Making out with someone new can either feel like all of your dreams have come true or like a scene from a tacky '90s horror movie. Red flags while kissing someone new can sometimes be tricky to decipher, because let's face it: Dating can be anxiety-inducing for a ton of people, and the first few displays of affection (i.e., kissing, touching, etc.) are usually when the pressure's on the most.
According to dating expert and relationship writer Demetrius Figueroa, shutting down a new dating prospect purely based on the first kiss might actually not be the best idea. "In an ideal world, all of our first milestones when we start dating someone would go perfectly, but in the real world, you can have an awkward or bad first kiss with someone you end up with for the rest of your life, the same way that you can have an amazing first kiss with someone who you’ll never see again," he says.
So while there are some kissing red flags to keep an eye out for if they occur on a consistent basis, a bad first kiss on its own won't always ruin an entire potential relationship.
Anyone who's ever caught a date staring at them mid-kiss will know exactly what I'm talking about. I can't think of one good reason anyone should be making out with their eyes wide open, let alone with them focused directly on the person you're locking lips with.
If you catch your date with their eyes open, this could very well mean that they aren't the most experienced, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. But if you aren't into being stared down, then it's a good idea to come up with a nice way to let them know.
Nothing can make a bad kiss worse like having your face covered by a huge mouth slug. Although, your first instinct might be to run somewhere far, far away from a tongue-happy kisser, according to Figueroa, a better option would be to give them a second chance, as many people may screw up the first kiss because of nerves.
"Just be clear about how you like to be kissed the next go round. Less tongue, more tongue, no hair pulling, etc. All these things should be easy to talk about, if they want to keep kissing you, as long as you’re both willing to learn each other’s preferences," explains Figueroa.
Bad breath has got to be one of the biggest kissing faux pas. Unless you're already in a committed relationship with the love of your life who's just gobbled up some garlic tacos, bad breath can be a real deal breaker, as it could be a sign that your date's hygiene isn't the best.
Truth be told, sometimes, after an awesome date, you lock lips, only to realize the kissing chemistry just isn't there. Making this call immediately after the first kiss might be a little too soon, but you keep on kissing and you still don't feel the sparks, then it may be time to take a step back.
"[A real] red flag would be after the first kiss, if they refuse to try to kiss better," says Figueroa.
Let's be real, though, you guys: If you have a bad kiss experience with someone, a good way to guide them in the right direction is to communicate what you like and ask the person you're kissing what they like as well. "What makes for a good first kiss comes down to preferences, and few people ask, 'How do you like to be kissed?'" says Figueroa.
So before you write off a lackluster kisser, it may be worth it to kindly let them know how you like it.
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