When you're single and dating around, it can seem like the dating pool is packed with horrid first dates and "red flag" behaviors. So, it's refreshing to hear of dates that are the exception to this, as when u/EmCWolf13 asked people, "What is a 'green flag' you experienced on a first date that made you want to have a second date?"
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Here are a few of the stories that revived the romantic in me, even if for just a moment:
1."She was an hour late. However, the entire time, she was texting me updates and telling me what she was doing to get there. We just celebrated our one year anniversary on New Year's Day."
2."We talked about everything, and the conversation never dulled. Everyone at the party left, and we were the only two people there — we didn’t realize it for a while. 25 years later, and we're still running our mouths!"
3."When my girlfriend and I had our first date, her mom sent her with $50 just in case I made her pay, I guess. Since I paid, she tipped the waiter the whole $50, and he started crying — he was having a bad day, and she turned it around."
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4."On our third date, we watched a movie at his place. He remembered that on our first date I had ordered a Dr. Pepper with my meal, and a chocolate chip cookie for dessert. He had Dr. Peppers for me in the fridge and prepared homemade chocolate chip cookies. He burned them, but I married him two years later anyway."
5."She came to my door, and my puppy got excited. Without skipping a beat, she scooped up the dog and asked where the three of us were going. That was 19 years ago. Puppy is gone, but she and I've stuck together through hell and back."
6."I suddenly realized I spent most of the date talking about myself, even though I'm a very reserved and private person, especially when I first meet someone. That made dating difficult for years. But he had a way of asking questions, keeping the conversation going, and encouraging me to share my thoughts and opinions. He also shared his and built off everything I said. I wasn’t afraid of him judging me or not liking my response to something. All of his questions were sincere, and he seemed to genuinely care about everything I had to say. I didn’t have to think about what to say; it just came out. He met me where I was at. And maybe it sounds silly, but it's rare. And it felt magical."
"We still see each other."
7."It wasn't our first date, but it was the moment I knew I was going to marry him. We were grocery shopping; it was about 9 p.m. The young lady in line in front of us had a very young baby, and was paying with WIC coupons and a food stamp EBT card. Her total came to about $22, and she was holding a $20. She looked dejected, and put back a candy bar and an energy drink — probably her splurges. She only kept what she absolutely needed: food and baby supplies. I turned around to tell my boyfriend to hand me my wallet. I didn't have to. He already had his out. He took out a $50 bill, handed it to her, and told her to keep the change. He changed her week. He changed my life. That was the moment I knew he was it for me."
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8."First date, she was driving us to a spot to go hiking, about an hour away. We were talking and talking, but every once in a while, we stopped talking...and it just felt so comfortable. It wasn't awkward at all being silent together."
9."We stayed at the wine bar much longer than planned, and we were trying to race to a restaurant for food before places closed. She was wearing heels, so I offered her a piggyback ride. She jumped on, threw her arm forward, and yelled, 'Onward!' We didn't make it to the restaurant in time, but did end up at a nearby diner for a few more hours."
10."We went out for coffee in a place that he insisted I choose. When I got there, he was already waiting. The way his eyes shined when he saw me was really adorable. We ordered, played chess, and his hand was shaking the whole time. It's been a year and counting."
11."He made it clear it was a date and that he was interested, without it ever feeling creepy or like he was pressuring me for anything. We talked for hours during and after dinner. We walked up and down the river to my place for a beer. I offered for him to stay over, but not in my bed. He wasn’t pushy about anything more happening. The first few weeks he was always sweet and respectful, while letting me know without confusion that he was interested in a relationship. No games, or second-guessing. And now, we’re married!"
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12."I asked if she wanted to go to McDonald's and split some fries because that’s all I could afford at the time. She said sure. We talked a long time and split large fries. She was so chill about it. She wanted to be with me. Anywhere would have been okay. If she was willing to go out with a broke and struggling me, I knew she'd also be willing to build a life with me from the ground up. We've been married 35 years."
"Through ups and downs, kids, sickness, wealth, and poverty."
13."He took me to an amateur stand-up comedy night. He was heartily laughing at all the jokes. They were so bad. So not funny at all. I was planning to not go on another date with him because he obviously had a bad sense of humor. As we walked to the car, he commented how bad everyone was, but that he wanted to encourage them so he laughed at everyone’s jokes."
14."He knew I liked birds. While we were on a walk, he paused and pointed out my favorite bird."
15."She stopped at GameStop on the way over to grab another Wii controller so that my roommate could play Super Mario 3D World with us on the Wii U she was bringing with her. That was almost eight years ago, and we're still going strong."
16."I was just laid off the week before our second date. I called her to cancel because I was down, and unsure about my next move. She asked me what kind of pizza I liked. An hour later, she was at my doorstep with pizzas and beer to cheer me up. We've been married for 12 years, and she's still putting up with my crap."
17."Among other things, we talked about books. At some point, I asked for some recommendations. He said he had to think about it. I didn't expect him to actually do so. The next day, though, he texted me a list of his favorite books. It showed me that he had been really thinking about me, and that he didn't care about those weird texting rules about not texting right away. Also, just the fact that he wanted to talk about books."
18."It was just a random dance at a club. She held my hand after it ended. We were married for 24 years before she died from cancer."
"I'd do it all again."
19."In high school, a friend of mine got stood up for a date. He texted and asked me if I could just come down to the restaurant because he was embarrassed and felt awkward leaving — the staff had felt incredibly bad about it and kept trying to reassure him the date would come. I had nothing better to do on a Sunday night, so I went. So, I dressed nice, showed up, and sat down with him. It was this little fancy pizza joint. We had a blast trying to fool the staff into thinking I was actually his date. It was fun, and I got to know him better as a friend. It felt natural. He ended up walking me home, and on the way, got a call from his real date. He hung up on her. He later told me his date was calling to tell him they weren't actually interested and had just said yes to the date because she felt bad. I let him know I actually had a lot of fun with him and suggested we hang out more. It felt like a real date even though it was impromptu."
"We did end up going on another date, just a walk in the park. We held hands. I kissed him on the cheek. We ended up just staying friends after our third date. We realized our friendship was something we didn't want to ruin by becoming a couple.
We remained good friends until we graduated, but lost touch when he moved to a different city. I still see him from time to time when he comes in to visit family, and we always joke about those dates. He's got a lovely fiancé now. I'm incredibly happy for him."
What's the "green flag" you experienced yourself that scored that partner a second date? Look back into your love story, and share your anecdote in the comments.
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.