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First Kiss Red Flags: 18 Bad Signs & What You Can Learn From a Bad Kiss

Having a first kiss is exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. So, you need to know the signs of a bad first kiss and how to avoid it.

bad first kiss red flags

A lot of people might dismiss a relationship based on a terrible first kiss. It’s true, some weird first kisses can turn into great relationships – but that’s not always the case. In some instances, there are some serious signs of a bad first kiss you just can’t ignore.

You can easily tell if you have chemistry based on that first kiss. And that means if things are already going south, you shouldn’t waste your time trying. Too many people give in and let someone come back time and time again, even though they knew from the very start they should’ve just cut things off. What a waste of time!

Are all first kisses awkward?

This is a difficult question to answer, because it depends on a lot of factors. Some first kisses are awkward; whether it’s the first time you have kissed anyone, or just the first kiss with someone new. You would think that having some kissing experience would make it less awkward, but that’s not always true! [Read: First kiss tips – 29 secrets to make the first smooch sexy and irresistible]

For starters, everyone kisses differently. So, what one person thinks is a good kiss, another person might not. It really comes down to the style of kissing, and the preference of the person being kissed. Some like it wet and sloppy, and others think that’s gross!

A lot of people are nervous about the first kiss, so that can make it awkward. Whether you are the one initiating it or the one on the receiving end, nerves can get in the way and make it a bad first kiss.

Everyone wants the first kiss to be perfect, but sometimes people are just too worried about their breath or if there is something stuck in their teeth. So, as you can see, there are a lot of psychological things that can affect a bad first kiss too.

The first kiss can reveal an awful lot about a person

You might think it’s shallow to duck out after just a single kiss. How can you possibly know them well enough to determine if they’d make a bad partner? But the thing is, if you know what to look for, you’ll find a lot of red flags hidden in that first kiss. [Read: 15 first kiss secrets to make it memorable]

Signs of a bad first kiss to keep a lookout for

You’ve probably had a bad first kiss or two. It’s just inevitable if you’re in the dating game. That being said, you have to learn to read between the lines – or the lips – in order to figure out if they’re just a bad kisser, or something worse.

Don’t just automatically assume that a bad kisser will be a bad partner. There are very specific things to keep a lookout for that can help you determine if it’s just a nervous kiss, or one of the major first kiss red flags. Here’s what you should keep an eye out for:

1. Too much eagerness

It’s one thing to be excited about someone and it’s another to be super eager to kiss someone. Sure, we all get that rush of emotion right before the kiss, but if they’re trying multiple times to kiss you or are going nuts about it, something is off.

They shouldn’t be THAT stoked to kiss you. It could mean they just want to get some, and it could also mean they’re so inexperienced this is their first ever kiss. And while there’s nothing wrong with that, you may want someone who actually knows what they’re doing. [Read: 8 signs of someone coming on too strong]

2. They grab you and kiss you

This is just in poor taste. It might seem romantic but in reality, they didn’t give you a choice. They just forced you to kiss them by grabbing you and smashing their face against yours.

This could show they don’t really respect your wishes or consent. It could also mean they’re a hopeless (and unrealistic) romantic who watches too many rom-coms. And that means they don’t really know what a real relationship takes. Big red flag.

3. Nonconsensual kisses

You should avoid this person at all costs. If they just kiss you out of the blue and you didn’t know it was coming – and you didn’t say it was okay – that’s horrible. You should never put up with this.

They didn’t have any regard for your feelings during the first kiss. This could mean they don’t really respect your thoughts or desires. Why would they kiss you without at least giving you a little warning to duck out if you didn’t want to?

4. Continuously trying to kiss you despite you dodging them

There’s always that person. They keep going in for the kiss even though you’ve repeatedly made it clear you’re not interested.

There is no fine line here. Someone can tell if you don’t want to kiss them when you keep moving out of the way. When they persist, they don’t have respect for you. They’re selfish and just want to get a kiss despite your feelings. Steer clear of this type. [Read: 16 types of guys to avoid dating]

5. Trying to “come up for coffee” right after the kiss

This is the first kiss and they’re trying to sleep with you. It’s fine if you’ve been hinting at them that you want to hop in bed right away, but it’s not okay for them to just assume.

It could mean they just want some ass, really. They might also be overly presumptuous and cocky – both of which aren’t great qualities in a significant other.

6. Giving your tongue right away

Going in for a light kiss is perfectly fine but when they stick their tongue down your throat the first time your lips touch, it’s a huge red flag. That’s gross and very presumptuous of them.

This is also just disrespectful. You didn’t indicate that you wanted more. You didn’t lean in and deepen the kiss, and therefore it’s a little rude to just stick their tongue in your mouth. [Read: How to kiss with tongue correctly and avoid a gross sloppy mess]

7. Teasing you about not wanting to kiss them

This isn’t really a lighthearted joke. They should never be rude about the fact that you don’t want to kiss them. Teasing might be cute about something else but when it comes to that first kiss, it’s a huge red flag. They’re trying to pressure you and that’s never okay.

8. Getting upset when you won’t kiss them

Just walk away at this point. If they get upset or question why you won’t kiss them, leave. They have no respect for you and they certainly don’t have the right intentions. It’s none of their business why they don’t want to kiss you.

9. Saying something bad about YOUR kiss

How insulting is this? They should never say anything mean about the way you kiss. If they mention that your kiss was slobbery or not good in some way, they’re trying to manipulate you.

They want to get the upper hand. By making you feel inadequate, it’ll make them seem that much better. Avoid this type of person, because they’re clearly a toxic energy you don’t need in your life. [Read: 10 devious signs of manipulative behavior you should never ignore]

10. You feel like something is just “off” 

Your gut instincts are there for a reason. They’ve helped humans to survive for many, many thousands of years. Don’t ignore yours.

If you feel like something isn’t right, then it’s not. Don’t blame nerves, or anything else. If you feel like you don’t like that person and you’d rather not continue something with them, that should be enough. Move on and don’t look back.

Is a bad kiss a dealbreaker that can ruin the relationship?

Just as we said about whether all first kisses are awkward, everyone is different. For some people, a bad first kiss is an automatic dealbreaker. But for others, it’s not a problem and they think that they can work on their partner’s kissing techniques as time goes on. [Read: 20 Non-negotiables in relationships that you should never compromise on]

The more two people kiss, the more they get in tune with each other. You can gently guide your partner to try to kiss better. It’s possible. But sometimes you can’t. 

Bottom line, a bad first kiss is only a dealbreaker if someone thinks it’s a dealbreaker. If a particular kissing style is a top priority to someone, then it could be the end of the relationship before it even begins.

Can you recover from a bad first kiss? 

Sure, you can recover from a bad first kiss. In the moment, it might not feel like you can – but here are some things you can do. [Read: My embarrassing first kiss – my first kiss went a little like this!]

1. Don’t say anything about it

You might want to say how bad it was, but the best thing to do is to ignore it. Don’t say anything because you don’t want to bring any attention to the bad kiss. Just smile and act like it was good.

2. Accept it

Don’t obsess about how it was a bad first kiss. It is what it is. Sometimes the first kiss is bad, and that’s okay. You don’t know the other person’s kissing style, so you just need to get used to each other. Just move on.

3. Match your partner’s style

One way to recover from a bad first kiss is to just match the way your partner kisses. If the person is going slowly, then you go slowly. Or if they are passionate and quicker, then try to match that too. [Read: How to know if you’re a good kisser and become a really good one]

4. Laugh about it

If you have known this person for a while, then you both probably know it was a bad first kiss. So, if you are comfortable with them, you can just laugh it off. Say something funny: “Well that was awkward, let’s try it again!”

How to avoid a bad first kiss

No one wants to have a bad first kiss, so there are some things you can do to avoid one. Try these things the next time you pucker up:

1. Adjust your expectations       

There is so much anticipation in a first kiss, so a lot of people get nervous. But try to relax. Don’t have unrealistic expectations. You’re not Cinderella and Prince Charming – you’re human. Just take the time to break, connect with your partner, and have fun. This will help you be less nervous. [Read: 20 Sensual secrets to kissing someone passionately and leave them gasping]

2. Do it at the right time 

You want to have a kiss at the right time in the right place. If you do it somewhere like a crowded party, it might make both of your nervous with so many people there. But if you do it in private, you can focus a little more on making the kiss a good one.

3. Don’t drink too much

If you are not sober, that can affect the kind of kiss you give and get. Sure, it could make the kiss better, or it could make it worse. It’s best to go in for it when you aren’t sloppy drunk. Keep your wits about you, and do it without any outside substances influencing you.

4. Focus on your partner

If you had a bad first kiss because you were nervous, then change your focus from your kissing to their kissing. We kiss the way we want to be kissed. You’ll improve your chances of having a good first kiss if you match the way they kiss.

[Read: 10 creepy guy types you need to avoid talking to]

There are a lot of signs of a bad first kiss to watch out for. Ultimately, if you feel like something is wrong and you didn’t enjoy it – or them – it’s okay to cut things off and move on.

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Preeti Tewari Serai
Preeti Serai
Preeti, the founder of LovePanky, is an eternal optimist and believer in the beauty of love and life. With an exhaustive experience in love, relationships, and ...