Why People Do — Or Don’t — Kiss On The First Date

Photographed by Savana Ogburn.
When it comes to kissing on the first date, there’s no shortage of “dating rules” spelling out the conditions in which you should or shouldn’t kiss someone. You should not kiss on the first date or they’ll think you’re not looking for anything serious. You should kiss on the first date, or else they’ll think you’re not interested. You should kiss on the first date, but only a light peck, not a full-on makeout sesh. You should not kiss on the first date if you met on an app, but if you already knew each other, it’s fine. You should kiss on the first date, but only at the end of the date, not in the beginning or middle.
If all this sounds complicated and a little silly, it is. Really, the only rule of dating is that there are no rules. (Well, besides treating your date with respect and making sure everything you and your date do together is consensual, that is.) Some people like to kiss and have sex on the first date because they want to know if they have physical chemistry before committing to a second date. Some people prefer to wait until they know the person a little better to do anything physical. And some people plan to wait until a monogamous commitment or even marriage before kissing. Personally, I kiss on a first date if I’m into the person and the opportunity comes up, but I’m not going to write someone off if the first date ends without a kiss, either.
I asked people if they kissed on the first date, and their answers show that there is no one right way to decide. If you want to kiss (or more) on the first date and your date also wants to, then why not go for it? If you’d prefer to wait, then wait. And if you want to kiss your date but you’re not certain if they’d be into it, you can always ask.
Here are how people decide whether or not to kiss on the first date.

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