Pretty much any guy who’s ever been on a date knows that a bad kiss—especially a bad first kiss—can not only lead to an uncomfortable bout of post-smooch awkwardness, but also pretty much ruin your chances of getting a chance at a second date.

An amazing kiss, on the other hand, could actually leave her craving more.

One of the things that can make or break that first (or any) embrace? The way you lean in toward her. And as it turns out, there’s actual science behind why we tilt our heads one way or another—left or right—when going in for the kiss.

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Most people tilt their heads to the right when kissing as both an initiator and a recipient, according to a new joint study published in the journal Scientific Reports. In the study, researchers from the Universities of Dhaka (Bangladesh), Bath, and Bath Spa asked 48 married couples in Bangladesh to kiss in private and then, independently of each other, answer a series of questions about various aspects of the kiss.

The results? They found that over two-thirds of the kiss initiators and kiss recipients turned their heads to the right, that men were 15 times more likely than their female counterparts to initiate a kiss, and that the recipient of a kiss would almost always match their partner’s head-leaning direction to avoid the discomfort of mirroring heads.

The researchers speculate that a person’s tendency to lean toward the right may have something to do with the fact that the emotion and decision-related areas of the brain are in the left hemisphere. “Head-turning is one of the earliest biases seen in development—even in the womb, a preference for turning the head to the right is observable before that of favoring the right hand or foot,” says Rezaul Karim, lead author from the Department of Psychology at the University of Dhaka.

So next time you go in for that picture-perfect smooch, you’re probably going to want to tilt your head to the right—it could help you avoid a first-date disaster.

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