Stupid Cupid Talks First Date Smooch

Q: Should I kiss them on the first date?

The answer for this week’s question is more complicated than one would assume. There are a good deal of subtle nuances that go into dating and especially first dates. There is no one correct answer, and it all depends on the person, but my advice is no. It’s crucial to actually get acquainted with the person who is sitting across from you before you consider getting physically intimate. Should you kiss them on the second date? If it feels right, sure. Third date? I’m all for it. But first date? My answer is no. 

For this week’s article I, equipped with my outstanding journalistic skills, ventured forth into the fray that is the student body and asked a few of my female friends about their opinions on first date kisses. From my extensive research, I’ve concluded that everyone has a different idea of how they would like their first date to end: everything from a kiss to a nice warm hug to never talking to that person again was included. 

One thing that came up time and time again is consent. If you need a refresher on consent, Google it, ask Siri, or write a letter to your grandma and grandpa, however you want to go about it. You will discover that consent is a noun and means the permission for something to happen or agreement to do something. Make sure that you keep consent in the front of your mind when delving into a first date.

Here is what I found to be key elements in figuring out if a smooch is the proper way to end a first date:

How well you know this person plays a big role in a first date kiss. Have you been friends with them for a while or have you never spoken to them? Depending on your answer, that definitely affects how the date goes. If you are comfortable with each other and this first date feels more like a fifth date, then I wouldn’t be against it. But if you barely know this person and this is the first time you two are hanging out together, I would advise against kissing on the first date.

What is your intention? It might feel awkward to bring up consent and touch base with the other person on a first date, but communicating your expectations for the date and comparing it with theirs is a mature and responsible thing to do. Get that figured out before you even begin to picture yourself going on a date with someone. Is your intention to have a fun night and hopefully get lucky? Or is your intention to get to know this person better? Maybe you have no clue, and that’s okay, but try to figure that out. 

Don’t make the kiss a priority on the first date. That shouldn’t be the main thing on your mind. The foremost thing on your mind should be wanting to have a good time with this person and making sure that they feel comfortable throughout the night.

The setting of a date is something to take into consideration too. An afternoon coffee date at OB Beans is not the most ideal place to plant a first date kiss. An expensive dinner at a five star restaurant might not be the best atmosphere for a first date either; on the flip side, going through the McDonald’s drive through and grabbing two Big Macs might sound like an ideal date for you, but don’t do that. Please. Don’t do that. Find the “just right” goldilocks zone: maybe a picnic at a park or going to the farmers market. Somewhere that isn’t too formal but isn’t too relaxed either.

Body language also plays a significant role on a first date. There needs to be a natural progression of physicality before a kiss. Physical touch is important in any romantic setting, but it’s easy to take things too far and get carried away. Less is more when it comes to physical touch. You don’t want to invade their personal space, but you also want to set up an appropriate physical connection. 

A pat on their shoulder or touching their forearm are both things you can do to establish that connection while also remaining respectful. Gauge their reaction and ask them if they are comfortable with  your physicality, and then go off of that. If they hate it, lighten up, but if they respond well, keep it up. When in doubt, treat physical touch like salt and the person like a bowl of soup – not my best analogy but stay with me. Would you pour a whole handful of salt into your soup? No! You would pour in a small amount and then try the soup. Don’t over salt your soup people.

You remember that song that circulated the internet in the early 2010’s, “Nice Guys Finish Last”? I suggest you go watch it again and get a refresher on what a girl looks for in a guy. It doesn’t matter what you look like, how much money you have in your bank account, or how high your GPA is. If you’re a jerk, no self-respecting girl or boy will want to kiss you, no matter how hot you think you are. Don’t try to impress them or show off. Be your genuine self and treat them and others around you with kindness and thoughtfulness. 

If the first date goes well, make the suggestion to meet again for a second date. You can be subtle or straightforward about it. A sly, “I know this perfect restaurant that we could go to…” works well. If you feel like being frank, ask them, “Would you like to go on a second date with me,” and see what they say. If they say yes, awesome, and if they decline, then that’s okay too. Don’t make it weird and try to convince them to go on a second date with you. If you find yourself trying to convince someone that you are worth a second date, that’s not an ideal spot to be in. Hopefully you had a fun night and move on.

At the end of the day, I would suggest against a first date kiss. Spend the first date getting to know them through conversation. If you really like them then great! Set up a second date and smooch them on that one, but don’t do so on the first date. Of course, you can heed my advice or totally ignore it, but when it comes to dating, I would listen to someone with experience.

As always, feel free to submit your questions to bernst555@pointloma.edu to possibly be featured in the next installation of Stupid Cupid. Thanks for reading.

Written By: Brennan Ernst