When to Go for the First Kiss on a Date? How to Know When It’s Acceptable as a Professional

When to go for the first kiss

We’ve all been on dates where we think to ourselves, “Wow, this is going so much better than I expected.” But once you’ve decided you’re beginning to feel emotionally invested in this date of yours, another question arises. You’ll probably ask yourself when the most appropriate time to display affection would be, but you also may even be wondering how to kiss someone for the first time.

Not only can these situations be tricky to handle personally, but they also require thoughtful consideration in regard to the other person. In this article, we’ll discuss a first kiss date and what it might mean for the future of your relationship.

The Power of a First Kiss

You probably remember your first ever kiss between you and another person, whether it was good, bad, or just at a point where you were too young to know what you were even doing. Regardless of how this memory remains, you still understood the impact of the action itself, and it was likely fueled by either a genuine spark (for one of the individuals, at least) or curiosity.

This childlike wonder can still arise when first kissing someone at any age, and no matter which stage of the relationship it comes during, it could make or break your connection. Not to say that a first kiss could definitely decide your fate in a relationship going forward, but making the right move and experiencing the perfect chemistry at a certain moment can do wonders during the early stages of dating someone.

Making Your First Kiss Memorable

First and foremost, you must make sure that you and your date are on the same page regarding intimacy before leaning in and expecting a kiss. You want to ensure that up to this point, you’ve become comfortable around each other and established your feelings and expectations about the pace at which you’re moving. Rushing into a first kiss may not only be memorable in itself, but detrimental to your approach.

If you sense the chemistry is there, the mood is right, and the situation presents itself, kissing on first date jitters may be all you have to worry about. Presenting yourself in a confident manner, verifying your intentions are reciprocated, and, most importantly, exuding passion in your gesture will make the kiss one to remember. The less forced and more organic the embrace is, the more likely you’ll both feel it was meant to be.

Perspectives on First-Date Kisses

Your personal feelings and decision about when it’s most appropriate to share your inaugural smooch is purely subjective. However, there may be cultural or historical implications that beg to differ because people of various backgrounds may have different perspectives on the dating process altogether. In more conservative or traditional environments, single individuals may be held to a certain standard regarding intimacy and the values in which they were raised.

There are so many ways people can interpret a first-date kiss. Many people are willing to oblige, both happily or even reluctantly, but those who aren’t willing whatsoever usually make this clear in their words or body language. While behavioral or cultural indicators are usually helpful, it’s not hard to imagine an awkward occurrence from one of the individuals who either misinterprets or ignores a signal, leading to a split-second decision to either embrace the moment or back away.

Contrary to popular belief, kissing on a first date will not seal the fate of your future with that person — ultimately, your personality will dictate that. If someone rushes into a kiss, that’s still an experience they can be forgiven for and learn from, whether the relationship persists or not. And just because either person was comfortable with the gesture, it doesn’t label them as desperate or promiscuous. Some people are overly ambitious, while others are shy, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give things a second shot if an attempt on the first date makes things weird.

As long as you’re conscious of your actions and not being overbearing or inappropriate, you’ll probably be able to pick up on the energy of the other person. People are readily free to enjoy their connection with one another in whatever manner they please, and openly kissing is not at all uncommon in Western culture.

The Science Behind the First Kiss

Perhaps you were already aware, but the scientific evidence for first-kiss chemistry is proven through a variety of neurotransmitters that emit signals of happiness and pleasure during the process. Dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin are all released when you kiss someone for the first time, which releases a positive reaction in your brain, closely equating to euphoria.

It’s also well-known that completing your first kiss with a significant other relieves stress, effectively crossing the threshold into a more comfortable stage in the relationship where intimacy is established. This also leads to a certain vulnerability between both individuals, allowing an emotional bond to grow and foster a sense of safety and ease while erasing the pressure that may have existed beforehand between a new couple.

Dos and Don’ts of First Date Kisses

If you really feel like you’re hitting it off with someone on your first date and are contemplating whether or not to go in for a kiss, here are some do’s and don’ts to take into consideration.


  • Relax and be confident – Presenting yourself as ready and experienced makes the situation feel more natural and shows your genuine passion for the moment.
  • Take a gentle approach – Be conscious of your surroundings, make sure the other person is comfortable, and then proceed to move in slowly for the embrace when the time is right.
  • Breathe and concentrate – Don’t forget to breathe while remaining conscious of your date’s physical and emotional reactions, understanding their vibe and interpretation of the kiss.
  • Manage your intensity – Stay in control of your mouth’s movement, and try to mirror the style of kissing that they respond with, being proactive in matching the sentiment.
  • Be conscious of physical touch – It’s always nice to gently hold someone while you’re kissing, but be sure not to grasp them too tightly or be too handsy in a way that ruins the mood.


  • Initiate interaction unexpectedly – Make sure your date knows you’re intending to kiss them before you lean in and catch them off-guard. If an individual seems to shy away from physical contact, do not be forceful.
  • Put them on the spot – Kisses should be both mutual and meaningful, so attempting to make your first kiss public or in front of any sort of audience is a good way to make things awkward and create a spectacle rather than an intimate moment.
  • Rush or drag out the kiss – Stay aware of the way your date responds to your kiss, and don’t speed through or linger, as this makes the entire action feel disingenuous and shows a lack of awareness.
  • Use too much tongue – This should be a given, but when we’re talking about how to kiss someone for the first time, using your tongue is almost never the correct choice. Not only is this too forward, but it could be interpreted as an overstepping of personal boundaries.
  • Excessively grope – Another surefire way to ruin a first kiss date is by grabbing or caressing the person you’re courting in an inappropriate manner. Not only can this be uncomfortable, but again, it’s an invasion of personal space in many instances.

A First Kiss’ Impact on Relationship Potential

Anyone who’s ever been kissed on a first date can probably testify that it’s not an all-or-nothing moment, but with the right setting and intentions, its impact can resonate much more deeply with both individuals. However, without an emotional connection present, the entire purpose of initiating this first kiss is lost because then it seems forced or situationally unaware. When done correctly, this non-verbal action evokes the attraction of both parties to one another.

The first kiss says a lot about one’s approach to dating, because it displays confidence while also signifying you’re taking the endeavor seriously and hoping for a more meaningful connection. While it may not go exactly as planned, your intentions alone may be appreciated in a way that’s not immediately evident. It’s important to assess the result when first kissing someone while reacting and responding appropriately to their behaviors.

Cultural Considerations

The way one interprets the importance and symbolism behind a first kiss largely depends on who they are. Young people are probably likely to care less about the significance of exchanging a first-date kiss, while divorced individuals or senior singles may be a lot more patient and take their time before engaging in any sort of physical intimacy. This same thing could be said for couples with bigger age gaps or those who are just re-entering dating after an unforeseen loss.

There’s also the need to take cultural implications into consideration because many ethnicities and people groups, whether they be foreign or religious, don’t see relationships in the same liberal nature other Western countries do. Intimate interactions like kissing require a whole extra level of evaluation, and certain backgrounds will not even consider this gesture altogether. It’s important to communicate thoroughly when getting to know someone who practices different customs, because there may be a fine line between showing affection and overstepping the line.

Exploring Different Types of First Date Kisses

There are essentially two factors you can assess when looking at the variations in types of first kiss experiences — situation and style.

Pre-planned vs. Spontaneous Kisses

The first situation is a planned first kiss, which may come about in a couple of different ways. The first could be a pre-discussed intention to do so due to the heightened anticipation, likely from preceding text messages or calls. The other is to close out the date by heading somewhere you can get a moment alone, then making the judgment call of whether or not the spark is there. The latter can be a momentary decision, which may result in alternate forms on a first date, such as a peck on the cheek or a simple hug.

Spontaneous kisses, on the other hand, usually take place in the heat of the moment, usually fueled by a mutually joyous experience. Perhaps you were already physically attracted to this person, but now you’ve connected over the same hobbies or personal values and realize you share so much in common. Maybe you’ve had a few drinks, and the romanticism of the evening got the best of both of you. Regardless of how your first kiss goes, if it’s happening on date number one, at least you’re doing something right.

Pecks vs. Passionate Embraces

The other part of the first kiss you’ll need to assess is your physical approach, and recognizing when to go in for a subtle peck versus seizing the moment during a rush of passion. In almost any situation, your inaugural kiss will probably be one that’s introductory, and almost innocent. In a way, you’re really just breaking the ice, so going over the top when the situation doesn’t call for it can come across as pushy or overzealous.

However, there may be some instances in which a passionate first kiss is your destiny, either because you and your date share some remarkable things in common, truly have authentic chemistry, or both. Sometimes, two people are at a stage in their lives where they’re willing to live life a bit more freely, and this sort of unfiltered expression of attraction can be a way to achieve a certain level of serotonin. There’s nothing wrong with an elaborate first kiss, but just know this is unlikely to occur without a significant connection that’s been established and sought after.

The First Kiss Litmus Test

If we’re using kissing on a first date as a litmus test, what we’re truly investigating is compatibility. Some will believe they “felt nothing” when their lips connected with a date and consider it done, but others may not feel the initial spark until the physical touch occurs. In reality, your intuition should inform your neurotransmitters when that connection is really clicking, but it’s understandable that nerves could conflate your experience or make parties act more reserved.

On the other hand, a first kiss signifies the romantic intentions for a relationship, because you don’t really want to kiss people who you don’t have genuine feelings for to give them the wrong impression. Instead, this step into intimacy should be taken seriously, and if you’re going to attempt a kiss, you should be prepared for your prospective partner to take it seriously, whether they appreciate your gesture or not. How you approach your intentions versus your partner’s expectations is a crucial assessment in determining whether or not a kiss on a first date is appropriate or not.

The Importance of Consent and Communication

Regardless of what you want or expect from a first date going into one, if you don’t communicate clearly throughout the meeting that you may be hoping for a little something more to transpire between you two, it will likely present an uncomfortable situation. Alternatively, you want to make sure your own boundaries and intentions are clear, while also acknowledging what that looks like in the other person’s eyes as well.

The concept of consent is incredibly important due to its implications for the safety and security of an individual and their personal autonomy. A person does not even need to explicitly state why they don’t want to participate in a kiss on the first date for you to respect their decision and expectations. This is an extremely personal and intimate moment that can only truly take place once, so if a person’s cultural or personal preference is to wait until the time is right, they are entitled to that ideal.

The Role of Chemistry in a First Kiss

We always talk about chemistry when it comes to relationships, and we already discussed earlier how the brain’s neurotransmitters help facilitate the chemical reactions taking place in your brain when both individuals’ lips lock. But how can chemistry on day one determine whether or not you and your current date will have a future? Well, that may require analyzing if a kiss on the first date is even necessary at all.

The chemistry between two singles can be mostly attributed to a mutual understanding of the overall vibe and energy of the date, but also a level of compassion and respect for one another that either verbally or non-verbally acknowledges each person’s level of comfort. This sort of awareness and careful consideration of the other person’s demeanor shows you not only recognize the signals they’re giving off, but also show that rushing into intimacy is not your primary focus. Sometimes, this strategy of patience and a more methodical approach to a first date can be just as successful as landing a smooch right off the bat.

From Butterflies to Fireworks

The anticipation leading up to a first date can almost be too much to bear, because not only are you interacting with a potential companion for the very first time, but you’re hoping the experience will go well for the sake of your judgment of character. Most dates aren’t blind setups and usually indicate your personal preferences and ideals in a man or woman, so it makes sense that most people feel nervous, excited, and almost eager or anxious to see if their gut instincts are right. These butterflies are often persistent on up to and through your first date, which may leave a lasting impression, something to be desired, or even result in fireworks.

When we say you may experience fireworks, we mean that those butterflies have translated into full-on elation. This may occur either with anticipation or unexpectedly, but if the kiss is special enough to have you melting in place, you’ll probably be hoping many more dates will come. The idea of fireworks either affirms your intuitions about the potential of the person you just went out with or results in a surprise from a connection you weren’t expecting as much from. If you truly experience fireworks, you’ll need to be intentional going forward by expressing your feelings and pursuing the prospective relationship with purpose.

Breaking the Ice with a Kiss

It may seem farfetched at first, but a kiss can actually help cut down an awkward barrier or any tension that may exist on a formative date. Occasionally, our emotions get the best of us, and if there is nervous energy or persistent struggles to generate conversation despite realizing you both actually want to be there, leaning in for a simple yet cordial kiss can help you both feel more at ease. It may even be what the individual across from you is hoping for, but reading body language and their expressions will often indicate if this is a viable option.

If you’re able to facilitate this ice-breaking kiss successfully, you could initiate a deeper and more fluid connection that removes much of the pressure that may have lingered over your date for the rest of the night. It also could show your partner how willing you are to show affection even if your words or hesitant body language says otherwise. Since kissing someone for the first time isn’t usually an unproved nervous reaction, you can assume that as long as there was consent acknowledged before diving in, both parties were looking for a bit of stress relief to ensure they could get on with the night without failing to learn if the interest levels between each other were mutual.

Contemplating whether or not you should kiss on a first date can be a highly debated topic, but ultimately, it depends on each individual and their personal preferences, along with factoring in their cultural and spiritual background and upbringing. When going in for a first-date kiss, it’s crucial to be clear about your intentions and acknowledge and respect the other person’s expectations.

Forcing the situation or being upset if you don’t get your way is surely not an option that will lead you to success. Instead, analyze your date’s behavior, communicate your interest level clearly, and determine whether or not a kiss is the best choice moving forward. Remember, whether or not you kiss on day one will not solely dictate your relationship unless you overthink it.

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