7 Signs You & Your Partner Aren't Kissing As Much As You'd Like
When you're in a long-term relationship, kissing may no longer seem like such a huge deal. You may give your partner a peck on the lips every now and then without even thinking about it. It's just something you're used to doing. But according to experts, if you are a bit concerned with your kissing frequency, it may be time to get a little more intentional with your kissing. Because even if you don't realize it, kissing is important for making your relationship last.
"On a scale of one to 10, with one being not important at all and 10 being absolutely essential for survival, I would give kissing a nine or maybe even a 9.5," Jane Reardon, licensed therapist and founder of RxBreakup, tells Bustle. "Particularly as time wears on, kissing signifies a continued effort on both sides of the partnership to stay emotionally close and physically intimate." It sets your relationship apart from the ones you have with friends and other people.
Overall, it's important to be on the same page as your partner in regards to showing physical affection in the relationship. "Kissing, holding hand, and cuddling are small, yet very important to keeping a deeper connection with your partner," psychologist Kelsey M. Latimer, PhD, CEDS-S, founder of Hello Goodlife, tells Bustle, "Without it, you may just have a friendship at best and can find yourself drifting apart."
So here are some ways to tell if you and your partner may not kiss as much as you'd like, according to experts.
1. You're Stressed And Your Relationship Is Suffering
"Sometimes when we're stressed we tend to go away from our partner instead of towards," Latimer says. "It’s very easy to find that days, weeks, or even months can go by without affection, which can create an opportunity for emotional distance in the relationship." It's why kissing is so important, not only for your relationship but your overall well-being. In fact, a study published in the Western Journal of Communication, found that couples who kissed more over a six-week period of time had lower levels of stress than those who kissed less. So if you feel like physical intimacy may be missing from your relationship, it may be time to talk with your partner.
2. You're Not As In Sync With Each Other As You Used To Be
A 2014 study published in the journal PLOS One found that when people kiss on the lips, their brain activity spikes and synchronizes. According to the co-author of the study, their findings suggests that kissing can help your brain get into the right state to better understand your partner. For instance, if your partner is in the mood, a good make out session can easily put you in the mood as well.
3. You're Second-Guessing Your Partner
"The Affection Exchange Theory (AET) says that kissing is highly indicative of a person presenting oneself as a good prospect for a relationship; and, more importantly for parenthood," Dr. Lottie M. McCullough, PhD, host of Sex Talk with Lottie and associate coach with The Relationship Firm, tells Bustle. In fact, a 2014 study published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology found that women are more likely to use kissing as a way to determine whether or not they want to move forward with a romantic partner. According to the study, there's something about a person's kiss that lets your body know they have desirable long-term qualities.
4. You're Thinking About Cheating
"According to psychological and neurobiological studies of love and affection, kissing (as well as hugging, cuddling, holding hands, and sexual orgasm) release oxytocin, also known as the ‘bonding hormone,'" Irina Baechle, LCSW, relationship therapist and dating coach, tells Bustle. When your oxytocin levels are up, it can create a sense of bonding. Kissing is also one of the most common ways we increase feelings of attachment and closeness, she says. In fact, an Oxford University study found that kissing is a good way to promote fidelity in your relationship. If you don't feel a strong bond or attachment with your partner, it's important to talk it over with them, and find solutions before cheating seems like an option.
5. You're Feeling Unappreciated
"If you don’t slow down and kiss with deep contact and presence, you run the risk of becoming ships who pass in the night," intimacy expert, Allana Pratt, tells Bustle. Without affection coming from your partner, you may start to feel unappreciated to taken for granted. According to Pratt, this will get in the way of intimacy, and it's something you should bring up to your partner ASAP.
6. You're Starting To Worry About Things You Never Used To Worry About
Kissing is a constant reminder of the love, longing, and desire you have for your partner, Dr. Lottie says. When you choose to neglect this simple act, it can cause you to doubt yourself or even worry about things like infidelity.
7. Your Partner Is Starting To Feel Like Just A Roommate
"I’ve observed that long-term couples can quickly lapse into roommate status if the partners become lackadaisical about fanning those romantic flames," Reardon says. "Kissing regularly is a great way to remind you both that this relationship transcends mere friendship." It signifies that your relationship is still vibrant, you're still attracted to each other, and you care about nurturing your relationship.
Keep in mind, there aren't any set rules as to how long or how often you should be kissing. Every couple is different. It's just important to be intentional about it. When you're in a relationship, kissing shouldn't just be something you do out of habit. It's a way to express love. If you keep that in mind, you'll have nothing to worry about.