One of the longest-running debates and discussions among people in the world of dating concerns when the right moment is to elevate your connection to a more physical one by kissing, and eventually sleeping together. Some people are happy to do all of the above on the first date, while many others prefer to take things slower and work in stages.
So, let’s consider the latter approach, and think about what is commonly called “getting to first base,” namely kissing. As that colloquial term suggests, a kiss is among the first physical acts of affection that you will have with a dating partner, usually signifying that things have gone well. But should that kiss come after the first date? Or the second? Or beyond that? In today’s blog, we’ll be thinking about when is the right time to kiss when you’re dating someone.
Can You Kiss After the First Date?
Let’s make something very clear to start off, there is thankfully no such thing as a “dating law” so nothing that people say about what you should or shouldn’t do while dating is anything that’s written into law — besides the genuinely criminal stuff: stalking, harassment, sexual assault, etc. But when it comes to things like kissing, or even sleeping together, you will have to make a judgment call based on your connection with the other person.
But okay, what do the “unwritten rules” of dating say about kissing? Well, first of all it really depends what we mean when we say kiss. Let’s not forget that kissing can come in many forms:
- A light peck on the cheek
- A short peck on the lips
- A firm but short kiss on the lips (no tongue)
- “French” kissing (with tongues)
- Intimate neck kissing
- Deep kissing
- …and so on…
So, given the entire range of kisses that there are, it’s safe to say that it’s alright to end a first date with some form of kiss. According to data from a TimeOut poll published on Elle.com, about 53 percent of first dates end with a kiss. However, Elle doesn’t specify as to what kind of kiss it is. We’d say that if the date went well, any of the first three on the list above would be acceptable at the end of a first date. Those 3 likely cover the majority of kisses that respondents to that poll were talking about.
The same poll found that 20 percent of first dates end in nudity, so there’s at least a portion of that 53 percent of kissers who are exploring further down our kiss list above! The most important thing before you kiss anyone at the end of a first date is that you’re sure both you and the other person are comfortable with the idea. It’s best not to push it too far or too hard so as not to cross any boundaries.
While a nice romantic kiss might be the perfect end to many a first date, is there anything to be said for not kissing on the first date? We’ll explore that in the next section.
Reasons Not to Kiss on the First Date
Isn’t it being a bit of a buzzkill to not have at least one kiss at the end of a first date? If the date has gone really well, why not finish it with something sweet and memorable to really establish a romantic connection between two people?
Below are 5 of the best reasons to reconsider kissing on the first date:
It Could Prematurely Lead to More
Further above we mentioned that the Elle poll revealed that 20 percent of first dates end in nudity. This is all while apparently only 1 in 10 people think that sex on the first date is a good thing. Looking at these numbers, it seems there are a lot of people for whom that first passionate kiss is leading perhaps to regret.
If you’re serious about dating this person, and you like them a lot, there’s nothing wrong with saving the romantic and intimate stuff for another time. If you know that kissing acts like a trigger for you to want to immediately do more, then avoiding it so early on is not a bad idea. If you are worried that your date wants to kiss you but refusing will cause a problem, then just explain that you feel you’d like to wait a little before doing it, and that you look forward to your next date.
The Kiss Might Create Awkwardness
Another possibility is that if you go in for a kiss and the other person seems to pull back, flinch, wince, or otherwise resist it. That’s the kind of awkward situation that belongs in some kind of romantic comedy movie or sitcom, and something we all want to avoid in real life, but it can and does happen to people.
The thing is, the other person might not be resisting because they don’t like you, but perhaps just because they prefer to wait for intimate things to happen. Lunging in for a kiss can create a very uncomfortable situation in which the two of you might succumb to all kinds of misunderstandings.
It Sends the Wrong Message About You
Next, going in for a kiss — especially a very full-on kiss — may well say to the other person that you’re not looking for any kind of relationship besides a physical one. Is that something you want them to think? One way you can demonstrate that you’re really committed to the idea of a relationship is to take things slowly and work on building things between you more solidly and meaningfully. That means holding back on all the physical stuff in those very early stages.
It’s Not Much of a First Kiss Story
Let’s say your first date goes very well, and you share your first kiss outside of a restaurant or bar, or in front of the other person’s apartment building. How cliche is that? If and when your relationship blossoms into something very real and lasting, perhaps even marriage and kids, is that the first-kiss story you one day hope to tell your children and grandchildren?
Even if you’re just bragging to your friends around the table at a dinner party, isn’t it nicer to have a unique, romantic and meaningful story behind your first kiss, rather than simply “we went on a date, and kissed at the end”? By not having your first kiss after the first date, you leave the possibilities open for a really romantic and wonderful first kissing experience.
It Might Mean PDA, Which Some People Don’t Like
Finally, a first kiss at the end of a first date in many cases means a public display of affection (PDA). Some people do feel very uncomfortable with PDA, even with people they are close with, and even people they are in a relationship with or even married to. A PDA on a first date might just make one of you uncomfortable, not just the act itself, but even the anticipation of having to face that when the date is over. This creates unnecessary pressure and awkwardness between you.
If you have concerns about this, it’s fine for you to just tell the other person openly either that you’d rather wait to kiss, or that if you do, you’d rather do it somewhere more private and out of the public view. Don’t be afraid to share these concerns.
On What Date Should You Kiss?
In the end, then, what’s the best guideline?
If you feel that you and this person have a shot at a real relationship moving forward, it’s perhaps better on balance not to kiss after the first date. You’ll have plenty more opportunities in the near future.
If you and the other person feel very relaxed during your date and the two of you are clicking well, and everything feels natural, there’s nothing wrong with having a short kiss at the end of the first date. Still, it’s better not to make it anything too far down our list above. Keep it simple and sweet.
Finally, if you really are just in the mood for a kiss, or even more, don’t be ashamed of it. As long as the other person with you is up for it and willing to go along with it, then you’ve nothing to worry about.