The Forehead Kiss: What It Means & Why It’s So Special

When you think of kissing your partner, your mind probably skips to passionate makeout sessions in which you’re basically devouring each other. After all, it’s all about heightening the romance and sexual tension, right? That’s why you might not consider a forehead kiss to be anything special. However, showing affection with this gesture can actually be more meaningful and heartwarming than you might realize. Here’s what you should know.

What does it mean when someone gives you a forehead kiss?

  1. They feel extremely close to you. This is especially true when the person gives you one during an intimate moment. There’s something extremely intimate about a forehead kiss. While you might make out with a hot stranger you made at the bar, you certainly wouldn’t kiss their forehead. This signifies something deeper between you.
  2. They’re interested in you for more than just sex. Because this is so intimate, when you receive this kind of kiss, you know the person giving it really likes you. It could be that they want you to know that their interest in you is more than sexual. They value you for more than the lust and passion (which is hopefully there too). That’s really special.
  3. They want you to know they’re there for you. It could be that the person kissing your forehead wants you to feel comforted by their presence. If you’re going through a hard time in life or are feeling stressed or sad, they might do this to make you feel less alone and more supported.
  4. They had a random burst of affection for you. You know those moments when you’re with someone you like (or even love) and they do something so adorable that your heart just overflows with affection for them? It could be the person giving you a forehead kiss just experienced a moment like that and couldn’t help but want to get close to you.
  5. They’re pulling away. This is a negative one but it’s worth mentioning. If the person usually kisses you on the lips but has switched to forehead kisses, it could be that they’re feeling distant from you or that the love in your relationship is fading. Of course, context matters here, so consider the situation before freaking out too much.

What feelings does this kind of kiss convey?

  1. Respect If you’re not quite at a place of exploring further intimacy with someone but you’re comfortable being close with them physically, you may receive a forehead kiss as a sign of respect. They want to acknowledge your boundaries and validate them while still communicating their feelings.
  2. Adoration Simply put, this is one of the strongest emotions conveyed by a forehead kiss. It’s a gesture of such tenderness that it’s clear the person giving it truly cares for you.
  3. Love Similar to adoration, this kind of kiss conveys love. Even if you haven’t said those three little words just yet, this is a gesture that shows the equivalent. It’s a pretty wonderful feeling.
  4. Comfort Because this is such a gentle, quiet gesture, there’s a deep sense of comfort involved. They want you to feel like you can breathe easy with them at your side, and that’s a true gift.
  5. Patience The forehead kiss is slow, gentle, and quiet. It’s the opposite of forceful or pushy, so it shows the person giving it to you is patient.
  6. Trust The intimate nature of this kiss requires a certain level of trust between two people. It’s not the type of kiss that you would share with someone who you didn’t feel a connection with.
  7. Closeness This one is pretty self-explanatory. Trust, patience, comfort, and adoration all point to an overall feeling of closeness. It’s very special.

Misconceptions about forehead kisses

  1. They’re a person’s way of friend-zoning you. You might think that a person who kisses your forehead is doing so in lieu of kissing your lips because they’re not romantically interested in you. While this is a possibility, you shouldn’t assume this is reality. It could literally be their way of showing affection in a more low-key, gentle way.
  2. They’re condescending or belittling. Don’t automatically write this gesture off as belittling or condescending — the kiss equivalent of a pat on the head that you’d give to a child. Most people would never do this. Unless they’ve given you a chance to feel otherwise, give the benefit of the doubt.
  3. They’re only for relationships between parents and children. Your parents might have kissed your forehead as a kid, making it feel familial rather than special. However, that’s not always the case. There’s something deeper there that makes this just as much of a couple thing.

Can they be romantic?

While forehead kisses do seem a more low-key way to show interest in someone, they can indeed be romantic in nature. When you’re just getting to know someone new, this could be a great way to express deeper feelings without being aggressive or intense. Depending on the nature of your relationship, it could be the most romantic thing you ever experience.

Jennifer has been the managing editor of Bolde since its launch in 2014. Before that, she was the founding editor of HelloGiggles and also worked as an entertainment writer for Bustle and Digital Spy. Her work has been published in Bon Appetit, Decider, Vanity Fair, The New York TImes, and many more.