Kissing, Part 3 — Why stop?

I have been actively looking for the answer to why people stop kissing. I love research, particularly medical and psychological journals, because I love to read and I really like to know the answers to why things are the way they are. After searching literally everywhere, I found almost nothing. I can find statistics on how often people have intercourse at any age, single or married and on virtually every continent, but why people stop kissing is not a topic most people, researchers included, really consider. I really think they should. Sex generally slows down and lessens over time, and the intensity certainly will, which I understand. But why kissing, which many find even more intimate than intercourse, lessens and ends is unknown.

I think the reason is because intimacy between two people over time is really the hardest thing on earth to achieve. The statistics on divorce are widely known, the statistics on miserable marriages or even marginally miserable marriages are not. Staying close to another human being over time is extremely difficult. And when it is done successfully I honestly think it is one of life’s miracles. Hopefully a relationship starts out with a bang, hormones, and fireworks and fun. Some do not… some grow stronger over time.. but just about all relationships require tremendous work and energy to maintain closeness.

We know the reason why most versions of intimacy struggle and fail: exhaustion, children, financial stress, time stress, illness, etc. etc. So how do people keep it together? Not only the passion, but the connection. It is a lot of work, yet with the right match, enough fun, humor and compatibility the work of it hopefully becomes less arduous. I couldn’t find any research to explain the demise of kissing, but I can tell you from personal experience and logging countless hours listening to people talk about their relationships…that staying “connected” whether through kissing or other means is the best way to stay happy. Kissing is just one aspect of connection. My boss says “if you don’t use it you lose it”, usually in reference to sex, but I would say the same is true for kissing. If you don’t keep doing it……soon enough….you just won’t want to.

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