Boyfriend not kissy?

Dear Alice,

What do you do if the guy you go out with is not really a kissy person?

— Frenchie

Dear Frenchie,

Although your lips may be yearning for those kisses, you might want to try to put them to work first by talking with him. Sorting out why your partner isn't making the "French connection" with you may be as simple as asking him about it. There could be a number of reasons for the sparse smooches, but one possibility is that he doesn't realize how much you enjoy or value a good kiss. One place to start could be to give him positive feedback when he does lay one on you, so that he learns how happy the kisses make you. Also, making your emotional and physical needs known to you partner — and taking the time to learn about his — can help both of you get the most out of every intimate exchange. 

For starters, you may want to ask yourself, "How kissy is kissy?" to define what level of kissy-ness you're talking about. The amount of time you want to spend kissing may not be the same as what your beau's comfortable with when it comes to lip locking. Some people may prefer showing affection through touching or cuddling over kissing, while others, would opt for a heart-to-heart conversation to connect with a partner. Remember, affection is not one-size-fits-all! Hopefully, a chat about each of your physical preferences can help clear the air and perhaps you can come to a common definition of kissy-ness. But, as you prepare for this conversation, it might help to think about some of the potential reasons a person might not be keen on kissing:

  • Maybe he's not a fan of P.D.A. (public displays of affection) and would prefer to smooch in private.
  • Perhaps he's embarrassed about bad breath, acne, a cold sore, or some other ailment of his face or mouth that keeps him from getting up close and personal.
  • He could simply be a bit shy or timid with kissing. If so, you could always take the lead with the lip action.
  • He may have grown up in an environment or culture where kissing was not a common or acceptable way to express affection.
  • Maybe he just wants to keep the kisses special and reserve them for only certain moments to keep you on your toes. 

So, how might you go about having this kissing convo, anyway? First, remember that while this conversation could feel awkward at first, it doesn't have to be. Try discussing your feelings about kissing with him, what kissing means to you, and by listening to his experience, ideas, and comfort with kissing. You might try starting with some sweet talkin' to tell your partner all the reasons why you'd like to kiss him. Doing so will likely help the two of you learn a lot more about one another. Remember, as with any type of physical intimacy, make sure to ask for consent before you make any moves.

XO (kisses and hugs!),

Last updated Jan 08, 2016
Originally published Feb 01, 1994

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