Ladies: how would you interpret it if a man didn't try to kiss you on the first date?
November 12, 2004 6:51 AM   Subscribe

A question for the ladies:
If a man does not try to kiss you on a first date, how would you be likely to interpret that [lack of] action?
posted by sciurus to Human Relations (34 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
good god. there's no way to answer this question without about three pages more information than this.

if it's someone i have never really socialized with before the date, i'd most likely be glad he didn't try to kiss me. i would interpret that as appropriate. i wouldn't take that as a "he doesn't like me/think i'm sexy/want to go out again". i'd take that as just respecting personal space.

this is especially true if the date was extremely low key--like a cup of coffee in the middle of the day.

if it was someone i had been engaging in lots of banter, heavy flirting and the like for a significant period of time prior to the date, i would most likely be disappointed and assume it meant he didn't like me/find me sexy/want to go out again.

this is especially true if the date had heightened seduction elements.
posted by crush-onastick at 7:11 AM on November 12, 2004 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: your answer is precisely the type of answering i hoping to get. i figure that the less context i give, the more broad a spectrum of answers i will receive. thanks so far.
posted by sciurus at 7:27 AM on November 12, 2004

right but that brings you perilously close to the " is not about conversation; it's about problem solving. concrete questions with definitive--if varied--answers."
posted by crush-onastick at 7:29 AM on November 12, 2004

A) He doesn't think of me in romantic/sexual terms.

B) He does (at least potentially) think of me in romantic/sexual terms, but didn't think this occasion was a "date" but merely a "get-together", and didn't want to do anything inappropriate.

C) He does think of me in romantic/sexual terms, but is waiting for me to make the first move.

D) He has a cold sore/bad cold/something else contagious and doesn't want to give it to me.

E) I have a cold sore/bad cold and he doesn't want to get it.

F) Someone told him that women will freak out if you try to kiss them on the first date; he's waiting for the second date .

I think that those are all the possibilities.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:31 AM on November 12, 2004

Unfortunately, you can't know what it means. I wouldn't let it stop you from asking him out again. If it's three dates, then that might mean something.
posted by xammerboy at 7:32 AM on November 12, 2004

I concur with what crush/sidhedevil said. I might think he was old-fashioned if the date was a night-time date, but not necessarily in a bad way. I might also think "Gee, I had thought this was a date, but maybe it is not a date?" which is something I used to go through a lot, especially with Pac NW guys, for some reason. This question could be clarified by a second/third date. If, by then, a guy has not either tried to kiss/etc. me and has not made it clear why not [cold sores, contagion, issues, work/school night] I will assume that no matter what he says about the date-nature of our interactions, I am declaring it a non-date, and us non-dating. I definitely don't expect every man my age to be a sex on the first date type of guy, but I expect to have some idea within the first few dates that the guy finds me attractive and likes me in "that way." If I don't know the guy well, it's possible the the first few dates are get-to-know-you territory and maybe after getting to know me, he doesn't want to sleep with me, that's fine, but if there isn't some show of interest fairly early on sometime after the first date, I'll mentally shift the guy into friend territory.
posted by jessamyn at 7:37 AM on November 12, 2004 [1 favorite]

You never know. I spent five years with a man who shook my hand after our first three hour dinner date. This after weeks of flirting and me saying "we should have dinner or something sometime". I came home after that handshake thinking Jeez, how humiliating... a handshake... what was I thinking?

Two weeks later, in bed, I turned to him and said "So what the hell was that handshake about?" He said "I really couldn't believe you might actually be interested in me. I figured I had no chance. I was an idiot."

Everyone has their own pace and theories of self-protection. There aren't any rules.
posted by judith at 8:11 AM on November 12, 2004

Wow. I've never kissed anyone on the first date. I never imagined that it would be something a woman would want.
posted by grouse at 8:12 AM on November 12, 2004 [4 favorites]

no kiss = he's not interested. From my experience, the guys that don't kiss me on the first date (even a peck) just aren't interested in a physical relationship. Adversely, the guy that gives away too much on the first date is only interested in the sex. I thought the kiss (or lack of one) at the end of the night was the deal-breaker?

If you don't want to send the message that you're desperate for another date, but also want to show a girl you're interested: a sweet, dry, lingering kiss on the cheek speaks volumes. I understand the pressure/stress of a first kiss on a first date, but when you go in for the parting hug, surely you can sneak a peck in?
posted by naxosaxur at 9:07 AM on November 12, 2004

My girlfriend of nearly four years has been known to point out that I should have kissed her on our first date (I didn't). Take from that what you will.
posted by ascullion at 9:20 AM on November 12, 2004

Thanks for the tip, nanosaxur. Sounds good.

For a twist, though, suppose you knew your date for some time in a different context -- say, a former coworker -- and the first "date" or two involve a transition from office professionalism to more personal interaction. Would you allow a bit more time for that?
posted by Tubes at 9:31 AM on November 12, 2004

Tubes, that describes the situation exactly with my last boyfriend. He was a former colleague, and we moved locations, so i felt free to date him. However, he went for 'the kill' on the first date, and stuck his tongue down my throat, which was cool with me, because at the time, I really liked him. However, it was an auspicious beginning, because the relationship only lasted 4 months, and was completely physical.

Therefore, a sweet kiss on the cheek (on the first date) would relay the message that you're a gentleman, want to eventually get into her pants, and are interested in a future commitment. If she doesn't feel the same way, and doesn't want a second date, all you risked is showing her your feelings. But better to let her know you're interested than to keep her guessing, eh?
posted by naxosaxur at 10:02 AM on November 12, 2004

I just need to share this story. I met a guy online through and we went out on several dates (at least 3 or 4), all of which had heavy flirting and seductive aspects, and yet I didn't get so much as a kiss. Also factor in multi-hour phone conversations almost every day. So, finally, on our - ahem - last date, I confronted him about it in a kinda vague manner. He took that as an opportunity to get completely naked on my couch.

Dude, all I wanted was a kiss...
posted by MsVader at 10:10 AM on November 12, 2004

Heh! OK, noted for future encounters.
posted by Tubes at 10:10 AM on November 12, 2004

MsVader, that's awesome!
posted by naxosaxur at 10:18 AM on November 12, 2004

I've always gone for asking, "Can I kiss you?" Sometimes I've gotten yes, sometimes I've gotten no, sometimes I've gotten "not tonight, but when we go out next week...". Either way, it's the answer I was looking for without just going in for the kill and getting the feared "head dodge/lemon face."
posted by SpecialK at 10:22 AM on November 12, 2004 [1 favorite]

Oh, and MsVader's story is the reason I don't use Nerve personals anymore. The women who use that get to be so scarred that they expect something like that to happen, and spending a lot of time to trip over all of the "prior bad experience" landmines and break down a whole bunch of post-traumatic barriers when all I wanted was a flirty date is just not my bag, baby.
posted by SpecialK at 10:25 AM on November 12, 2004

SpecialK - I did some dating both before and after "the naked guy" and I didn't really have any other problems. If all women got scarred that easily, there wouldn't be any left to date.

A friend of mine once told me that you can expect at least one of three things from a date:
1 - a good time
2 - a good meal
3 - a good story

I'd say that I at least got a good story out of that experience. :)
posted by MsVader at 10:52 AM on November 12, 2004

My husband and I didn't kiss on our first date. In fact, we didn't kiss until our third date (which led right to hours and hours of naked rolling around).

And as for Tubes's question, I think that a transition from "co-workers/buddies" to "people who are dating" will take at least a couple of dates, and a kiss on the first date with someone whose identity as your "co-worker/buddy" will be awkward.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:32 PM on November 12, 2004 [1 favorite]

Well MsVader, as they say, some people are born on third base and think they hit a triple.
posted by PrinceValium at 1:10 PM on November 12, 2004

If a man does not try to kiss you on a first date, how would you be likely to interpret that [lack of] action?

I'm big on kissing socially. I kiss my friends, family and just about anyone else that I haven't seen for awhile. I really should live in Italy.... Alas, I'm stuck here where people get so freaked out about this stuff.

When a guy doesn't try to kiss me at the end of a "good" date, I assume that he's intimidated, not sure of himself, very passive, or he just doesn't have any balls. None of which are qualities that I find attractive in a man. I nice kiss on the check is sufficient to avoid that judgment.
posted by Juicylicious at 1:38 PM on November 12, 2004 [1 favorite]

Wait--we were *supposed* to kiss on the first date? [begins headlong slide into midlife crisis/lamenting wasted youth]
posted by mecran01 at 2:06 PM on November 12, 2004

I really should live in Italy..

by all means, do come here. don't miss all that kissy goodness
posted by matteo at 2:11 PM on November 12, 2004

I nice kiss on the check

is that a variant on going dutch?
posted by matteo at 2:12 PM on November 12, 2004

I think Juicylicious was using a Roman numeral for 1 in honor of Italian kissing.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:46 PM on November 12, 2004

A nice kiss on the cheek.
Jeez, I should start proofreading my posts.

Matteo - What a cutie! Those big blue eyes are adorable.
posted by Juicylicious at 2:54 PM on November 12, 2004

I haven't had a first date in over seven years, but... my general rule was always, if there is to be a date #2, date #1 should end in a kiss. If I didn't allow a kiss or pursue a kiss, it was because *I* knew I didn't want date #2, so I just transferred that thought process onto my dates. Although I did learn later that at least one guy was just trying to be a gentleman.
posted by ferociouskitty at 4:31 PM on November 12, 2004

I don't recall ever kissing a girl on a first date unless it was someone I met online and we had already admitted we were attracted to each other.

And in some of those cases, well, sometimes the kiss was just the beginning... though that was kind of rare.

For most other situations, though, I'd consider it presumptuous.
posted by kindall at 4:58 PM on November 12, 2004

...another thing is, as you get older and date more, you get a better feel for whether a girl wants you to kiss her or not, and the rejection, or show of interest, becomes more implicit on both sides.
posted by bingo at 6:06 PM on November 12, 2004

Phew... I'm just a guy, but this thread is... well, interesting to read. ;)
posted by madman at 7:29 PM on November 12, 2004

It's fascinating that the men in this thread lean toward "no kiss" and the women lean toward "yes kiss".

I (a guy) am leery of the first date kiss. But my research into the topic has shown:

A: If a woman doesn't want a kiss, she will make it abundantly clear in her body language-- otherwise, a smooch of some kind is expected.

B: Don't ask her for permission. I thought asking would be courteous and respectful. But no. It just makes women think you are a spineless dweeb. Women expect you to be willing to be rejected. If this feels like you are being too forward or forceful, I suppose you can think of it this way-- you are making yourself extremely vulnerable and open to some seriously embarrassing rejection. It comes across as both strong and sweet. Go figure.
posted by 4easypayments at 5:27 PM on November 13, 2004 [3 favorites]

Oh - and don't call us "ladies". Only losers address women as "ladies".
posted by zadcat at 6:24 PM on November 13, 2004 [3 favorites]

Ok, but at least make it obvious for us. We're morans, remember.
posted by adampsyche at 10:03 AM on November 14, 2004

Response by poster: Oh - and don't call us "ladies". Only losers address women as "ladies".

I'm a loser then. I can handle it.

Everyone else, thanks for the varied wealth of responses!
posted by sciurus at 5:17 AM on November 15, 2004

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