First dates are often filled with uncertainty because most first dates are with someone not well known. While a person is interested in the new potential partner, they really don't know the other person's natural self or true personality traits prior to the initial date.
A first date is a good time to get to know someone and see them "close up and personal". After this time spent together the next step is to decide whether or not enough interest has been generated for a second date.
While abusive attributes may not emerge during a first date, there are some tell-tale signs which may indicate a new potential partner has abusive tendencies.
Abusive behavior is not limited to physical abuse, it can include emotional or verbal. On your first date you want to look at things such as body language, verbal exchanges, behavior, treatment of others and how they discuss other people. Additionally, in some extreme cases an abusive person will be abundantly apparent if they lash out.
Here are a few things to look for:
A person's body language is a good indicator of personality traits. Does the person's body language seem to indicate they feel they are superior to others around them? Are their body movements overly dominating towards you? It may be a red light if the person is extending themselves beyond the norm of being overprotective.
Additionally eyes are another good indicator. Are their eyes shifty or look like they are hiding something? It may also appear as if they are struggling to be on their "best" behavior in order to impress, but eyes will usually betray this objective. If a person's expression in their eyes do not match the "good" behavior, beware, this could be an indicator of an abusive type person.
A person's linguistic behaviors is another attribute to watch. Do they obviously, or even subtly, continue to put others down? An abusive person tends to belittle others, sometimes even guised as humor. If this is constant, it could be another signal your date has abusive tendencies.
*Invasive of Personal Space
If your date is overly interested in your routines and personal habits, this may be another signal of abuse. This doesn't mean someone who questions you and is truly interested, but a person who is an abuser may be more pestering and illuminate glimpses of jealousy.
A date who persists in invading the space of a person he just met may be a suspicious person who has trust issues. This extreme jealousy may be a sign of future abuse if they cannot handle their partner's friends, family, personal routines or activities.
It is one thing to want to know someone's interests and hobbies and show a natural curiosity for routines, but it is another thing entirely if jealousy or resentment emerge in any of these types of conversations.
*Treatment of Others
Another potential tell-tale sign of an abuser is the way your date treats other people. Are they kind and empathetic? Or do they give off a callous attitude and treat people nastily? Do they put others down?
Even if your date is doting on you, this could be a means to impress and they are putting their best foot forward only to impress. Pay attention how they treat any restaurant servers or other people you run into during the course of your date. If there is any nasty or ill treatment, this could be a huge red-light.
Sometimes on first dates people talk about their past relationships and experiences. If this comes up, pay attention to how your date's tone is about their ex, this may give you a glimpse into their personality. Even breakups under the worst of circumstances can be discussed civilly.
Any severe anger or heavy disparagement about past relationships may not be a good sign. Especially if there has been more than one relationship that seemed to end on a really bad note.
In extreme cases an abusive person may simply lash out easily and has no qualms in hiding it. If your date immediately lashes out either physically or verbally at any sign of discontent, run for the hills.
When on your date, if you feel any sense of hesitancy, which extends beyond first date flutters, go with your instinct because intuition is often correct. Any combination of the above signs could be an indicator that your date has abusive tendencies.