Unfortunately, after a first date, it's rarely as simple as: "I like you, I had fun, let's get together again."
I'm coy after a first date because:
I don't want to look too eager/desperate. I won't ignore my attraction, but I'll at least try to temper it.
I want to look like I have a life. Even though I don't have a life, I might try to look a little aloof.
I'm not sure if you like me. It's scary to take the dive and show I'm interested when I'm not sure if the girl is interested.
Despite attempts to look calm, cool, and collected, there are a number a things I'll do around an initial date that clue you in that I'm interested. Here are a few:
Completing the Date
It may not indicate that you're the apple of my eye, but it does indicate that you're not a total disaster. Most people are courteous enough to do the absolute minimum on a date: finish whatever activity you're doing together and devote sufficient time out of respect for the other person. But some situations are such utter disaster, things must be cut short.
I once went out with a girl who spewed embarrassingly stupid things I couldn't respond to. Finally, I suggested changing plans to meet up with my buddies. Once a date is officially a bust, I'll look for any way out.
One on One
If I'm into you, and comfortable, I won't want to "share" you. A common tactic to combat a boring date is calling in "reinforcement" friends to "dilute" you. I'm naturally talkative with those around me, but if I invite everyone else around us into our party, I might be looking for a more interesting outlet.
Extending the Date
Suggesting something (other than going back to someone's place) after dinner like taking a walk, grabbing a drink, going for dessert, catching a movie, etc., indicates I'm asking for an encore. Although a masochist like myself might ask a girl to spend more time with me if I'm not enjoying her company.
Suggesting Another Date
Sometimes I get so excited during a first date I play my cards by suggesting other things we should do together. A common time to suggest another date is at the end of the date, though some guys just say this to be friendly. But it can't be bad if the guy is enthusiastic enough to suggest a second date. He just has to make good on his word.
Friendly Follow-Up Right After You Say Good-bye
Sometimes after a date, I'll text the girl telling her I had a great time, out of sheer giddiness. If I'm not interested after the date, I'll head straight home and begin my process of fading out of this girl's life (following up is not part of that process).
Striking While the Iron's Hot
I'll appear to be flaky or uninterested if I wait too long. If I enjoyed the date I'll contact her within a few days. This doesn't necessarily mean I'm asking her out again just yet. I'm just keeping the conversation going. If I'm not interested, I won't ever contact her again. Regardless of how great you thought things went, if he doesn't contact you again he's clearly not interested.
Hold me to a higher standard than one extra date, or one call back after the initial date. How many times have you gone on a few dates only to have it fizzle out? You can't be sure I'm interested until we've gone out consistently for more than a month.
Take notice when I ask you to do random little things: run errands, go to the park. It's that next step when I'm getting to know you and showing you I want you around whenever, wherever. Spending this "informal" time with you indicates I'm interested.
Remember, guys sometimes act interested just to get laid, and there are guys who feel guilty cutting a date short when it's not going well. "Trying to be nice" actually sends the wrong signals if a guy is not interested.
My advice: Use these indicators as guidelines (they usually build on each other as things progress). Be vigilant, because reading the signals incorrectly will get you hurt. Hopefully you'll meet a good guy who is sending honest signals.
How do you show you're interested after a first date? Do you wait for a guy to make the next move after a first date? What signals are you looking for in guys after a first date? Do you agree with my signals, and that it's tough to read them in the beginning?