You Must Remember This – It Matters Why and When You Kiss

It was a lovely, and pretty typical, Friday evening. The kids were out with friends and the house was all theirs. They were snuggled together on the couch watching this week’s movie choice. They took turns choosing the movie of the week.

Tonight’s movie was a classic, Casablanca. They both knew it well and enjoyed it every time. They hadn’t watched it in awhile, but when the song came on, “As time goes by”, they both sang along. At the end, they sighed, smiled at each other, and, naturally, kissed to mark the line, “A kiss is just a kiss.”

When the movie ended, Tia turned to Tucker and said, “I liked that kiss. We should do more of that.”

Tucker, recognizing his cue, immediately kissed her gently on the lips. Tia smiled and said, “I like that.” After a couple of moments, Tia said, “Tucker, why don’t we kiss more often? We used to kiss all the time. People used to tease us about the dangers of chapped lips. When did we stop kissing so much?”

Tucker wrinkled his forehead as he considered the question. “Hmm. I don’t know the answer, but I think I know the solution.” And he pulled her closer and locked lips with her. This time it wasn’t so much a gentle kiss as a suggestive one. The suggestion was made all the more obvious by the way he was pulling against her.

To his confusion, Tia pulled away and started talking again.

“Whoa, Tucker. That is not where I was going with the conversation.”

“Tia, we just watched one of the most romantic movies ever made. Then you made a point about us kissing more. I thought our direction was pretty obvious.” Tucker wasn’t so much angry as he was just completely confused. But he was not a novice at this marriage communication thing; he had skills! He reoriented and sat back a bit. He made eye contact and made an inquiry, smiling so that Tia felt that he was on her side.

“Okay, Tia, help me understand what you were thinking.”

Tia had learned to trust that Tucker really wanted to know, so she explained.

“I think we’ve gotten so familiar and casual with each other and so busy that we don’t often stop and just connect through kissing. Kissing means we have to stop doing everything else and just for those few moments be totally with each other. It’s a lovely thing, but I think it’s an interruption of a sort that we don’t often make time or thought for.”

Tucker nodded. This made sense to him. They’d even made do too often with just making a kissing gesture across the room when one or the other of them left the house.

But, looking at Tia, Tucker had a suspicion that there was another thought there that she needed to share.

“Tia, there’s something else on your mind. Spill it.” He smiled at her to encourage her to speak freely.

“Well, I think it was more than just time going by. I may have to take some responsibility for this. I think I started to avoid kissing you because I didn’t want to raise your expectations. A lot of the time when we’d kiss, especially if I initiated the kiss, you took it from gentle affection to something more passionate. And then it would seem that you expected it to evolve into sex. I didn’t want to give you that message all the time. So I think I just stopped kissing. But I really miss the kissing.”

Tia looked sad.

Tucker looked thoughtful. His forehead wrinkled again.

“Well, I guess I have to share that responsibility. It’s pretty much true that I would like most of those kisses to be passionate and to lead to more. You’re always beautiful to me, Tia, and I almost always want to be passionate with you. But you’ve explained to me before that your mindset isn’t always in that place, so I guess I get that the passionate stuff doesn’t always feel welcome or well-timed.”

Tia smiled broadly and lovingly at Tucker when she heard how well he had listened and how well he understood her feelings, even when they were different from his own.

Tucker hit the jackpot when he then said, “So how about I just follow your lead if you take the kiss up a notch?” At which point she most clearly did.