Struggling to find the perfect guy? We feel your pain. You don’t want to waste precious time that could be spent with your Prince Charming on the wrong guy! With the hook-up culture that has come to define romance these days, we know it can be tough to find Mr. Right. But it’s not time to give up hope yet! There is a Ryan Gosling out there for each and every one of us… you just need to find him. With these tips, you’ll be able to tell if he’s the one by the end of your first date.
1. He wants to know you better
Hanging out with a new guy is exciting! We’re all familiar with the thrill you get when he texts you and the inevitable butterflies when he asks you out for the first time. However, this excitement should be reciprocated.
Rachel Born, a Ph.D. candidate in human sexuality at Widener University, believes that showing you care goes both ways. “Infatuation, that feeling of wanting to be with the other person, happens to both women and men when they fall in love,” she says. “If he's lukewarm about hanging out with you, take it as a sign.”
If you spot him scrolling through his Instagram feed during the date, he’s definitely not worth it. Maintaining eye contact and keeping his phone in his pocket are sure signs he’s a keeper.
While love may not be on the table on the first date, if he makes an effort to participate in the conversation and listens to what you have to say, he’s probably interested. Lucy, a collegiette at the University of Windsor, met her boyfriend in a high school class and knew he was a keeper because he was so engaged in their conversation.
“He was actively listening to what I was saying,” she says. “He made sure that he was contributing interesting responses to our conversation rather than just a ‘yeah’ or a ‘sure,’ and he was making tons of eye contact.”
Now Lucy says he’s not only her boyfriend, but her best friend! If he’s putting in the extra effort and showing you that he cares, he might just be the one.
2. He’s consistent
You want to be with someone you can trust. Dr. Seth Meyers, licensed clinical psychologist and author of Dr. Seth’s Love Prescription, says that a good way to get a sense of a guy’s honesty from the start is if he calls when he says he will. If you’re talking to a guy at a party and he leaves to chat with friends, claiming he’s coming back later to finish the conversation, make sure he keeps his word! When he says he’s going to do something, it should happen. The same applies to your first few dates. If he comes half an hour late to pick you up and gives questionable excuses, take it as a warning.
Although they might seem like small details, if he’s honest with you about the little things, he’s much more likely to confide in you about the important stuff down the line. “A consistency between words and actions is one of the most telling signs that a guy is a keeper,” says matchmaker Jasbina Ahluwalia.
If you can’t be sure that what he’s telling you is true, there’s no way you’ll be able to feel comfortable with him, making it impossible for the relationship to go anywhere.
3. Your friends are his friends, too
The Spice Girls had it right the first time! If you want to be our lovers, you’ve definitely got to get with our friends. Making an effort with you isn’t the only thing he should be doing. While it’s always flattering to have a guy come up to you at a party, if you’re standing with your friends and he ignores them, that’s a bad sign. Just think about it—you would never want to get caught third-wheeling a conversation, so your friends shouldn’t have to, either! When you introduce him to your friends, he should respond accordingly and engage with them as well.
A genuinely nice guy will make conversation with your friends even if you’re the one he’s interested in. Dr. Meyers agrees and says if a guy goes out of his way to be nice and make an effort with your friends when you’re all together, he’s one of the good ones. Actions speak louder than words, and him actively trying to get to know your friends says it all! If he’s working towards befriending your pals, he’s definitely a keeper.
4. He’s respectful
While you shouldn’t necessarily expect your guy to be interested in Pumpkin Spice Lattes or the latest fall nail polish color, he should always respect the things that matter to you. You don’t want a guy who agrees with everything you say just to make you happy, but it’s essential that even when he’s being honest, it comes across in a respectful manner.
He should be supportive, not sardonic! Your thoughts and ideas are important and should be treated as such. “If he can celebrate your you-ness, then yes, he's a keeper!” Born says.
This quality can be easy to spot right off the bat by watching how he interacts with others. For example, if you’re on a first date and he is dismissive or rude to the waiters, watch out! The way he acts towards them can be very telling of his personality. If he’s always conscious of the way he speaks to others and makes sure to utilize the proper etiquette when he’s out, that’s a good sign. His attitude towards others is a reflection of how he will act towards you.
5. You’re on the same page
While it may be hard to tell if your core values align the first time you talk to him, the first date presents many opportunities to see where he stands. For example, if he spends a significant portion of the date talking about his parents or his siblings, you’ll be able to immediately tell he’s family oriented. While the conversation may begin a bit more surface level, you’re bound to discover some new, more important things about him as the date goes on.
Being different than your guy is okay – opposites do attract sometimes! However, you want to make sure that you’re on the same page where it really counts. If your core values are completely different, Ahluwalia says there may be a problem. For example, she says that “if you place a high-level of importance on healthy eating and fitness, and he regularly disparages people who ‘waste’ money on produce or ‘waste’ time on physical activity,” that disconnect may make getting closer quite difficult. Make sure to remain attentive, because the next thing he says may very well make or break your connection with him!
If you can check all of these things off your list, he might be the one! If not, keep searching. We know Mr. Right is out there somewhere!