8 subtle signs your date is genuinely into you, according to psychology

First dates: you either love them or hate them!

When you’re on a date, you can tell pretty quickly whether you like this person or not.

But it’s impossible to know how they’re feeling. They might say they had a nice time, but did they really…?

Of course, if you ask them outright whether they like you on the first date, it’d be kind of strange!

So if you’re turning to the experts to see what they say, I don’t blame you.

If your date is genuinely into you, they’ll act in these 8 subtle ways, according to psychology.

Up first:

1) They smile with their eyes

Picture the happiest person you know. Or picture a person who truly, deeply cares about you. Picture them smiling at you. How do they do it?

I bet they show their teeth, grin from ear to ear, and crease their eyes up so they get all wrinkly around the edges, right?

That’s known as the Duchenne smile! And, “It’s the smile most of us recognize as the most authentic expression of happiness”, Rebecca Joy Stanborough, MFA says.

People only express this kind of smile when they’re talking to someone they like, love, or truly care about. Very few people use it just to be polite.

So if your date smiles at you like this, they’re probably a) an authentic person and b) super into you – and not just in a polite way!

2) They lean into you while you’re talking

Where are you on this date? At the dinner table? Standing at the bar having drinks? What were they doing while you were talking? How far apart were you standing as the night went on?

When your date is genuinely into you, they’ll gravitate towards you. You’ll be almost magnetic to them, and they’ll want to be as close to you as physically possible, (in a cute, non-creepy way).

When someone does this, “It’s a sign of attentiveness, intimacy, and a desire to connect with you on a deeper level”, according to this Quora thread.

This behavior might not necessarily be intentional, either. They might just do it out of pure interest and connection, rather than consciously!

Plus, leaning in means they’re genuinely interested and engaged in the conversation with you. So if your date does this to you, they’re probably hanging on your every word…

3) They look into your eyes

People make eye contact all the time. If you were on a date with anyone, you can best believe they’ll look at you at least half the time you’re together!

But the thing is, when someone is genuinely interested in you, they won’t just make eye contact with you. They’ll look deep into your eyes – and they’ll hardly ever look away!

A University of Chicago and University of Geneva study found that people fixated on the faces of people they liked romantically, found attractive, or had some sexual desire towards.

Of course, some people get shy and look away when someone they like looks at them. But most people who do this are either young or a little socially awkward.

If you believe in the idea of soul mates (confession: I do!), you’ll believe that if someone is really into you, they won’t feel shy, awkward, or anxious around you – even on the first date!

They’ll stare into your eyes and look deep into your soul, no matter how nervous they are…

4) They laugh when you crack a joke

When your date is totally into you, they’ll laugh whenever you crack a joke. Even if your jokes aren’t that funny, they’ll still give you a smile and a chuckle.

Psychologist Norman Li M.B.A., Ph.D. says, “If the other person is also interested, they should be more likely to perceive you as humorous and respond favorably (laugh), even if you’re objectively not all that funny”.

So if your date is genuinely laughing at the things you say, they’re definitely interested in you a little bit!

But if you hardly see them crack a smile or even offer a polite laugh, this really isn’t good news.

Just be careful of this one – as some people are great at faking laughter to be polite and to get you to like them. So if they don’t tick the other boxes on this list, it may not be good news…

5) They’ll talk about deeper topics

When I’ve been on dates that didn’t work out, we never talked about the “deep” stuff.

The conversations were so surface level, with all the classic, “What do you do for work?” and “What do you do for fun?”. Anything deeper was either brushed off or avoided entirely!

To me, this is the biggest sign that they only see this as a one-time date or a friendship (or a “friendship”, if you know what I mean).

Why? Because no one wants to open up about emotions, their past, or even their mistakes with someone they don’t genuinely like.

As Paige Rechtman, licensed mental health counselor puts it, “[A] healthy emotional connection involves being your authentic self, feeling safe and able to be vulnerable, having a mutual sense of compassion, feeling equally supported, and enjoying your time with the other person”.

Of course, if your date overshares or dumps all their trauma on you, they might be struggling more than they let on – and you’re just another therapy session for them.

But if you genuinely talk about these things and feel a deep, emotional connection forming – chances are, you’re both totally into one another!

6) They mirror your movements

Think back to the date and what they did whenever you did something.

When you picked up your drink, did they pick up theirs? When you leaned forward and folded your arms over the table, did they do the same? When you leaned back in your chair, did they lean away, too?

According to the BBC, The Science of Flirting, “When people are attracted to each other, they tend to sit or stand in the same way and copy each other”.

This behavior is known as mirroring, and it’s widely recognized as a sign of genuine interest in a friend or romantic partner!

If you’re on a date, it’s way more likely to be a sign of genuine attraction rather than friendship – due to the nature of things.

7) They tilt their head while you’re talking

What else did your date do while you were talking – other than staring into your eyes, chuckling along with your jokes, and smiling until their eyes wrinkled?

Hopefully, they also tilted their head slightly to the left or right while you were talking – especially if you were sharing intimate things!

Why? Hanan Parvez, MBA, MA says, “If you see someone tilting their head to the side while you’re talking, know that they either like you or like what you’re talking about”.

He says the best way to test this out is to quickly change the subject after you see them tilting their head. If their head stays tilted, they’re interested in you, not just the subject!

8) They message you immediately after

I don’t care what anyone says, if your date doesn’t message you immediately after the date, they probably aren’t “the one”! They certainly aren’t your soulmate, that’s for sure.

Some experts say that waiting a week for a text is reasonable, but there really isn’t an agreed scientific answer on the whole thing.

But the people of Quora have spoken out on this one – and even I agree with them! A lack of communication after a date means a) the person isn’t sure about you or b) isn’t that into you.

And besides, unless they dropped you off right on your doorstep, they should be texting you to see if you got home safe, right?

I know some people believe in the “three-day rule” (i.e., you should wait three days before texting someone after the first date).

But if you genuinely liked the person you just dated, the last thing you want to do is wait three days to talk to them again!

So if he hasn’t texted you immediately (that night or the next day), it might not be good news…

Final thoughts

Of course, these are all subtle signs that indicate someone is into you after the first date (or the second or the third…).

But unfortunately, words speak louder than actions when it comes to first dates!

If someone tells you outright that they aren’t into you, aren’t ready for a relationship right now, or aren’t sure where they see this going – believe them.

No matter how deeply they were looking into your eyes or how much depth they shared about themselves with you, they aren’t the one.

The quicker you realize that and move on, the sooner you’ll find your actual soul mate (who’s words will totally match their actions!).

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