Here’s a fact: happy marriages kiss more often. Kissing is like throwing logs on the fire—it helps to keep the relational connection and the physical passion alive and burning. Kissing fosters a sense of security and actually is known to produce a physiologically healthy link to happiness. When you kiss your spouse, your body releases hormones that enhance the neurotransmitters of your brain that induce joy. Studies show that people live longer when they are married and if kissing is involved. How great is that? Kissing can add years to your life. Kissing can also be a stress reliever and pain reducer. It’s fascinating what happens to the human body when you’re kissing-your body relaxes and stress hormones (cortisol) decrease, resulting in an overall sense of peace and calm. Yes, kissing can even improve your mood. The “feel good” hormones like dopamine and serotonin are released, and these natural chemicals often produce optimism and happiness. Bottom line: kissing brings about a natural high. It’s so basic, so simple, and yet couples begin drifting when they stop kissing with meaning.
Cathy and I (Doug) have identified three different definitions to three distinct types of kisses. You are more than welcome to “steal” these meanings and add them to your own kissing repertoire. They are:
The “I love you” kiss: This is the peck-kiss that is a quick acknowledgment of your love for one another and physical display of what you feel. We challenge you to exchange this type of kiss daily, and then follow with the simple but powerful words I love you.
The “I like you” kiss: This kiss is a little longer than the peck-it lingers. It doesn’t get all wet and sloppy, but it does send a message. I really like you and I’m going to kiss you in a different way than I kiss my mom or grandma (it would be weird if you kissed your parents like this). I know of a wife who said to her husband, “I never doubt that you love me … but, I often wonder if you like me.” This type of kiss helps provide the answer. It’s a little more intimate and can become a physical reminder to your spouse that you don’t want him/her to doubt that you really do like them.
The “I want you” kiss: This is the most intimate of kisses. Some people have called this the “soul exchange” kiss. Others have termed it the French Kiss—dating back to the early 1900s where Americans were quoted as saying, “There’s something different about the way the French kiss.” This type of kiss can send the message, “Because I love you and I really like you … I’m letting you know that I want you, too!”
You don’t have to adopt our meaning for these kisses, but we encourage you to make sure you don’t drift from kissing each other on a daily basis. If you’ve already slowed down in the kissing department … this can be a fun habit to reintroduce in your marriage. Kissing will lead to stronger connection, a deepening of love and affection, a greater depth of happiness, an enriched communication, and a definite difference in your sex life.
(Excerpted from First Few Years of Marriage: 8 Ways to Strengthen Your “I Do” by Jim Burns and Doug Fields.)