What To Do When The Person You Like Is A Terrible Kisser

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couple leaning over to kiss

We’ve all been there. You meet someone 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.

You’re frustrated and disappointed, you’re not ready to give up on them yet — even if they are an obviously bad kisser.

We’ve all kissed people 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 their feelings.

But there is another option: you can learn how to teach someone to kiss better.

Is it possible to turn this around? It depends. They made it this far kissing like as they do, so they probably think they're doing okay. Maybe their ex actually trained them, and they thinks they're the bee’s knees.

There are probably people they're perfectly compatible with, which makes them a great kisser in their eyes!

RELATED: If You Kiss One Of These 5 Ways, You Might Be A Bad Kisser

Suffice to say, if someone's kissing repels you, the last thing you want to find out is how they are in bed. In fact, in her book "The Science of Kissing: What Our Lips Are Telling Us," biologist and science journalist Sheril Kirshenbaum reports that 59% of men and 66% of women have ended a relationship because someone was a bad kisser.

So, what’s the solution? You might think telling your date that they are a bad kisser is the solution, but telling them directly isn't always a good idea. This is probably not the time to be brutally honest. Their ego will be unnecessarily bruised, and they'll be even more nervous kissing you — if they are brave enough to try again at all.

But what about sneaking in a little kissing tutorial? What have you got to lose?

Here are 7 kind-but-assertive steps for how to teach someone to kiss better — and maybe even well.

1. Make it about what you like rather than what they are doing "wrong."

While you want to approach them in a way that lets them “save face,” it’s also important to let go of the belief that you’re responsible for their feelings. Keep in mind that you are telling them something about you that’s necessary for them to know if there’s any chance of things moving forward.

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 is key.

Bonus points if you can find humor and show a little vulnerability yourself.

2. 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 for your next kissing session.

3. Lead by example.

If you want a slow, romantic kiss, tell them that. Then proceed to kiss them the way you want to be kissed.

You can also subtly “play” while kissing, pulling back and moving forward, giving them a sense of there being many ways to move around.

RELATED: How To Tell He Loves You By His Kiss: 12 Types Of Kisses & Their Meanings

4. Pull back gently if you don’t like something.

You don’t have to be mean or rude. Just pulling your head back a little may give them enough of a hint if you don’t like something. You can also comment playfully about what it is you do like.

It’s good to keep things light, while still saying what you need to say.

5. Ask them to tell you what they like and dislike — and then have them show you.

By doing this, they’ll know that you’re interested in their needs as well as your own, and that you view pleasure as mutual and reciprocal.

State your preferences, but in a way that says, “I like this, and I love that!” Then, rev up your responsiveness to show him the perks of making you feel good.

6. Let them know when you do like what they are doing.

Give verbal (or audible) and nonverbal positive reinforcement. If you’re kissing, that could mean a low-pitched groan or a throaty whisper in their 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 their confidence while teaching them about you.

They’ll remember this not only because it was such a turn-on, but because, with repetition, their brain is actually being rewired to connect the things they did with what brings you pleasure.

7. Hang in there, because if they're really a great fit for you, 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 them 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 definitely be more fun getting there.

And if you’re both good students of each other's needs, there’s no telling how much fun the learning will be.

RELATED: The 15 Types Of Kisses Men Love Most

Dr. Sue Mandel is a psychologist, certified dating coach, and certified life coach who specializes in dating, relationships and the psychobiology of love. For Dr. Sue’s help with your dating dilemma, contact her to schedule your free 20-minute consultation.