First dates are always memorable, whether in the positive or in the negative.
So, it’s not out of place to find someone all anxious and fidgeting while trying to create a good impression on the first date.
For men, in particular, nervousness might manifest in their body language and behavior.
In this article, we will explore 11 unmistakable signs that indicate a man is nervous on his first date, helping you decode his unspoken feelings.
11 Clear Signs a Man is Nervous on His First Date: Decoding His Body Language
1. Fidgeting and Restlessness
Fidgeting and restlessness are common physical manifestations of nervousness.
When a man is feeling anxious on a first date, he may exhibit various fidgety behaviors as his body attempts to release pent-up tension and energy.
This is usually his involuntary response to the “fight or flight” instinct triggered by the body’s sympathetic nervous system, preparing him for stressful situations.
As he tries to maintain composure during the date, these physical actions can provide a momentary outlet for his nerves.
Some of these behaviors include tapping of fingers or feet, playing with objects around, adjusting his clothes, and smoothening his hair.
2. Avoiding Eye Contact
Eye contact is an essential nonverbal aspect of communication that conveys interest, sincerity, and confidence.
However, for a man feeling nervous on his first date, maintaining direct eye contact can be challenging due to the fear of being judged or appearing vulnerable.
You’ll know he’s avoiding eye contact if he keeps looking down or glancing around rather than looking directly at you.
He may also look at you but will carefully avoid looking at your face or holding your gaze.
Avoiding eye contact is a common defense mechanism to shield oneself from potential rejection or uncomfortable emotions.
It’s essential to be understanding and patient, as excessive pressure to maintain eye contact could exacerbate his nervousness.
3. Excessive Sweating
Sweating is a natural bodily response to stress and anxiety.
When people get nervous, their bodies experience an increase in heart rate and perspiration.
And they begin to sweat excessively on their forehead, palm, upper lip, and arm.
Excessive sweating can be pretty embarrassing for some individuals, and they may become self-conscious about it, which could further contribute to their nervousness.
If you notice this in your date, try to set him at ease by exhibiting a playful and relaxed demeanor.
4. Rapid Speech Patterns
When a man is feeling nervous, it can impact his speech patterns.
The adrenaline rush from anxiety may lead him to talk faster than usual in an attempt to fill any silence in the conversation.
You’ll find that as he does this, he begins to ramble or even stutter.
Rapid speech can also result from a fear of awkward silence or appearing disinterested.
It’s essential to be patient and give him the space to express himself comfortably without feeling rushed.
5. Lack of Appetite
Anxiety can have a direct impact on a man’s appetite during a first date.
As he feels nervous, the body’s stress response may suppress hunger signals, leading to a lack of appetite.
He’ll make his order, though, just so it doesn’t look like he’s nervous, but by responding to his body, he may order lightly or pick at his food.
Some people just outrightly decline food, too.
When you notice this, do not press him about it.
Rather, turn his focus to something else by raising topics that may ignite his interest.
6. Excessive Politeness
A man should not see the need to be extra polite if he is relaxed in your presence.
It doesn’t mean he should not be a gentleman, but that formal politeness that he displays when he says “sorry” and “please” for everything, does excessive chivalrous gestures, and continuously says “you first” is a sure sign of nervousness and an attempt to make a positive impression.
You may find this display funny, but resist every urge to laugh or to dissuade him.
Instead, show appreciation for the gestures and kindly reassure him that you are comfortable and that he does not need to do anything extra.
It will help him feel good about himself and more comfortable with you.
7. Nervous Laughter
You’ll surely know when someone’s laughter is not at ease.
Even their smiles.
You’ll see it when they laugh at things that are not funny or over-laugh at jokes.
Sometimes, they’ll take to making deprecating jokes about themselves.
Nervous laughter is a common coping mechanism used by individuals when they feel uneasy or anxious.
They do this with the hope of setting the atmosphere at ease, but they only end up making it more awkward.
This is one of the most difficult to deal with because it’ll require expertise with words to point it out to them without leaving them feeling worse.
Or laugh at their jokes without making them look demeaning.
8. Checking His Phone Frequently
Constantly fiddling with, glancing at, or texting with your phone when on a date or in a meeting with someone is rude.
However, a man may do this as a cover-up for his nervousness on a first date.
He may try to stay in continuous conversation with someone who he feels comfortable with via text or scroll through his feed to find distractions or topics for conversation.
9. Talking Little About Himself
On his first date with a lady, a man may talk very little about himself to avoid reaching a place of vulnerability or sharing things that are rather personal.
To make sure he shields himself, he will turn the attention of the conversation to you, asking you questions about every area of your life to while away time.
If by any chance you get an opportunity to ask him questions about himself, he’ll only provide surface responses and not dive into the real thing.
Other times, he’ll find ways to completely avoid answering the question.
Being patient and understanding during the conversation can help him feel more comfortable sharing his thoughts and experiences at his own pace.
However, you should also be careful not to give excessive information about your personal life.
10. Stiff Posture
A man who is nervous on his first date has a tendency to create an unnecessary defense mechanism by setting up a stiff posture.
He’ll sit with crossed arms and raised shoulders.
At other times, he may decide to lean away from you, creating a safe distance for his nervousness.
A stiff posture can be a subconscious way for him to protect himself emotionally during the first date.
Encouraging open body language and creating a welcoming environment are ways you can help him feel more at ease.
11. Prolonged Silence
While brief silences are natural in conversations, a prolonged and unusually quiet period during a first date might be a sign of nervousness.
Some of the reasons for prolonged silence may include lack of the right words, lack of knowledge of the subject matter, etc.
Prolonged silence can result from feeling overwhelmed by anxiety and the pressure to make a good impression.
In such moments, offering reassurance and initiating a light-hearted topic can help break the silence and ease the tension.
First dates are a mix of excitement and anxiety for most people, and men are no exception.
When you recognize the signs of nervousness in a man, you’ll be able to understand his emotional state better.
Patience and understanding are tools with which you can help create a comfortable environment for both of you to enjoy the experience and get to know each other better.
Remember, it’s perfectly normal to feel nervous, and with time, the jitters will likely subside as a connection begins to form.