Sometimes, you know the man in front of you is going to be in your life a very long time. (Maybe you have butterflies in your stomach or you can’t stop smiling when someone says his name.) But experts say that you don’t have to have that instant chemistry. It’s normal to feel unsure on the first few dates, only to realize you’re attracted to someone down the road, says Kiki Strickland, a Washington, DC-based dating coach. Here, six signs—that experts agree—could prove you’re with a man who deserves a second (or third!) date.
Your Initial Greeting Is a Little Awkward
Maybe he stumbles up the steps or gives you the world’s worst handshake. While it’s not exactly leading man material, being nervous a good sign: He wants to impress you. Overlook the awkwardness, laugh it off, and chances are he’ll act a lot more confident as the night continues, says Patti Feinstein, a Chicago-based dating coach.
He Did His Pre-Date Homework
Maybe he asks about the dog you’ve posed with in your profile photo or wonders how you feel about the latest True Detective casting news if you mentioned you were a fan. “When men really like you, they’ll pay attention to details,” says Strickland. Not only that, but being genuinely interested bodes well for communication down the road.
You Don’t Check Your Watch
If it seems like the insta-chemistry is lacking, but you don’t even realize the restaurant is shutting down until the server taps your shoulder, it’s a good sign you have a lot in common, says Strickland. “Eventually, you’ll be able to suss out whether he could be a future boyfriend, but for now, just focus on getting to know him. If you like the way he makes you feel and you have fun, keep going out.”
He Talks Up His Family
Does he mention that he spent last weekend helping his little sister move to a new apartment? That’s a pretty good example of how he treats the important women in his life, says Susan Winter, a New York City-based relationship and life coach. “He should bring it up offhandedly, not as if he’s telling you to get your reaction, which could be a sign that he’s just trying to show off,” clarifies Winter.
He Doesn’t Sweat the Small Stuff
If the bar you’re meeting at is too full, he’s fine exploring other options. He makes a joke when it takes him forever to find a parking spot. “Seeing how he reacts to small hiccups is a good clue into how he’ll handle major upsets,” explains Winter.
He Checks In
The reason he’s asking five times if you like your drink could just be because he really wants to make sure you’re having a good time, says Strickland. He’s prioritizing your feelings and comfort. Reassure him everything’s cool, and eventually, he’ll relax.