He drops you off at your house.

You say goodnight, get in the door, throw your keys on the counter, and smile.

Wow, a guy you’re actually excited about. The conversation was easy, he made you laugh – you even shared a passionate kiss.

But soon comes the anxiety about how to keep him interested… Should you text him right away? Should you say you want to see him again? How available should you be?

One of the scariest periods in dating is the moment you decide you actually like a man. Because that’s when your brain gets fearful of losing him and you start feeling that urge to keep his attention at all costs.

1. Let him know you had fun.

To play it cool, or to not play it cool?

Well, that depends. Presumably, since you’re reading this blog, you like this guy, which probably means that he took you on a good date and did something to impress you.

So let him know.

You don’t have to overdo it. Just text him to say: “Hey, just got into bed. I had a great time. Thanks for a lovely night! x”

Just acknowledging that you enjoyed yourself is important for a man. It lets him know he should keep pursuing and that you’ll be receptive to his future advances.

2. Keep things warm, but don’t overdo it

It’s important to strike a balance between showing you’re into him and showing you’re not too needy.

If he texts you after a couple of days, don’t leave it too long to respond or he’ll assume you’re not bothered.

Engage in a few texts back and forth, throw in a little flirting, but don’t get sidetracked into endless conversation or it will get stale and you’ll lose any mystery. You want to leave him a reason to get in touch again or to schedule another date to talk in person. So don’t waste all your good conversation on instant messenger.

Also, while you shouldn’t be afraid to text him first, don’t do it every time or it will put you in the position of always being the one chasing. Let him be the one to make first contact sometimes – it will let you know if he’s actually into you or not.

3. Build anticipation

When you’re texting, talk about other fun things you’d like to do together (not in a sexual way – and if you do go down that route, keep it lightly suggestive, nothing too explicit). By talking about activities and interests you’re both passionate about, you’ll find it easy to schedule your next date.

And remember – don’t let your conversations just become boring, “What u up to?” chats about your day. Keep things fun and flirty and joke around when you talk. The most important thing is to not overthink your every move.

On that note…

4. Don’t get locked in a needy mindset.

It’s easy to find yourself pacing up and down, checking your phone every five minutes, hoping he’ll keep texting back and worrying whenever he doesn’t.

You get that needy feeling in the pit of your stomach, and you may even start obsessing as you hope he’s still into you.

This is a totally destructive mindset that will slowly drain your confidence and make you act weird around him, because he’ll sense you’re trying too hard.

So in this stage, you must find other ways to keep your own life interesting.

Invest in your friends. Find activities you love. Make time for your work, family, art, for exercise, and for things that make you excited.

The worst thing you can do is invest all your happiness in this new guy who you barely know, thinking that you’ll suddenly be depressed and lost if he doesn’t like you.

At the end of the day, I know this sounds cheesy, but if he doesn’t see how amazing you are, and you have to play constant mental chess moves just to keep him interested, he’s not your guy anyway.

5. Let him in gradually.

One of the crucial ways to keep him interested is to not “jump the gun” too quickly.

Just because things went well the first time, don’t assume you’re now officially exclusive or dating. Keep your options open, at least to begin with. Don’t start cancelling other plans just so you can fit him in.

If you can only see him one evening this week, then so be it. There’s always time for things to grow if it goes well, so don’t feel the need to skip ahead in the relationship.

Or maybe he wants you to spend the whole weekend with him, but you already made plans for drinks with friends that night. Ok, then he’ll have to wait – go see your girlfriends and pencil him in for next week.

It’s good for a guy to see in the early stages that you have other commitments (as long as you do actually have room for him somewhere within those – if you’re always busy and rigid in your schedule, a guy will eventually lose interest, thinking it’s too much effort).

6. Show you have more than one gear.

If you want to keep him interested, you need to show many sides to your personality.

Mix up the kinds of dates you have. Go for cocktails one night, then do something cultural like visiting a gallery on the next date. Or have a day just chilling and doing some work together, then go and do something active next time.

The more you vary it up, the more a man sees that you’re a woman who he can do lots of different things with. When men think about what they want in a girlfriend, they picture a woman who can fit into many situations: She can be fun and energetic, but also chilled and relaxed; glamorous and sexy, but also casual; intelligent and thoughtful, but sometimes goofy and playful.

Keep him guessing, and you’ll be the woman who stands out, because he won’t be able to place you in a box.

* * *

There you have it, the first steps to keep him interested straight after the first date.

Now, you may be saying, “These tips are great, Matthew, but no matter what I do or say, things always fall apart for me after the first few dates and men end up disappearing on me before we ever get into an actual relationship.”

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Matt xx