Of all the dating pratfalls, the awkward, goodnight kiss might be the most perilous.

I found that out the hard way last week.

After a nice evening, I walked my date to her car.  I told her I had a nice time and she said the same. 

Usually this is when I say, “I’d like to see you again” but feeling a pretty strong connection during the date, I started to lean in for a good night kiss. 

Before I could move too far, she reached out and gave me a hug.  In literally the same motion, she turned, opened the door to her car and got in.

I was now talking to her as she sat there – further away.

It all happened so quickly, I wasn’t sure what to make of it.

But in a matter of seconds, I knew this much – it wasn’t good.

We chatted for another minute or so and said good night.

I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be seeing her again.

Not for a minute did I think my handling of the kiss was why the night ended awkwardly.  She had made up her mind before that.

But the whole exchange made me think about the good night kiss.

It was always something that came pretty naturally to me.  I really hadn’t had too many exchanges like the one I just described.

But at the same rate, I’d never really broken the process down.

Is there a certain way to do this?

Here are some tips so you can handle the good night kiss better than I did.

There should be some flirting during the date – a lot of playfulness, sitting close together, some touching.  All these are good signs that she’s interested and would be open to a kiss.

How’s the hug?  If it’s a long, extended hug, particularly with a squeeze at the end, that’s a positive sign.  If it’s a brief hug that ends with a quick pat on the back, not good.

If you’re not sure – don’t do it.  You’re desire to get a kiss might be based on how you feel about her and may not factor in how she’s responding to you.

Having a nice conversation doesn’t equal mutual attraction. That was my mistake. 

A good night kiss, particularly on a first date is tricky.

But even if it doesn’t go well, remember this – it wasn’t the kiss that was the problem.

You and she weren’t a match.

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