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6 Rules for the Second Date Kiss

A couple about to have a second date kiss, eyes closed with their lips almost touching.

There’s nothing better than a first date that goes perfectly. But there’s nothing scarier than that time between your first date and second date. Having proof that both of you are at least a little interested in getting to know each other better can make anyone feel anxious. For many couples, it’s the second date where things start getting a little more physical. Everyone reaches dating milestones at different times, but there’s a lot of potential for a kiss if the second date goes according to plan.

The first date likely covered a lot of the essentials—you’re probably aware of his or her background and family life, and know enough about their career to explain the basics to your friends. The second date will allow you to dig a bit deeper. You might chat about whether or not the two of you have the same expectations as to the type of relationship you’re looking for, and seal the deal with a goodnight kiss.

If you’re worried about the second date kiss and think the tension may affect your date, here are some rules that’ll help you figure out if kissing on the second date makes sense for you.

Examine your own expectations for the date.
There’s no rule that says that a kiss has to happen on the second date—or third or fourth, for that matter. It’s a feeling you get based on chemistry, and hopefully, your partner is feeling it too. There’s nothing wrong with you if you’re not ready to start getting intimate so soon (since the second date is still very early) and if your date is a keeper, he or she will respect that. Pressuring you to push physical limits is a big indicator that your second date should also be your last.

Go with the flow.
If a kiss is in the cards, there’s no law that states it has to happen as the date concludes. For example, if there’s a spark after you both unknowingly order the same drink, it’s okay to kiss afterward. To make sure your date is on the same page, you should ask before making the move—otherwise, it might lead to embarrassment. A simple “I would really like to kiss you, is that okay?” can go a long way. Again, if they say no, that should be respected. It doesn’t mean the date is ruined, or that they’ll never contemplate kissing you in the future. It means they’re not ready just yet.

Start with a hug.
If your date is open to a hug, a kiss may very well follow naturally. By embracing them, you can get a good idea of how they’re feeling at the moment. Are they incredibly tense? If so, maybe a kiss isn’t the best idea. If they’re drawing you closer, and you feel butterflies, it means he or she would be open to getting that first kiss out of the way.

Always remember, it’s just a kiss.
Kissing someone new for the first time is magical, but it’s not like it’s a marriage proposal. It’s worth waiting for, but not worth losing sleep over. If your partner isn’t feeling it by the second date, don’t take it personally. It has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with their personal boundaries and expectations. If you’re upset that it hasn’t happened when you expected it to, you might want to re-evaluate your priorities in your relationship. Are you looking for a hookup or something long term?

On that note, if you do kiss on the second date and it’s weird, just know that future kisses have the potential of getting much better. Maybe you’ll find more passion by date three. With the first kiss out of the way, your date is probably a lot less nervous.

Prepare for a little bit of miscommunication.
Miscommunication happens in every relationship, even between married couples who’ve been together for a decade. You’re still trying to figure out the distinct personality of your date, and things may get muddled. He or she might think they’re sending strong hints about a kiss, but you might be in the dark about it. Being casual, yet verbally direct is the best way to cut some of the confusion out of your date. He or she will see that type of communication as a form of confidence, which is a big win all around.

Wait until the end to figure it all out.
The second date is much more important than the first since it’s a good time to discover whether or not you’ve bonded with the person you’re seeing. But, you still might not have all the answers during the date. Or, even at the end of the date. If you’re not feeling the kiss just yet but want to tell your partner that you’d like to see them again, a text message an hour after the date concludes is a good way to make sure they don’t feel burned. Something like, “I’d love to see you again soon” or “I had a great time, and I’d love to schedule a third date” will keep the fire going and tell them you’re still romantically interested.

Kissing is a big part of dating since it’s the first step towards a physical relationship. But, there’s really no right time to have that first kiss with a potential suitor. The decision shouldn’t be based on the number of dates as much as the feeling you have in your gut. Don’t forget to trust that feeling, as it’ll always be the best way to figure out your most ideal romantic match.

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