1. Matching body language
Innumerable psychological studies over the years have led to the firm conclusion that two people engaged in a mutually-respecting interaction, even without the context of romance, will begin to subconsciously match each other’s body language. Whether this is to signal interest in what the other is saying, or a complex by-product of being interested in what is being said, the phenomenon is greatly heightened when the dialogue is contextualised by romance. Look out for the signs – is he leaning forward on the table to the same extent as are you? Does she have her head tilted to the same angle as yours? If you suddenly notice your date crossing and uncrossing their legs in tandem with yours, keep doing whatever you’re doing – it’s working! Matching body language is one of the surest signs your date is going well.
2. No Rush
A good date is one in which both parties are disappointed when the time comes for them both to go their separate ways (unless they have no such intention, in which case they are probably actually rather anticipating that time). It is difficult to appear totally relaxed and at ease, if one does not actually feel that way – so, if your date is looking languid and utterly at one with the moment and your company, they probably are. If, however, they are glancing at the door, checking the time, hurrying their drink… it might be time to up your game.
3. Enlarged pupils
A throwback to our evolutionary origins, this autonomic reflex is, by definition, impossible to fake. Enlarged pupils not only make the eyes look more attractive, but make the image they are receiving (in this case, you) more vivid, too. If your date’s eyes are wide in seeming interest and attraction, chances are that they are very much into you. Do remember one caveat, though: if you are in a dimly-lit environment, their eyes may simply be adjusting to let in more light!
You should never underestimate the power of a good sense of humour, for it signals intelligence, awareness and – crucially – shared values and a mutual understanding of the workings of the world. If you find yourself laughing with authentic mirth at what your date has to say, and if they appear to be wholeheartedly reciprocating, you likely have a lot of common ground in your personalities and may be well aligned to become a great match.
5. Genuinely engaging conversation
Despite the adage, it is generally the case that opposites do not genuinely attract. If you are dating with the intent of finding a long-term partner, that person has to be someone with whom you simply click. When you meet that person, it does not matter that you don’t have much knowledge of their life – the conversation will flow. You will not find yourself struggling to think of what to say or planning ice-breakers. Instead, you will find yourself both truly interested in what they have to say and asking questions to which you really do want to know the answers.
6. Future tense
This is a fabulously nuanced way to tell whether your date is into you. The lowering of a guard over one’s vocabulary caused by a drink or three, combined with your date feeling that they would like to enjoy your company again, can lead to flashes of future tense springing up unexpectedly. “You’ll have to introduce me to it,” they may remark, as you vividly describe your favourite Italian restaurant. “Maybe you can explain that to me in full sometime,” they might smile, as you summarise the rationale behind the thesis of your second Master’s degree. The golden words you’re looking out for, of course, are ‘next time’; there is no stronger affirmation that they definitely want to see you again. Well, almost no stronger affirmation…
7. You kiss
You nailed it! You got through an entire date with only the occasional embarrassment (tripping up the step as you entered the restaurant, spluttering on your wine as your date reached the punchline of that lengthy college anecdote), and they still like you! A kiss at the end of the date is the quintessential seal of approval, the holy grail, the… well, you get the idea. Short of telling you they want to see you again, there is no finer way for your date to express interest in getting to know you better than enticing you in with their gaze alone and locking their lips unto yours. Congratulations! Now get right back out there and confirm that next rendezvous!