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How do you tell if a guy likes you during the first date?

Figuring out if a guy is into you or just being nice can be tricky, especially during a first date when you are both still getting to know each other. However, there are some signs you can look for to get a better sense of whether he is feeling a connection. Pay attention to his body language, conversational cues, and overall demeanor to determine if he is interested in pursuing something more. Though no sign on its own definitively means he is interested, noticing several of these clues likely means he wants to see you again.

How does he look at you?

One of the biggest signs a guy likes you is through his eye contact. If he holds your gaze a bit longer than normal or makes consistent eye contact when speaking with you, he likely feels an attraction. On the other hand, if he averts his eyes frequently or only glances at you on occasion, he may not be very interested. Other flirtatious eye contact clues include:

  • Dilated pupils when looking at you
  • Multiple glances your way, especially when he thinks you aren’t paying attention
  • Looking down shyly or smiling when your eyes meet

What is his body language communicating?

Body language can reveal a lot about how someone feels, even if they aren’t expressing it verbally. Here are some positive signs in his body language that indicate he’s attracted to you:

  • Pointing his feet or entire body in your direction
  • Subtle touches, like brushing your hand or leg
  • Leaning in closely when you speak
  • Appearing relaxed with open posture, not crossed arms
  • Nervous gestures like fidgeting, throat clearing, or playing with his hair or clothes

How engaged is he in conversation?

If a guy likes you, he will likely show it through focused attention and engagement during your conversations. Notice if he:

  • Asks you lots of questions about yourself
  • Remembers and follows up on details you previously shared
  • Hangs on your every word when you speak
  • Maintains conversation smoothly, without awkward pauses
  • Makes an effort to keep the conversation going, rather than letting it fizzle out

What kinds of compliments does he give you?

Compliments can be a good indicator of interest. Genuine compliments focusing on your personality, achievements, appearance or style show he is paying attention to you. Examples include:

  • “You’re so funny, I love your sense of humor!”
  • “You have great taste in music, I’ll have to check out that band you mentioned.”
  • “That’s so cool you organized that fundraiser, you seem really caring.”
  • “You look beautiful in that dress, red is totally your color.”

On the other hand, cliché or superficial compliments may signal he is just trying to flatter you without meaning it genuinely.

Is he nervous?

First date nerves can happen to anyone, but if a guy seems particularly flustered around you, it could be because he feels a strong attraction and wants to impress you. Signs of nervousness include:

  • Fidgeting and anxious gestures
  • Rapid speech or stuttering
  • Trouble making eye contact
  • Frequent awkward silences
  • Forgetting what he was saying mid-sentence

Some nervousness is normal for a first date, but if he seems more anxious around you than you would expect, he probably likes you.

Is he trying to extend the date?

If a guy is enjoying your company, he may try to find ways to prolong the date so he gets to spend more time with you. Ways he could do this include:

  • Ordering dessert or continuing the conversation long after you’ve both finished eating
  • Suggesting you go to additional places, like getting drinks at a nearby bar after dinner
  • Asking if you want to take a walk after the planned activities
  • Bringing up upcoming events and hinting he wants to go with you

These are all signs he doesn’t want the night to end just yet.

Does he try to get close to you physically?

Look for subtle touches that seem intentional as a sign of physical attraction and interest. Gentle touches can test the waters before making a bolder move like putting his arm around you or going in for a kiss. Light physical contact might include:

  • Guiding you gently by placing his hand on your lower back
  • Brushing your leg with his under the table
  • Sitting close so your arms and legs are touching
  • Reaching over to touch your hand, arm, or leg briefly while making a point
  • Finding an excuse to playfully touch you, like tickling or pinching you

Does he seem totally focused on you?

Having your date’s undivided attention is a promising sign. He will likely limit checking his phone and avoid being distracted by others if he is really interested in you. Look for these behaviors:

  • Putting his phone away for the majority of the date
  • Rarely scanning the room or checking out others; eyes stay on you
  • Not getting pulled into conversations with others nearby
  • Downplays or avoids mentioning other dates or romantic interests

How does he react when you have to part ways?

The end of the date can provide major clues into how he feels. If he seems reluctant to leave you or immediately asks about seeing you again, that’s a very positive sign. Other behaviors that suggest he’s smitten include:

  • Stalling leaving for his car or transportation
  • Pulling you in for an unprompted hug or kiss
  • Asking when he can see you again
  • Making concrete plans for a second date before saying goodbye
  • Texting or calling shortly after leaving to say he had a great time

How do his friends interact with you?

If you meet any of his friends, their behavior can reveal how he feels about you. Notice if his friends seem:

  • Welcoming and inclusive toward you
  • Already aware of details about you, indicating he has talked about you
  • Encouraging and approving of him spending time with you

On the other hand, aloofness or coldness from his friends may signal you are not someone he is seriously interested in.

Does he follow up after the date?

Following up to continue communication after a great first date is essential. Pay attention to whether he contacts you first by:

  • Texting or calling the next day
  • Sending a thank you text or email expressing what a nice time he had
  • Connecting via social media or adding you after getting home

If several days go by without a word, he may not be feeling a strong enough connection to pursue anything further.


Determining attraction and interest level on a first date can be ambiguous, but paying attention to his cues makes it easier. If he seems fully engaged with you, compliments and touches you, appears nervous, and follows up after – he is likely interested in you romantically. While no sign guarantees he is feeling sparks, noticing multiple positive signals means he enjoyed the date and wants to see you again. Trust your intuition when evaluating how he acts around you and you will gain clarity on whether he’s just being friendly or truly feels a connection.