I've been an online writer for over eight years. I love writing about relationships, love, romance, and flirting.
Kisses can be exciting, but if it’s your first one, it can seem kind of complicated. What if you bump heads? What if you miss? What if she runs away screaming?
Hopefully, that last one won’t happen, but this article is going to walk you through the entire process, including tips on how to find alone time and where and how exactly the kiss should happen. Hopefully, this advice will help make your kiss everything you want it to be: enjoyable, cute, and romantic.
Okay, let's get to it!
19 Steps to a Perfect First Kiss
- Check your breath: brush your teeth, chew gum, and avoid strong-smelling foods right before you're planning to kiss someone.
- Also, take a shower, wash your hair, and smell nice. Basically—don't be a gross slob. Hygiene is sexy.
- Prep your lips. If they're chapped or dry, use some balm to get them kissable.
- While alone with her before you kiss, it might be good to compliment her sincerely—tell her something that you love about her. Don't do this just to do it though. Mean what you say. This helps create the right mood and will put the focus on her, which is where it should be.
- Start making physical contact before you kiss—lightly touch her shoulder or arm. Holding hands is also great and especially appropriate if she's your girlfriend.
- When the moment for the kiss has come, shut up and make eye contact with her. Let the tension of the moment build a little.
- Make sure she wants to kiss you. If at any point she seems uncomfortable with you touching her or starts backing away from you, then you should stop.
- If things look good, start making your approach. Enter her personal space slowly, but purposefully.
- Go in for the kiss with lips slightly parted like you're about to say something. Don't pucker up like grandma.
- Tilt your head slightly to avoid collisions. Just a slight tilt will do—most of the time you should tilt to the right, but you should still make sure they're going the opposite way!
- Keep your eyes shut while kissing. No one likes opening their eyes and seeing someone staring at them.
- As you continue kissing, give soft kisses with a gently open mouth that focuses on one lip or the other.
- Use your hands wisely. Touch her hair, face, back, neck, and shoulders.
- Don't use your tongue immediately. Keep your cool.
- When you're ready, slide your tongue in a little bit. Never force it—gentle is the name of the game: a little tongue goes a long way.
- Keep the saliva to a minimum. If you need to, take a moment and swallow.
- If you are making out, take breathing breaks. You could pull away gently, or take some time to kiss her on the cheek, the ear, or the neck.
- Take your time. Don't be in a rush!
- After the kiss, smile. You don't need to say anything right away. Just enjoy the moment.
1. Make Your Breath Smell Awesome!
Brush your teeth twice, gargle with mouthwash, and use mints or a strong gum. Also, watch what you eat beforehand—avoid garlic, onions, coffee, smoking, and tuna (DUH!). Do whatever it takes to avoid bad breath before you kiss a girl. It's a total turn off and it could make the kiss could go from a beautiful fairy tale to a horror story really fast. Don't let that happen!
2. Take a Shower. Wash Your Hair. Smell Nice.
Kissing someone isn't just about the mouth—it's a full body experience. And even if you're just giving them a peck (which is totally fine too), you're going to want to make sure the rest of your body is prepared. That starts with a shower. Take one, and wash your hair. There's a good chance they'll want to run their fingers through it if kissing lasts for any amount of time (fingers crossed!).
Make sure it's free of dandruff or other stuff that might make her decide to stop kissing you. If you have dandruff, try using an anti-dandruff shampoo at least twice a week for a week or two beforehand.
Girls love men that smell good, and fragrance will play a big role in charming your lady and giving her the kiss of your dreams. If you use a scented soap on your body, that will often be enough to leave a pleasant aroma lingering for her to pick up as you lean in for those special moments.
If you want to go the extra mile, wearing cologne can be very powerful. If you use it correctly, you will smell like a demigod that any woman would be lucky to embrace. If you use it incorrectly, you will smell like a middle-schooler that accidentally spilled his dad's cologne all over him.
3. Make Your Lips Nice, Soft, and Kissable.
Cracked lips are not only unappealing, but they can hurt or irritate your kiss-ee's lips. If your lips are chapped or dry, go ahead and balm 'em up. You don't need to go overboard with it, but remember to give your lips a quick check before your date.
It'd probably be good to avoid using fragrant lip balms because a girl generally does not expect her guy's lips to smell like strawberry, vanilla, or peach. That said, it's not the worst thing in the world, and it may even inspire some conversation after the kiss. "Is that... cherry?"
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4. Compliment Her Like You Mean It (Because You Should).
What you talk about before the kiss can also go a long way towards paving the road for a smooch. You can make your pre-lip-locking conversation romantic by peppering it with compliments about her.
- If you remember things that she told you and talk about her likes and dislikes, it will show that you notice her and pay attention when she talks.
- Make sure you compliment her specifically on things that you like about her, like if she has a dimple that you think is cute, or if she's always brushing her bangs out of her eyes, or if you love hearing her laugh.
- You could tell her directly that you like her. If she likes you too, she’ll probably say so and this will be a nice, intimate moment that will encourage a kiss.
5. Start Making Physical Contact Before the Kiss.
Before you kiss, try some light body contact to see how open she is to having you in her personal space. Keep it natural, but also be observant: what is she doing? How is she responding to you? If she’s not open to physical touch, then she’s probably not ready for a kiss.
- If you are seated next to each other like at the movies, try setting your arm so it's lightly brushing hers, or so your knees are touching. Notice how she reacts. You could also lightly put your arm around her. If she comes in closer, that's a good sign. If she shrinks away, that is not.
- If you're walking or talking while standing, try touching her when you talk. You could even try holding her hand. Holding hands is definitely a good sign!
- Whatever you do, you'll want to make sure that you're touching physically in some way before you go in for a kiss. That will help clue her in to what's going on. Lunging in from two feet away is a sure way to surprise her, and not necessarily in a good way. Besides, the tension leading up to the kiss is the best part anyways.
- If you're saying goodbye, then you could give her a long hug, and then pull back and go in for a kiss then if it feels right.
6. Shut Up and Make Eye Contact.
Silence comes before a kiss. That means that kisses (especially first ones) are *generally* (but not always) preceded by a period of intense eye contact without talking. It could be just a few seconds or a little longer, but it is important. It lets both of you know that something interesting is about to happen.
Stare deep into her eyes, maybe give her a compliment or tell her something special (You're beautiful, I like you, etc.) — these might seem generic, and they are! But if you really mean them, then they'll be perfect and they'll mean a lot to her. But don't say them if you don't mean them. That's manipulative and gross.
Once the mood is deeply romantic and you two lovebirds are about to blast off into loverspace, it's time for the approach.
7. Make Sure She Wants to Kiss You.
Getting permission to kiss someone is not to be taken lightly — putting your lips on another's body is very invasive (which is why it's so thrilling), and when it's done right, everyone has a great time.
So how do you get permission? There are two ways of doing it: one is asking them with your words if you can kiss them, and another is gauging from their body language if they want to be kissed and then "offering" one to them.
Let's go through each:
Asking Her to Kiss
Though there are plenty of people who will say that asking to kiss someone is actually the kiss of death, it really depends on the person and on the situation.
On the one hand, the benefit of asking her is that you know without a doubt that she wants to kiss you too, and that's great (especially if it's your first time kissing her.) This might be especially appropriate for first dates with a new person, or if you're with someone that you like but that you don't know very well.
Besides, if she really wants to kiss you too, she probably will not care at all if you ask as long as it ends in a smooch.
After the first one, it will get easier and you'll be better able to tell if she wants to kiss you without her directly saying, "Yes, kiss me please."
Also, remember that she could be just as nervous as you are, so if she's not immediately receptive to your advances, it might not be because she's not interested. Instead, it could be because she's a little scared of kissing too. That's why asking can be useful sometimes.
Not Asking Before You Kiss
Usually you can tell from her body language and your interactions if she's wanting to kiss you. Is she leaning towards you? Is she facing away from you? Is she smiling or is she grumpy? Does she seem bored? (Warning: don't think that swooping in for a kiss is the cure for her boredom — it's likely not).
Especially if you've gone out before and have a sense for who she is, you can gather clues from her body language and make your move without asking for her spoken permission.
A good rule of thumb (from the movie Hitch with Will Smith) is that you should lean in 90% so she can come in the other 10%. That way it's more like you're offering a kiss rather than forcing one on her. In this way, you're still asking for permission, but you're doing it with your body instead of with your words.
Make sense? Good.
8. Enter Her Personal Space Slowly.
Start your approach slowly, but purposefully, entering her personal space and heading straight for the lips (with a slight tilt of the head). Then pause right before you hit her lips. If she doesn't back away, then you're probably good to go. It's even better if she comes and meets your lips where you are.
9. Go in for the Kiss With Your Mouth Slightly Open.
Yes, it is scary to go in for a first kiss with someone, and yes, that might make everything in your body want to clench up, including your hands, your arms, and your mouth and face. However, if she wanted to date a tree, she wouldn't have gone out with you. So try to loosen up!
Keep your lips slightly open when you go in for the kiss, not gaping like a carp, but just bareeeely parted so that they're at their softest and most full, like you're about to say something. In contrast, a closed mouth could make it look like all you want to do is give her a tiny peck with your lips.
10. Tilt Your Head to Avoid Collisions.
As you start to approach your lovely target, be sure to tilt your head slightly sideways and if possible, guide her head to tilt it to the opposite side with your hands.
This works best if you do it in a soft, gentle manner, not like a robot working on auto parts. For example, if you were just caressing her face (which — great starter move by the way), gently hold her head or her chin (like it's a precious object!) and move it ever so slightly to the side.
You can take your time with this! There is no rush, and even though it might feel like the world is ending, or maybe that time is stopping, all of the anticipation will only make the final kiss that much better.
If you don't take the appropriate precautions, you risk bumping noses. If that happens, just laugh it off and tilt your head again so you can kiss her immediately while the situation is still romantic and heated up. Don't be discouraged!
11. Keep Your Eyes Shut While Kissing.
Do not underestimate the importance of keeping your eyes closed while kissing. Nothing is worse than accidentally opening your eyes and seeing the other person staring back at you like a maniac. Yikes!
No matter how long or how short your kiss is going to be, remind yourself to close your eyes for it—it's a sign of enjoyment and by closing your eyes, you communicate the message that you are in a trance because of the spell your special love has cast upon you (or something like that.)
That said, don't shut your eyes too soon. It's best to let it happen either *right* before or *right* after you make contact. Closing the doors on your peepers prematurely may cause you to miss her lips!
Again, if that happens, laugh it off and go for it again.
12. Continue the Kiss Like a Pro.
Once you've made contact. Awesome! Keep it nice and soft. Then, back and look at her after the first kiss, and do it again (if she seems into it).
At this point, you could continue with kissing if the setting allows (and she's enjoying it), or you could finish with a soft kiss and a hug.
If you continue, start focusing on the lower lip or upper lip with your soft kisses (do not use your tongue!), and open your mouth slightly. If you want, you could gently take her lip into your mouth (gently!).
13. Use Your Hands Wisely.
As mentioned earlier, kissing is a full body experience. It might start with the mouth and face, but that is certainly not where it stops (and I'm not talking about that.)
Even though you don't kiss with your hands, they play a very big role in making your kissing experience more enjoyable. There are several things you can do with your hands while you're kissing that have nothing to do with groping and everything to do with being a great kissing partner:
- You can use your hands to touch her neck and her face
- You can put them around her waist or around her back to bring her closer to you (but be careful of getting too caught up and forcing her into a bear hug!).
- Gently run your hands through her hair and softly touch her face. Let the movements come naturally—if you go soft and slow, you can't go wrong.
14. Don't Use Your Tongue Immediately.
Ah, the tongue—one of kissing's best and most abused tools. If you're kissing someone for the first time, you're likely pretty excited about it (as you should be!), but do not let that excitement carry over into the tongue department, thrusting it in and waggling it about like you're searching for gold.
No, no, no. At first, there must be no tongue, just gentle lip kisses. Keep your mouth slightly open and draw one of her lips gently between yours, then let it go, and then do the other one. Only after a solid period of lip-action is the tongue invited to the party.
15. Slide Your Tongue in—Never Force It.
If you've been kissing for a little bit and it's going well, it might be time to try some tongue. The key thing to remember here is that a little goes a long way. I'll say it again a little differently: more tongue does not mean more fun (for her at least).
Here's how you introduce some tongue: Once you're into the kiss, gently slide the tip of your tongue into her mouth and gently and smoothly across her lips for just a moment and pull it back in. This is the only motion that you need to repeat. Don't try to stick the whole thing in there and leave it in there, do not flick your tongue wildly for any reason, do not jam it in and out over and over again, and do not straight up lick her face or lips. Those are all awful. Don't do them.
Now, if she brings her tongue out first, welcome it by returning the favor with yours. Again, gently, and with moderation.
16. Keep the Saliva to a Minimum.
Spit anywhere besides the mouth is gross, and excessive saliva can make a kiss very sloppy and irritating but when you kiss, your mouth tends to make more of it so this can be a little tricky.
If you notice that your mouth is filling up with spit and you've (gasp!) even drooled, take a second, pull back, and swallow. Not only will this help reduce the amount of spit in your mouth, but it's also a great moment to look deep into her eyes and smile. You'll look so sexy.
17. Take Your Time.
Think of every kiss as savoring the most expensive meal in the world. Would you gobble it down as fast as you could or would you start by taking in the dish's look and smell, and then enjoying it bite by bite until the very last crumb?
Assuming that you picked the latter, enjoy every moment of your kiss and immerse yourself into the whole experience. Don't kiss too quickly and don't be afraid to go slow. You can heighten the experience by feeling every step of your kiss.
18. Take a Breath.
If you do end up making out, don't make the mistake of holding your breath for so long that you need to come up gasping for air like a scuba diver. When you need to breathe, just gently pull away. You could, at this moment, gently stroke her face or move to kissing her neck, cheek, or ear—all of which are easier to breathe during.
As you pull away from your kiss, all you need to do is smile. You don't have to have anything funny or romantic to say (though you should feel free to say something if it comes naturally. Beware: There is less of a chance of making yourself seem like an idiot if you don't say anything.)
Regardless, you should not plan out something to say afterwards because it likely just won't fit. Nothing fits better than a smile. She'll probably smile back too. If you like, you can give her a compliment and lean in for yet another kiss.
This is a place where people often say, "You're beautiful, pretty, amazing, etc." If something like that seems appropriate, go ahead and say it.
Good luck! I hope your first kiss is everything you want!
A First Kiss Does Not Have to Turn Into a Make Out.
If things go well, you'll be kissing again soon enough anyways. Don't be afraid to leave a little something for the next time.
Besides, if you're kissing for the first time, you have enough to worry about without trying to figure out making out too.
What Is the Perfect Kiss?
Everyone wants to make sure the first kiss is a perfect moment, but let’s examine what perfect means in this scenario. In my opinion, a perfect kiss is what happens when two people who like each other kiss each other, even if someone's breath smells a little, or maybe the heads bump, or something else goes slightly wrong. As long as the intention behind the kiss is good, the kiss will be good.
So don’t freak out if it's not perfect like a kiss from the movies! There will be plenty more opportunities (even if it doesn't seem like it right now).
How to Find Alone Time
If you're thinking about kissing someone special—maybe your girlfriend, or just someone that you like and you think (or hope) they like you too—a good first step would be to find some alone time with this person. This is really important, especially for the first kiss. Being around lots of other people while kissing someone for the first time can be distracting and ruin the moment. Here are some ideas for finding alone time (especially if you're not old enough to drive yet):
- If you go to school with them, see if you could give them a ride home and ask your parents to pick you up a little bit later than usual.
- Hang out with them at a public event like a football game. Flirt with them while you're in a big group and see if you could go with them to get snacks or find some other excuse to break them away from the group.
- Kissing during the movies is not advisable, especially for the first kiss. Wait until after, before you go home or your parents pick you up.
- Walk her home from school or from another event if you live in walking distance.
- Ask her on a date (this way alone time will be easy!)
- If you and your friends are hanging out at the park, you could break away from the group to go get something from your car.
- Borrow something of hers and then ask her to come to your locker or take it to her house to give it back to her.
- At the mall, you could find a deserted corner in a big department store or somewhere outside while you're waiting to be picked up.
- Go for a walk in your neighborhood park, if you have one, and if she lives close by.
- If you're both at a party, you could ask her if she wants to go for a walk. If she likes you and wants alone time with you, she'll say yes.
When Should You Kiss?
Well, you should kiss her when the moment's right, of course! But when's that? If you're on a date, kissing generally happens towards the end, especially for the first time.
But in terms of how long you need to have been dating... there is no right or wrong number of dates after which you should kiss a girl—some people like to kiss on the first date. Others like to wait a bit longer. It also depends on how old you are.
Some teenagers or pre-teens date for months without kissing, while many people in their 20s or 30s will probably kiss on the first or second date. So basically, the right time to kiss someone is when you want to tell them that you like them more than friends and you want to see if they feel the same way about you.
Everyone Gets Nervous.
It's normal to be a little scared before you kiss someone. Everyone is ready to kiss at different ages. Some people don't have their first kiss until their 20s! And while some teens feel very ready to kiss, others would rather wait a little longer. There's no right way. It's right if it feels right for both people—neither one should feel pressured to do something that they do not want to do.
For your first kiss especially, or if you want to kiss someone who's shy or has never kissed anyone before, you should take things slow. Don't swoop in and don't force it. Let it happen naturally. Let's say you've planned out the moment and everything and then it still doesn't happen—that's okay. Give it time.
If you want to kiss someone who's just a friend, it will be extra important for you to pay attention to how she's responding to you. It's possible she likes you too but just hasn't said anything about it.
Also, if going for a kiss on the lips is just too terrifying, that's okay! You can also kiss her hand gently (just bring it to your lips with them slightly parted and press them against her hand), or give her a gentle kiss on the cheek in the same way. Either of those could be good options to lead into a full-blown mouth kiss either at this time or some time in the future.
Video Tutorial for a Great Kiss
What If Something Goes Wrong?
What if you bump heads? Or if your breath smells bad? Or you accidentally drool?
Any of these things could happen (though hopefully that last one won't)—and the best way to defend against them is to have a good sense of humor. If something goes "wrong," just laugh it off and keep going for the kiss. The most important thing is that you both like each other, and if that's the case, then all these other things really aren't so important.
Now, if you try to kiss her and she either tells you to stop or she gives you her cheek, or she backs away, you should respect those all as a sign that she does not want to be kissed by you at this moment. That is the most important information. It does not necessarily mean she doesn't like you like that (though it could.)
What If She Doesn't Want to Kiss?
There are two main scenarios here.
Scenario #1: If she doesn't want to kiss you, but was okay with other kinds of physical contact like holding hands or hugging, then you should give her a hug and tell her that you really like her. If she's still not running away from you, you could give her a kiss on the cheek or on the hand as a way to end the conversation and ask her if she wants to go out with you sometime in the future.
If she says yes, then you're good to go. Next time you go out, see if she's any more comfortable around you. Or, you could ask her straight up, saying that you want to respect her boundaries, but that you also really want to kiss her.
Scenario #2: If she doesn't want to kiss you and was not open to other forms of physical contact, it's possible she's not interested in being more than friends with you. You can still tell her that you like her and would like to go out with her again. In this situation, it might be best to leave it up to her to contact you. If you hang out in the same friend group, you could still try to flirt with her and see what happens. If you're getting nothing back, though, it's time to move on.
Kissing a Girl Who Isn't Your Girlfriend
If this girl is just a friend and not yet your girlfriend, then this kiss may be something that both of you have been thinking about for a while (that'd be the best-case scenario!) Be careful to closely watch her body language and make sure she's comfortable with you—it's much better to take things slow than rush them and make her feel like she can't trust you.
If she has a boyfriend—don't try to kiss her. Tell her instead that you like her but you know she's with someone else. Put it out there for her to think about but don't be a sleazeball.
Special Tips for Kissing With Braces
- If they have braces, just don't mash your mouth against their mouth. If you keep it nice and easy, nice and gentle, everything should go smoothly.
- If you have braces, it's extra important to brush and avoid problem foods before you kiss.
- If they have braces, be careful of the back of their mouth—often where the sharpest parts of the braces are.
- If both of you have braces, don't worry, your braces won't get stuck together! This is just an urban myth.
What If You're in Middle School (or Otherwise Young)?
If you're in middle school or kissing someone who is, then it is a good idea to take things slowly. Save the making out for later—just focus on having a nice first kiss, and keep your hands on PG areas. All that other stuff can happen later (maybe sooner than you think)
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.