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How to Fix a Terrible Kisser

by Eharmony Editorial Team - August 26, 2008

You've met a terrific person, but they could use some help in the pucker-up department. But by using a few subtle hints, you can transform so-so kisser into a pro in no time.

While on the road from savvy singledom to happily hooked up, chances are good that, at one time or another, you’ll find yourself in the following scenario: You meet someone new. He or she looks good (you’re attracted), sounds good (the conversations are electric), and has plenty of potential (checks in all the right boxes). There’s just one thing: His or her lip-locking abilities are, well, lackluster.

Honestly, your honey can’t kiss his or her way out of a paper bag. What’s a savvy single to do? Before you decide to ditch your pucker-challenged cutie, first give the following five tips a try. They may just turn a bad kisser into a pleasing and passionate lip locker.

Assess the Situation

Let’s be honest. While exciting, the first time you kiss someone new can also be incredibly nerve-racking. Instead of writing your date off as hopeless, first consider the circumstances surrounding your bad kiss. Was your date nervous, tipsy, and/or in an environment that wasn’t conducive to a first kiss (in public, about to jump in a cab, or standing awkwardly at your front door at the end of an exhilarating evening)? Your sweetie could’ve just had a case of performance anxiety. And if all other signs point to “go,” your date deserves the benefit of the doubt.

Translation: Give that cutie a chance at redemption by creating a comfortable kissing environment on your next date. Think about snuggling on a comfy couch, standing on a secluded street corner under the moonlight, sitting on a picnic blanket in the park, etc. You may be surprised at how much better the kiss is the second time around. And if so, congratulations! Problem solved. If not, keep reading. There’s still hope!

Set an Example

One of the best ways to inspire a satisfying lip-lock is to gently take the lead. Lean in, plant your lips on your date’s, and show ’em how it’s done! By demonstrating what you like, your date will pick up on your physical cues and, with any hope, match your kissing style. It’s important to do this early on in your courtship so that any bad lip-locking habits can be nipped in the bud and quickly corrected.

Play the Mirror Game

If your new love still isn’t catching on, you may need to try a more direct approach. When the time is right (not after an argument or a long, difficult day at work), snuggle up to your sweetie and suggest that you play a little game. Keep in mind that diplomacy goes a long way when trying to retrain a lousy lip-locker. Instead of coming out and saying, “I don’t like the way you kiss. Here’s how you should do it,” softly suggest that you play the mirror game. Start by saying, “First, I’ll kiss you and then you kiss me the exact same way. Then, you start and I’ll follow.”

If your partner protests, explain that this is a great way to discover how to best please one another (if your partner values and respects you, he or she will go out of the way to learn how to please you). Once you’ve gone a couple of rounds where you consistently reinforce the kisses you enjoy, your cutie should catch on. If not, don’t give up just yet. There are a few more tips to try.

Communication is Key

In all aspects of dating and relationships, communication is essential to your success. And positive reinforcement goes a long way! Instead of criticizing your cutie’s kisses, praise him or her when a pucker pleases you. Not only that, but regularly reinforce how much you enjoy the art of kissing.

By having an open dialogue about what you like and how important puckering up is to you, even the dimmest date will start to get the message. And if your cutie wants to please you, he or she will work hard to improve those smooching skills. When this happens, let your sweetie know with plenty of praise how much you dig those kisses. And if your date still doesn’t get the message, you’ll need to figure out how much longer you want to play tonsil hockey with a lost cause. But first, employ one more tactic…

Practice Makes Perfect

Just like dating takes practice, kissing may require some practice, too. Set aside plenty of time on each date for a good old-fashioned make-out session. This is something you can both enjoy and learn from. Plus, it can be a fun way to pass the time! And as you grow increasingly comfortable with one another, the smooching will most likely become more satisfying. If not, you’ll need to decide if the lack of improvement is a deal breaker or not. While dating a bad kisser can be a drag, it doesn’t have to signal the end of the relationship.

If you can retrain your sweetie to improve his or her lip-locking abilities using the tips and techniques in this article, then the problem is solved. If not, your date may be a lost cause. Only you will know for sure whether to keep on trying or to call it quits. Good luck and happy kissing!