Is Kissing On The First Date Okay? When To Know If It’s Appropriate

Updated April 1, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

Getting ready for a first date might be making you feel more than a little nervous. After all, there’s a lot to think about, and it’s likely you want to make a good impression on the person you’re meeting up with. You may have certain expectations of a first date or have boundaries you’re worried might be crossed. Something many people consider is whether a kiss might be in order on the first date. Every situation is different, but there are some aspects you may want to consider when thinking about kissing someone on the first date.

Getty/Halfpoint Images
Nervous about making a positive impression on a first date?

Is it a date?

Before you worry about kissing on a first date, it can be crucial to discern whether it’s a date at all. Sometimes people have difficulty determining whether they're going on a date or not. If you weren't using specific language when you asked the other person out, then you might be curious if they see the time you’re spending together as a real date. If you were the one who got asked out, but it was phrased as a “hang-out” or they used other vague language, you might also feel confused. 

Making your romantic intentions clear from the start can be important to avoid awkward moments or confusion. This goes for you and the other person, regardless of who made the first move. If you’re interested in going on a date with this person, try to do what you need to do to let them know that. Being clear from the beginning can help both of you avoid issues down the road. Having this conversation before the first date can also allow you to go into things with full confidence that your date is there for the same reasons as you.

Should you kiss on the first date?

There’s no one right answer to this question. In some circumstances, it might be appropriate to kiss on the first date, but it can depend on a variety of factors. For example, it can be important to consider how your date feels about it and whether you feel comfortable kissing someone that you're just getting to know. Some people are more comfortable about opening to others swiftly, while others might not be comfortable with the idea of kissing until a second or third date, or even later in the dating process. 

If you're trying to determine whether your date is ready for you to kiss them, it can be helpful to pay attention to their body language and other signs that could indicate their interest. Try to read your date's body language to see if they are leaning in or encouraging physical intimacy. If you notice these signs, it could be safe to proceed with a kiss. 

Even if your date agrees to a kiss, they may not be okay with a full-on kiss on the first date. They may be more comfortable with a half-measure of kissing, like a peck on the cheek. This can still be a positive sign of affection that isn't as intense as kissing someone on the lips. Don’t forget that other types of physical contact can be just as powerful, such as a hug. 

In most cases, if you are unsure about your date’s preferences and boundaries, you can simply ask your date how they feel about kissing. You could also say something like, “Can I kiss you?” Asking for consent is vital and can help keep everyone comfortable.

Getty/Halfpoint Images

Making out on the first date

You might be wondering about taking things further and whether this could send a bad sign. If you're thinking about making out on the first date, understand that this depends on your date and how they are feeling about the matter. If you had a great date and there was a lot of chemistry between the two of you, then you might feel the urge to make out with them. Some people like to take things slow and get to know who they're dating before they go this far, though. Respecting your date’s boundaries remains important. 

Even so, you two are adults who can make conscious decisions of your own. If you're both comfortable with it and you want to go further, there isn't anything inherently wrong with making out on a first date. In fact, you might even consider it to be a sign that the date was a success. It could mean, at the least, that your date likes you and finds you attractive. Some people are also comfortable with having sex after a positive first date, but again, this is up to both people. Everyone has their own set of morals, preferences, and boundaries. Ultimately, what two consenting adults decide to do in their own free time—first date or not— is up to them. 

Tips for the first date

Going on a first date can be intimidating. Ideally, you can get to know your date through the phone or over text messaging a bit before going out. This can allow you to gauge their interests so that you can pick an appropriate first date activity. Some people like to stick with the tried-and-true dinner and a movie date. Others might want to spice things up a bit and try to do something memorable. 

What type of person you're dating can determine what types of dates end up being a hit. Remember that thinking outside the box can be fun as well. You don't have to take them to a movie or go out to dinner. You could grab drinks, or you could invite them out to do something completely different, like a picnic at the park. Some people like to do physical activities such as kayaking on a first date. Whether or not this fits your sense of style depends on you, but there are many first date ideas you can ponder.

It can be important to pick something that you both feel comfortable doing. Being in an environment that doesn’t allow you to be yourself can create an awkward or uncomfortable first date. If the other person might like fancy restaurants, but you know that type of setting could make you more nervous or uncomfortable, it might not be the right fit. The main purpose of a first date is to get to know your date and see if your click with them, so try to choose an activity or place where you can spend time together comfortably.

Nervous about making a positive impression on a first date?

Online  counseling with Regain

If you hit it off with your date and wind up in a committed relationship, you might need some help somewhere down the road. Online couples counseling can be a productive way to help you get through certain struggles without having to stress about finding the time to make it to a session. Regain is an online counseling platform that can connect you with a therapist with the click of a button. You and your partner can meet with your therapist from home or wherever else you have an internet connection. It can be convenient to get support anywhere, anytime, and you may just find that working with a therapist helps mend your relationship in the ways you needed.   

The efficacy of online counseling 

Online counseling can be a powerful resource for couples experiencing issues in their relationship. In one study, researchers determined that couples counseling delivered via videoconferencing was an effective replacement for traditional, face-to-face interventions. These results were especially notable for those partners who didn’t have proper connection to the care and support they required. Researchers also noted that couples participating in the study experienced improvements in their relationship satisfaction and mental health over time.


Relationships progress at various speeds, and there’s no one right answer as to whether you should kiss on the first date. Some people look forward to kissing on the first date, while others prefer to take things more slowly and even consider kissing to be crossing a boundary when initiated too soon. By openly talking with the person you’re dating, assessing their interest in you, and speaking up when you don’t feel comfortable, you can work with your love interest to move at a speed that feels right for both of you. If you need help navigating a relationship, speaking to a therapist could help. Regain can match you with an online relationship coach who can support and encourage you during each step of the dating process and beyond.

For Additional Help & Support With Your ConcernsThis website is owned and operated by BetterHelp, who receives all fees associated with the platform.
The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.
Get the support you need from one of our therapistsGet Started
This website is owned and operated by BetterHelp, who receives all fees associated with the platform.