Dating in the modern age is difficult. Dating apps and websites have made it easier than ever to find a date. We rely on computer algorithms to match us with people who share our values. But when it comes down to it, all we’re really looking for is that first date spark, and a computer can never predict when that will happen.

It can be tempting to dismiss the first date if you don’t experience “the spark”, but this could mean that you are putting too much pressure on the first meeting. Speak to any happily married couple and most will tell you that their first meeting was a disaster or just unremarkable.

Ask a cynic, and they’ll tell you that the idea you’ll experience a spark is a myth perpetuated by romantic movies. While sparks might eventually fly between you, putting too much pressure on this happening on the first date can mean you dismiss people before you’ve given them a chance.

Instead of looking for the spark, look out for these signs that you could be sitting across the dinner table from your soul mate.

Do they share your values?

There’s no sense in spending a lot of time getting to know someone if you know deep down that they don’t share your values. While it might not be a spark, you should know after your first date if the person has a similar worldview and values the same things that you hold close to your heart.

Do they listen?

If they aren’t asking questions about your life and listening to the answers then it can be a warning sign of things to come. Some people suffer from word vomit on a first date because they are nervous, so if they are ticking all of the other boxes it might be worth giving them a second chance.

Do you want a second date?

There might not be a traditional spark and fireworks might not be going off in your head, but if the thought of going on a second date with them doesn’t fill you with dread, then it’s worth giving them a chance. The second date is often the time when people relax and let their guard down. Going on a second date can be the perfect chance to get to know them without nerves and jitters getting in the way.

At the end of the day, everyone has their own limits. Some people will wait a long time to experience the spark if they are happy to allow a friendship to flourish first.