From the anxiety ridden first kiss of adolescents, to the symbolic, "You may kiss the bride," to the ritual peck that occurs as you part company, kissing offers couples the opportunity to demonstrate desire, support, care, commitment and presence. There are all kinds of kisses but here are three that serve as a starting place.
1. The ritual kiss. This is the one that happens at designated times. These are usually times of transition. There's the kiss that happens when you transition from wakefulness to sleep...the goodnight kiss. The kiss that happens when you transition from together to apart...the goodbye kiss. The kiss that happens when you meet...the welcome home kiss. The ritual kiss is important because it speaks to stability and the "ordinaryness" of a steady connection.
2. The lingering/testing kiss. This is the one that happens when you want to see where you and your partner are with each other. It's the one that probably requires the most courage and vulnerability. It reaches out and offers interest and maybe desire. It's an invitation. Like all invitations, it brings with it the risk of rejection. It may be the most important kind of kiss.
3. The erotic/sexual kiss. Most of us know this one from movies and books if not from experience. It's the one that says, "I'm all in!" It's unreserved, passionate and complete. It's also playful and open. It's the one that turns sex into love making.
Paying attention to kissing. The kind of kissing you do can be exciting, interesting and a lot of fun.
Nothing beats a good kiss at the right time.
These posts are written by Jake Thiessen, PhD, co-founder of Couples at Crossroads. We hope you find them interesting, helpful and maybe provocative. Please feel free to comment on them.