What Does A Kiss On The Cheek Mean At The End Of A Date?

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Decoding dating behavior can be seriously confusing. Colleges could teach a semester's worth of classes on the "You up?" text alone. After I go on a date, I hope for some kind of confirmation that it went well — a hug goodbye or a text saying he had fun are always good signs. So is a kiss. There are a lot of kinds of kisses, though, and a kiss on the cheek means something very different than full-on tongue.

A kiss on the cheek at the end of a date could be a sweet gesture, or it might be a way of letting the other person down easy. I was curious about which interpretation is more often correct, so I asked nine people for their honest opinions. Almost everyone agreed: if you're on the first date and you feel the night went well, a kiss on the cheek at the end of it usually means they're into you. Here's why:

If this guy isn't feeling it, he'll tell you.

To me, a kiss on the cheek means I had a good time and I’d like to do this again. I feel like if I wanted to let someone down easy, I’d just tell them this wasn’t for me.

- James, 22

This guy might want to take it slow.

I’d say it’s a good sign. It means you’re into them. Or if you’re not sure they’re into kissing on the lips yet, you might just kiss them on the cheek.

- Andrew, 21

This guy won't lead you on.

I think it depends on how the date went. Usually, though, it’s probably smart to keep your lips off of people you don't want to see again.

- Tyler, 22

This guy wants you to pay attention to his signals.

I personally think that's a nice way of maintaining boundaries while not going crazy on the first date. However, it truly comes down to the context of the date and the relationship of the two people. If the date was awkward and passive-aggressive leading up to the kiss on the cheek, that would absolutely be a way of saying, 'Sorry, this isn’t working, but thanks for coming out.'

- Brian, 23

For this guy, it's all or nothing.

Honestly, I probably wouldn't even do a kiss on the cheek. If I was interested I'd be blunt. Not interested equals a hug. Interested equals more than just a kiss on the cheek.

- Mitchell, 23

This guy says any kind of kiss on the first date means it was a success.

I feel like it depends on how the night went and which date it was. I don’t expect any kind of kiss on the first (and successful) date, so a kiss on the cheek could be promising. Second or third date cheek kisses are probably red flags.

- Preston, 22

This girl agrees that context matters.

I think it depends on the kisser's context. If they are fumbling and awkward then it’s probably a bad sign and they thought they needed to do something. But if they are sincere and that's what they are going for, I think they're kind.

- Drew, 22

This girl hopes you just go for it.

I think it’s something I would overthink for a week. It could be sweet, but I would also question why they just kissed me on the cheek if it went well. I would probably try to convince myself the person was trying to be sweet. I would kiss a first date on the cheek at the end of the night to show them I’m interested without full out kissing them.

- Alex, 23

This girl knows how to leave someone wanting more.

It’s all about communication. If you’re at the end of the date and you say something like, 'I can’t wait to see you next time,' then peck them on the cheek, I don’t think you’re letting anyone down. It’s cute and respectful and, if you’re being honest, it shows that you plan on seeing them again. You’ve left them with just a taste of what’s to come.

- Rosie, 22

If you get a kiss on the cheek at the end of a first date, don't overthink it. This is clearly a gesture that means something to most guys. If you're interested, you can always make the first move as well. Confidence is sexy!

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