A first kiss between two people is always a big deal. You may feel even more pressure to get it right if it’s your partner’s first kiss ever.
Luckily, there are things you can do to make the situation less intimidating for both of you.
By doing your best to put your partner at ease, approaching the kiss slowly, and treating your partner with respect after the kiss, you can help create a great first kiss experience for both of you.
STEP 1. Building up to a First Kiss
1. Recognize the importance of the moment for the other person. A first kiss is an important rite of passage on an individual level, and it’s often taken as a sign of commitment or as a signal that the relationship is moving forward. People who have never been kissed before may attach even more weight to the moment, so don’t pursue a kiss unless you’re really interested in the other person.
2. Decide when you’d like to try kissing your partner. You could try pulling the other person aside when you’re hanging out in a group setting, but it may be harder to gauge whether they want a kiss if they’re surrounded by friends. Most people, however, will expect a kiss while on a date, or at least they may view it as a possibility. Try taking your partner on a date, and going in for a kiss at the end.
- Don’t wait too long before going in for a kiss. If you spend weeks or months flirting with your partner, they may lose interest and try to move on from you.
3. Show your partner you’re interested by flirting with them. Whenever you’re around the other person, smile at them and offer compliments. Try saying, “you look really nice today!” You can also show them you’re interested by asking their opinion or seeking advice, and putting away your phone and giving them your full attention.
- Make sure your compliment is genuine. Find something honest and specific to tell the other person. Say, “that shirt brings out the beautiful color of your eyes,” or “I’m really impressed by the way that you are able to speak your mind.”
- You can also show someone you’re interested by contacting them when you’re not hanging out. Try sending a note or message just to say hi, or tell them, “Hey! I just saw this cute picture that reminded me of you.”
4. Strike up a good conversation in order to connect on a deeper level. Start by asking the other person about themselves, and offering up information about yourself in turn. Try to move beyond basic small talk by asking interesting questions such as “What was a defining moment in your life?” or “What is your dream job?”
- Be curious and interested in what the other person is saying. Asking follow-up questions shows your partner you’re listening, and helps you connect.
- Be willing to share more personal and vulnerable things about yourself, when appropriate. It will help your partner feel more comfortable and learn more about you.
5. Use positive body language to show you’re paying attention. Making lots of eye contact and smiling at the other person can give them a clue that you’re interested. Mimicking their behavior in small ways, such as running your fingers through your hair after they’ve tucked their hair behind their ear, can also make your partner more drawn to you.
- Take a minute to think about the other person’s body language, too. If they look like they’re not interested, then it’s probably not the right moment for the big kiss. Negative signals include things like your partner leaning away from you, crossing their arms in front of their chest, or not making much eye contact.
6. Touch your partner and gauge their response. Lightly tap your partner’s arm or lay your hand on theirs. If they smile, lean closer to you, or touch you back, this may indicate that they’re ready to keep moving forward with you. If you get a more negative response, back off a little bit and give your partner some space.
- Keep your touch light and playful so that your potential kissing partner doesn’t get creeped out or feel like you’re pressuring them. Try quick touches in safe areas, such as the arm or knee.
STEP 2: Going in for a Kiss
1. Ask for a kiss in a playful or flirty way. People differ on whether or not they would like to be asked before they’re kissed. Someone who has never been kissed may not be as familiar with hints you’re dropping, so it may be easier to just directly ask.
- Try giving your partner a compliment, and then directly asking for a kiss. Let them know you appreciate what they’re doing or saying, or how they look in that moment. For example, say, “you look really beautiful right now. Is it okay if I kiss you?”
- If you’re in the middle of a fun and flirty conversation, try leaning in and saying, “I’d really like to kiss you.” If your partner leans in too, give them a kiss.
2. Lean in slowly and kiss your partner on the lips. Put your hand on their face, neck, or arm, and move in for a light peck. If your partner is receptive, give them another small kiss, and then another. Try pulling away slightly to look your partner in the eyes and give them a small smile, to make sure that they look happy and comfortable.
- When people are nervous, they tend to rush quickly into a kiss, which can be awkward. Try to keep things more relaxed by waiting until you and your partner lock eyes, and then lean forward slowly.
- Close your eyes during the actual kiss. You don’t know if your partner will prefer eyes closed or open, so it’s better to close them to be on the safe side. Some people will be creeped out by open eyes.
3. Deepen the kiss only if your partner is comfortable and enthusiastic. If your partner is leaning forward, touching you, and their breathing is increasing, it’s likely that they want to keep kissing you. However, if they are pulling back, are not moving, or are very stiff and uncomfortable, break off the kiss. If you’re not sure, it’s better to assume that they’re not interested in continuing.
- Try kissing or lightly sucking on your partner’s top lip or bottom lip. If they reciprocate, try moving your tongue very lightly across their lips.
- Both you and your partner should be kissing each other with the same amount of pressure. If you knock your teeth into theirs, you’re probably pushing too hard and should keep things lighter. Likewise, don’t stab into their mouth with your tongue when they’re using little or no tongue.
- Move your hands a couple of times during the kiss. Run your fingers through your partner’s hair, touch the back of their neck, trail your fingers down their arm, or hold their hand
- It’s usually better to keep kisses lighter the first time. If your partner has never been kissed before, they’re not used to tongue and may be more easily overwhelmed by how wet a French kiss can feel. Keep it soft, light, and dry at first.
4. Pull back slightly and give your partner a compliment. They may be feeling very nervous after their first kiss, so reassure them by telling them they look cute or that you really liked kissing them. You can also reassure them with a hug.
- If the other person seems unsure about how they feel about the kiss, they probably need some space. Walk away, but leave on a positive note. You could try saying, “I had a really good time with you tonight. Is it okay if I call you tomorrow?”
STEP 3: Following up After the Kiss
1. Cut your partner some slack if the kiss wasn’t perfect. First kisses are often awkward even between people who have experience kissing, and if your partner is completely inexperienced, then the kiss is bound to be imperfect. Don’t go in with high expectations, and give your partner another chance if you didn’t feel fireworks the first time.
- If you have an especially awkward moment, such as bumping heads or stepping on your partner’s foot, ask them if you can try the kiss again.
2. Give the other person some space right after the kiss. Some people, and particularly women, tend to feel a lot of mixed emotions about a first kiss experience, and your partner may need time to sort out how they feel about you and about the kiss. Let them have some time to process the experience.
- Make sure your partner doesn’t think you’re running away or feeling disappointed while you give them space. Tell them you liked spending time with them, but you have to go. Ask if you can message them or follow up with them later so they know you’re still interested.
- If your partner is clearly very enthusiastic about your kiss, and enjoying spending time with you, giving them space may not be necessary! Feel free to prolong your time together if you are both obviously enjoying each others’ company.
3. Follow up with your partner within a day or two. It’s hard to get your partner out of your mind after a first kiss, so your partner will probably be thinking about you. Hormones in the brain often give people feelings of affection and closeness after a kiss, so your partner will probably want to hear from you.
- If you’re interested in meeting up with your partner again, or continuing to progress the relationship forward, let them know sooner rather than later. You could call or send them a message saying, “I really enjoyed kissing you. I hope we are able to hang out again soon! Are you free tomorrow?”
If the kiss fell completely flat for you and you aren’t willing to give the other person another chance, be completely open about it. Try to share something positive, while also being honest. You could try saying, “I’m glad I got to spend time with you the other day, but I’m not interested in anything more happening between us.” Don’t blame your partner, and don’t give them a false reason for wanting to end things, as this will only hurt them more.