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First dates can be pretty nerve-wracking. The thought of meeting up with someone new makes most people anxious, but that said, first dates can also say a lot about what type of relationship someone is looking for. Knowing how to tell if they want something serious can be surprisingly easy if you know what to keep an eye out for. This is because when someone is ready for a serious relationship, more often than not, they are going to be as direct as possible. After all, courting someone takes a bunch of time and resources, and after most people gain some experience, they’ll realize the importance of not wasting their time on people who aren’t ready for the same level of commitment as they are.

Of course, not everyone is going to put everything on the table the first night you hang out, because for some, that would probably be coming on too strong. However, the signs that a person is in relationship mode are still pretty straightforward. I spoke with NYC relationship expert Susan Winter and noted psychotherapist Dr. LeslieBeth Wish, to get their input on how to know on the first date that someone is looking for a serious relationship.

1. They tell you upfront.

“People who truly want a serious connection will make sure to state that on the very first date,” Winter tells Elite Daily.

While interpreting a new person’s intentions can feel v cryptic at times, if they come out of the gate telling you they want a relationship, then you can most likely trust that they mean it.

According to Dr. Wish, if they talk about knowing what they want in a partner, then there’s a pretty good chance that they are dropping hints that they have experience and may be ready to hunker down and find a long-term partner.

2. They ask thoughtful questions.

“When someone is looking for a serious partner, his or her questions will go beyond the superficial,” says Winter. “Though they may open the conversation by asking if you have brothers and sisters or where you grew up, your discussion will eventually shift to life goals and values.”

If your date steers the conversation in a more superficial direction and deflects your attempts to talk about slightly deeper things, then they could be looking for a more casual arrangement.

“What kind of things are important to you in a relationship? [Or,] what have you learned from your past relationships about what you need,” are both examples of questions that may signal your date has a serious relationship on their mind, Dr. Wish tells Elite Daily.

3. They ask you what you’re looking for.

“The word ‘relationship’ has different meanings to different individuals,” explains Winter. “A serious partner will make sure that you’re on the same page and going the same direction from the very first date.”

If someone wants to engage in more serious dating, they are going to be interested in finding out if you’re also open to the idea.

Both Dr. Wish and Winter agree that it’s totally possible for a person to realize that someone has long-term potential on the first date, however, both people should avoid rushing into a commitment.

“Even when you have a strong feeling that you’ve met your match, it’s wise to examine how the two of you function together in day-to-day life,” urges Winter.

If your date is coming on strong and you’re more of the slow and steady type, both Dr. Wish and Winter feel that it’s important to verbalize your outlook on taking things slow. When starting a new relationship, one of the most important things is making sure you are on the same page.