To Kiss or Not To Kiss

There are many challenges to overcome when it comes to being an extroverted introvert on a first date. Knowing what to wear, knowing where to go, knowing how much to listen and how much to introduce unprompted, knowing whether to bring up how much I enjoy science fiction or not. But all of those are things I’m getting to grips with, slowly but surely.

There is one question, however, which I’m not quite there on; whether or not to kiss someone on a first date.

I’m sure that if I googled it I’d get dozens of articles saying simply “it depends on the other person, how you feel and whether you have a connection”, or “trust your instincts and go with the flow”. Well, my instincts are so often off-kilter when it comes to romance that I trust them almost as much as I trust a kitchen cabinet I’ve put up on the wall; enough to know it’s probably solid, but when it decides to fail it will be spectacular.

On the few dates I’ve been on (less than a dozen at time of writing) I’ve kissed four of my dates. One of those was more of a peck, with the rest being full on snogs (I do love that word; brings back memories of drunken teenage parties and being locked in a shed with Katie Patterson who lived two doors down). Each of these has felt sort of natural, though not all have occurred in the same way. Most happened towards the end of the first date rather than at some super romantic point halfway through.

The decision to kiss is, for me at least, a significant step. It says that not only am I attracted to you mentally but I’m also attracted to you physically. It says I am enjoying myself more than I would have were we just friends, and that I’d be interested in seeing my date again.

That being said, I’ve a small confession to make; I really enjoy kissing. Yes, I know this plays against any machismo I might be going for, but kissing simply feels really good to do. The first kiss especially can feel amazing; a slight fear that she won’t kiss back, no knowledge as to how she kisses nor whether she’ll like how I kiss her. It’s more than the physical act of pushing lips together and touching tongues; it signifies a connection of some kind that’s exciting.

There have been moments on one or two dates when I’ve been within a lean of moving in for a kiss, but something has stopped me. Whether it’s been a slight look from her, or the timing has been off, or I’ve worried that it was too soon, I’ve simply not completed the movement and the moment has passed, never to return. Some I’ve regretted, though mostly I’ve felt like I’ve made the right decision which was then borne out by either the rest of the date or the follow-up conversations.

I do hate the fact that there is no hard and fast rule about these things. I hate having to rely on my own ability to read a situation and act accordingly, to know when she might be receptive to me and to have the courage to act at all. I feel I’ve got it right so far more based on luck than judgement, but it really does appear that there is no other way of making sure I won’t crash and burn.

I’m going to rely on the fact that I currently have a very small sample size to draw any conclusions from and will need to continue to experiment with different approaches to see if I can better gauge things. I’d really appreciate any hints or tips about things to look out for to know if she’s receptive or keen, so comments below or emails in please!!!

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