This is number one and the story's just begun singing doo-wa-diddy-diddy-dum-diddy-doo
Um… Sorry. Got a little carried away there. Back to the task at hand. Helping the serious single navigate the river ways of romance.
Date number one. It's organised. You're ready for this. You've chatted online and even Skyped just to confirm each other's bona fides and all seems kosher. You're genuinely excited to meet this witty, intelligent and good looking chap. And he seems just as keen to see you.
So what signs should you look out for on the date to see if he's a keeper - or simply playing a sticky wicket?
Saying hello is awkward
If a guy swaggers up to you full of confidence as if he's known you for months, alarm bells should ring. This is your first meet. Neither of you really know how the other will react. Too much confidence and he probably doesn't really care for you as YOU. You're just another date.
A degree of awkwardness or a little stumble then he's nervous. This is a good sign. Nervousness suggests he wants to impress you. It's not necessarily a sign he's clumsy. Have a little laugh about it and he'll spring back in no time.
Are you trying to gut me drunk?
While caution is necessary in any new data scenario if he keeps asking you how you are and if you'd like another drink it doesn't necessarily follow he's trying to get you drunk so he can later take you um… to the moon and back.
It could be that he is drinking faster through nervousness. Or even better, that he wants to make sure you're enjoying yourself. If we assume he's not trying to get you drunk, it could be a sign he is prioritising what he perceives as your needs. You may just want to gently suggest everything's fine and you're enjoying his company and he'll soon relax. If he doesn't, watch your drink.
It's the little things
As I mentioned at the beginning, I'm assuming you've already communicated sufficiently to have built up some sort of picture of each other that led to actually waning to meet.
That means information has been shared. If he refers to things you've told him then he's remembered what you've said. And he remembers because he's interested in you.
However, if the level of detail is forensic and you're pretty sure some of the info he has was not given by you, call a cab immediately. He's probably stalked you on the internet and wants you to know as such. One word: Psycho.
Mind the gap
Awkward silences are going to happen. You're both a little shy and because of those delicious chemicals running around your body making you feel both excited and nervous neither of your reactions will be optimal. It's how you react to the silences that matter.
If he fills each with tales of his derring-do at 100mph without pausing for breath, it could be a cute sign of nervousness. This is not the case after two or three drinks though.
If he uses the silences to think for a second before asking about you, then afford yourself a little inner smile. He's a gooden. His interest in you outweighs his nervousness and need to fill the silence with any drivel. Instead he's finding the best opportunity to get to know you better.
If you get to the end of the evening and find you were perfectly matched on every topic and agreed the whole time, I'd strongly advise against seeing him again. Don't get me wrong, having things in common is a wonderful thing. But EVERYTHING? Seems to me that someone is trying too hard to impress.
On the other hand, a slight disagreement on exactly why 2001: A Space Odyssey is cinematically one of Kubrick's best, could be a sign of maturity. The way in which we handle differences is the ideal signifier of how we'll approach difficulties in a relationship. A good humoured disagreement leading to more discussion is a sign of experience, confidence and the ability to listen. Screaming and shouting is a sign of… Well screaming and shouting.
As always there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to matters of the heart. But sometimes letting your head lead the way can make things that little bit easier.
Still looking for someone to date? Look no further we've always lot loads of dating events going on. Find them here.
WORDS BY JOHN DAVIS