To Kiss or Not to Kiss? 4 First Date Scenarios

To Kiss or Not to Kiss?  4 First Date Scenarios

To kiss or not to kiss on a first date?

Clients ask me for advice about whether they should kiss on the first date and I can’t give them a simple answer.  There are a lot of people in this world and each person is comfortable moving a relationship forward at his or her own speed.  What is too fast for you may be agonizingly slow for your potential partner.  And vice versa.

Just last week, for example, my client on the autism spectrum broke the touch barrier by holding hands with a neurotypical potential partner and the date started falling apart from there.  The potential partner said that my client broke the touch barrier too quickly.  (Personally, I would not have guessed than a NT would have reacted that way to hand holding!)

So now that we are clear that people are comfortable with different levels of touch and intimacy at different times, let’s tackle the tough end-of-date question:  To kiss or not to kiss?


This scenario may be the most frustrating, especially for neurodiverse people because it is so difficult to get a date in the first place.  It pains me, as a coach, to see my clients with autism or aspergers finally landing a date, enjoying themselves on it, and then getting “shot down” at the end of the evening.

Why wouldn’t your potential partner want to kiss you on a first date?  I’m going to start an incomplete list of reasons, and you can add your ideas in the Comments, below.  Your potential partner may not kiss you on the first date because he or she…

  • …wants to make you work for his or her affection
  • …doesn’t want to create the impression that he or she is “easy” or promiscuous
  • …wants to wait for a special moment
  • …is nervous
  • …is religious
  • …wants to build a friendship first
  • …isn’t comfortable kissing in public
  • …doesn’t enjoy kissing
  • …is touch sensitive (and may feel like kissing is two faces smooshing together)
Of course, the world isn’t all rainbows and roses.  Sometimes your potential partner may not kiss you on the first date because he or she…
  • …isn’t that excited by your date
  • …isn’t that attracted to you
  • …doesn’t trust you yet
  • …is germaphobic
Try not to take it personally when your potential partner does not want to kiss.  Everybody has dates like that!


Let’s start with this question:  How much do you like your potential partner?

You may answer, “not much,” in which case you don’t care whether the date ends with a handshake or less.  (Frankly, if your potential partner is perceptive, he or she will sense your lack of interest.)
But if you like your date or you see potential, then you have to think about building momentum and minimizing awkwardness.
Here’s what you don’t want to happen at the end of a good date:
  • Your potential partner leans in for a kiss and you give him or her your cheek
  • You let your potential partner kiss you even though you aren’t comfortable with it

Allowing either of those two things to happen sends mixed messages to your potential partner:  You have shown interest in him or her the entire date and then you’re ending the date with a non-verbal message of discomfort.

Am I saying that you have to kiss when you like your potential partner?  No.  There is nothing wrong with wanting to wait, but communicate that.  And communicate it long before your potential partner leans in for a smooch.

As you’re walking to the train, you can say something like, “Can I tell you something?  I am really enjoying our date.  I want you to know that I like to wait for a first kiss.  When it happens, it will be more special.”

Or, “Do you think it’s weird that some people don’t kiss on the first date?”  Your potential partner will undoubtedly say that it isn’t weird.  Then you can follow up with, “I had a feeling that you are okay with that.  I like waiting a date or two.  It makes the kiss that much more incredible.”

You can probably think of other ways to approach the topic, so share it in the Comments, below.


Woo!  Go for it!

But when?  There are two schools of thought about when to kiss on the first date.

One school of thought says that you should wait until the very end, sealing the first date with your first kiss.

There is something “Hollywood romantic” about walking a woman to her door, both of you looking into each other’s eyes, leaning in, and then kissing gently.  Each of you then says, “goodnight” and walks away, turning back for one last look at each other.

I am 100% in favor of that.  Both of you leave happy and ready for more.  (You remembered to calendar your second date, right!?)

I’m also 100% in favor of the second school of thought, which is that you should kiss during your first date, not waiting for the end.

There is something reassuring about walking through the park on your first date, stopping under a pretty tree and kissing for a few amazing seconds.  Then you hold each other’s hand, walk some more and kiss again-and-again.  By the end of the date, you both will be very attracted to each other — the perfect time to part ways and preserve momentum.


That’s perfectly alright!

There are lots of people in the world who want to let relationships build slowly and develop a friendship in the process.  I’ve met many amazing people in my Adaptations Dating & Relationship Group, who want to slowly build friendships and attraction, so I know there are more people out there like that.

Please share your thoughts in the Comments, below, about the best way for two reluctant singles to move towards their first kiss.


There is so much to say about kissing.  Where to do it, when to do it, how to do it.  As our Village continues to grow, I will continue to write about it.

And we have been growing thanks to our Villagers.  But I want to try something a little different today…

Instead of me asking you to grow our Village by sharing this on your social network (which you still can), email ME instead.  Just click here and let me know how you’re doing and how you helped to grow our Village.  Give me an opportunity to thank you for your help.


  • Many people take time to get ready for their first kiss
  • Many people don’t
  • Once you know your own level of comfort, try to figure out your potential partner’s level of comfort
  • If you want to kiss, but your date doesn’t, then be patient and find out what is holding him or her back
  • If your date wants to kiss, but you don’t, then be upfront about your intentions so that the date doesn’t end awkwardly
  • If both of you want to kiss, then you can kiss during the date, at the end of the date, or both
  • If neither of you wants to kiss, then build a friendship and decide together when the time is right
Jeremy Hamburgh
Jeremy Hamburgh


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