First date rules: To kiss or not to kiss? Good question. We have all had that first date where we wonder about what the other person is thinking. Are they enjoying the conversation? What’s was their first impression of you? Did that light brush on your arm mean something? But the biggest question we ask ourselves at the end of a great first date is – to kiss or not to kiss?

When, where, how, do I or don’t I go for that elusive smooch? You’ve just had a wonderful time, you felt a connection and now it’s time to say goodbye. You tell yourself, “Don’t stress, I’ll just say goodbye and hope for the best.” What if that moment doesn’t happen? Well, years of having given advice to singles looking for Love, Linda has a few tips you will find valuable.

Let’s bring it back to basics

Before even thinking about that first kiss, you need to consider a few things. Are you getting the vibes they are interested in you? It takes two to tango (or to want to kiss). Are you both enjoying yourselves? Are there smiles, laughs, genuine conversations happening? Some obvious chemistry and sexual tension? You will know when things are going well and more importantly if the date is an absolute funk. Once you get some strong clues as to how your date is going and a sense of sexual tension between the both of you, you can start to think about that kiss.

You’re both in the same boat

Remember both of you are probably feeling the same way and are having the exact same thoughts — do they like me? Is this going well? Once you realise your date is in the same boat as you, trying to get to know a new person and seeing if this date has the potential of starting something special, you will feel more relaxed and that magical moment should come naturally if you are both interested in each other. Do your best to put both of you at ease with some light hearted humour, a joke or even better give your date a compliment. It could go a long way, not to get a kiss but to establish a genuine connection.

Watch for those cues

By the way, this isn’t a one-sided thing. No one should feel forced to kiss anyone. Your date should feel comfortable to be kissed and only you can decide if it feels right to be kissing anyone. Now, once you are sure you share that spark and your date is feeling it too, there are a few cues to look out for. You will know if the chemistry is there after an awesome date where you have both connected. Look for the signs they are giving you – like the long gaze into your eyes, a graze of the elbow, if they are intentionally close to you or if they stop walking when saying goodbye. This could be the moment. If you notice your date is hurrying off, or turning their face quickly after a friendly hug, it could be a sign that they are not in the mood for a kiss or don’t feel that spark. In any case, you’ve had a date and you’ve put yourself out there and that is already amazing.

Just ask

Are looking for cues too complicated? Do you find yourself guessing too much? Why not ask? Yes, ask. A simple, “Can I kiss you?” or “Is it okay if I kiss you?” can tell you exactly what your date thinks. Research has shown that people like their dates to be confident and asking this question shows that you are not only confident but also respects the other person’s feelings and thoughts. Because the last thing you want is to kiss someone who doesn’t want to be kissed. So asking that question can definitely help clear the air. Of course, you want to be asking this after a successful date when you know you have both had a great time together. Maybe on that walk back to the car or on that post-dinner stroll. Look for that quiet moment and ask your date. What’s the worst that can happen? They say no and you both laugh the moment off. But if they feel the same way, your question can unravel that sexual tension and send you both into a passionate kiss.

Go with the flow

Guess what? Most first kisses happen when you least expect it. Some things can’t be planned for, magic just happens. The most important thing that you need to focus on is building that connection, getting to know the other person, see if you like them and if you can imagine spending more time with them. Because once a strong connection is made, that romantic moment is almost surely to happen. If you feel a little nervous, that’s normal and shows that you care. Channel those nerves into feelings of excitement and just go with the flow. Enjoy their company, enjoy yourself and you might never know, your date could be sealed with a kiss.

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