While couples therapy was once thought to be a last-ditch effort to save a failing marriage, these days it feels like everyone is seeking professional advice on their relationship, whether they’re in a long and difficult marriage or they’re in that lusty dating stage and need a few kinks worked out.

The one time period we often don’t feel comfortable turning to a couples therapist, though, is in the very early stages of dating. You know what we’re talking about: Those first few dates when the relationship you’re assembling is likely at its most confusing. Because you probably don’t feel comfortable dragging that guy or girl you had dinner with last week to a couples therapy session just yet (a word of advice: please don’t do this!), we did some of the heavy lifting for you.

Here’s everything you need to know about those confusing signals you’re getting on the first few dates, according to couples therapist Shira Myrow, LMFT.

1. When he or she doesn’t text you after a first date to let you know they had a good time…

In an ideal world, we’d all get that reassuring “had a great time tonight, looking forward to doing it again!” text minutes after getting home from a great first or second date. But what does it mean when all you get is… radio silence?

“In the digital age, our expectations of instant and constant communication have dramatically increased because almost everyone we know has access to a smartphone — but we’re also in a dating world where there is no consensus on rules or dating etiquette, so it can be confusing and anxiety provoking,” explains Myrow.

Her suggestion? Send the text you want to receive. “If the receiving party doesn’t text you back by the next day, you can assume there isn’t much interest or excitement, which can definitely  be a disappointment,” she says. “But it’s better to know sooner so you don’t become emotionally invested.”

2. When they take an hour or longer to answer your texts…

So you just sent a text to someone you’ve been on a few dates with, and you’ve had your eyes glued to your phone ever since. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to be doing the same thing. Myrow’s suggestion? Don’t jump to conclusions.

“They may have a job where they can’t respond immediately or a long commute in the car, which would make texting unsafe,” she says. “There are also some people who have ambivalence about being expected to respond immediately to texts. It can’t hurt to ask someone directly about their texting preference — knowing their text communication style could go a long way to offset disappointment when they’re unresponsive.”

3. When there’s no kiss after the first couple dates…

Is there any better sign that both people are romantically interested in each other than a first kiss? Probably not — but Myrow says if it doesn’t happen right away, that doesn’t necessarily mean someone is disinterested. “There could be a number of factors: Perhaps someone isn’t ready for a kiss due to religious beliefs, bad dating experiences in the past, or they may have a desire to get to know someone before getting physical. Anxiety or self-consciousness could play a role as well.”

Her suggestion? Look for other signs of a spark. “Is there flirtatious banter, eye contact, smiling and laughter, or flirtatious body language? You might want to touch your date’s hand or shoulder lightly and gauge their reaction.”

4. When he or she brings up their ex on a first date…

While it’s easy to think someone bringing up their ex on a first date means they’re not over them or are still holding on to resentment, Myrow says it’s important to keep in mind just how different people are. “People are dating prolifically these days, and sometimes these experiences are just top of mind,” she says. “Besides, some self-disclosure is necessary to get to know someone. If the discussion about an ex starts to feel egregious or is moving in an unpleasant direction, I would try to gently change the subject. On the flip side, you might learn something quite revealing about the way this person behaves in relationships.”

5. When they have closed-off body language on a date…

Crossed arms, inability to make eye contact, leaning away, and rigid posture are all telltale examples of closed-off body language. Hate to break it to you, but Myrow says that if your date is doing this, it probably isn’t a great sign. “Chances are this isn’t a good fit,” she says. “At the same time, it may be a habitual physical posture someone is taking without much conscious thought. So look for other signs of interest, like smiling, laughing, and easy conversation.”

6. When there are lags in the conversation…

Is there anything worse than long, drawn out silences on a first date? According to Myrow, definitely. In fact, this is pretty normal. “The person might feel nervous, shy, or anxious,” she explains. “So take the gauntlet, and ask open-ended questions that require more thought and reflection. If you need some ideas, try the New York Times’ 36 Questions. Good conversation is a tango. I would say if a few thoughtful attempts at bidding for conversation fail, you can leave knowing you gave it a good try.”

7. If he or she isn’t texting you at all…

Sorry, but there’s no way around this one: You’re being ghosted. “I know it stings to get no response, but consider yourself lucky that you dodged a bullet and move on,” Myrow says.