The lead up to the kiss can actually be the most difficult part of kissing. Figuring out whether your partner is ready to kiss you or not can be a challenge of its own.
If you see one or a combination of these indicators, there is a good chance that your partner is thinking about kissing you.
eyes become soft and heavy
eye contact is made and sustained
head turns slightly
lips are licked or bitten
your partner makes physical contact with you beyond what seems appropriate for normal conversation (e.g. he or she brushes your hand, touches you on the shoulder or leg, or fidgets with an accessory)
easy conversation comes to a stop, but eye contact is not broken
your partner smiles in conjunction with any of the above behaviors
To give your partner the cue that you wish to kiss him or her, you can try one or a combination of these things.
soften your gaze by relaxing the muscles around your eyes, somewhat like smiling but without engaging your mouth
smile often, though
make eye contact and allow it to linger for a few moments longer than you normally would
find ways to subtly (but respectfully) touch your partner
If you think you are picking up some of these signs, but are still unsure if the person wants to be kissed then there is nothing wrong with just simply asking your partner if a kiss would be all right. Granted it breaks the mood a bit, and sensing the magic is always nicer than asking if it's there, but better to be sure your partner is on board for the kiss otherwise you might be heading for an embarrassing situation.
If you've assessed the situation, and it seems probable that a kiss is imminent, the next things to think about are timing and approach. The key to nailing the pre kiss is matching your partner's speed and intensity. The kiss is the first opportunity to physically connect with your partner, and so you want to meet him or her halfway.
Here are some steps you could follow as you go in for the kiss. Keep in mind that the kiss you share with someone is as unique as your relationship with that person, so follow your instincts and use the following as a rough guideline.
Establish a physical connection by placing your hands on your partner's body. Placement depends on the dynamic between you, you can softly touch the face, the back of the neck or the shoulders. Be gentle with your touch if this is the first contact you are making. Stay away from "high risk" zones on your partners body, as you just want to indicate that you are interested in kissing them, not give them a full body search.
Establish and maintain eye contact from this point on. The eyes are often a clear indicator if someone wants to be kissed, or is thinking about kissing you. Try to look at your partner with a deep, yet soft gaze. Use your eyes to send them a message that shows how you feel for your partner, e.g., "I care for you, I am on fire when I look at you, I want to kiss you."
As you lean in, you may want to tilt your body and head to accommodate your partner's positioning. One partner will have to make room for the other, or both partners can just slightly tilt heads in opposite directions. Basically you are just trying to avoid a nose collision as you get closer, so just pick a side to turn to and don't give it too much thought.
Gauge how quickly your partner is leaning in and try to meet at the halfway point between you, so neither person is overextended. Over/under extension can make one person feel like they are not getting met and are either too aggressive, or not engaged enough.
If you have come this far with your partner chances are you are going to kiss, or you have misread the entire situation and they are just leaning in to look at something stuck in your teeth.
If the first is true, then read on because it's time to pucker up and get on with THE KISS.
Image credits: M@rg