Wondering whether or not to kiss on the first date?
You’re not alone. The question of on what date you should first kiss is a question that’s been long debated among friends, romantics, and psychologists.
And there are compelling arguments on both sides, with good reasons for and against kissing on the first date.
For some people, a kiss on the first date can be a make-or-break moment to see whether there will be a second date in store.
A first kiss can be the perfect way to end a great first date, leaving both people feeling excited and eager for more.
A bad first kiss, meanwhile, can be awkward, uncomfortable, and even ruin the potential relationship, leaving no chance of another date.
In this article, we’ll explore the world of first-date kisses and explain the pros and cons of kissing on the first date, so you can make an informed decision when that you find yourself on your next first date.
Before getting into the specific reasons for and against kissing on the first date, let’s delve into the significance of the first kiss and the meaning of the first date in itself.
The Meaning of the First Kiss
In dating, having a first kiss is a significant milestone and can be a pivotal moment in taking a budding relationship to the next level.
The first kiss is a physical expression of attraction and a key milestone that breaks a significant physical barrier between two people.
The first kiss can help two people assess the chemistry between them. Even if you've been on several dates and have had great conversations with someone, there's something unique about the moment when your lips meet for the first time. When two people kiss, they exchange all kinds of biological and genetic information that our brains register on a profound level, below our conscious awareness.
A good kiss can make your heart race and leave you feeling euphoric. A good kiss on the first date, or a later date, means that there's a real connection, chemistry, and compatibility between you and your date.
But what happens when that first kiss isn’t all you’d hoped for?
Unfortunately, a bad first kiss can be a major turn-off and can even end a potential relationship before it really gets started. In fact, some people say that they knew right away that they weren't compatible with their date after a bad first kiss.
Beyond the physical and emotional aspects of a first kiss, there's also a cultural significance to consider, especially for younger people. A first kiss is an avenue through which many young people begin to explore their sexuality and learn about themselves in a new way. For young people, in particular, a first kiss is also a way for people to express their interest and commitment to each other, whether they're in a long-term relationship or just starting to date.
So, is the first kiss really that significant? It depends on a person-to-person basis. While some people view the first kiss as a major moment that can make or break a relationship, other people see it as just a small part of the dating process.
Regardless of how you feel personally, it's important to remember that the first kiss is a key stage in developing attraction, chemistry, and intimacy, but it's not the be-all and end-all of a relationship. A first kiss is just one of countless ways in which two people connect.
The Meaning of the First Date
A first date is how most new relationships get started. As nerve-wracking, awkward, or exciting as a first date can be, it’s an essential part of modern dating.
First impressions matter a lot. The first date is your chance to make a first impression, get to know each other, and see if there's a connection and potential for more. Because first dates inherently have high stakes, it’s normal to feel nervous or awkward before and during one.
A first date gives the opportunity to learn about who someone is, how they carry themselves, what they enjoy, and what they’re looking for. On a first date, you can get to know each other's interests, hobbies, and values. You can see what you and your date share in common and how your differences can complement one another and enable you each to grow.
On a first date, you might be able to walk away knowing whether you and your date have similar interests and goals, compatible communication styles, similar personalities, and compatible values and beliefs. Even within just a few minutes, you can learn a lot about someone.
The meaning of the first date goes beyond just that initial first impression. The first date can set the tone for the rest of the relationship.
While we all have a sense of who we are and what our personality is like, we all act a bit different depending on whom we’re with. It’s important to be in touch with how you feel and how you act during a first date, so you can observe what side of you this person brings out. Do they bring out an authentic side of you? Do you feel free and safe to express yourself? Do you feel like your best self and expansive, ready to grow and explore?
First dates also have an emotional significance to them. For many people, the first date is a chance to open up and be vulnerable with someone new. It's a chance to share their hopes, dreams, and fears, and to connect with someone on a deeper level. First dates need not involve just small talk. Opening up on a first date can create a deep emotional connection instantly and put you on a path toward a meaningful, lasting relationship.
Of course, not every first date leads to anything more. Sometimes, there just isn’t any compatibility or mutual interest. Remember that even in these cases, the first date can still be a valuable experience. It's a chance to learn about yourself, how you present yourself to a stranger, and what you're looking for in a partner. It's also a chance to practice your dating skills and build up your confidence going into your next first date.
Each first date is an experience filled with potential, which can create feelings of excitement, anxiety, and/or hope. Go into each first date with an open mind — your next one might just be the start of something truly special.
5 Reasons Why You Should Kiss on the First Date
Often, a kiss on a first date good sign and a good idea. Let’s review some reasons in favor of kissing on the first date.
1. Kissing reveals compatibility
The whole point of a first date is to see whether you’re compatible with someone, and kissing can be a powerful indicator of chemistry and attraction.
A kiss can help you gauge whether or not you and your date are intimately compatible. A first kiss that goes well will help set the stage for a deeper and more meaningful connection, opening the door to more intimate forms of physical touch and connection.
2. The first kiss creates intimacy
Another reason to kiss on the first date is that it can help build intimacy and trust between you and your date. Kissing releases oxytocin, which is a powerful hormone that promotes bonding creates feelings of closeness between two people.
By sharing a kiss on your first date, you and your date can strengthen your bond instantly, cultivate a feeling of intimacy, and strengthen your trust. These are all things that can help pave the way for a strong and healthy relationship.
3. Kissing on a first date is memorable
Everyone wants a magical love story. And while we don’t live in a fairy tale, we can still create an exciting and romantic story for ourselves.
Sharing that first kiss can be a magical moment, as kissing is such a psychologically and biologically powerful experience.
Having a kiss on the first date can be a romantic and memorable experience that you and your date can get to share for times to come ahead. It’s a bold and courageous way to start off your relationship and accelerate your course toward partnership.
While not every kiss is going to be mind-blowing or lifechanging, there's something special about every first kiss with someone new. And if that first kiss leads to you and your date making out on the first date, then that’s a story worth celebrating.
4. Kissing on a first date makes intentions clear
Dating is full of ambiguity and unclear intentions. Going in for a kiss on the first date can be a great way to make your intentions and desires clear to your date.
By initiating a kiss, you're sending a clear message to your date that you're interested in exploring a potential romantic or sexual relationship.
Of course, it's important to communicate your intentions in other ways as well, such as through verbal communication and body language. Consent is important, and most people don’t want to be utterly surprised by seeing your lips aiming straight for their face.
When you’re confident that your date feels comfortable, going in for the kiss is a good move to show that you go for what you want.
5. Kissing on a first date can boost your confidence (and your date’s)
When a first kiss on a first date goes well, you and your date can both rest assured knowing that you’re both into each other and enjoy exploring physical intimacy.
Breaking that first kiss barrier opens the door to more intimate forms of physical touch, which are now easier to discuss and initiate now that you’ve had the first kiss. This means you and your date can each be more confident and relaxed on your next date and in times ahead as you hold hands, cuddle, and explore more intimate connections.
A good first kiss is a clear sign that your date is interested in you and that there's potential for a relationship. Knowing this can help you feel more confident and comfortable in your own skin as you move forward with this person.
6 Reasons Why You Should Not Kiss on the First Date
While there are many good reasons why you should kiss on a first date, there are also good reasons why you should not kiss on the first date and instead should wait until later on. Let’s review some arguments against first-date kisses.
1. Many people just think the first date is too soon to kiss
The reality is that a large proportion of people think the first date is too early to kiss. One study found that only 15% of people say the first date is the ideal time for a first kiss, while a much larger 71% of people say that either the second date or third date are ideal. The study found that 32% of people would outright refuse to kiss someone on a first date.
Waiting until the second or third date to kiss is a safer move if you want to be sure that your date is ready. Especially when people meet on a dating app and they’re total strangers on this first date, it can feel too soon to kiss.
2. Respecting personal boundaries and comfort levels
On that note, refraining from kissing on the first date can be a good way to make sure that you respect your date’s boundaries. Everyone has different comfort levels when it comes to physical touch, and you don’t know your date’s comfort levels unless you ask them directly. If there’s any uncertainty, it may be best to be safe and wait until the second date to go for the kiss.
3. Kissing on the first date can create assumptions and send mixed signals
Kissing on a first date can sometimes create assumptions and send mixed signals, making some people think you’re looking to escalate things physically fast while making other people think you’re looking for an emotionally rich long-term relationship. If you're not sure what type of relationship you’d like to pursue with this person by the end of the first date, then it may be better to hold off on the kiss until you have a better idea of where things are going.
4. Avoid putting pressure on your date
Some people may feel pressured to kiss on a first date, whether they want to or not. By holding off from going for the kiss on your first date, you can help your date relax and ensure that your first kiss with them is out of genuine desire when the time is right, rather than out of some felt obligation or expectation.
5. Kissing on the first date can be overwhelming
A first date is already often a nerve-wracking experience. Adding a kiss to the mix can make your or your date even more overwhelmed and nervous. If you’re already nervous or anxious about the first date, then it may be more difficult to enjoy that first kiss and be present in the moment. By waiting until you're more comfortable with each other to kiss, you can make the experience more relaxing, meaningful, and enjoyable for you both.
6. The first kiss will carry a lot more weight
The first kiss is a big deal, and if it doesn’t go well, then that runs the risk of ending things with this person. When you kiss on the first date, the kiss may have even greater sway over the trajectory of the relationship because your date doesn’t know you that well yet. So, they’re going to judge you more carefully on your kissing abilities.
If you’re not confident in how good of a kisser you are, then it’s best to hold off until the second or third date before you kiss. That way, your date can get to know you as a person and not judge you too much on your kissing skills. They’ll be more likely to appreciate who you are and to enjoy kissing you purely for the sake of kissing you.
No Kiss on the First Date? Here’s What It Might Mean
As discussed in the above points, there are good reasons not to kiss on the first date. So, if there’s no kiss on the first date, don’t worry about it. It could potentially signal a lack of chemistry, but odds are it’s probably not a big deal.
Here are some reasons why there might be no kiss on the first date:
1. Lack of chemistry or connection
Of course, it’s always possible that no kiss means there wasn't a spark or chemistry. This could be due to differing personalities, interests, or simply not having a spark with each other. Now, given that the majority of people don’t view the first date as the ideal time for a first kiss, it’s unlikely that this is the reason for there being no kiss.
2. Nerves or anxiety
People are often nervous on first dates, so they may be too uncomfortable to initiate a kiss. People may have dating anxiety, social anxiety, bad past experiences dating, feel intimidated by the idea of kissing this soon, or just prefer to wait to get to know each other better first.
Each person brings different boundaries when it comes to physical intimacy and dating. For many people, a kiss on the first date may feel too forward or too fast, no matter who their date is. Not kissing on a first date may be what’s most comfortable.
4. Cultural or religious beliefs
Some people may have cultural or religious beliefs that make kissing on a first date seem uncomfortable. Some people’s beliefs may lead them to prefer to wait until they are in a more committed relationship before sharing a kiss.
Should You Hug or Kiss on the First Date?
Hugging on a first date is much more common that kissing on the first date. Compared to kissing, hugging feels less intimate and less vulnerable, making it a safer way to greet someone or to say goodbye at the end of a first date.
While it’s usually safe and appropriate to huge someone on a first date, it’s still best to gauge your date’s comfort level and it’s important to respect their boundaries.
Even if you don’t kiss on the first date, you can still create a feeling of intimacy, connection, and closeness by hugging them.
How to Hug Someone on a First Date
When you're ready to hug, approach the person slowly, confidently, and with intention. This can help create a sense of anticipation.
As you go in for a hug, you can create a feeling of intimacy by making good eye contact with your date.
Next, embrace your date fully using both your arms and body. Lean in close and hold the hug for a few seconds to deepen the sense of intimacy. During the hug, you can use gentle touch to create a deeper sense of connection by running your hands over the person's back and hold them close to you.
It’s important to pay attention to your date’s body language during the hug. If they seem uncomfortable or stiff, then it’s best to back off and give them some space.
A good hug can be a powerful way to end of a first date on a high note.
How to get more first dates from dating apps
Hopefully these tips give some insights on how you’ll decide whether kissing on the first date is right for you.
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