What a First Kiss Tells You

I recently read an article what a first kiss tells you, and it didn’t sit right. The author called a first kiss a litmus test. She wrote that it’s how you confirm that a guy is into you—that it’s how you determine whether he’s confident.

And maybe, for her, that’s what a first kiss is. And maybe it is for you, too—a gauge you use to measure stuff, like your interest in a person, or a person’s confidence.

But is it supposed to be?

People kiss to express, but the author suggests that a kiss can express something on its own, that ultimately we can trust how a first kiss goes to be a guide by which to make actual life choices. (In the author’s defense, she did add a disclaimer, which I’ll paraphrase: probably don’t dump a person because the first kiss is awkward.)

But the statistics she quoted, which said that lots of people end relationships because of a “bad” kiss, allude to arguments that I have heard before, in response to older posts that I have written: that one first must be physically intimate and second must appraise the physical intimacy in order to determine whether “chemistry” exists.

Do you know what that is?

It’s a lie.

It’s the same lie part of our culture tells us about sex: that you should have it outside marriage, that we should use it as a guide by which to decide whether to stay in a relationship.

This is why people who don’t believe what I do about sex (that it’s a sacred physical sign of the vows a husband and wife made at the altar) call it a bad idea to wait until marriage for sex.

This is why when I wrote about why I’m a virgin, a lot of readers rolled their eyes. They called me crazy in comments and emails—called me foolish for not taking men for “test drives.”

They responded as if we absolutely must be physically intimate in order to determine to whom we’re attracted (we don’t). As if lips could determine a relationship’s viability (they can’t). As if authentic love is powerless over what happens the first time your mouths meet (it isn’t).

To call a kiss a gauge that we should use on a quest to determine “how into each other we are” or “whether a guy is confident enough” is just to shroud a different unfortunate quest, for something else so widely primarily sought: effortless gratification.

But when that’s what we seek, we rob each other of something for which we all are designed: real love.


arArleen Spenceley is author of the book Chastity is For Lovers: Single, Happy, and (Still) a Virgin (Ave Maria Press, Nov. 2014). She works as a staff writer for the Tampa Bay Times, and has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in counseling, both from the University of South Florida. She blogs at Click here to follow her on Twitter, click here to like her on Facebook, and click here to follow her on Instagram.


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