How to give a forehead kiss (and why most people get it wrong)

Forehead kisses are said to be one of the most ambiguous kisses in any relationship.

They seem to be simple, but never are.

When done correctly, it can be an intimate gesture that means more than just wiping away sweat or brushing someone’s hair off their forehead.

But first, let me give you:

The common misconceptions about forehead kisses

There are some misconceptions around how to give a forehead kiss. Many people find it to be restricted only to select people and situations, but this is farther from the truth.

Let’s explore a few of these misconceptions:

Forehead kisses are only for family

When you think about kissing foreheads, more often than not, you attribute the act to close relations such as family. Grandparents, parents, and kids alike are often seen kissing each other on the forehead.

Kissing foreheads is a common gesture amongst families. It’s an intimate touch that shows respect, gratitude, and acceptance.

It’s just like when you see an old man patting the back of his grandson, or when siblings give each other high fives after succeeding at something together. Often, it’s their way to show affection without saying anything more than “I love you.”

It’s only for those who’ve been “friend-zoned”

Being “friend-zoned” is another popular misconception when it comes to giving forehead kisses.

Sometimes, people resort to giving a forehead kiss to communicate that they don’t want anything more than friendship after dating for some time. By doing this, both parties acknowledge their feelings of respect without going into too much detail about them.

What some people don’t realize is that a forehead kiss can be an act of kindness. When the other person has been friend-zoned, they’re just trying to stay on good terms, to try to keep the friendship, and make sure you still feel cared for by them even though it might not lead anywhere else.

Forehead kisses are given only on during difficult times

Another misconception about giving a forehead kiss is that it’s given only during difficult times.

When you come home, for example, and your partner has had a rough day, it’s common to kiss that person on the forehead to show some sympathy. A lot of people do this when they’re feeling down and need a little cheering up.

Another example of giving a forehead during a difficult time is when you’re ending a relationship with someone. For those who want some sort of closure before moving on, forehead kisses may offer that chance while still being gentle enough during the breakup.

How to give a forehead kiss?

There are many reasons for a forehead kiss, but misconceptions about how it is interpreted create the idea that this action can only mean those things.

The fact of the matter is that its deeper meaning transcends even to romantic relationships.

Now here’s something we can probably agree on: the hardest part about giving a forehead kiss to someone you’re romantically involved with isn’t the kiss itself, but the steps to giving it.

In some cases it’s obvious, and the kiss happens in a predictable setting.

My point is this: there’s an art to giving a forehead kiss. The gesture may seem so simple to do, but for impact, you’d want to make sure you’re prepared before the moment comes.

Stare into those eyes

Eye contact is an essential step when giving a forehead kiss because it allows some form of mutual acknowledgment.

Start by bringing yourself closer to your partner until you are gazing into each other’s eyes first. Get as close as possible without invading personal space.

You want this connection between both of you so they know how important this moment is without any words being exchanged.

Mind your hands

Depending on your level of comfort in your relationship, you can hold their shoulders or their head with both hands. Both work because you’re physically connecting with the other person and, at the same time, emotionally sharing this moment.

To make a better impact, your touch should also convey the same message as your forehead kiss. Be gentle with your touch, and if it works, try brushing their hair out of the way.

This will give the other person time to prepare themselves and get into the right mindset.

Lean in and kiss

You’re on the home stretch now, so make it count.

Before giving a forehead kiss, you could take a few deep breaths and take notice of how your partner is feeling.

Remember to avoid pressing down with all your weight on their forehead. Keep it light so that you don’t come across as forceful or aggressive.

Do you have to make it linger?

A forehead kiss is similar to other kisses. You can make it longer or shorter, depending on the context of the situation, the message you want to get across, and how you and your partner are feeling at the time.

“I see you and I’m here,” could be all they need, but how long or short should the kiss be?

A peck on the forehead isn’t ideal, because it can feel like you’re rushing to get it done.

Frankly, a forehead kiss should last a few seconds at most. The physical connection should feel tender, caring, and loving.

This will give that forehead kiss more meaning – showing that you have all the time in the world for this moment.

To speak or not to speak

Saying a few sweet words wouldn’t hurt, but it depends on how the mood is.

If you decide to speak, be in the moment and share why the person received a forehead kiss. After all, hearing sweet things can be music to their ears.

But if you feel comfortable with silence, that’ll be fine as well. It’s easy to say what we think, but it can be just as fulfilling and intimate if you leave it to your body language.

Sometimes the forehead kiss is enough to convey how you feel, and still be just as satisfying without saying anything at all.

Sometimes a hug works

Let’s face it. The forehead kiss is a gesture of affection, but many times, it also leaves some people wanting more.

What could be more than a forehead kiss? Hugs.

Giving a hug is the most natural way to end the moment of giving a forehead kiss. It isn’t only for physical contact, but also for emotional support to show you care.

But if you or your partner isn’t into hugs, that’s okay. You can signal the end of forehead kisses by kissing their hand or cheek instead.

Patting them on the back and stroking their arms before letting go are also options to show a gesture of affection.

The key thing here is: do whatever makes you and your partner comfortable to make that moment count.

Don’t go for it too soon

As with any other form of intimacy, forehead kisses should be given at the right time.

There’s nothing wrong with being in the moment and enjoying the closeness that forehead kisses provide. But be mindful of the other person’s response and body language to make sure you don’t cross any boundaries or invade personal space.

If you sense that they’re not ready for it, then wait for a little before giving another one. This way you’ll avoid discomfort on both sides as well as come across more sensitively than if you went for it too soon.

Why giving a forehead kiss is special

Now that we’ve gone through the steps on how to give a forehead kiss, let’s talk about why it’s special.

Simply put, a forehead kiss is intimate.

It communicates love and care in a non-verbal way, which is why it may not seem overly sexualized.

And that’s not all. It’s a kiss that’s so personal that people don’t just give it to anyone. It’s simple but intimate, and it doesn’t need to be reciprocated.

The gesture can simply come from you, without any expectation from the other person to show a response in return.

Giving a forehead kiss is a gesture of affection, may it be romantic, platonic, or familial. It helps us feel connected on a deeper level.

One more thing to take note of is that people sometimes give forehead kisses out of routine.

Sure, they don’t seem to show emotion, but it’s part of the habit that dates back to the relationship that has evolved and deepened over time.

To many people, giving forehead kisses has become shorthand for “I love you.”

This act may be basic and simple, but it speaks volumes about deep and intimate feelings towards the other person.

Why give a forehead kiss?

When you think about giving a forehead kiss in the romantic context, you think of a variety of meanings.

But this simple gesture isn’t as simple as it seems. For starters, a forehead kiss can mean something different to every person — and that includes the one receiving it.

Here are a few reasons why you’d give a forehead kiss to your partner:

It’s a gesture to show love and devotion

As one of the most intimate forms of contact, a forehead kiss is meant to convey love and devotion. It’s like opening up your heart for someone else; they’re welcomed in with open arms – no barriers at all.

When you and your partner make up after an argument, giving a forehead kiss shows that you’re willing to bury the hatchet and move on. It’s a way of saying “I’m sorry, I’ll do my best not to do that again.”

It doesn’t matter how angry or upset you or your partner may be. Giving forehead kisses implies there are no hard feelings anymore.

The forehead kiss is perfect for any occasion, as long as it comes from a loving place.

It’s a sign of honor and respect

Respect is one of the most fundamental aspects of maintaining a successful relationship. And forehead kisses can very much show this.

Giving a kiss on the forehead is an indicator of how much you care about your partner. It’s an intimate way to show respect.

That’s right: a simple touch like this can be powerful in reassuring your partner that their feelings are valued and important.

This is something many partners need from time to time especially when things get difficult or stressful.

It gives a feeling of comfort and protection

Feeling safe in a romantic relationship is important. And giving a forehead kiss is a sign of affection and protection, which can only help to make you feel more secure in your relationship.

It may sound a bit silly, especially in this day and age where women don’t need to be “saved” by men anymore in the 21st-century society we live in today.

But here’s an ironic truth: men do still feel like heroes with every woman they date which makes them feel wanted and desired. It’s built into their system of having a hero instinct.

Relationship psychologist, James Bauer, came up with this game-changing concept of the “hero instinct.” In his book, His Secret Obsession, he talks about this as it’s changing the way women perceive men in romantic relationships.

To know more about the hero instinct, watch this free online video.

Kiss me

In a world where we’re constantly told that being vulnerable is bad and negative, forehead kisses are powerful in just how intimate they can be.

Forehead kisses hold so much meaning, whether it be with family, friends, or romantic couples.

It’s a very simple gesture that is underestimated by many because the forehead kiss conveys intimacy and can make someone feel loved, respected, and protected — even if they’re not in physical contact with you at all times.

Giving a forehead kiss is intentional, and it takes a lot of courage to initiate the act.

When you set up the scene to give a forehead kiss, keep in mind how close your eyes should be to theirs. Decide whether to put your hands, as long as it’s comfortable for the other person. Choose to speak up or let your body language speak for you.

Most importantly, be in the moment and take your time as you lean in and go for the kiss.

If there’s someone who means a lot to you but doesn’t know it yet or hasn’t connected with them for a while, try giving them an unexpected forehead kiss sometime soon.

You’ll be surprised at how quickly these small gestures can make an impact and make their day.


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Frankie Pascua-dela Pasion

Frankie was born and raised in Manila, Philippines. She is a graduate of Humanities from the University of Asia and the Pacific.

Frankie is a seasoned Customer Success and Human Resources professional. She is also a certified Life Coach and Career Strategist. She helps people young and young at heart to simplify their lives by creating emotional awareness. She also loves working with people who have a genuine interest in breaking their inner limits through their journey of self-discovery and authenticity in their personal and professional lives.

Frankie’s recent venture into writing is fueled by her passion for human connection and meaningful relationships at home, at work, and basically everywhere. She enjoys the research, discovery, and reflection that go into each article as much as she writes about them, in the hopes that her words resonate with, and give perspective to her audience.

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