Do You Kiss Your Spouse Like You Mean It?

As I was listening to a recent radio program explaining the top kissing mistakes of spouses, I had to plead guilty of all of them at some point. In fact, when I left the house this afternoon, I didn’t offer my hubby any kind of kiss, just a friendly, “See you later!” Psychologist David Clarke, author of Kiss Me Like You Mean It would not approve.

He says kissing “like you mean it” is a sign of your devotion and passion for one another. He says the following are considered big no-no’s in marriage:

1. The Pathetic Little Peck Kiss (connecting for a millisecond)

2. The Poofy Lip Kiss (leaning forward and barely grazing your spouse’s lips)

3. The across-the-room (or across-the-yard) Sound-Effect Kiss when you’re too rushed to even bother with #1 or #2.

4. The Dreaded Kiss on the Cheek Kiss, when you move your lips at the last second so your spouse’s lips land on your cheek. These should be reserved for your aunt or your mother, he says, not your spouse.

Dr. Clarke suggests remembering or learning how to kiss can lead to a better sex life and help put the passion back on your relationship—even if you’re married to a woman who steals the sheets (as I do) or makes funny noises during sleep (as my husband sometimes does).

I remember listening to another marriage expert suggest you kiss for at least 10 seconds when you greet or leave one another. We tried it, but it didn’t stick. On the other hand, we did adopt a habit to always greet each other with a kiss and hug before we greet our kids.

I asked my husband about his thoughts on my lack of a kiss earlier today, and it didn’t faze him a bit. In fact, this “kiss like you mean it” business sounds a little too dramatic for him and isn’t really a sign of how much I care about him.

So, what do you think, is a peck on the cheek on your way to the grocery store such a bad thing? Or do we all need to ease into behaving more passionately at every opportunity? How do you greet or depart from one another each morning or evening? Do you think there’s a time and a place for “kissing like you mean it,” or would you even kiss passionately in front of your teenager?

14 responses to “Do You Kiss Your Spouse Like You Mean It?

  1. Yay for kissing! It is one of my favourite past-times. With my husband, of course.

    Oh goodness — a ten-second kiss every morning, though? That’s kinda long! Occasionally, sure; but every morning??

    I don’t think pecks on the cheek are a problem, but they do need to be mixed up with some passionate ones. I’m sure that passionate kisses during the day contribute to a good sex life. But I wouldn’t make a rule about it or anything.

  2. I agree that the passionate kiss gets lost in marriage, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the shorter kisses. Hell, if we didn’t have pecks, we’d have nothing. There’s a place for everything.

  3. We are pretty much kiss-aholics. We kiss a lot and we often kiss long. We very much enjoy the physical and emotional connection kissing provides. And I can often read my wife’s kisses. There’s the “I’m stressed” kiss, the “I’m happy” kiss, the “I’m glad to see you” kiss, the “I’m distracted” kiss, and of course the “I want you” kiss, among others. We almost always kiss hello and goodbye, sometimes even if we are just going to be in different parts of the house for a while. Lest I mislead you, certainly not every kiss is a passionate one.

    But just because it’s important to us doesn’t mean it should be for everyone. I think you have to find whatever it is that makes you feel love by and connected to your spouse. Maybe it’s touch, maybe it’s a few minutes talking, maybe it’s a walk together. For us kissing fits the bill.

    And yes, we often get comments from our teens such as “Ahem, there’s a child present, you know.”

    • Scott, I admire your romantic nature. I’m sure your children will remember seeing such love demonstrated. My hubby is not into PDAs, so like you said maybe not for everyone, but we connect in other ways all the time. I like the idea of communicating through kisses, whether knowingly or not. That’s part of knowing one’s spouse well. Thanks!

  4. I adore kissing but my wife is terrible at it. We took a great two-day playshop on it called “Kissing School” by Cherie Byrd and it got a bit better but it is a very hard thing to critique without feeling like you are stabbing your spouse in the face.

    Technique aside, me wife makes these little baby grunting noises that are her version of a cat purring I guess that are seemingly impossible to stop. I haven’t had a good kiss since before I have been married (nearly 8 years) – I am an amazing kisser, I feel like I’ve been benched and all we have are loving but fairly chaste kisses.


    • If it’s important to you, I’d suggest remaining honest and continuing to work at it. The worst thing would be for resentment to build up about something only you two can share. Since you are counting the years since you’ve had a “good kiss,” it sounds important to you. Bravo for attending Kissing School. Maybe graduate school or a 1-1 session? Best of luck. Meanwhile, focus on her good qualities.

  5. Pingback: Understanding generosity, starting with God’s generosity to us.

  6. My husband does not kiss me enough, and honestly it wares on me. He is not short of displays of affection. He likes to give me warm kisses on my forehead or cheek. We also hug every time he leaves or comes home, but I always want something more passionate. As much as I appreciate the hugs and soft kisses, I need to have passionate kisses to remind me that he is still attracted to me. When he hugs me I feel like he likes me, maybe even loves me in that ‘thank you for cleaning and taking care of the kids’ love sense but I need that passionate kiss to remind me of how passionate he feels for me. I think every marriage should have a fair amount of passionate kisses and I will keep working to keep it in mine.

  7. My husband used to kiss me. In fact we always had our morning kiss. Now he does the cheek turn thing when I try to kiss shim. I finally stopped trying to kiss at bed time and all other times because it feels like rejection with the cheek turn thing. In fact if I dont initiate contact I get none. No hugs, kisses etc. Though he likes to lay on the couch and put his feet on me. All I want is just a hug that says I am loved that would be enough. He shows the cat more affection than I get.

    • Sherry, I hope you have shared your feelings with your husband about this–and in a way that is non-accusatory. “I feel rejected when you give me your cheek when I kiss you.” Men can’t read minds, but hopefully if he understands your concerns he can adapt. “I need a hug; I’ve had a tough day” is much better than waiting for a hug from someone who is not naturally affectionate. Hang in there. Chances are he loves you and doesn’t realize you need the affection that so many women crave.

  8. Wow kind of relieved to see I am not alone. I love my husband so much, we have been married 19yrs and for the past 1-2 yrs the hugging is almost non existent and the kissing..well that only seems to happen when sex is invloved which isn’t all that often either, other than that I may get a #1 or #2 (from above examples of kissing) It’s most certainly not from lack of trying or asking . I know how you feel Sherry about the initiating contact, same here if I don’t there would be none and well there really isn’t any cause I have just about given up… I miss the kisses but I don’t see them coming back..Oh and I have talked to him about it……

  9. Some tips about it is about keeping eye contact on your partner and at the same time, paying attention to how she moves and reacts to everything that you do and say. If you are in physical contact with her, try to determine if there is some sort of flirting going on between you.

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