Don't give up on him yet!
We’ve all been there. You meet a guy that you really like, the first couple of dates are great, and you can’t wait for that first kiss. But when it happens it’s awful (sometimes really, REALLY awful).
But while you’re frustrated and disappointed, you’re not ready to give up on him yet -- even if he is a bad kisser. As a dating coach to women over 40, I have numerous happily coupled women who did exactly what I'm about to share with you.
We’ve all kissed guys who slobber, are too rough, lack passion, seem uninterested, or are boring.
It doesn’t take long to weigh the options: you’ll either have to put your needs on a back burner and be grossed out, or risk hurting his feelings. The problem is that it’s hard to be crazy about someone when you’re trying to avoid kissing them—and impossible to build a relationship.
In fact, it’s literally your initial chemistry that generates feelings of lust and excitement, making you want to do things that would otherwise seem extremely unappealing. Which is exactly why, if you resign yourself to hanging in there, it’s already over.
Maybe his kissing will improve over time, but like anything, kissing isn’t one-size-fits-all.
Kissing a guy who lacks in basic intuitive skills feels like being with someone who is hopelessly out of sync. It’s like his internal GPS that tells him when to slow down, speed up, yield, or merge is offline. There’s only Stop and Go (and nowhere to actually go). So is it possible to turn this around?
It depends. He’s made it this far kissing like he does, so he probably thinks he’s doing okay. Maybe his ex actually trained him, and he thinks he’s the bee’s knees. There are probably women he’s perfectly compatible with, which makes him a great kisser in their eyes!
One of my date coaching clients told me that when her date kissed her goodnight after a rather ho-hum first date, his tongue stiffened up and darted around the inside of her mouth like a medical probe. She had to hold herself back from laughing, and asking, “What are you looking for?”
Suffice it to say, if a guy’s kissing repels us, the last thing we want to find out is how they are in bed. In fact, 59% of men and 66% of women have ended a relationship because someone was a bad kisser.
So, what’s the solution? Telling your date that he isn’t a good kisser is NOT a good idea.
This is not the time to be honest. His ego would be unnecessarily bruised, and he’d be even more nervous kissing you—if he was brave enough to try at all. But what about sneaking in a little tutorial? What have you got to lose?
Here are 7 kind-but-assertive steps to teach a guy to be a better kisser.
1. Don’t judge yourself by his response.
While you want to approach him in a way that lets him “save face”, it’s also important to let go of the belief that you’re responsible for his feelings. Keep in mind that you are telling him something about you that’s necessary for him to know if there’s any chance of things moving forward.
2. Be comfortable with yourself, and confident in your message.
Your message of “I’m okay, you’re okay—we just need to figure something out” gets conveyed through your words, voice, and mostly body language. Good eye contact, along with being positive, warm, and open are key. Bonus points if you can find humor and show a little vulnerability yourself.
3. Deal with your nervous energy in advance.
Dance in your living room, go for a brisk walk, sing to the heavens, work out—whatever does it for you, do it before you get together. Here’s an easy way to get centered before your actual date.
4. Lead the way.
If you want a slow, romantic kiss, then tell him, and proceed to kiss him the way you want to be kissed. You can subtly “play” while kissing, pulling back and moving forward, giving him a sense of there being many ways to move around.
5. Pull back if you don’t like something.
You don’t have to be mean or rude. Just pulling your head back a little will give him enough of a hint if you don’t like something. Or commenting playfully that you can’t breathe.
It’s good to keep things light, yet still say what you need to.
6. Ask for his likes and dislikes—and then have him show you.
By doing this, he’ll know that you’re interested in his needs, and that pleasure is mutual and reciprocal. State your preferences, but in a way that says, “I like this, but I LOVE that!” Then rev up your responsiveness to show him the perks of making you feel good.
7. Let him know when you like what he’s doing.
Give verbal (or audible) and nonverbal positive reinforcement. If you’re kissing, that means a low-pitched groan, or a throaty whisper in his ear, “I love it when you do that.” Or you can be more casual. A simple, “I like that”, or “Do that again” will help build his confidence and teach him about you.
He’ll remember this not only because it was such a turn on, but because—with repetition—his brain is actually being rewired to connect the things he doing with what brings you pleasure.
Hang in there, if he’s a great guy it will be worth the effort.
There’s nothing more disappointing than finding out that the one person you’ve chosen to focus your dating attention on doesn’t kiss well. But hanging in there and showing him what you like--especially if it’s communicated in a light and accepting way--can work.
Practice doesn’t make perfect right away, but if there’s enough improvement, it will pave the way to an authentic connection. And if you’re both good students of each other needs, there’s no telling how much fun the learning will be.
Dr. Sue Mandel is a Psychologist, Certified Dating Coach, and Certified Life Coach who specializes in dating, relationships and the psychobiology of love. She brings 28 years of unique experience helping individuals and couples find and keep love in their lives. For Dr. Sue’s help you with your dating dilemma contact her to schedule your FREE 20-minute consultation.
This article also appears on YourTango.com.