By: Jason Lee
First dates are exciting, awkward, fun, terrifying, and an emotional rush—all at the same time. And for a lot of people, the whole time can turn into a blur and make it tough to know, “Did my first date go well?”
In this guide, we’re going to help you answer that question. We’ll share what you should be looking at so you’re getting the real answer and not just the answer you want to see. Additionally, we’ll talk about what to do if your first date did go well or if your first date didn’t go so well.
Don’t Straight Up Ask Them If They Had a Good Time
We need to say something important first.
It might be tempting to be direct and ask someone if they had a good time with you on a first date. While we are usually fans of being forward and taking conversations by the reigns, this is not one of those situations. It makes you seem desperate, doesn’t always get an honest answer, and doesn’t set you up for relationship success.
Use the information we give you here to determine if you think it went well. And from there, you can ask them out on a second date, but don’t get so wrapped around confirmation of the date quality that you mess things up.
Question to Know If Your First Date Went Well
It would be great if your first date ended and each of you filled out a comment card to let the other know if you had a good time. Unfortunately, that’s awkward and not how the world works. Additionally, some people will say they had a good time in the moment just to avoid an awkward interaction. This also doesn’t help.
Luckily, there are ways you can find out if your first date went well. Here are a list of questions to consider when making your determination.
And remember, at the end of the day, the best way to find out if someone had a good time is to ask them on a second date (assuming you had a good time and want to, as well).
- Did you have a good time? Outside of being nervous, did you have a good time? Generally, a first date going well is dependent on both people having a good time. If you didn’t have a good time, chances are it went poorly. If you did have a good time, it doesn’t mean they also did, but it makes it more likely.
- How long did the date last? If the date went way over the original allotted time, that’s a big positive. This is especially true if you did something additional that wasn’t scheduled, like if you were going to get coffee and then also got dinner or went for a walk. Just because it didn’t, though, doesn’t mean the date went poorly. Sometimes people are nervous or there are real-time constraints.
- Did they seem engaged? Were they actively participating in the conversation, or were they on their phone? If it’s the latter, it means they probably weren’t interested or are just a crummy person who you don’t want to be dating anyway.
- How was the conversation? Speaking of the conversation, how was it? Was it one-sided or were both people engaged? Any laughing? Did it feel like an interview or natural? Remember, first dates can be awkward, so don’t read too deeply into this one. But if the conversation was amazing, that’s probably a great sign that the date went well.
- How was the eye contact? First dates with a lot of eye contact either mean the person is just a great listener or that the date went well. When the other person is engaged and interested, it’s a really positive sign.
- How did the date end? Did it seem like the person couldn’t get away fast enough, or did they seem to want to hang around a little? Was there any physical contact or anything that would lead you to think it went well or poorly? Again, this isn’t going to be the smoking gun if nothing happened, but if there are positives—these are big ones.
Put It All Together
As you can see, it’s not about getting a definitive answer, but about collecting a lot of different observations and creating a best guess if your first date went well. For the most part, the existence of positives carries more weight than the absence of it. For example, if the conversation is great, that probably means the date went well. However, if the conversation wasn’t great, it could mean the date went poorly, or a number of other things—like everyone was just nervous.
Do your best to connect the evidence strings you have and come to a conclusion.
What to Do If Your First Date Went Well
If you got through these questions and your answer to did my first date go well is yes, congrats! That’s such an amazing feeling. Wondering what to do next? Here is what you should do after a successful and great first date.
Ask for a Second Date
The next logical step after an amazing first date is a second date! If you haven’t already set one up, make sure you read a few of our other guides that might help on how long to wait between the first and second date and how to ask for a second date. These are amazing guides that can walk you through the next step of the process.
The takeaway here, though, is that second dates usually don’t just happen by accident. One of the two of you needs to be intentional and work on setting that next meeting up.
Contain Your Excitement At Least a Little
When a first date goes well, it’s an amazing and almost euphoric feeling. You walk with a pep in your step, strut like you’re on top of the world, and can’t stop smiling. And while we want you to fully enjoy this, make sure you don’t overly relay this information to the person you went on the date with.
Why? First, you don’t want to scare them off. They might move slower when it comes to dating and if you make it seem like you’re already head over heels in love, it could scare them off. Second, you want to stay grounded. Remember, they get a say too in if you have a second date, and you don’t know how they felt until you ask.
We are NOT saying to hide that you had a good time or play any games. What we are saying, though, is don’t send them 200 text messages about how they’re the next mother or father of your children and that you’ve already planned the next 20 years of your lives. Let them know you had a great time and let them know you want to see them again. Just do it in a way that’s not too over the top.
What to Do If Your First Date Didn’t Go Well
If the first date didn’t go well (or at least seems like it didn’t), start by taking a breath. It’s not the end of the world. Let’s take a look at the two options you have.
Give It Another Go
A lot of the reasons that a first date might seem bad have to do with nervousness. Also, sometimes people just have off days. If you liked the person and would like to give it another try, go for it. The worst that can happen is you confirm it was genuinely a bad date, but the upside is tremendous.
Find Another Option
The point of a first date isn’t to have the best time. It’s to find out if you and someone else are compatible. And when you find out that you’re not, that’s actually a successful first date! But that also means it’s time to throw your lure back in the water and get to fishing again.
If that’s you, we’d encourage you to check out our list of the best dating sites where you can start matching with new singles in minutes.
Written By: Jason Lee
Jason Lee is a data analyst with a passion for studying online dating, relationships, personal growth, healthcare, and finance. In 2008, Jason earned a Bachelors of Science from the University of Florida, where he studied business and finance and taught interpersonal communication.
His work has been featured in the likes of The USA Today, MSN, NBC, FOX, The Motley Fool, Net Health, and The Simple Dollar. As a business owner, relationship strategist, dating coach, and officer in the U.S. military, Jason enjoys sharing his unique knowledge base with the rest of the world.