Tuesday 4 March 2014

How Important is Kissing to a Relationship?

How Important is Kissing to a Relationship?

Dr Gabrielle Morrissey talks through the importance of puckering up
How important is kissing to a relationship?
(Q): My wife and I have been married for just going on 10 years and she still says she needs passionate kissing almost every day. And when we make love she says she can’t get turned on unless we kiss (for what seems like ages to me). It’s not that I don’t like kissing, I do, but I don’t need as much of it as my wife does and I sometimes find it a bit tedious – sorry if that sounds awful or selfish, but I do get a bit bored of all the kissing.

(A): Kissing is a cross-cultural foundation of romantic relationships and has been throughout the ages. It’s a fundamental expression of desire, intimacy, adoration and passion for one’s romantic partner. Certainly some people are more “kissy” and comfortable with physical affection than others. 
You and your wife are not unusual in the sense that you each place different values on kissing, and have differing needs for the amount of smooching to share together. It’s also common for women to desire kissing more than men. Research out of the US showed that kissing is more important to women than men. When dating, women actually use kissing to assess the suitability of their partner as a mate. One kiss can tell a woman if she wants to continue into a relationship. Snogging did not hold the same weight as a variable in dating for men. While both men and women agree kissing symbolises blossoming romantic intensity and intimacy, men place sexual advances and foreplay as stronger indicators of growing relationship interest.
Kissing releases brain chemicals such as oxytocin, responsible for making people feel bonded to their partner. While oxytocin is released in both men and women, research indicates that women are more sensitive to this chemical and thus more inclined to like doing the behaviours that make them feel pleasure and connectedness.
When in a long-term relationship, invariably partners will compromise and sometimes do things more often than they would like in the interest of maintaining a happy and balanced relationship. Remind yourself how important kissing is to your wife and how much pleasure and joy she experiences from it. It’s also fair, in return, to remind her what’s important to you, and it doesn’t have to be kissing! Allow your differences, respect them, but share in what makes you each happy. And if you do tire of kissing, try making her feel bonded, loved, connected and desired in other ways.
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