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Getting Your First Kiss Right: Tips for the Perfect Peck

by eharmony Editorial Team - July 4, 2024

If there were a list of romance novel or rom-com cliches, the first kiss you share with that special someone would likely be near the top. For better or worse, are a big deal – which means that those butterflies in your stomach are often caused by more than a flutter of romantic feelings. Given all of this, it’s no wonder people put so much pressure on themselves to have a perfect first kiss – ironic, since all that added pressure means the chances are likely it won’t live up to the image you have in your head of an appropriate first kiss. On the other hand, if you feel connected to your partner and there’s consent on both sides, it can be really wonderful. Still worried? That’s what eharmony is for. In this article, we’ll answer a few FAQs about first kisses, and offer you some tips for making the moment magical.

First kiss FAQs

The first kiss doesn’t have to be mysterious! Here are four frequently asked questions about one of the most important milestones in a romantic relationship:

When should you have the first kiss?

If you’re wondering, “What’s the right time when it comes to having a first kiss?” the answer really is, “It depends.” For some people, locking lips on the first date might be the right call. For others, it might make more sense to wait until the second or even the third date to take things to the next level. The key isn’t to worry about when to kiss on a date, but to wait until both of you are ready – no matter when the first kiss happens, make sure you’re both consenting. The perfect time for a first kiss is whenever both of you want it.

Where should you have the first kiss?

Where should a first kiss happen, you ask? Like the previous question, the answer is “It depends.” Some people might be fine having their first kiss in public, others might be shyer and prefer somewhere with a little more privacy. Regardless of where you have your first kiss – a park bench after an ice-cream date, in a darkened movie theatre, outside one of your front doors, in a shaded nook on an otherwise public sidewalk – it’s important to choose somewhere calm and at least a little beautiful. And, of course, make sure your partner is okay with being kissed there.

How should a first kiss feel?

If you’re a romance fan, you’ve probably read hundreds of descriptions of fictional first kisses, some better than others. Even if you’re not, it’s rare that a mainstream movie doesn’t depict at least one smooch. But how does a first kiss feel in real life? Once again, it’ll depend on you and your partner – some people prefer gentle, others prefer fierce. However, a good kiss causes the brain to release dopamine. This chemical is nicknamed the ‘happy hormone’ for a reason – it’s a key player in the brain’s reward system. A good first kiss should feel pleasurable and make you feel connected to your partner.

How long should a first kiss last?

For as long as one of you doesn’t need to breathe! More seriously, “how long should a kiss last?” is yet another of those “it depends” questions. How long a first kiss lasts will depend on whether you’re used to kissing people, how deep the connection between you and your partner is, and even physical considerations like the difference in heights, how comfortable your positions are, and so on. As a general rule, however, first kisses tend to be on the short but intense side rather than an extended make-out session, although exceptions always exist.

Five tips to make that first kiss even more special

Wondering how to kiss someone for the first time? Five first kiss tips to help you on your way:

1. Check in about consent

As always, consent is key when it comes to any aspect of a relationship, including a first kiss. Body language – eye contact, being in your space, casually touching you – can offer clues, but it’s always best to ask your date if they’d like to be kissed. It doesn’t have to be complicated or a production – simply asking, “Can I kiss you?” or even, “I’d like to kiss you now, if that’s okay,” will get you far. Asking doesn’t just demonstrate respect, it also shows off your confidence and willingness to take a chance, which can be very sexy.

2. Ease into it

Simply planting one on your date only works in romance novels, if then. Especially when it comes to a first kiss, it’s really important to build up to it. Make sure you express your intentions with your body language – make eye contact with your date, lean towards them when you talk, casually brush their arm… the clearer you make your interest, the less surprised they’ll be when you do make a move, and the lower the chances they’ll react badly out of shock or surprise. Plus, ramping up the tension is a great way to build anticipation.

3. Make sure you’re not unpleasant to kiss

We wish we didn’t have to make something this basic clear, but… kissing is up close and personal contact. Which is why it’s important to pay closer attention to hygiene than you usually might. Make sure you’ve showered, that you’re wearing deodorant, and that your perfume or cologne isn’t overpoweringly strong. While it’s not always possible to brush your teeth just before you kiss, you might be able to discreetly pop in a mint a little while before the event in question. At the very least, though, make sure you don’t have bad breath – you want a second kiss!

4. Switch it up

The key to a good first kiss? Variety, and lots of it. Start off slow, but then make sure to vary both tempo and intensity as you continue to explore each other. You can also shift your head to vary the angle of your kiss, or take a break to kiss your partner’s jawbone before diving right back in. As for your tongue, don’t overdo it – less is more here, so keep it light and playful. No matter what, though, keep a close eye on your partner’s reactions so you can see what works for them and what doesn’t.

5. Remember… it’s just a kiss!

It’s easy to build a kiss, especially a first kiss, up in your head until it’s this big scary thing. The key to a great first kiss? Relaxing. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that it’s just a kiss. Not to mention that being tense and stiff doesn’t exactly make for a sensational smooch. Paying attention to your partner’s body language and following their lead can help with any nerves, too. If you’re wondering what the best way to start off is, keep your mouth relaxed and see where the kiss takes you.

What happens next

So, you’ve had your first kiss and hopefully it’s gone well. You have a bunch of options for what to do next, depending on where you are and how far into your date it is. If you still have some of the date left, cuddling is a great option, as is going in for another kiss if your partner’s okay with it. If the kiss happens at the end of the date, though, then a hug might be a better idea. This is also a good time to figure out plans for your next date, if that’s something you’re interested in.

Depending on how things go, you can also offer your partner gentle suggestions for next time. Rather than criticism, focus on the things they did do well, then suggest things you’d like them to do differently next time – “I loved it when you did [particular thing]” or “could you do more [thing] next time?” Communication is key to the success of any relationship, even when it comes to things like kissing. So whether that first kiss went well or badly, it’s important to keep the lines of communication open, especially if you want a second or even a third kiss.

The first kiss is hopefully only the beginning…

The actress Ingrid Bergman once said, “A kiss is a secret told to the mouth instead of the ear.” First kisses are an important milestone in a new relationship, but it’s important not to place them on such a pedestal you freak yourself out. Remember, it’s your date’s first kiss with you, too! Take a deep breath, read over our tips for a great first kiss again, and relax. You’ve got this. And if for whatever reason the relationship doesn’t work out? There’s always eharmony. When you sign up to look for love on the #1 trusted dating site, you’ll find eligible singles who share your values and want the same things you do. Sign up for eharmony today and find someone you can be yourself with.

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