Kissing on the 2nd Date
May 7, 2010 11:51 AM   Subscribe

Is this moving too fast?

Last night I went on a second date with a man that I met on an online dating site. After the evening's main activities we stopped by a local pub where there was conversation and canoodling. At one point he asked me if what we were doing was normal. When I asked him what he meant, he said that he didn't know if people usually kissed like this on the second date. These were not deep soul kisses; really just the occasional smooch lasting less than 10 seconds or so at a time since we were in public. I said that in my experience, kissing like this on a second date was "normal."

Now I'm wondering if my experience is abnormal. I'd love to hear if this sounds normal to you and when you do what (e.g. kiss on the first date, sex on the third date). I realize that this is different for everyone but this guy has got me worried that my perspective is somehow skewed.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (21 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Don't talk to us about this, talk to him. I mean, who cares what we think? This is something for the two of you to work out.

People from different backgrounds and communities have different expectations for this sort of thing. Sounds to me like he's had a more conservative upbringing than you do. But without talking to him, whether or not your expectations are "normal" isn't a terribly helpful thing to know.
posted by valkyryn at 11:54 AM on May 7, 2010 [2 favorites]

I've kissed on the first date, or sometimes not at all until date #6.
I've had sex on the first date, on the 3rd, and even the 32nd.
If you're comfortable, and he's comfortable, it's not abnormal.
posted by caveat at 11:55 AM on May 7, 2010 [15 favorites]

You already know the answer it is different for everyone. It's not about what's "normal", it's about what feels comfortable to you and the person you are with. Some people have sex on the first date, some people don't kiss until the fourth date. It's about how you were raised, what feels right to you, how much you like the other person etc.

In my opinion, he was probably commenting on how he felt a connection with you that he doesn't usually have with other people rather than a comment that what you were doing was inappropriate.
posted by Kimberly at 11:55 AM on May 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

Not abnormal. But "is this normal?" is not the question that you or he should be asking. You and he should be concerned with whether it's what you're comfortable with and whether you each consent to it and are cool with it.

The range of human behavior in this world that is "normal" is very, very broad, and is not really a good way to measure whether your behavior is a good idea.
posted by The World Famous at 11:58 AM on May 7, 2010

It's not abnormal. At all. If I went on two dates and there was opportunity for kissing and none took place, I would think the guy wasn't interested. But that's just me.

And has been said, my standards don't apply here. Yours do for you (singular) and both of yours do for you (as a couple).

But I think the real issue here is that he wants to talk about it or didn't feel comfortable. Could be his past, could be fishing around to see how experienced you are, could be he doesn't like PDA and that's what he finds strange.

But the most important thing is that if you're interested in him, you talk to him. Not confront him, but bring it up again, say "hey I don't think this is abnormal (because you didn't, many others won't -- but your opinion is what matters) But if you do, and you want to talk about it, here's your shot."

Don't let the fact that his opinion is more prudish than you let you think he's automatically right or opinion is more valid. But there's two of you involved, so you both should get to have your say.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:59 AM on May 7, 2010

As far as I'm concerned if an internet date shows up and is as attractive as I already thought they were from their pic and profile, it would be fine with me to just skip the talking and go right to the making out. Of course, THAT would be abnormal. But you get my point.
posted by spicynuts at 12:02 PM on May 7, 2010 [2 favorites]

Agree with everyone else that as long as you are both enjoying it and comfortable, nothing is abnormal.

However, the whole "kissing for ten seconds" here and there in the conversation thing is something that I've only gone in an established relationship - perhaps that is what the guy was referring to?

I feel like the kissing that gets done on early dates, in my experience, is more in the vein of good night kissing or other kissing that isn't done in public. The friendly, comfortable, occasional kiss while sitting out is something I'm relatively certain has always come to me once a relationship of some sort is established.

If you guys are already in that place so early, that is awesome. But, maybe he was referring to the comfort of kissing in public rather than the kissing on the second date in general.
posted by CharlieSue at 12:10 PM on May 7, 2010

Kissing/making out/sexing/etc all vary from person to person. If you're comfortable and he is, too, don't sweat it. That said:

one alligator
two alligator
three alligator
four alligator
five alligator
six alligator
seven alligator
eight alligator
nine alligator
ten alligator

To me, that seems like a long kiss for public (second date or not is irrelevant.) But I'm not overly affectionate in public, and maybe your date usually is not either.
posted by too bad you're not me at 12:31 PM on May 7, 2010 [3 favorites]

Not skewed whatsoever.

I've rounded all the bases on first dates. We were adults fully capable of making adult choices about doing adult things. If we were doing something "improper" together, then he was just as guilty as me. If you're worrying about this man holding said smooches against you, don't. Any man worth your time won't hold you to silly double standards. If he's uncomfortable with kissing on a second date, that's totally legit and he should let you know that he wants to slow things down. But huge red flag if he starts casting any kind of moral judgment on your "behavior."

Anecdotally, both of my flings developed into long-term relationships, and wah-lah, my current wonderful and amazing SO. They bought the cow even when the milk was free, because the milk is just one part of the whole damn package, thankyouverymuch.
posted by keep it under cover at 12:34 PM on May 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

It depends on the people and the context. If it feels good, do it. Only the comfort levels of the people involved really matter. Normal? What's that?
posted by futureisunwritten at 12:36 PM on May 7, 2010

I have experienced, and have had friends who have experienced the entire gamut between sex before the first date to no first kiss for months. There is, sadly, no "normal" and while rules of thumb are a good starting point, cover them with salt and use them as exactly that: general estimates.

A chunk (the size of which differs for everyone) of "am i comfortable with this?" is actually "is this socially acceptable?" Try to filter that latter part out and concentrate on your own, personal feelings as best you can.
posted by griphus at 12:41 PM on May 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

Normal. With online dating you don't go out again with someone you wouldn't make out with, so on date two making out is totally an option by virtue of the fact that you're on a second date.
posted by The Straightener at 1:39 PM on May 7, 2010

Some guys who aren't comfortable with women or with womens' sexuality sometimes try to shame them or somehow imply that they're abnormal. Some guys will do this WHILE THEY ARE ENGAGING IN THE ACTIVITY WITH PLEASURE! Like, hey, you're a little weird, don't you think?

Maybe it's conscious, maybe it's not, maybe it's because they are trained to evaluate womens' sexual behavior or maybe just because they don't think about what it feels like to be treated as abnormal.

Look. It is a huge waste of your life to think about whatever a guy says is or isn't normal. "What's your point?" or its slightly less aggressive cousin "Who cares?"

Learn it, love it, say it the next time anyone suggests you're abnormal for doing something consensual that feels good.

Maybe I read his behavior as more aggressive or irritating than it was. If so, apologies.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 2:01 PM on May 7, 2010 [11 favorites]

Is this moving too fast?

No. Getting engaged before you've met is too fast. Anything short of that, assuming everyone playing is happy to be there, is good to go.

If its too fast for him, than he needs to put on his big boy pants and say so transparently, rather than making this about a (potentially) larger issue.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:05 PM on May 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

Thinly veiled brag post.
Yeah he was just saying he's into you. It's perfectly normal for people who are into eachother to make out in public on a second date.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:42 PM on May 7, 2010

maybe it was a way to say that he's really into you? like, "wow, is this normal? kissing like this on the second date?" was his effort to communicate "this is special, isn't it! how easy this is and how we like each other so quickly while all those other jerks go on date after date with no kissing whatsoever!" (That's how I'd interpret it, but then I'm really vain).
posted by moxiedoll at 6:46 PM on May 7, 2010

He might also be asking this just to see if this is something you do with everyone on the 2nd date and he's just another guy you make out with in public, or if he's someone you actually like more than others. Not that I think there's anything wrong with making out with lots of dudes. Just saying that he might just be curious to see fast you'd normally get to making out with some guy, he might not be actually worrying about moving too fast. And in case you're still wondering, it's normal, like everyone said - sometimes kissing happens on the first date, sometimes kissing doesn't happen for weeks but then ends up being awesome.
posted by KateHasQuestions at 7:26 PM on May 7, 2010

Second date kisses? Definitely "normally*" longer and ideally less public, but hey, you get what you can. *For me.

How I would interpret being asked if this was normal? Either he's asking if it's generally normal, in which case I would assume he was inexperienced. Or if the question is "is this normal for you" then it's either flirty or judge-y, and I'd either flirt back or move on.
posted by anaelith at 12:49 PM on May 8, 2010

From a bystander's point of view: A ten-second kiss is too long. I don't want to see that "occasionally" during my time at the pub. You'd think "once' would be okay, but it makes some people around you wonder how much more intense it's going to get.

The answer to "is this normal" should be, "What are you comfortable with?"
posted by wryly at 4:08 PM on May 8, 2010

Yeah, I'm not a huge fan of PDAs of that magnitude. A smooch is cool. Holding hands, hell yeah. But ten second long kisses in public. Blech!

But, no, I think kissing on the second date is fine. It's whatever works for you two. And, if you two are cool with gross PDAs, well, great!
posted by Lizsterr at 7:31 PM on May 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Nthing what everyone's said thus far. If you're both comfortable with it, good for you! I would try not to overanalyze the "Is this normal?" question (then I would fail, because I overanalyze everything). But my first reaction would be either a) he's just not very experienced, or b) a comment on how well you're getting along.

One other thing to take into consideration along with the whole 'second date' aspect: you said you met him online, how long had you been corresponding before actually meeting up and dating? I've had friends who email back and forth for a solid month before setting up a physical meetup; I've also had friends whose only communication is to scheduling a date/time to meet the person. YMMV, but it's another piece of the puzzle.. though once again, comfort level is really the priority.

If 10 seconds is a smooch, perhaps I shouldn't ask what you would define as a 'deep soul kiss.' ;)
posted by Kattiara17 at 10:46 AM on May 10, 2010

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