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When’s the right time for a first kiss? 5 ways to tell if your date is ready

by eharmony Editorial Team - January 2, 2018

You've had a great date and a kiss would be the perfect ending. But how do you know if the other person feels the same? Here's our guide to timing that first kiss just right.

Picture a near-perfect date: the conversation has been flowing, the chemistry is electric and so naturally, you want to end the evening on a high with a goodnight kiss. But then you start to second-guess yourself, wondering if you’ve read the signals right or if you’re going to suffer a swift rejection. Here’s how to be sure as you can you’re making the right move.

1. Getting touchy-feely

It’s the little things that count – the brush of an arm, a coy smile, even placing their hand over yours at the dinner table. These indicators all say your date is interested – and the longer each movement lingers the more interested they are. If it seems they’re hesitant don’t assume your date isn’t interested, they may just be shy. Try some subtle body language and see how they respond. For example, instead of placing your hand over theirs, try touching their arm to make a conversational point and see what happens.

first kiss

2. Gauge the hug

We all know the end-of-night hug is often a precursor to that all-important kiss, so look out for clues as to whether you should go in for the kiss or not. Does the hug go on longer than expected, with an extra squeeze thrown in? Or is it brief with a sharp pat on the back? If it’s the former, that might be the perfect moment to go in for a kiss, but if it’s the latter, you probably shouldn’t get your hopes up.

3. Look to the lulls

Every date has those in-between times when either partner has a good opportunity to make their excuses. After dinner, for example, is a great time to crack our the old, ‘well I’ve got to be up early, so I’d better be heading off’ excuse. If your date doesn’t take these chances, then you’ve got a pretty good indicator that they’re eager to carry on getting to know you – and if it’s them suggesting another drink, then that’s a big green light to go in with a kiss.

4. Try the direct approach

Some people like to be asked if they can be kissed, and if you’re still not sure how your date feels at the end of the night, then you could always try this more direct approach. Perhaps it’s a little old fashioned, but some people – especially women – appreciate being asked, partly because that means they can always say ‘no’ if they feel uncomfortable. Of course, you might just come across as a bit of a coward but that’s the risk you take. If you’re considering this approach then remember this; we’re just talking about a kiss here, not a marriage proposal. If your date isn’t interested they can always offer you their cheek instead – no harm done.

How to kiss

Strengthen your skills with these tips and tricks for how to be a good kisser.

5. Time a first kiss right

A friend once went on a date with a man who decided to kiss her in the middle of a road. A very busy road. We’ll never know why he chose that moment, but it was far from ideal. Choose a time when you’re alone and don’t have any distractions – never when your date has to run for a bus or train. Don’t leave ‘the moment’ until the very end of the date as by that point, you’ll both have built up the nervous tension so much you might regress to your teenage years and whack your teeth together.

The key to all of this is to give your date the attention they deserve. This will help you pick up all their signals and know whether a kiss is in order or not. And don’t think about it too much (difficult, we know) or you’ll come across like some kind of date robot – not an attractive look.

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