You and your paramour lean in for that magical first kiss, tilt your heads, close your eyes, and finally lock your lips. Sparks fly and your body feels electric.
For a brief moment, your eyes flutter open, only to see your partner staring right back at you, his eyes open throughout the entire romantic encounter.
You might be a little freaked out. Who kisses like that, and why? It feels weird, and what does it say about him?
Your initial shock aside, kissing with your eyes open isn’t all that uncommon. Lots of guys do it, sometimes or every time they kiss their partner. Some people say it’s a sign that the guy shouldn’t be trusted.
He’s unwilling to make himself vulnerable by closing his eyes, which must mean he has something to hide or nefarious intentions.
In actuality, kissing with eyes open doesn’t indicate anything negative about the guy or his feelings toward your relationship.
Some guys enjoy the visual input of kissing with their eyes open. These are many reasons why guys kiss with their eyes open.
Why Do People Close Their Eyes While Kissing?
If you’ve ever watched a couple kiss in a movie or on TV, it follows a very particular sequence that’s often exaggerated for dramatic effect.
The two people close their eyes, pucker their lips, lean toward each other, and tilt their heads in opposite directions.
A kiss is a little more awkward in real life, especially between new partners.
One person might not realize the other is leaning in for a kiss and is caught off guard or they both tilt their heads in the same direction and bump foreheads (most everyone tilts right though).
One thing almost everyone does though is close their eyes before their lips touch. Why?
The main reason for closed eye kissing is that our eyes cannot focus on something close to our faces.
In fact, the shortest distance the human eye can properly focus at is almost ten inches.
Anything closer causes your eyes to strain and gets blurry at the distance a kiss takes place.
On top of that, keeping your eyes open during a kiss can cause the human brain to go into sensory overload.
Your lips are incredibly sensitive and relay immense information during a kiss – moisture level, movement, pressure, etc.
With your partner this close, your tongue is picking up some taste signals, your nose is inundated with new smells, and you’re hearing anything your partner might be whispering.
The experience can be incredibly overwhelming and one of the easiest ways to take things down a notch is to close your eyes and shut down the visual sense.
When your brain is dealing with too many signals, it’s incapable of experiencing pleasure.
That’s to say nothing of the distraction from eye contact during a kiss.
Start staring into each other’s eyes and you won’t pay much attention to the feeling in your lips.
While keeping your eyelids shut during a kiss is the norm and there are several good reasons for doing it, some guys like to do things differently, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
What Does Kissing With Your Eyes Open Mean in Psychology?
Some crazy theories are floating around the pop psychology world of why a guy opens his eyes while kissing.
Bruno Mar’s 2010 song “Grenade” cast suspicion on anyone who keeps their eyes open during a kiss with this lyric:
I should have known you was trouble from the first kiss
Had your eyes wide open
Why were they open? (Ooh)
Some say that keeping your eyes open is a sign that someone isn’t trustworthy, that they’re not fully committing to the kiss if their eyes are open.
Displaying affection and getting close to a partner can be painful for them, though many are adept at it and use it to their advantage during the love-bombing stage of the relationship.
In actuality, narcissists enjoy kissing, both with their eyes open and closed, as such an intimate act can make them feel powerful (particularly if you look like you’re enjoying it).
Others say that a guy is unwilling to be vulnerable if he keeps his eyes open.
He stays alert to what’s happening around him by holding his eyes open. Most guys aren’t so concerned that someone will sneak up on them during a kiss so that theory doesn’t hold much water.
One particularly strange theory is that a man keeping his eyes open during a kiss is a power move.
While looking into someone’s eyes from an inch away might seem intimidating, it’s really not when the other person has their eyes closed (as most people do during a kiss).
It’s a power move that would go completely unnoticed.
As you can see, these are all ad hoc theories that have no basis in science.
Kissing with your eyes open or closed is a personal choice that has much more to do with how comfortable you are with combined visual and tactile stimulation (not to mention the headache that comes from focusing your eyes on someone an inch from your face).
7 Reasons Why Guys Kiss With Their Eyes Open
Why do people kiss with their eyes open? Is it bad? Does it make you abnormal?
No! Kissing is all about pleasure, so keep those eyelids open if you’re both enjoying it.
That being said, you still might wonder why guys kiss with their eyes open. There are many possible reasons, but these are several of the most common ones.
#1 It Makes the First Kiss Less Awkward
You’ve probably seen a movie or two where a guy leans in for a kiss with his eyes closed, and the object of his affection pulls away. He looks ridiculous standing there, waiting for something to happen.
Some guys will keep their eyes open on the first kiss to see if their advances are being rebuffed.
If they are, he can abort the kiss and play it off as if that was never his intention.
#2 He’s Avoiding Bumping Into You
When leaning in for a kiss, there’s always the possibility that you’ll both lean to the same side and end up bumping foreheads.
The pain and embarrassment that come out of that can ruin the moment and there’s a decent chance you won’t be making a second try right away.
He can avoid that sort of predicament if he leaves his eyes open until your lips touch.
Bumping foreheads will be less likely once you kiss a few times and get into a rhythm.
#3 He’s Nervous
Kissing with your eyes open can feel pretty awkward, but that doesn’t stop some men from doing it anyway when they’re feeling nervous.
With their eyes open, they think they can better judge your reaction – are they doing everything right, are you enjoying the experience or do you have a pained look?
Unless you grimace before your lips touch, he won’t see much since his eyes can’t focus when you’re that close to his face.
Knowing that his eyes stay open could signal that he needs some assurance.
#4 He’s a Visual Person
If his eyes stay open throughout the kiss he might be someone that needs some visual stimulation.
As any experimental psychology can tell you, everyone responds a little differently to stimuli, and most people have a preferred pathway for taking in information.
Kissing is an incredibly tactile experience – our lips are more sensitive than our fingertips. Still, some men feel more connected with the experience if they see something during the act.
Granted they’ll only see a fleshy blur in front of them because you’re so close, but that can still be very stimulating for some men.
#5 It Increases Intimacy
You’d assume things couldn’t get much more intimate than standing inches away from another person and sharing a little saliva, but making eye contact open before, after, and throughout can heighten the experience.
It’s precisely because it feels strange to kiss with your eyes open that the experience becomes more intimate.
By not shutting down your visual sense, you become more aware of your partner and who they are as a person rather than just a set of lips.
#6 He’s Sneaking a Peek
If you open your eyes in the middle of a kiss and notice that his are also open, there’s no way to know if they’ve been open the whole time. More than likely, he’s just opened his eyes at the same time as you.
Maybe your mouth’s changed position, and he took a quick peek at you.
Some people say it’s a sort of dominance, with him wanting to reassure himself that you’re his, but a more likely explanation is that the little bit of visual stimuli makes him feel closer to you emotionally before he drops back into the tactile whirlwind of a kiss.
#7 It’s Just a Habit of His
Why does a guy open his eyes while kissing? Maybe because it’s just what he’s always done.
It may not be what we see in movies and on TV, but there’s nothing wrong with it and maybe it’s just part of who he is.
It’s a personality quirk and nothing more. If you find it off-putting, think about why it bothers you, and if it’s something more than “that’s not normal”, communicate your reasons for uneasiness with him.
Is It Weird to Kiss with Your Eyes Open?
Although kissing with your eyes open feels strange, it would be wrong to say that kissing with your eyes open is weird. However you enjoy kissing is no one else’s business… well, except maybe your boyfriend.
If they think keeping your eyes open during a kiss is too weird, then you may need to explain why you’re doing it.
If opening your eyes increases feelings of intimacy or fulfills your need for visual stimulation, make it clear to the one you are kissing that this is important to you.
Communication is key in any relationship, and expressing your wants and needs goes a long way towards making things less awkward.
Why Does it Bother You?
Your partner’s tendency to leave their eyes open might feel strange to you, and those feelings are perfectly valid too. What it means to kiss with your eyes open is something only you can answer for yourself.
While you shouldn’t notice this habit of theirs if your eyes are closed, just knowing that he’s looking at you during this vulnerable moment can be disconcerting.
Consider why this feels invasive for you; are you not fully ready to trust him with that kind of vulnerability?
Do you feel he’s being less vulnerable with you by not closing his eyes?
Are you self-conscious about how you look with your eyes closed? Once again, this is a great opportunity to open the lines of communication with a discussion about intimacy.
Kissing With Eyes Open or Closed?
Both you and your boyfriend should feel comfortable while sharing a kiss. If that means leaving your eyes open throughout the experience, go for it.
Maybe you only want to leave them open the first time or two to ensure everything is going alright.
Most people don’t like having them open at all, as it can feel distracting.
It doesn’t matter whether you leave them open or closed, though, so long as you’re enjoying the kiss.