of the first dates that we go on. No one can really blame us, though, right? We've all gone on a lot of dates where the guy sitting across from us is totally boring... and seems totally bored, too. He's as dull as a doorknob and can barely muster up the energy to make normal conversation, let alone ask us questions or even answer ours. So when a guy is friendly toward us, we tend to misinterpret that for interest when of course it doesn't always mean anything at all.
13 When He Asks Questions
We're told that if a guy likes us, he's going to ask us some questions. Like a lot of questions. After all, if he wasn't interested, he wouldn't care, right? Why would he want to know where we went to school and where we grew up and whether our current job is our dream or if we want to do something else with our lives? The problem with thinking this way is that we always get this totally wrong. Part of the first date small talk means asking the other person questions... and those questions are usually the same. It's super rare to go on a first date and not talk about our education and family background and our job. So we always misinterpret the fact that our date is asking us questions about his interest... when he's really just being polite. Or just trying to fill the awkward first date silence. Oh well. Maybe next time?
12 Finding Things In Common
It's pretty exciting when we discover that we have something in common with the guy that we're on a first date with. Or a lot of things in common. This could be a favorite band (and bonus points if it's a pretty obscure one or a group that not a lot of people know). Or this could be that we majored in the same thing back in college, or both do Crossfit or are both allergic to gluten. It could really be anything at all. The problem with finding out that we have things in common with our date? We tend to go overboard and think that this must mean this guy is our future husband... or at least our future boyfriend. We also tend to misinterpret a guy's reaction to figuring out that we have something in common. Of course, guys are going to be polite and say that it's cool, but we tend to believe this means they're into us.
11 When He Jokes Around
A funny guy is pretty much the holy grail. We all want to date someone who's basically a comedian and we all hate going on dates with people who seem to have never heard of the concept of joking around or laughing. So naturally, we believe that if our date is joking around with us or just generally being hilarious, then they must like us. They must be thinking that this is pretty much the best first date they've ever gone on and they must marry us immediately, right? Except... nope. That's not the case at all. Some guys are just naturally funny and they tend to joke around no matter who they're talking to or no matter what situation they find themselves in. It might not have nothing to do with us at all. This can definitely be pretty frustrating, but hey, it wouldn't be dating in 2016 if it wasn't super annoying, right?
10 Complaining About Dating
It can be pretty common on first dates these days to complain about dating itself. We're always hoping to find someone who hates dating as much as we do. We just want to be able to find a decent guy, quit dating already, and get on with our lives. Is that seriously too much to ask?! Unfortunately, when a guy complains about dating in general or even brings up the app that we matched on, it doesn't necessarily mean that he likes us. We think that it does because hey, why would he be that honest? Wouldn't he keep his opinions and thoughts to himself? But the truth is that this means nothing at all. It just means that he, well, hates dating. Like we do. And that's really too bad since if things don't work out, then we're both going to have to keep on trying. What a glorious thing (not). Will this madness ever end?!
9 When He Gets Personal
Just like how some guys are just friendlier or funnier than others, some guys like to talk about themselves. Like a lot. They are just naturally into sharing (or oversharing if we are being totally honest) and so they do not mind telling us things that maybe they should not say on a first date. We are basically perfect strangers but they don't care, they want to talk about their family drama and their friends and how much they really don't enjoy their job. We think that because this guy is getting so personal, then he is definitely into us and he is definitely thinking that we are second date material. Unfortunately, this means nothing at all. It just means this guy has a certain personality type. Again, we are totally wrong, and that can be pretty frustrating since it is crazy how many signs and signals we can misread on a first date.
8 When He Remembers Details
People are always saying that we'll know when a guy is into us when he remembers details about our lives. This might be something that we said when we were initially chatting, whether when we matched via an app or if we texted before the date. Or it might even be something that we said at the beginning of the evening. This is a pretty clever trick that guys play, really. We think they must like us if they're going to bring up something that we told them before. What other possible reason could they have for remembering that our little sister just had a ballet recital or that we're up for a promotion at work? But unfortunately, some guys just like to be super friendly and polite and he might just think that he's making conversation. He definitely doesn't see this the same way that we do, that's for sure.
7 When He's Super Positive
It's pretty confusing when we're on a first date that seems to be going really well... and then we never hear from the guy again. He was in such a good mood during the date, and he just seemed really positive about everything that we were telling him. Whether we talked about our jobs or our latest Netflix obsession, he responded in a really positive way and seemed to like us. It felt pretty awesome since we've all had way too many bad first dates in our young lives. But again, just because someone is in a good mood and seems responsive to what we're saying doesn't mean that the date is going well or that we're ever going to see them again. Some first dates are just super confusing since they seem fun and then a second date never happens. All we can say is maybe he went back to his ex-girlfriend because we know we're pretty fun on a date (just joking... kind of).
6 When He Eats A Lot
You may be totally comfortable ordering any food on a first date and maybe you're even cool with chowing down on a cheeseburger because hey, you're not going to be nervous about a normal human function. Or maybe you'd rather not. Sometimes you tend to see how comfortable you feel about this guy in particular, and if he seems really decent and sweet, you're okay with ordering your fave sweet potato fries. Maybe it seems strange to think this way but you can't help it and you don't think you're the only one. But when a guy orders food and eats a lot -- maybe a full dinner like chicken and vegetables and potatoes, or something more along the lines of junk food -- you tend to think that must mean that he's pretty comfy around you, too. He must be, right? Otherwise, wouldn't he just grab a quick beer and get out of here? Of course, that doesn't mean that he likes you. It just means that he's hungry.
5 When He Orders A Second Drink
Whether he's drinking red wine (and seems super sophisticated) or craft beer (same thing... but in a hipster kind of way), if he orders a second drink, you tend to think that means he must like you. At the very least, he's okay with sticking around at the bar long enough to finish his second drink. So that's saying something, right? If he hated you or just wasn't interested, wouldn't he just leave after the first drink? He could give you any excuse -- he's not feeling great, he has to go back to work, he has to get up early the next day. You wouldn't believe them, but you would be cool with it because it's not like you haven't been rejected before. So when he orders a second drink, you think he likes you. You can't help it. But unfortunately, you're not always understanding the situation. Because guess what? Maybe he just wants that second beer.
4 When He's Been Texting
Sometimes you literally don't know much about the person you're going on a first date with. You chat online or via an app, and since you've been burned in the past and don't want to spend two weeks chatting before you even know if you're going to meet someone in person, you're fine to plan the date without talking too much. But other times, the guy you're going to go out with texts you. Like a lot. He texts to give you his number once you've given him yours. He texts the next day to ask how your day is going. He texts the morning of your date to make sure you're still on -- which is totally and completely normal, and is something that you're probably even relieved about -- and he ends up texting the rest of the day, too. Suddenly you're meeting this person for the first time... but you feel like you already know them. And you figure hey, they must like you (or want to like you) so you have a good chance at a second date. Again, you're totally misinterpreting things. Maybe he just wanted to be friendly and test the waters.
3 When He Brings Up The Future
Sometimes guys will bring up the future, whether it's a movie they're planning to see with their friends next week or a vacation they want to take in six months. We tend to go a bit nuts and think that if they're bringing up the future in any way, shape or form, that totally means that they want us to be in that future, too. We're not even sure why we think this because when we stop and examine it, yeah, it does seem a little bit crazy. But sometimes we just let our minds wander and our imaginations get the better of us, especially when we're on a date that's not bad at all. We're so used to going on awful dates that when something is even halfway decent, we tend to think that things might work out after all and we're much more hopeful and optimistic than we usually are. Of course, when our date brings up the future, he's literally just telling us something and making conversation.
2 When He Pays The Bill
Society is pretty divided on whether or not the guy should pay the bill at the end of the first date. Some people say yes, definitely, because it's called being a gentleman and it's just the proper thing to do. Others say it's more feminist if the woman pays her share. We say this depends on the circumstance and on our personal feelings... and whether or not we just drank $5 worth of red wine or $40. It's kind of harsh to expect a guy that we never want to see again to pay for some super expensive drinks. But either way, when a guy does pay the bill and insists on us despite our protests and despite our offers to pay, we totally misinterpret it. We think this means that he's way into us and that we're definitely getting a second date out of the whole deal. And then our mind starts spinning and soon we're walking down the aisle with this guy (at least in our head). Of course, this literally means nothing and doesn't always lead to a second date.
1 When He Says "See You Later"
The sad fact of dating these days is that no one seems to have a single clue how to say goodbye. It's like manners and common decency went totally out the window and some people just can't be polite at all. We've all had super awkward goodbyes, especially at the end of first dates, and we definitely cringe thinking about them. There are even guys out there who think it's completely acceptable to simply wave and walk away without saying anything at all. Yes, really. So when a guy says something to us like "See you later" we tend to misinterpret it and we tend to think that means he's going to text us. Of course, that doesn't always happen and we all know too well that sometimes second dates and relationships just aren't meant to be. So really, unless a guy tells us that he's definitely going to text us, we have no idea if he will. And of course, the jury is still out until that message is lighting up our iPhone. Sigh. Oh dating...