The Match Lab

New Study Finds 68% of People Would Kiss on the First Date

Ever wonder if you’re going in for a first kiss at the right time? Like, if it’s normal to kiss on the first date or how long a first kiss should last?


At The Match Lab, we study the science of dating and relationships.

And we conducted a new study to figure out everything you could want to know about first kisses in dating.

We Conducted a Study on First Kisses & First Dates

In our study, we surveyed 100 single people across the United States and asked them what they think about having a first kiss with someone new.

Here’s a main finding that sums things up well: 68% of people said they would be open to kissing someone on a first date.

But there’s so much more to the story than that.

Read on to find out more about kissing on the first date — and how to have a perfect first kiss.

Our Findings: Should You Kiss on the First Date, Second Date, or Third Date?


One of the main questions we asked in our study was “How many dates should you wait before having a first kiss?”

Our study found that the second date is the best time for a first kiss.

How many dates before a kiss? Here’s what our survey found:

  • 45% of people say the second date is the ideal time to have the first kiss
  • 26% say that the third date ideal for a first kiss
  • 15% say the first date is ideal for a first kiss

The data show that the second date is the most popular date to smooch someone new for the first time, while the first date is the least ideal. Almost half of the people that participated in the study stated they would prefer to have their first kiss on the second date.

Read: 8 Reasons Why the Second Date is the Best for a First Kiss

The majority of people in our study agreed that there should ideally be no kiss on a first date. The consensus was that first kisses are just to get to know one another, before getting physical.

Read: Going for a Kiss on the Third Date: What to Know

Are people open to kissing on the first date?

In our study, we also asked if participants would be open to the idea of kissing a potential partner on the first date. Looking at this question, the study found that:

  • 68% of people say they would be open to kissing someone on a first date
  • 80% say they would be open to kissing on the second date
  • 88% would be open to kissing on the third date

So, while most people don’t think a first date kiss is ideal, most people are at least open to the possibility of kissing on the first date.

While only 15% of people in our survey stated they would ideally kiss someone on the first date, 68% said they were open to the idea of kissing someone on their first date.

Now, note that waiting too long to have a first kiss could be a turnoff: only 14% of people said that the first kiss should happen after the third date. If you wait too long, you might lose your date’s interest and miss your opportunity.

Read: 11 Pros & Cons of Kissing on the First Date

Setting Up the First Kiss: Establishing Consent

Now that we’ve covered which date is ideal for a first kiss, let’s dive deeper into how the first kiss should start.

Before trying to kiss any sort of potential partner, it’s important to establish consent. Don’t make assumptions. Consent should always be enthusiastic and clear to both parties.


In our study, we asked people whether or not consent should be established verbally before going in for a first kiss.

The results of this question were that:

  • 21% of people said you should ask someone if you can kiss them before going in for a first kiss
  • 4% said to just go in for the kiss, without asking
  • 75% said whether you should ask before kissing depends on the situation

When to Kiss on a Date

We asked the people in our study when they thought a kiss on a date should occur.

The vast majority of people interviewed (89% of them) say a first kiss should happen at the end of the date.

A much smaller 11% of people say the first kiss should happen during the middle of the date.

Not a single person we surveyed said that a first kiss should occur at the beginning of the date; that would likely make for a very unexpected and awkward first kiss.

Why it’s ideal to kiss at the end of a date

Many people may prefer that a first kiss concludes the date because it creates a sense of anticipation and excitement of what’s to come next.

When your date ends with sharing your first kiss and then you say goodbye right after, you part ways on a high note, having just reached what is likely to have been your first milestone in dating one another.

Read: After How Many Dates Should You Kiss?

First Kiss Tips: How to Have a Good First Kiss

Because the first kiss is an important relationship milestone, we really want it to go well. We want to feel sparks and that instant connection. But the reality is that first kisses can be really awkward.

So how can you pull off the first kiss like a pro?

According to the findings of our study, here are some tips for having a great first kiss.


How long should a first kiss last?

The answer here is clear: 98% of the people we surveyed said that the ideal first kiss should be less than 10 seconds.

So, does that mean a 1-second kiss or a 9-second kiss?

It means, more specifically, that the ideal first kiss should last 3-5 seconds.

67% of people we surveyed said that a first kiss should ideally last only a few seconds, like 3-5 seconds on average.

Read: Which is the Best First Date? Coffee vs Drinks vs Dinner

Should your first kiss be a makeout? Tongue or no tongue?

A first kiss can look like a lot of different things – a makeout, tongue or no tongue, a quick peck, etc.

The people of our study said that the ideal intensity of a first kiss depends on the situation, with 51% of people saying that you might want to use tongue during a first kiss.

The other 49% of people say you definitely should not use your tongue in a first kiss.

So, generally, just use your best judgment and assess your partner’s comfort level when thinking about how deep and passionate your first kiss should be.

What If You Have a Bad First Kiss?

If you have gone on a date and leaned in for that first kiss and it ended up not going as well as you hoped, that’s completely ok.

A bad first kiss with a potential partner is not always a dealbreaker.

In fact, only 9% of people in our survey said that a bad first kiss is a dealbreaker.

That means more than 90% of people say they would be open to going on a second date with someone after having a bad first kiss if they were interested in them otherwise.

Read: Creating Chemistry on a First Date: 7 Tips for Feeling a Spark

First Kiss Tips and Mistakes to Avoid

There are many ways you can have a good first kiss.

In fact, in our study, we pinpointed a few clear mistakes to avoid for your first kiss.

The most common mistakes people reported experiencing when having a first kiss with someone included using too much tongue (28% of people nominated this as the #1 mistake made), having bad breath (nominated by 25% of people), and rushing to go in for the kiss (nominated by 23% of people).

Some other less common mistakes people said happen during first kisses include trying to make the kiss last too long, keeping your eyes open, not using your hands at all, and pulling away from the kiss too soon.

Read: 5 Signs of Chemistry on a First Date: How to Know It Went Well

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