Picture yourself on a first date. The excitement, the allure, the possibilities.
But there’s also the potential for failure, either now or many years into the future. How do you know that the attractive stranger on the other side of the table has the potential to be “the one”?
Well, nothing’s certain, but you can learn a lot about a person over the course of a few hours. To get started, here are some traits to look for that can be a harbinger of great things to come.
First-Date Signs that You’re with an Amazing Person
They Treat People Well
Someone who treats others poorly will eventually treat you poorly as well (probably, when you get past the “honeymoon phase” in the relationship). So, see how they behave with other people. Here are some red flags to watch out for:
- Cruelty or dismissiveness towards the staff at restaurants or other places.
- Not tipping at restaurants, despite receiving good service.
- Addressing people disrespectfully.
People who behave like this may treat you well now, but, again, will “take off the mask” at some point later, especially after the “honeymoon phase” of your relationship (after that initial giddiness and infatuation fade).
They Have Good Manners
People who say “please”, “thank you”, and otherwise show good manners and are nice demonstrate that they were “raised right” and know how to behave in society. It’s also a mark of being a sophisticated, well-rounded person. It’s not a foolproof indicator (nothing is), but it’s a good one.
By contrast, people who lack manners give off the opposite impression – that they don’t know how to behave or make their way in the world. Indeed, they just make life harder for themselves, probably without even realizing it.
They’re Not Looking at their Phone
If they’re constantly looking at their phone (or talking on it), they’re not looking at you. It’s hard to see how someone that can’t even treat you right on your first date can be “the one”.
They Pay Attention to Detail
This shows competence and work ethic, since it takes effort to pay attention to detail. Don’t settle for someone who lives a life of generalities and shortcuts – treasure those who seek excellence and mastery in everything they do.
They’re Not Braggy
Bragging is a mark of insecurity. Secure, confident people know that their good qualities will shine through, and will show you how awesome they are by the way they carry themselves.
On the other hand, people who find the need to outright tell you how great they are tend to be just the opposite.
They Don’t Lie or Exaggerate (as Far as You Can Tell)
Huge red flag. If you can tell that your date is lying or exaggerating, they probably carry that habit in all aspects of their lives. Don’t think you’ll change them. You won’t, and will just find misery trying to.
They Ask You About Yourself
Someone who’s screening you to see if you might be “the one” will ask you about yourself. A lot. They’ll be assessing your personality and your compatibility.
If they don’t ask you about yourself, it’s probably because they don’t care about you. Or, they only care about your looks, which is a bad sign in and of itself. After all, two great-looking people with incompatible personalities are probably in a for a lot of grief.
Super important. If you’re looking for “the one”, run the other way if your date can’t even bring himself/herself to listen to what you’re saying, either because they talk too much or they’re distracted.
How do you know if they’re listening? If they wait until you’re finished talking and then respond in an intelligent way that shows they’ve processed what you said, then it’s a good sign.
They’re Not Overly Formal or Stilted
This just shows that they’re awkward and don’t know how to behave around people. So if they’re not even in the least bit smooth, beware.
Failing to watch out for this could mean a future of family dinners and social gatherings where your partner is that awkward person no one wants to talk to. On the other hand, many people who are like this hate it about themselves, and could be amenable to changing. So, it might not be a dealbreaker.
All work and no fun makes Jack a dull boy, right? People who are not even a little bit fun will likely make boring partners. You might have a tranquil life with them, but that’s probably all you’ll get.
To repeat one of my favorite quotes, by Hunter S. Thompson:
Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”
They Make an Effort to Make A Good Impression
This just shows that they’re probably not lazy, and are willing to work for what they want in life. By contrast, someone who can’t be bothered to dress well or clean up their car is someone who probably expects things to just be handed to them, and blames everyone but themselves when they’re disappointed.
They’re Not Despotic or Overly Finicky
Being a leader is admirable; being a control-freak tyrant is not. Beware of people who are overly concerned with imposing their will on everything and everyone, and have no tolerance for details that are not how they want them. A person like that is probably not “the one”, and will wind up taking over your life and ordering you around. Not good.
One early sign? If they keep sending back food at a restaurant, for no truly good reason.
They Challange You (In A Good Way)
Someone who agrees with every single detail of everything you say will wind up boring you. They’re probably a pushover, both with you and with everything else in life.
That’s why someone who questions and challenges you (and is elegant and diplomatic about it) is demonstrating that they’re not afraid to make their way through the world with leadership and strength.
On the other hand, you don’t want someone who’s too much of a challenge, or just a jerk:
They Admit their Mistakes
If your date happens to be mistaken about something, pay attention to whether they’re willing to admit it. Doing so is a big mark of maturity and honesty.
Are They “The One”?
I don’t know, but if they show many of these 14 traits, there’s a good chance that they’re at least a great person. If they show the opposite, run – better to do it now than after years of misery!
What traits do you look for in a first date? When did you know someone was “the one”?
Credit: This reddit thread
Tom @ Dividends Diversify says
Great list of traits for any friend, associate or significant person in your life. I think most of us could take the list and work on it to improve ourselves not just using it to evaluating others. Tom