Friday, October 31, 2014

Kiss on My List: How to Make a First Kiss a Good One

There is something deliciously exciting about a new relationship. The butterflies in your stomach, the anticipation of when you are going to see that person again, the coy banter that leads into those epic new relationship conversations, and of course, the first kiss.

There is nothing like the first kiss. Everything from the moments leading up to it, the look in the other persons eyes as they search your face, the curvature of their mouth as it finds yours, and then the connection where, in that moment, there is nothing else in the world, just the two of you, kissing. It is exhilarating.

One of the best parts about the first kiss is the unexpected expectation of it. Chances are, we have an idea that a kiss is going to happen at some point. In fact, we’re kind of anxiously waiting for it, but the not knowing exactly when is part of the thrill. A thrill that is often ruined by the other person asking, “Can I kiss you?”

Talk about anticlimactic.

I want to say that no one wants to be asked the question, ever, but then my friend ruined my theory by saying that she’s been kissed a lot by people she wasn’t interested in and would’ve preferred they asked rather than assumed. Everyone else I've talked to, though, agreed that asking ruins the moment. I agree with my one friend thata kiss shouldn't be an attack, but it does take the wind out of your sails when a kiss is preempted by asking permission.

I get why the person asks though. In some regards,  they want to maintain respect and consideration, so asking is a way of demonstrating that. In this day and age, we want to make it clear that we’re giving them the choice to say no.  I also think it’s the mentality of “Well if I only ask but not actually make a move then it’s not rejection.” Or at least a lesser form of rejection. Somehow it’s less embarrassing to hear the word “No” then to have someone turn their head away.

The bottom line is this: If someone wants you to kiss them, they want you to just do it, without asking. If they don’t, they certainly don’t want to have to respond to such an awkward query. I mean really, how awkward. "Um no, I'd rather you didn't." ::crickets:: or awkward blustering from them. And more importantly, most of the time it’s obvious if someone is into you.

It boils down to being able to read signals, pick your moment being realistic, and not jumping the gun. When we’re interested in someone, we sometimes read into things that we shouldn’t. We see what we want to see, hear what we want to hear, and think to ourselves that this person is surely feeling the same way we are. So we go for the kiss, because that’s what WE want and then seem surprised when that person isn’t into it. Or we perceive a moment as the right one when it's clearly not. Picking a moment is still a part of reading signals. I think a lot of this confusion is due to ego but also this immense desire that people have to rush things.

We live in an instant gratification society, and while in some ways it’s great, in other ways it’s taken the romance, the fun, the novelty out of basic human interaction. Hooking up has become almost meaningless in today's world, we engage in it without even knowing the other persons last name.  I don’t understand the rush and think that confusion on many fronts could be avoided if we simply took more time to be around the person, hang out, go on dates, TALK. There is no rule that says you must kiss someone within hours of meeting them. Sometimes we do, and it’s great, and it depends entirely on the circumstance and person, but the point is we need to be able to read the signals properly, and if we can’t, then we need to take more time.

I am sure I am going to hear from people who tell me I’m over-thinking it or being unrealistic. And I admit that I am not the kind of person who goes to bars and makes out with someone I met that night. I’m not judging, it’s just not who I am. I will tell you, though, that, based on my research, a lot of people feel the same way that I do, but perhaps don’t say it, because it’s “uncool” or “old fashioned.” Perhaps I am those things (well, old fashioned, I'm definitely not uncool) but I don’t think that it’s a bad thing that I actually want to have a connection with someone before I hook up with them. One that isn’t purely fueled by alcohol or concupiscence.

 The truth is that yeah, when we are attracted to/interested in someone, we actually want the same thing. We want to get to know them, spend time with them, and get physical with them. It’s just a matter of people wanting things in different orders.  Maybe the guys that I’ve dated are just as uncool or old fashioned as I am, but I can say that every first kiss I’ve had (with a guy that I ended up dating) was after he took some time with me before making the first move***, and I have had some incredible first kisses.

What I think a lot of people don’t realize is that if they opted for a little bit of patience over instant gratification, their success rate would actually be much higher. Especially as a woman, I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, we are SO USED to unwanted advances and comments (or ones that come too soon) that it’s refreshing to be around someone who doesn’t do that. It makes us want them more. Take some time, and pick up signals…so that when you go for that kiss then there’s no doubt and you won’t have to ruin any moments. 

*Thanks to J for inspiring this post and to the others who verbally contributed (but not to AW for being the exception by wanting to grant permission first.)
**Thanks to all of the sensational first kisses I've had, one of which inspired a poem (written by him, not me) because of these, I am convinced that it's more than ok for me to think and feel like this.
***(aside from the Boat Cruise, but, come on! it was senior week in university!!! Hey, Jax)
****I suppose that this is aimed at people who are not just after a one night kind of thing, but more those who are interested in the other person

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