What You Should Really Be Doing On A First Date, According To A Dating Expert

The buildup to a first date is simultaneously the best and worst feeling. You spend so much time mentally mapping out scenarios of how everything will go and what your date will be like that by the time it comes and goes, your body feels like you ran a marathon. Putting yourself out there and meeting someone new is exciting, but the nerves that come with it don't seem to be a fair trade-off.

It doesn't matter how long you've played the field or what your prior relationships were like. Jumping back into the dating scene comes with its own set of anxieties, and can sometimes leave you with these questions on heavy rotation: "Will we have chemistry?" "How do we keep the conversation flowing?" "What's my escape plan if I'm not feeling it?"

Having zero chemistry and awkward conversations are 100% valid concerns. But these aren't the only things you should be looking out for. A popular dating expert breaks down the specific red flag you need to keep an eye out for on a first date.

Pay attention to how genuine your date is

First impressions aren't the be all, end all but can definitely tell you a lot about a prospective partner. Dating expert and coach Matthew Hussey explains in a TikTok video that observing your date's actions can give you insight on their authenticity. Instead of trying to catch them in a lie, Hussey stresses that "your job is to see if what they're saying aligns with the kind of person you're seeing in front of you." 

In the video, Hussey suggests paying close attention to whether their actions match their words. To do that, just look at how they interact with other people. "They say they're so kind and generous and whatever, but they're being mean to this poor waiter that's coming over and being short with them, and haven't got the time of day to look them in the eye," he explains. "And it's like well, okay. Your generosity isn't coming out in this moment."

If their actions don't line up with how they portrayed themselves, that's a red flag. Though a disconnect shouldn't automatically mean writing them off (unless they're rude to servers), Hussey strongly advises filing away that information as you decide if this date is worth pursuing.