My first kiss from anyone other than a relative came in first grade. It was right after school and this girl named Lori came up on the playground, grabbed me and kissed me. . . ON THE LIPS. It was scandalous but it wasn’t sex.
I want to write today about kissing. I want to say up front that I’m not expecting everyone to agree with what I say here today and that’s ok. I’ve been on every side of this in my 20 years of singleness. I’ve messed it up on both sides. So let’s get real.
First a brief Justin kissing history. In high school, I kissed exactly one person. Not because I didn’t want to, or because I thought it wrong, but because I didn’t know how to go about it and I was not super popular with the ladies. When I got to college that all changed and I kissed pretty much every girl I went out with, usually on the first date. It was fun. I didn’t fool around with them, and I didn’t have sex with any of them. I don’t think it scarred anybody.
Then came my 20s and what I call the religious dating revolution of the 90’s. This was led by I Kissed Dating Good Bye and other such books. As I shared in an earlier post, I dated (courted, talked with, whatever she called it) a girl who went by a book with a chart. No kissing allowed. Now a lot of this made sense to me. I’d seen a lot of people fall into temptation. Then and now I get the argument.
I went ten years without kissing anyone. TEN years.
Now this started out as a religious “date right” decision. Then there was a time when there just wasn’t many options and my head was buried in ministry. But when I looked up after about five years I was in a new city, 31 years old, and had no confidence in this area of my life (not to mention no physical intimacy). I had new reasons for not kissing. In the back of my head was still the religious reasons, including “guarding the girl’s heart” (which mostly guarded her heart from liking me – ha) and frankly it had been a long time – could I deliver? I think it hurt me and helped keep me single.
Then I went on a date with a girl who pretty much did what Lori did in first grade – except in a car. It was still scandalous, and it still wasn’t sex.
Sense then I’ve been on a lot of dates and God has walked me through a lot of stuff. I’ve maybe kissed a couple of people I shouldn’t have and maybe even missed it when I should have. But here’s what I’ve come to believe.
I think kissing is ok.
In fact I think if you haven’t kissed by the third or fourth date you are in trouble. You are quickly approaching the no chemistry zone. Now the exception might be if you have both talked about it and said you don’t want to – that’s totally fine – your call. But I’m saying I think kissing is fine, in fact I think it’s good. I don’t think it’s sex or has to lead to it.
I’ve already talked about not having sex outside of marriage and I want to talk more later about having some healthy physical boundaries but when it comes to kissing I say yes please.
But. . . some important parameters.
First off, if you are not interested in the girl, then don’t kiss her. For the love do I need to type that? We’ve all had dates we just weren’t into. But here is where the third date thing comes into play. If by the third date you don’t want to kiss her, then probably it’s time to not date her. Sometimes we are passive about ending stuff. More on that soon.
This brings us to point two. This all assumes that the reason you are dating is to find someone to marry. I’m not talking here about running around kissing different random people. That is definitely not ok. I’m talking about you are trying to find a spouse and you meet someone you like and it is progressing. I think it is ok, good in fact, to kiss that person.
There are lots of traps that you can fall into, for example kissing all the time and never actually talking. But there are traps with being so religious that you don’t have any physical contact.
So, what do you think? When is it ok to kiss? Is it good, bad, or does it even matter? What does a kiss mean to you?
Nice post. I think it’s depends on the couple. I just saw a wedding picture of a couple who did not kiss until they were at the altar, so that was right for them. And of course there is a sweet kiss and then those other kisses. 😉
I agree different couples are different. Like I said above if you make the call together I think that’s different. And yes there are many types of kissing. HAHA
Kissing legalism goodbye?
A man who acts like a man (not a girlfriend) and who wants to kiss me a good one…win win.
I saw a couple that didn’t kiss till they got married and it was hard to watch lol (birds pecking and faces) I say heck yeah get your kiss on! If you are dating someone and don’t have the want to kiss them move on.
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A special relationship I had, with a girl, and another with a guy, even hand-holding with chemistry was enough to make me fall for them quickly. Now, being that the guy is not a christian, I’m having to see much less of him, because I want to guard my heart, without disrupting a joyful witness for Christ. He isn’t interested in the altar call, but he does go to church with me, because I drive. He can’t even drive to church. He’s not the right guy I need. But how do I move forward with my heart and be Just friends again without hurting him?
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Before I started dating I was also of the opinion that there wouldn’t be any kissing at all. Considering the fact that in the four years I’ve been a Christian I had never dated and prior to my conversion almost all the kissing I engaged in almost always led to sex, I felt that the no kissing rule would safeguard our ‘purity.’ But I guess I didn’t bargain on the chemistry and love (dare I say it) that would be part and parcel of the union.
I don’t know whether I was just being plain naive or what, but I just had this idea that Christian dating would be ‘holier’ than normal dating, where a heavenly atmosphere surrounded us during our dates: angels, Christian music playing on the background and the atmosphere of worship during our dates (just kidding) But at the end of the day reality hit: yes we’re devout Christians who are dating with marriage in mind and we’ve resolved that we will only have sex once we’re married, but we’re also a man and a woman who are attracted to each other. So it was inevitable that we would kiss.
Now there is an older Christian woman whom I am close to who is against dating in the first place, not to mention kissing during the dating period. She’s always sharing testimonies of couples she knows of who didn’t date (they had visions of each other or were supernaturally connected by God) and how during the wedding preparations never held hands or kissed etc etc. Although this bothered me in the beginning, I am happy to state that I am past the stage of trying to please everybody (especially the older generation in the church who have different opinions on how the foundation of a marriage is built) However, because of the vibe that is going on between my boyfriend and I, I constantly have to be on guard, especially since I’m the ‘touchy feely’ kind of person and that could very quickly get us in trouble. I’ve devised one strategy where I only ever seriously kiss him when our date is about to end, so that there’s no chance of anything going further than it ought to, I don’t know whether he’s caught on yet ;-D
So for me, it’s a yes to kissing…