The Power of a 6-Second Kiss

New couples make out…

Old couples give each other a peck on the cheek.

The longer you’re together, the more habitual your kissing becomes. You don’t need to make out for hours when you’ve been sleeping in the same bed for years. You take each other’s physical presence for granted.

But maybe you’ve noticed you’ve lost something else aside from those epic make-out sessions…

You don’t feel as connected.

You don’t feel as wanted.

Some women are fine with that. They complain that their partners only kiss them if they want something from them. They’ve stopped craving kisses from their partner, because kissing feels like an expression of need rather than an expression of love.

The Gottman Institute wants to change all that.

They want to bring makeout-style kisses back…

Even if you’ve been together forever.

Kissing releases a chemical cocktail into your blood, starting with oxytocin, the hormone that makes you feel close and connected.

Kissing also releases dopamine, the chemical of pleasure that motivates us to seek rewards.

Next are epinephrine and norepinephrine, which makes your heart beat faster and butterflies flutter in your stomach.

Finally, kissing reduces cortisol levels, lowering your blood pressure and making you feel less stressed.

All of that can happen in just seconds.

Kissing makes you feel better. It brings you closer and reminds you how pleasurable it is to be with your guy.

But not all kisses are created equal. The best kisses are at least 6 seconds long.

Dr. John Gottman calls the 6-second kiss “a kiss with potential. It’s a kiss worth coming home to.”[1]

He recommends having one 6-second kiss before you leave home in the morning. For extra credit, enjoy another when you come home in the evening.

At first, you might want to set a timer or count the seconds down in your head, so you get a feel for how long 6 seconds lasts. This isn’t a short kiss. It’s an investment, and it sends a powerfully-affirming message:

“I see you, I’m here with you, and I’m taking time to remind myself how much I enjoy being with you.”

Kissing reminds you on a chemical level why you’re so compatible. As you lean in, you get a whiff of his pheromones and a taste of his mouth. If you enjoy a French kiss and end up swapping spit, his saliva contains trace amounts of testosterone, which can spark sexual desire.

Men tend to see kissing as a prelude to sex, and they generally won’t have sex with someone they don’t enjoy kissing. Over half of men and two-thirds of women have broken it off with someone when kissing was lackluster.

But that doesn’t mean kissing and sex always have to be linked.

In committed relationships, kissing is just as important to create a feeling of connection as it is to spark desire. Couples who kiss frequently tend to report feeling more satisfied with their relationship.[2]

Despite how pleasurable kissing is, kisses get shorter and shorter over time. The urgency is gone. You know each other too well.

That’s the habit the 6-second kiss was designed to break.

If you engage in one 6-second kiss before you say goodbye to one another in the morning and another when you greet each other after coming home, then those 12 seconds a day can completely transform your mood—not to mention your feelings towards one another.

Imagine how it would feel if your guy gave you a passionate, lingering kiss every morning, a kiss that made you feel that he wanted and desired every inch of you. What a great way to start the day!

Imagine how it would feel for him if the moment he saw you at the end of a hard day, you rushed up to him and gave him a kiss to remember, the kind of kiss that drains all the stress and tension from his body.

How would that change your relationship?

The way we kiss is a habit. Sometimes, all it takes is something little—like timing your kisses—to make a big shift in your physical chemistry.



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