Why Do Guys Kiss With Their Eyes Open?

Last Updated on January 14, 2022 by Alexander Burgemeester

You and your paramour lean in for that magical first kiss, tilt your heads, close your eyes, and finally lock lips. Sparks fly and your body feels electric.

For a brief moment, your eyes flutter open, only to see that your partner is 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 towards your relationship.

Some guys just enjoy the visual input that comes from kissing with their eyes open. These are some of the 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 towards each other, and tilt their heads in opposite directions. In real life, a kiss, especially one between new partners, is a little more awkward.

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 though is that our eyes are incapable of focusing on something that 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 utterly blurry at the distance a kiss takes place.  

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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 an immense amount of information during a kiss – moisture level, movement, pressure, etc.

With your partner this close, your tongue is picking up some taste signal, 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 that would come from eye contact during a kiss. Start staring into each other’s eyes and you won’t be paying much attention to the feeling in your lips.

While keeping your eyelids shut during a kiss is the norm and there are a number of 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?

What Does Kissing With Your Eyes Open Mean in Psychology?

There are some crazy theories 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 that keeps their eyes open during a kiss with this lyric:

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.

Narcissists can be quite uncomfortable with displays of intimacy. 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).

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Others say that a guy is not willing to be vulnerable if he keeps his eyes open. By holding his eyes open he is staying alert to what’s happening around him. Most guys aren’t so concerned that someone is going to 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 a lot 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

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 if you’re both enjoying it, keep those eyelids open.

That being said you still might be wondering, why do guys kiss with their eyes open? There are a myriad of 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 his 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.

If he leaves his eyes open until your lips touch, he can avoid that sort of predicament. Once the two of you have kissed a few times and get into a rhythm, bumping foreheads will be less likely.

#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 on your face?

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Unless you grimace before your lips touch, he’s not going to see much since his eyes can’t focus when you’re that close to his face. In any case, knowing that his eyes are staying open could be a sign that he needs some assurance.

#4 He’s a Visual Person

If his eyes stay open throughout the kiss he might be someone that really 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 actually more sensitive than our fingertips, but some men feel more connected with the experience if they’re seeing 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 that 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.

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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 really 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 decided to get a quick peek at you in the meantime. 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. 

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If having your eyes open increases feelings of intimacy for you 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.

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Think about why this feels invasive for you; is it because you’re not fully ready to trust him with that kind of vulnerability? Do you feel that by not closing his eyes, he’s being less vulnerable with you?

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, just to make sure everything is going alright. Most people don’t like having them open at all, as it can feel distracting.

It doesn’t really matter whether you leave them open or closed though, so long as you’re enjoying the kiss. 

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Alexander Burgemeester

Alexander Burgemeester has a Master in Neuropsychology. He studied at the University of Amsterdam and has a bachelor's in Clinical Psychology. Want to know more?

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