Many people talk about how stressful first dates are. While the movies also make it look like so much fun to get ready with our girlfriends and dream about how the night will go (hey, maybe this first date will end in an engagement!), that's not really how it goes IRL.
We've all gone on first dates when we wanted to stay home and things worked out well, or the opposite happened and we got hopeful and excited for nothing.
Love them or leave them (and many of us despise them), first dates are a crucial part of finding someone to share our lives with. We can't fall into an instant relationship without going for dinner first and starting the process of getting to know someone. It's easy to assume that we worry about being too nervous on a first date or getting along with the guy that we're going out with and he doesn't worry at all. Aren't all guys super chill when they go on a date?
But guys are just like us and get just as nervous and have just as many thoughts running through their heads. Here's what he notices during the first 20 minutes of a date.
20 If We're Super Nervous Or Feel Comfortable
Although we worry about being too nervous on a first date and it being super obvious, no guy is going to expect us to be totally nerve-free. He's got butterflies in his stomach, too, so he gets that we're not super comfortable around each other yet since it's only the first date.
That being said, a guy does want to make sure that we feel pretty okay being around him.
He's going to be on the lookout in the first 20 minutes if we seem really sweaty and like we can't even look him in the eye or, on the flip side, if we're smiling and enjoying his company.
19 If We're Passionate About Our Job
Some people simply work to make money and pay for food and rent. Others are all about their work and think about it all the time. Ambitious people would never dream of entering a relationship with someone who didn't have the same work ethic as them.
The guy that we're on a first date with will definitely notice how passionate we are about our job. There's a huge difference between us complaining about it and seeming really upset and us saying that we really enjoy what we do. If his own job matters to him, then this is something that he's on the lookout for.
18 How Friendly And Polite We Are (To Him, The Waiter, And Anyone Else)
We often talk about how we don't want guys to be rude to waiters and anyone else who they talk to on a first date. Guys want us to be polite, too.
It'll be really clear to him if we're polite to absolutely everyone and anyone within the first 20 minutes.
He's going to observe how we talk to the waiter when we sit down and order food. He also wants to see how friendly we are toward him or if we seem like we have our walls up and don't want to open up to him. This will tell him how the rest of the evening is going to pan out.
17 If He Thinks We're Easy Breezy To Talk To
It's pretty rare for a long-term couple to say that their first date was so bad that they couldn't find anything to talk about. Instead, we often hear couples say that they simply couldn't stop chatting and their first date was so long, they just knew that they had to have a second one.
That's totally what we're aiming for, and guys are, too. Guys want to go out with someone who is easy to talk to. He'll notice this about us in the first 20 minutes since that's enough time to strike up a fascinating and fun conversation (and it's also enough time to realize if we don't get along).
16 How Many Awkward Silences There Are
Sure, it's normal to be a bit awkward with each other since it's a first date, but after a little while, it shouldn't be so bad. Guys will be on the lookout for how awkward our date is and if we have some really long silences.
That will prove to him whether we have enough in common to go out again or if this just isn't going to be a match.
If there's only one little awkward silence and we're chatting easily the rest of the evening, he's going to be really happy about that. We will too, of course.
15 Whether We're Checking Our Phone Or Focused On Him
When we complain about the bad dates that we've been on, we often mention the same things: the guy was mean to the waiter or he was on his phone the entire time.
That last part totally applies to us, too. Are we checking our phone even though we're on a date? Are we totally ignoring him or not really listening to him when he talks?
He wants to know that we're focused on him and that we really want to get to know him. When he feels like our entire attention is on him, he knows that the date is going well.
14 How Negative Or Cheerful We Are
Many people in unhappy relationships realize that their partner has become a negative person, but it generally doesn't start out that way. It seems rare that someone would go on a first date with a miserable person and then actually want to pursue a relationship with them.
The guy that we're sitting across from wants to know what kind of person we are.
Are we negative or cheerful? Do we seem to enjoy our life and would we be a cool, interesting, happy person to hang out with? He's hoping that we're cheerful and positive because that would make him want to be around us (and we want the same thing, too).
13 How Much (Or How Little) We Have In Common
Not everyone wants to have a million things in common with the person that they start to date. It might be enough to have a general value system in common, along with maybe a shared love of working out or eating healthy.
Other people really want to find someone who shares a lot of their hobbies and passions. If this is important to him, he's going to want to find out how much we have in common, and he'll be able to tell within the first 20 minutes of the date. It'll be clear by what we talk about for sure.
12 If We Ask Him Questions And Actually Listen To The Answers
We've probably heard people compare first dates to interviews for positions at companies, and it's easy to see why. It can feel like we're asking and answering a whole lot of questions.
The guy that we're going out with will want to see if we actually listen to the questions that we ask him.
He might feel like we're simply going through the motions of a first date and asking him questions about his job, where he grew up, and what his family is like. Maybe he thinks that we feel like we have to ask this stuff but we don't really care about the answers. We want to be asking each other an equal amount of questions so we can get to know each other.
11 If We Can't Stop Talking About Ourselves
It's great if we're comfortable enough on a first date that we can chat about ourselves. That bodes well if we get into a relationship with this guy.
What if we're talking about ourselves too much, though? This is something else that a guy will notice within the first 20 minutes of the date... and he's probably not going to like it that much. It's hard because we might be doing this because we're nervous and not because we're full of ourselves. Hopefully, if that's the case then he can tell and he knows that it can be tough to be completely ourselves on the first date.
10 What Our Personality And Sense Of Style Is Like
Tomboy, fashionista, put together, or more casual. There are so many ways that we can express ourselves through fashion and beauty.
Guys will notice our sense of style, how we wear our hair, and whether we wear a lot of beauty products or keep our makeup look simple on the first date.
And they'll also notice what our personality is like. Whether we start chatting a lot as soon as we sit down or take a bit longer to open up, they'll be able to tell who we are, even when we've only been talking in a restaurant for 20 minutes.
9 If We Seem Calm And Peaceful Or Totally Frazzled
There are some people who are always frazzled and always seem like they're late for something or having some big crisis. We probably all have at least one friend like this. It can be a bit frustrating to deal with someone who has this kind of personality, that's for sure.
Guys will notice how calm or stressed out we seem at the beginning of the date. They probably don't want us to act like we have other places that we have to be or like our schedule is so busy, we can't even handle it. While of course, we all experience stress, we do want to put that behind us and focus on the date!
8 Whether We're Gossiping About Friends Or People We Know
We also all have a friend who's a natural gossip and can't seem to stop themselves from talking about everyone that we know. While we might gossip with our friend group and figure that it's fine because we all do it, we don't want to gossip on a first date.
If we do, the guy that we're with might wonder if we're being mean or if we only talk about other people.
He might think that we're being too negative and that we should talk about other subjects. We can see how he would feel this way, right? Even a seemingly innocent comment about a friend's love life might not make the best impression.
7 Whether The Conversation Flows Or Falls Flat
We've all had the experience of meeting a friend of a friend at a party or event, asking them a few questions, and then feeling like we have absolutely nothing else to talk about. It's like the conversation totally fizzles out in a matter of minutes.
Does our first date conversation flow or does it feel like we can't talk to each other? We're going to be thinking about this and so will the guy sitting across from us. He'll be able to tell within the first 20 minutes if we're someone that he can talk to about anything. That's definitely the start of a promising relationship.
6 If We're Really Close With Our Family, Like Him
It makes sense that someone who is really close with their family and values holiday dinners and checking in with each other all the time would want a partner who feels the same way.
Within 20 minutes of sitting down across from each other at a restaurant, the guy that we're on a date with might be wondering if we share his family values.
He wants to hear our family stories, even if they're funny and a bit embarrassing. This is going to give him a bit more of a window into our personality and who we are. We'll want to hear his hilarious stories, too, and chances are that he'll share them, no problem.
5 How Often We Smile And If We're A Happy, Positive Person
Sometimes we get lucky and meet a friend or relative's significant other and think that they are so amazing. We always say that this person is perfect for our friend or family member because they're so happy and always in a good mood.
It's very possible that the guy that we're on a first date is hoping that we're a happy person who smiles all the time. Even at the beginning of the evening, he'll be able to tell just how much we smile. He wants to know if we appreciate the people and things in our life and if we see the bright side of everything.
4 How Confident And Comfortable We Are In Our Skin
Do we find confidence attractive? Of course, right?
Many of us would agree that we want a boyfriend who is secure with himself. He knows who he is, he likes that person, and he tries hard every day to live by the values that he believes in.
When we go on a first date, a guy will definitely notice how confident we are within the first 20 minutes.
He wants to see that we're comfortable in our skin. Single women often joke about not needing a man, and that's honestly the type of attitude that we want to project. We're having a great time, and maybe he's going to be a part of our lives, too, but if not, it's cool.
3 How Funny We Are (And If We Share The Same Sense Of Humor)
A sense of humor isn't important to everyone, but for most of us, it's something that we look for when we go on a first date. If we think about the best dates that we've been on, we can probably say that we laughed a lot.
If a guy is looking for a girl with a sense of humor, then he's going to figure out if we're funny pretty quickly. He also wants to know if we share the same sense of humor, which is a crucial part of the equation. Maybe we're sarcastic and he doesn't find that as hilarious as we do, or he's got a boyish, immature sense of humor that we don't appreciate.
2 If We Seem To Like Him And Are Making Eye Contact With Him
Of course, guys want to know one major thing on a first date: if we like them. They might not be able to know for sure, but if we're smiling at them a lot and making eye contact, they'll start to wonder if we want to see them again.
If we seem to be flirting, then they'll be even more confident about the possibility of a second date.
Even if we don't believe in "love at first sight" we can probably agree that we know pretty fast whether we like someone. Even in just 20 minutes, he'll be able to tell if he likes us and if we seem to feel the same way.
1 How Eager We Seem To Leave And Cut The Date Short (Or The Opposite)
There's nothing more awkward than going on a first date and realizing within minutes that it isn't a good match. We start looking at the table, at our menu, at our feet... anywhere but the person across from us.
We try to be polite and we don't want him to know that we wish that we were home watching TV, but we can't help but project a vibe that we're not comfortable.
Guys can tell within the first 20 minutes of a date whether we want to cut the date short or whether we're having so much fun that we'd be happy to sit here for hours.