Saying no to a first date kiss

Why is it so hard?

Adulting in your 30s

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Sometimes I feel like I owe it to them.

Like, if they went all out and paid for the meal and then walked me home and was super nice, then I should at least let them have a kiss.

But no, my kiss — my consent — is not for sale.

A few times, I’d had people ask me if it’s okay to kiss me.

I love this. It shows respect, and it gives me a very direct chance to say yes or no. If I still say yes, then it’s on me.

But if they just lean in, and I let them, and I sort of kiss them back, is that okay? Or am I just betraying myself?

Once, recently, someone leaned in for a kiss, I turned my head, they then boldly said “hey, come back (for the kiss)”.

Too much.

It felt sleezy, and that made it easy for me to say “No, it’s too soon”.

But the truth is, I don’t think I’ve ever felt like kissing someone after a first date.

Attraction doesn’t work that way for me. I enjoy the slow burn, I realize.

I want the tension to slowly build up. Them to not even try to kiss me for a few dates, until I am the one who wants it.

In the end, it’s all personal preference. Ultimately I grew up conservative on sexuality. I was taught no sex before marriage, and that sex is something you guard closely and do not give you easily to another person.

Finally into my early 30s I started to unlearn these messages and habits.

Still, old habits die hard. And instinctively my body does not jump to the sex conclusion. I feel more enjoying in masturbation than sex with a stranger.

And that’s exactly what someone still is after one date. A stranger. I know some more things about them. I start to flip through the pages of their book of life. But it’s only a glimpse. I don’t know them at all.

For me attraction is also not purely physical. It’s intellectual. It’s about personality, kindness, small things that reveal themselves over time.

And so, what I’m saying is, it’s okay to not want to kiss on a first date. It doesn’t make you a prude or boring or too…

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Adulting in your 30s

Musings and self reflections of a 30 something who feels like an adult but a kid at the same time