What is the secret to a healthy relationship? It’s all in the kiss
A daily dose of passionate kissing is the ultimate relationship and attraction boost and reveals more than you might think. There’s much more to puckering up than the interlocking of lips that sends us into a euphoric high. Kissing is a sensual smorgasbord that activates all five of our senses and sends a direct signal to the part of our brain that is associated with love, lust and passion.
This exchange of sensory information provides non-verbal clues about the person we are kissing such as their genetics, overall health, compatibility and level of commitment. These clues affect how attracted we feel and help us to make a subconscious decision as to whether or not we want to go for round two or pursue a relationship.
But whilst a passionate smooch can send your heart racing (for all the right reasons), flunk that first kiss and that may be as far as you get. Recent research by eharmony found that 25% of Australians won’t go on a second date if the first kiss is bad, and considering how important the kiss is, that’s with good reason.
A pash (or lack thereof) can also provide telltale clues about your potential chemistry and the health of your relationship. If you’re not into a kiss (or the person you’re with), you can’t fake it, so, if they appear to be leaning away from you and their mouth feels cool and dry, they pull back or clench their mouth shut, then it’s not happening for them and could be a sign of issues in your relationship.
Like all great relationships, a great kiss is about connection and compatibility and requires more than just chemistry. We’re pre-wired to like people who are similar to us, and who make us feel safe, understood and comfortable. Whether it’s your first kiss or you’ve been together forever, it’s this compatibility that helps make a kiss truly memorable.
Are you getting your daily dose?
Whilst numerous studies have shown that women place more importance on kissing than men, (using kissing as a form of mate selection and a way to initiate, maintain and evaluate the health of their relationship), kissing has been shown to significantly increase relationship satisfaction for both men and women. In fact, eharmony research found that one in three Aussies reported to need at least one proper kiss a day to feel satisfied in a relationship. While those still in the dating phase, as you might expect, report needing a smooch three to four times a day.
So what does that mean for relationships? Kissing is one of the most powerful and intimate forms of non-verbal communication, yet it is often one of the first things to go in long-term relationships, with a study finding that one in five married couples kiss less than once a week. And for nearly half of those couples, that weekly kiss lasts a mere 5 seconds. Not a great recipe for love!
And the best bit? The more you kiss the better you feel
While the stresses of everyday life can take their toll, a growing body of research has found that puckering up can increase attraction and connection, boost oxytocin (the cuddle hormone that promotes connection and intimacy) and reduce conflict and stress. In a study by researchers at Lafayette College, participants who kissed their partner for 15 minutes recorded lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol than those who talked or held hands for the same period.
Researchers at Arizona State University found that couples asked to kiss more frequently over a period of six weeks reported lower levels of conflict and arguing. As well as improving perceived relationship satisfaction, kissing also increases self-esteem, boosts the immune system and even prevents tooth decay and cavities! What’s more, a passionate smooch increases your heart rate, reduces blood pressure and causes the blood vessels to dilate, delivering an oxygen boost and an almost instant state of relaxation. So … want to boost the levels of attraction and connection in your relationship? Simply increase your daily kissing dose by one minute a day. Your partner and your health will love you for it.
Are you a good kisser? Find out in this quick quiz! Share your result in the comments below or join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. And if you are still looking for someone special to kiss sign up to eharmony today and review your matches for free.
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