Should We Kiss On The First Date? Pros And Cons

By Lindsay Hamilton

Updated November 22, 2019

Reviewer Lisa Cooper

Ah, the first date. They can be fun, full of chemistry, and leave you hopeful for the future. Or, they can be awkward, last too long, or end abruptly. You never know which it's going to be until you're actually on the date, which can make anyone nervous. So, how do you make sure a good date stays a good date? How do you know whether the chemistry is leading you to kiss them or if it would be a terrible idea?


The truth is, people think differently when it comes to kissing on the first date. There's no rule book that tells you that you should, or that you shouldn't. You have to go with your gut, and pay attention to your date. To help you out, here are some pros and cons about kissing on the first date. Hopefully, they will help you make the right decision when the time comes.

Pro: Embrace The Awkward First Kiss

Thinking that the first kiss should sweep your date off their feet? Worried that you'll never be confident enough to pull it off? There is good news for you, dear friend. An awkward first kiss has much more potential than one that ignites serious sparks. Awkward kisses show that you care, oddly enough, according to relationship expert Susan Winter. You might lean in and kiss the corner of their mouth by accident. Maybe you click teeth. Maybe they go in for a hug, but you go in for a kiss, and you get their nose, or their ear! Let those nerves settle down now because your date will probably feel just as awkward about it as you do. But that doesn't mean the date is officially ending badly. In fact, you've now opened yourself up to your date in a new way. You allowed yourself to be vulnerable and show your feelings. If they like you just as much as you like them, feel free to make plans for a second date.

Con: Swagger And Suave Can Make You Look Like A Player

You're on a really good date that you don't want to end. But like all good things, it must. So they walk you to your door. You see them there, leaning against the door frame with a gorgeous smile. They place a hand on your cheek and with perfect practice, lean in to kiss you. Talk about sparks! But then you go inside, and they go to their car. They didn't say they'd call you, didn't even ask for your number. Didn't that kiss mean something?

Unfortunately, those foot popping, sparks flying, world ending kisses that are talked about in books and movies don't generally lead to long lasting relationships. Sure, they can. But if your date is good at kissing you on the first date, Susan Winter also says that they probably have had a lot of practice. If that doesn't send up a red flag, it should. Because that could indicate they're either a serial dater or a player, both of which don't bode well for that happily ever after.

Pro: Kissing Shows Potential

In a study of 1,041 college students, Susan Hughes from Albright College found that 50% of men would have sex without kissing a date first, but only 10% of women would do the same. The same study found that men look at a partner's face while women look at a partner's teeth when deciding if they want to kiss them. Beyond these facts were interesting; they show that physical intimacy is an important part of a relationship, especially when it first starts. For men trying to attract women, they should make sure their teeth are clean before they go on a date. Women attracted to men should dress and wear makeup that will accentuate their face. It should also be taken into account that even though 50% of men would have sex without kissing their dates first, another 50% need to have kissed their date first. Therefore, that first kiss with your date, whether it's on the first date or after, is an important step in the dating process.


Con: First Kisses May Be A Chemistry Test

Beware of the people who use kissing as a chemistry test. Yes, awkward kisses are a sign that someone probably likes you, but an awkward kiss could also send someone running in the other direction. To know which camp your date is in, you're going to have to do a bit of listening and watching. Is your date cautious? Do they seem stand offish or have a lot of questions? Do they have one foot out the door? This person would probably be turned off by an awkward kiss. Or, are they leaning in when they talk to you? Are they making excuses to touch you, making eye contact, and sending signals of attraction? This person wants you to go for it.

The first kiss between you and your date is a moment both of you will remember for the rest of your relationship. It sets the stage for more physical intimacy and shows your partner that you like them, that you are physically attracted to them. In the end, you may decide to keep the first kiss for a future date and not kiss them on the first one. That's okay! Since there are no hard and fast rules, you have to consider what you are comfortable with, too. Maybe you think you want to kiss on the first date, but then the date ends, and you change your mind. You have every right to make that choice. If your date likes you, they will stick around first kiss or not.

The following are a few tips about first kisses in general that will help you when the time feels right.

First Kisses Should Be Done In Private

Before that first kiss, you probably won't know how your date feels about PDA. To keep things on the safe side, keep the first kiss for when you are in a safe space without prying eyes. A good place is a front door when you drop them off after the end of a date. Note that it should be private, but not secluded. Your date's front door is great because it's still public, but not in front of other people. You don't want to make your date feel unsafe or cornered, so it should be in a place where they're comfortable and open to you.

Reading Signals Is Hard Sometimes

On that note, it can be hard to read signals. And some people prefer to be asked before they are kissed for the first time. It's better to ask for permission and not need it than not to realize you should have asked first. Asking can feel awkward, but a moment of that feeling is 100 times better than ending a relationship because you were trying to avoid it. Your date may tell you that you don't need to ask, and that is their call to say so. Your date also may make it super obvious that they want you to kiss them; they may even say it out loud. In that case, permission has been granted before you even have the chance to ask. Your safety and your partner's safety is of the utmost importance when it comes to physical intimacy. Make sure you pay attention to your date before you decide on to move in for the kiss.


So, how do you feel about that first kiss? Excited? Nervous? Do you have more questions? All of those responses and others are okay. And some people can help answer any questions you might have. At ReGain, online therapists and counselors are available to help you on any number of dating questions and issues. Whether you are dating, in a relationship, or single, ReGain can connect you with the right person to help you in your time of need.

How it works is you will answer a short survey with information about yourself and your needs, including whether you would like to include a partner in the counseling sessions. Then you will be matched with the right counselor and given a secure chat room with which to share your questions and concerns. At a pre-determined time between you and your counselor, they will enter the chatroom to read and respond to your messages. Since the counseling is in real time, you can use it any time of the day or night to write in, and your counselor will respond when they can do so. If you don't want to add your partner right away or don't have a partner right now, join it as a single person and know you will always have the option to add your partner at a later date. To get started to go today!

When deciding whether to kiss on the first date, remember to listen to your gut. And remember that there are people available for you to ask any questions you might have about those gut feelings.

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