“Should you kiss on a first date?” is an age-old question. It’s a question without a certain answer and one people have lots of opinions about. Some people think a first-date smooch is a big no-no. Others view it as a prerequisite to a second date.
Historically, making out with someone on the first date has been perceived as slutty. While women tend to get the brunt of this assumption, men aren’t immune to it. Sometimes, a first-date kiss is interpreted as a sign that the relationship won’t lead to anything serious.
Some dating rule books say to wait until date two or even three. Others say you definitely should kiss on the first date or otherwise you’ll never see the person again.
Perhaps you’ve been told that a kiss at the end of the date is acceptable - but no affection before that. Or maybe you’ve heard it’s OK to kiss someone if you knew them before going out with them.
I’m here to tell you that all of this is a bunch of B.S. Of course, you shouldn’t do anything you’re not comfortable with. That being said, if you do want to lean in on date one, I say go for it! Here’s why it’s totally OK to kiss on the first date.
Why Should You Kiss On A First Date?
When a first date goes extremely well, it usually means the chemistry is really working! So much so, that it often makes people want to kiss before signing off for the night.
Let’s say you go ahead and smooch this person and sparks fly. Beating yourself up over it or racking your brain remembering all the “rules” is basically a waste of time.
As I said, the question of whether you should kiss on a first date is unanswerable. That’s because every situation is different. If you’re not feeling it and aren’t sure if you want to kiss this person, then don’t! But if the two of you are vibing, there’s no reason to hold off aside from your personal preferences.
To be clear, kissing on the first date doesn’t guarantee you a second date. Nor does it eliminate your chances at a real relationship. Moreover, a bad kiss doesn’t mean you’ll never see that person again. Lots of first kisses are bad––it’s really no biggie. Similarly, opting out of a kiss won’t doom you or seal the deal, either.
So, should you kiss on a first date? Only you can answer that for yourself, but here are ten reasons why you can.
1. You’re stating your intentions
There's a big positive to consider when wondering if you should kiss on the first date. It's that you're giving a clear, nonverbal signal about how you see her and how you want this to go.
A kiss says, "I don't see you as a buddy. I see you as a woman I want to get to know better and develop an intimacy with." This is something that you don't actually talk about outright on the first date since you want your chemistry to speak for you.
This is especially important if you met her through friends. Or another ambiguous non-dating capacity that could be mistaken for just "hanging out."
A kiss on the first date sets up a communication for what you want from this relationship.
2. Your kiss is communicating a lot
It doesn't matter if you first met at work, in a bar, or online. (Check out our review of the best websites for dating older women if you are interested in the later option.) A kiss communicates a lot.
When you get close to someone for a kiss, you're sharing all sorts of sensory information through all five senses.
There's even the exchange of pheromones: the odorless, chemical messengers that are barely even perceptible to our conscious brains.
Their pheromones give us all sorts of information about our partner.
Consider what's said in the book, "The Science of Kissing." Kissing "can reveal clues about a partner’s level of commitment and possibly his or her genetic suitability for producing children."
While these might be heavy first date topics, you can feed your brain this information just by sharing a kiss.
3. Should you kiss on a first date if you don’t know if she’s attracted?
By going nose-to-nose with your partner, you're able to engage your sense of smell in your attraction.
This is more than just appreciating that you both took the time to show up freshly showered. The smell of attraction is so deeply wired in our brains that we're not even conscious of it.
Specifically, it's believed that women can subconsciously sniff out a group of genes influential for immunity that spark an attraction. If you're not sure if she's attracted, a kiss can be the perfect way for you both to find out.
4. Our lips are the most exposed erogenous zones
Unlike most other mammals, humans (and a few of our primate cousins) have lips that purse outward.
Because of this, our lips are packed with over a million nerve endings. That's more nerve endings than what's in our pants, which is one reason why a hot kiss feels so great,
So when you show that you can make her feel good with a peck on the lips? It bodes well for your skills in other areas.
5. Men and women kiss for different reasons - which gives you a lot of reasons to try
A study at the University of Albany found that men and women kiss for very different reasons.
Men tended to kiss women as "a means to an end". That is, as part of foreplay or to work their way up to a sexual act.
But women kiss for very different reasons. They kiss to "establish and monitor the status of their relationship, and to assess and periodically update the level of commitment on the part of their partner."
So men see the kiss as part of the hopeful future of sex. And women see a kiss on the first date as establishing seeing you as a potential sexual and romantic partner. The first kiss can spark sexual attraction as well as romantic attraction.
6. If she isn't into you, you'll know right away
If you're not sure how to read her signals, attempting a kiss can be a great way to find out.
If you're gentlemanly and go in for a nice, romantic kiss and she flinches? You can be relatively sure she isn't interested in a second date.
Of course, some women just don't like to be touched by someone they don't know well. And some women have a policy against kissing on the first date.
If she tells you not to take it personally, accept her answer politely. But take it with a grain of salt.
7. If you’re waiting for her to make the move, you might be waiting a very long time
It's not that women don't want to initiate the first kiss. It's that women have been socialized not to be sexual aggressors, even for something as innocent as a first kiss.
Consider it from her perspective. If she makes a move on you and you rebuff her? It plays into all the negative messaging she's heard about being "slutty" or "easy."
Men, on the other hand, are expected to do this. So even if you get turned down, you're acting in a way that men are "supposed" to act.
Yes, this is ridiculous and there's no reason to adhere to these double standards. But just by being aware of them, you're helping decode them.
8. The kind of kiss tells a lot about her
One of the best reasons to kiss on the first date? It’s a good way to see if you have physical chemistry. You can have a million things in common, amazing conversations and laugh at all of each other’s jokes. But as soon as you get physical, one or both of you might be repelled.
Like I said, a lousy first kiss doesn’t mean all your future kisses will be awful. And yet, it’s still a good way to get a feel for how you mesh mouth-to-mouth. You could get a total platonic vibe when you pucker up with this person. Alternatively, you might feel fireworks. Or, of course, you could feel something in between and need another date to figure out how you feel.
If you are still deciding if you should kiss on a first date, go slow and see what happens. It can tell you a lot about the chemistry between the two of you and how she's feeling about you.
If you traded a quick peck and nothing progressed, it's okay to assume that maybe you should go slow. Or maybe the chemistry just isn't there.
But if she returns the kiss and goes in for a second one? You know that she's interested in getting to know you. And that she is trying to feel out if there's a spark between you.
9. It tells her that the date went well
Sometimes, it can seem like a first date is going really well, but you may never hear from them again. Unfortunately, this is relatively common, and it can happen to both men and women.
Women are just as self-conscious and nervous on a first date as men.
We wonder if you think we're pretty and if you're thinking our jokes are charming. We wonder if we're riding that oh-so-delicate balance between "sexy" and "girlfriend material."
When you kiss a girl at the end of the date, it tells her she should feel okay about it. And you're actually into her as more than a friend.
While a first-date kiss can send her a message that you’re feeling it, it won’t ensure a second date. But that’s kind of why first dates are so important. It’s a chance for both of you to present your best selves and see if you’re a match.
When it comes to dating, some people really don’t like wasting time. So, it’s good to be able to determine whether there’s potential on the first date.
10. It leaves her with a warm and tingly feeling
There's nothing better than leaving a date with that excitable delight of just having shared a first kiss.
One of the most simple reasons to kiss on a first date is simply because you want to! Making out is fun. You’re both grown adults, and there’s a good chance you’ll both enjoy a kiss. When a first date goes swimmingly, a kiss can be kind of like an exclamation point at the end.
A date that ends with a really stellar first kiss will stick in her mind. And leave her thinking about you for the rest of the night. Isn't that exactly what you want at the end of your first date?
Should You Kiss On A First Date? It's Really Up To You
So, to recap: If you want to kiss a woman on the first date, by all means, you should. But as I’ve mentioned a few times, puckering up doesn’t really imply anything about a second date.
If things are going really well and the kiss is magnetic, it’s probably a good indicator of what’s to come. You could be blindsided if they ghost you after. But in general, you should be able to read the room pretty well.
Also, try to be mindful of the woman you’re with. If she’s flirtatious and you’ve been lightly touching each other throughout the night, a kiss is likely warranted. When a woman seems more reserved and the chemistry isn't there, a kiss might not be the best choice.
When you decide to lean in, I recommend starting with a quick peck. If it doesn’t go well, brush it off. But if there’s chemistry, go ahead and lock lips for a little longer. Be receptive of your date’s verbal and non-verbal cues, taking things one step at a time.
Also, for the record, first-date sex is OK, too––as long as both parties consent with enthusiasm. Sex on the first date doesn’t imply anything negative about the woman you’re with, so no slut-shaming, OK?
At the end of the day, first date kisses are pretty common. My advice is to do it if you want to and skip it if you don’t. Best of luck!