I have a rule never to kiss on a first date, but these top experts actually reckon you should. Here's why

I guess it's time to get smooching?

couple kiss on a first date
(Image credit: Getty Images/EyeWolf)

Fun fact for you: I never kiss on a first date. Each to their own, and no judgement if you do, but I decided early on in life that I didn't fancy it. Blame it on my super religious upbringing or a genuine fear of cold sores, but along with dating apps, a kiss on the first date has always been a big no for me. 

That said, my view has been altered forever after talking to a relationship psychotherapist and somatic sex coach, both of who, when interviewed, said that kissing on a first date gets a yes from them. 

Even after reading a handful of first date tips and having a near perfect kiss, I'd still say no to a kiss. Why? Well, I find it slightly stressful, and deciding what to talk about on a first date is stressful enough. I'm not alone in the fear, though - a survey by Specsavers found 48% of daters feel fear before a first kiss and a further 34% spend time deliberating whether to go for a kiss on the cheek or a hug first. 

That said, a recent Lovehoney survey found that 49% of adults have had sex on a first date, This got me thinking - was I missing out? Should you kiss on a first date? And if so, I had a lot of questions. Here, MC UK's favourite dating and relationship experts share the psychology behind kissing on a first date. Check out our guides to dating profile tips, dating advice for women, and when to text after a first date, while you're here. 

So, should you kiss on a first date? Two experts share their take 

As always, there are no rules when it comes to dating - it's always about what makes you feel good and what you want to do. If the first date is the best one you've been on in forever and you're already thinking they're a good match for you, then the experts advise going for it.  

Not sure but still feel like kissing them? Then they also advise going for it. “I suggest kissing your date sooner rather than later whether you’re really into them or just can’t make up your mind," says Somatic sex coach, Aisha Paris Smith.

"We all tend to be so focused on what people look like, but how they feel against our body is much more important," she continues. 

kiss on a first date

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Wondering why they kiss on a first date? 7 daters share their reasons

Fun fact: kissing on a first date can actually tell you a lot about the person and save you a lot of time. Why? Well, if you kiss and realise the spark isn't there, you'll know to skip the second date. 

Or, you could be like me who waits until the third date and then realise there is no spark, wasting three of your evenings in the process. My advice? Save yourself the time and energy and get back onto the best dating apps, instead.

So why do other people choose to kiss - or not kiss - on the first date? "Because I like to know if the physical connection is there - that's what a first date is for," shares Zoe*

Morgan* agrees, adding: "I feel most connected to a person from a kiss and can tell a lot about if I like them." 

Zack* also kisses on the first date - if it feels right. "Dating is meant to be fun and kissing is fun," he adds. 

"Depends on how the first date is going and if I feel comfortable with them"- Anna*

Jason*, Amy* and Joe* would rather wait, however. "It leaves something to look forward to on a second or third date," Jason* explains.

"If it's a guy I've never met and we're sober after dinner, it's just too awkward and personal to kiss," Amy* continues. 

Joe* adds: "If I'm super interested in her, then I'd rather save that moment."

When to kiss on a first date?

Ah, that all-important question. If you have decided to go in for the kiss on the first date but now find yourself questioning when let us help. 

"This is ultimately down to the people who are on the date and what feels right for them," explains psychotherapist Jordan Dixon. "If we can tap into our bodies they will usually tell us what we would like."

"I always recommend communication if you wish to kiss someone - it can be very sexy if done well. Often many of us are uncomfortable with expressing our desires." Dixon continues. 

Feeling like the time is right? Then communicate that, and get kissing. 

Kissing on a first date

(Image credit: Getty Images)

How to kiss on a first date?

Next up - how. And we're not talking technique, but manners and etiquette - because getting that right is key to securing a second date.

Both experts reckon that it's pretty basic - simply ask the person first. Consent is key and a simple "I really want to kiss you right now" will work well.

"Often many of us are uncomfortable with expressing our desires. If we find ourselves on a date, wishing to kiss someone, we can express this along the lines of, "I find you really attractive and I would really like to kiss you, can I kiss you?"" suggests Dixon. It doesn't need to be exactly this line - she encourages you to make it your own and personalise it in a way that feels natural to you.

Heads up, though: most of us don't like kissing in public - one survey by Thortful found 59% don't kiss their partner in public. With that in mind, it's worth being mindful of the location that you choose.

Is a kiss on the first date a good sign?

Paris Smith suggests asking yourself the following questions: "Is the kiss forgettable or does it stir up the sensations in your pelvis? Do they use their tongue with mastery? How do they smell and taste to you?"

These are vital pieces of information in determining if this individual has the basic skills to really satisfy your sensual needs, she continues. "Isn’t that the ultimate reason we date in the first place?," she continues. 

I'm a convert - I'll be giving kissing on a first date a go for my upcoming dates...

If you're searching for a first date, check out the best online dating sites, dating profile tips and first date tips for when you secure that date. 

*Names have been changed.

Dionne Brighton

Dionne Brighton is a writer at Marie Claire UK, specialising in all things shopping, beauty and fashion. Born and raised in North London, she studied Literature at the University of East Anglia before taking the leap into journalism. These days, you can find her testing out the latest TikTok beauty trends or finding out what the next full Moon means.