“You must remember this, a kiss is just a kiss…”
But is it really? And, more importantly, what about a kiss on the first date?
Should you kiss on the first date?
Deciding to kiss someone on a first date is a deeply personal question. If you can’t wait to lock lips with this person, by all means, go for it!
“When kissing on the first date, make sure you feel aligned. If you feel the attraction and you feel the desire to kiss, lean in a little and see if your date leans in with you,” suggests law of attraction expert Christy Whitman.
But when you should have a first kiss is really up to you — and the person you want to kiss.
Now, keep in mind that kissing can include making out or French kissing, but no matter the style of the kiss, it’s still up to you to decide if it’s the right time to kiss your date.
Kissing on the first date means different things to different people. But ending the first date without a kiss doesn’t mean there won’t be many more dates — and maybe even a promising relationship — with this person in the future.
You don’t even need to count the number of dates, just do it when it feels right! However, keep in mind that 53 percent of first dates end with a kiss.
What does a kiss on the first date mean?
There are many different things someone might be thinking when they choose to kiss you on a first date. Was he just being polite? Was he dreaming of laying one on you all night long?
And as you probably already know, a kiss can have many different types of meanings.
There’s no way to know without asking him, but let’s be real, interrogating a guy about the reason he decided to kiss you on the first date falls squarely into the category of “not a super great idea if you’re hoping he’ll ask you out again.”
One thing is for sure: a kiss on the first date doesn’t mean either of you have consented to taking things any further than that. Let’s just get that straight right off the bat.
There are a few ways to tell, however, that your date wants to kiss.
“What is the rule for kissing on the first date? It is a bit complicated. First, you will need to notice the facial expressions, body language, tone of voice, and words expressed to help you know if and when to kiss. You will intuitively know when the time has come. If you still do not know the answer, don’t be afraid to ask,” says life coach Ronald Legge.
To find out the consensus, I asked a group of guys (anonymously) what men think about the subject. They revealed what they’re thinking when they lean in, what they’re hoping for, and all of the different reasons they might decide to get that lip lock… or not.
Here are 15 reasons men think you should or shouldn’t kiss on the first date, and what it means if you do.
1. Kissing on the first date lets a guy know he should ask you out again
“If there’s no kiss on the first date, I’m left wondering and usually don’t pursue much further.”
2. It helps determine if there’s chemistry between you.
“If there seems to be chemistry between us, I try to go for it. Otherwise, what’s the point of dating?”
3. It’s a great way to test the waters with you.
“I try just out of curiosity, sometimes even when I’ve already made up my mind that I’m not that into it.”
4. It’s a natural next step in the progression from dating to being in a relationship.
“Not kissing after an hour-long coffee date makes sense. After a couple of hour-long dates that involve dinner (bowling, going to a Ferris wheel, ice skating, a walk through a public park, mini golf, other things), followed up by drinks or coffee somewhere, however?
Usually, by then it’s been about 3-4 hours of us talking and spending time together. That’s generally enough time to decide whether or not there’s going to be a second and third date. I won’t even go for one unless there’s been a yes to a second date.
All of that also depends on how long and how much we’ve talked for leading up to the first date, but that’s usually a decent amount, as I won’t even ask for a first date until we’ve talked more than an initial greeting.”
5. Sometimes, a hug can be just as good when ending a first date.
“If it’s a particularly longer than expected first date, and she seems into it, yeah I’ll go for it. Otherwise, we’ll hug it out and I’ll offer to go out again.”
6. When you are already friends, kissing can be a way of confirming that you’re taking things to the next level.
“I’ve kissed on the first date because I already had a friendship with the person beforehand and we had good communication. It was a long, passionate smooch that turned into a long session of necking on a sidewalk on the Lower East Side with people and cars going by at 3:00 AM. She is now my wife.”
7. Kissing is simply romantic.
“When a date is going well, there’s really no better way to end it than with a romantic kiss. Nobody likes awkward goodbyes or weird hugs.”
8. Even if you do, that doesn’t mean things will go any farther.
“I wouldn’t read too much into it. It’s too early to be planning the wedding, or naming your children.”
9. It might mean a guy is ready for more, but that doesn’t mean you have to be there yet.
“It means I’d be happy to sleep with her, but I’ll settle for what I can get.”
10. It can be a way to express what you’re feeling.
“Usually it means that I’ve been caught up in the moment and I want to communicate that clearly.”
11. In general, a kiss at the end of the first date is usually a sign of enthusiasm.
“If I’m kissing someone on a first date it means one of two things: that I want to see her again, or that I really, really want to see her again.”
12. But sometimes, it doesn’t mean anything at all to at least one person involved.
“Sometimes I just give a peck on the lips at the door because I feel like I have to, but I wouldn’t look at it as being the be-all and end-all.”
13. Kissing can be a good way of testing the physical chemistry between you.
“For me, a kiss on the first date is like testing the waters. Is she into it? Do we even have chemistry? Do we both like the way the other person kisses?”
14. Keep in mind that some people don’t enjoy kissing for kissing’s sake.
“I’m weird about kissing. I’m not a huge fan, but I know girls are. If I’m kissing on a first date, it’s because I’m hoping it will get me in the front door.”
15. The way someone kisses you on the first date can tell you as much as whether or not they do.
“It depends on the kind of kiss. Sometimes a kiss can be practically G-rated, but other times I really lay it on because I want her to know that she made an impression.”
Is it bad if you don’t kiss on the first date?
Let’s be perfectly clear: you should only ever kiss someone when, and if, you both want to. If you’re not ready on the first date, that isn’t bad or wrong — it’s how you feel, especially if you met online and are just getting to know each other for the first time.
Remember that just because someone lectures you about why you shouldn’t kiss on the first date, that doesn’t mean they’re a relationship expert. If you’re attracted to the person and are ready to start locking lips — go for it!
But if you want to follow the 3-date rule — which states no sex until the third date — follow it and your heart. That doesn’t mean you can’t still kiss on the second date, third date, or even the fourth date; it’s just a different level of intimacy and affection.
You can also try to shake things up physically without smooching, like putting your hand on your date’s knee while making direct eye contact. But you didn’t need to have leaned in for a kiss to make that last first date a good time.
Kissing on the first date means whatever you want it to for yourself — and for the person you’re trying to kiss, of course.
If they lean in and you like them but don’t want to kiss them yet, let them know you had a great time and would love to see them again, but that you prefer taking things more slowly. If they really like you, too, they should be thrilled to know you’re vibing and want to go out again.
If they push back or give you a hard time, that could be an important warning sign that this is someone who may not be great about respecting boundaries. Better to know that upfront.
Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cat, Batman. She’s the Senior Editor of Pop Culture at Newsweek with a passion for lifestyle, geek news, and true crime.