We were standing on the platform in front of the train doors, about to part ways after our first official date (which was a weekend spent together with his family). I was really nervous because although we had discussed almost everything else, including what we wanted to name our kids, I’d yet to mention one thing that was extremely important to me: my first kiss.
Yes, I was 24 years old and had never been kissed.
My goal was to not kiss anyone until I was certain that person was the one I was going to marry for eternity. In other words: no kissing until AFTER we were engaged (I used to say until the day we were married, but that slowly changed with time–after hearing so many people tell me I needed to know if we had “chemistry” and a first kiss during the wedding ceremony could potentially be super awkward and blah, blah, blah…)
I was nervous this wonderful man was going to swoop in and steal my first kiss before we had “sealed the deal.” I was so grateful and so relieved when all he did was go in for a snugly hug.
Skip ahead a month and a half: December 28th, 2014. We’d been engaged for exactly two days and still hadn’t had our first kiss. We went out to take a quick gander at the stars that icy and shimmering December night. Then we were standing face-to-face and I was super duper nervous.
At that point, I sort of had the attitude of just wanting to get it over with.
And so we did. It was a stiff-lipped peck that lasted about three seconds–three long seconds. I had to giggle afterwards; our first kiss, for it was his first as well, was perfectly awkward.
There were no fireworks.
There was no hallelujah chorus.
No foot popping.
No head-to-toe tingling sensations.
Basically NONE of this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rg3WohBhfU0
I was only a little giddy. I just got kissed! I just got kissed! But nothing more.
That was it.
So, how was I to interpret that awkward little kiss?
I loved this man, but did the lack of fireworks and sparks and tingling sensations really mean we had no chemistry? Would that mean the ultimate failure of our relationship–our marriage?
The world’s view of relationships is all wrong. It’s literally upside down when you take a look at Dr. Gottman’s relationship pyramid:
If you want a real, lasting relationship, then you need a good, strong foundation. Starting with the physical aspects of a relationship–which is meant to be like the cherry on top (or the junk food section of the food pyramid, haha)–is only going to set you up for failure. When the winds of life blow, your unstable and unbalanced pyramid is certain to topple over.
I find it so sad how many cheat themselves of developing a precious relationship with someone because they felt pressured to give them the “good stuff” first in hopes that it would make the other person stick around a little longer. That’s just not how it works.
I’m not saying you have to wait until you get engaged to share your first kiss with someone, but I do encourage you to first develop a friendship. Do you get along? Do you enjoy spending time with this person? (Note: you are allowed to have different hobbies).
And then take it a littler further; go a little deeper. Do you share similar life goals? Have you developed a relationship of mutual trust?
Once those two things are in place, a firm foundation has been laid. When you’re both ready to be committed, then you’re ready for the physical. Building your relationship in this way means that nothing will change it when the physical inevitably changes (everybody gets old and wrinkly, understood?).
So yes, the feelings have to be there and they have to be mutual, but this whole chemistry thing and the fantasy-iation of “true love’s kiss” is overrated. In my relationship with my husband I have learned that that “chemistry”–that spark–develops over time.
I am so grateful I didn’t let that awkward first kiss scare me away from my eternal happiness.
By the way, the phrase “practice makes perfect” applies even to kissing. 😉