First Kiss Etiquette

I think that kissing can be just as passionate or, depending on the situation, even more intimate than having sex.

Last month three different men moved in for a First Kiss. I was not “dating” any of them and had no future plans to do so. I also wasn’t feeling the frisky vibe on any occasion, with any of these three varied men when I politely declined each of their lip-locking advances.

Based on these recent experiences, I figured it would be a good time write a post about First Kiss Etiquette.

The When, the Where, and the How…

Is there really such a thing as First Kiss Etiquette, or is it best to listen to your own instincts?

First Kiss Etiquette:

The When – At this point in my life and with a healthy amount, ok A LOT, of experiences under my belt, I’ve come to a realization.
While I’m by no means a “rules” type of woman, if I think there could be a future with a new man, I will spend however much time that’s needed on an emotional, spiritual and intellectual level getting to know him before involving my body’s bonding chemicals/hormones, such as Oxcytocin.
There is a saying that “sex can complicate the issue.” Well, in fact there is science behind that statement.
Sex and Bonding

So, for the first few dates, even if mammoth-sized fiery sparks are present, based purely on my knowledge about the female body, I’m going to wait it out and establish a non-physical relationship for a bit.

The Where – For me the location isn’t important because as I said above, the First Kiss can be just as passionate as sex. I had one of my more profound First Kisses in the stall of a women’s bathroom at a crowded hotel bar while we both stood on the toilet seat.

The How – That’s simple, pucker-up and enjoy!

To get a male perspective on this topic, I checked out what had to say. Men and Kissing

I also got the opinion of my go-to guy Eric C. and here are his thoughts:

“Whether we learned from our older siblings or watched a cheesy after school special, we all have a pretty good idea as to how to go about the first kiss. What we struggle with is when. Some think the front door patio at the end of the first night’s date is the appropriate time. Some think patience is the ultimate virtue in this situation; refraining until a friendship connection is established for greater relational longevity. While there is merit to both frames of thought, I believe the most successful couples take a different route.

My experience has taught me how to go about the first kiss isn’t as important as how not to. In short, planning, scheming, or scheduling anything in the early stages of a relationship is a recipe for disaster. This is all too true for the first kiss.

This rationale lies behind a long-term perspective of relationships. When the dust has settled, there won’t be too many moments throughout a couple’s time together that came about unplanned, unexpected, and totally improvised. The first kiss is your opportunity to have just that. The minute you start figuring out when you believe the first kiss is “supposed” to occur, despite the logic behind doing so, you are robbing yourself of the special experience the honeymoon stage of any relationship is supposed to be about.

Bottom line: Go with the flow. Overanalyze all you want for the rest of your time together, but leave the first kiss alone. Whether it’s two weeks into knowing someone or 30 minutes after your body shot at the bar, let it happen. I understand the secure, comforting feeling of having things scheduled and planned out, but you have the rest of your lives to set your relationship itinerary; let this one go.”

While mulling over the ending to this post I asked another guy friend for his thoughts regarding the When, Where and How of First Kiss Etiquette and this is what he said:
“Whenever, Wherever, However.”

What do you think?

Drinking and Dating. Part 2

In 2006 I published a book about dating called Don’t Use My Sweater Like a Towel. Book Link

A man actually did do “that” and in the pre-dawn hours I drove home unknowingly with my friend’s “sticky benefits” stuck to the front of my sweater.

It was this bad-mannered event that inspired my book’s blunt, yet humorous title about human behavior and respect.

Last year “The Sweater Guy” passed away at the age of 40 and while sitting at his standing-room-only memorial, which was being held in a local hotel ballroom, I had a brutal realization that while he was sexy, brilliant and a great lover, he also was beyond-a-doubt a certified functioning drunk; and tragically that’s what killed him.

I’m sorry to open this week’s post as a Debbie Dating Downer.
See Debbie in Action

But after talking with a close friend of mine, the disproportionate drinking habits she mentioned about her current crush sounded eerily familiar to my now dearly departed Sweater Guy; including similar personality details such as, he is smart, educated, well traveled, has a good job with a sharp and quick wit. It all sounded so perfect, I almost had pangs of envy except for hearing about his excessive drinking habits.

This said, as the follow up to last weeks post, Drinking and Dating #1, I thought she would be the ideal woman to talk to on the subject and here is what she had to say:

“The first time we met was at a cocktail party. I noticed that he was pounding back drinks, but in Chicago people drink because of the weather, so the amount he consumed at the time was not a red flag. Now I can see in retrospect that sometimes he would make inappropriate comments to me, (it could have been the alcohol) other than that he was flirty, amusing and funny and behaved fine.

On our first date he had two sakes and three beers – he just likes to party and thinks nothing of it, he loves his alcohol. Most of his friends, also in their 40s, are enablers and I think are a mess because of the amount of drinking.

But I still had an attraction to him and kept an open mind. I dated a man not that long ago who is also a heavy drinker and when I asked him to cut back he did, so I was hopeful about the new guy.

However he would not make plans for a Monday night because he would say that “I will be too hung-over from the weekend.” I remained positive and we went out on other nights of the week. I personally don’t like to drink during the week and on one Wednesday, when I arrived at the bar he had already had had two tall vodka sodas. Later that night while we were fooling around he said, “stop it, no sex.” This became a regular thing with him.”

I then asked my friend if she thought that maybe he had erection issues because of the excessive amounts of smoking and drinking, and “yes,” she did have that thought.
Men and Sex

She then said; “The older I get, it makes me realize I have no interest in dating a frat boy. He actually would say “I’m still a frat boy, I do beer bongs. He was completely serious!”

“A few days ago I heard through mutual friends that the other night he was so sloppy drunk at dinner that he was throwing food at the table.”

“Then a few days later I heard that he and his 70-year-old mother were getting into bar fights at my neighborhood spots. I’m not seeing him anymore, and I’m glad, not sad. His drinking habits taught me not ignore the red flags of life.”

Have any of you ignored major red flags in dating situations because of your own personal hope?

Drinking and Dating. Part 1

Drinking alcohol is an acceptable social act for cultures and people around the world. It’s generally part of lifestyle norms dating back to the early Neolithic period (cir. 10,000 BC)
History of Alcohol

I’m an aficionado of impressive top-shelf tequila and have a weakness for great white wine and passionate kissing. This is where I have experienced some of life’s great highs as well as lows. I thought about some of these past encounters as I drank a glass of wine with friends and began philosophizing about the effects drinking may have on dating.

To quote The Soko, “Everyone knows driving under the influence is a bad idea, but what about dating under the influence?”
Dating and Drinking

About a year ago I dated a smart, good-looking man who was at that time a well-paid professional, making more money than most at his age of 28.

We met by chance at a local spot and by no means, was our meeting an intentional “pick-up.” Simply stated, we were both at the same place, at the same time to eat half-off Happy Hour sushi and as the drinks began flowing so did the heated flirtation.

I decided to interview him for this blog post for a few reasons. Number one being that we unexpectedly kissed that first night we met, and because of that initial connection, we also dated for a bit. However, in retrospect and by the sober light of day, I can see very clearly how drinking did change the circumstances of our situation and not for the better… I will leave the thought provoking details to post at a later date.

While he did drink much, much more than I did, regardless of the amounts either of us consumed, alcohol still played a central part in the evolution of what happened between us.

And this is what he had to say when I asked him the question; “Does drinking affect dating?”

“YES, drinking does affect dating! When I’m at the bar interacting with people it’s easier if I have been drinking. I’m not focusing on my own life stuff. Drinking lets my mind go to another world where my senses are more focused in on the ‘now’ and to a place where my inhibitions are let down.”

During that point in our conversation is when we mutually agreed (now as platonic friends) that if we were both completely sober when we had met that first night we would not have kissed, and that much of the unraveling and misunderstandings that occurred between us was in large part due to drinking.
Smart Sex

As we talked, I asked him how dating has changed since not drinking?
He said, “I approach things differently now. I don’t make myself as open. I’m more selective as to who I talk with. I’m not as aggressive in my behavior and I don’t approach others with unsolicited, conversational interruptions, whether in public or private settings, like I did when I was drinking heavily. Now that I’m relatively sober I don’t have the engine or the fuel for that kind of behavior; the engine being my brain and the fuel being the alcohol.”

And in closing he said, “Without drinking I’m more aware of people.”

This is a two-part blog post. Next week will be another interview about drinking and dating from a woman’s perspective who just ended a relationship with a man she thought was a “good guy” but ended up, as she puts it, “a prick and a heavy drinker.” Till then your thoughts on drinking and dating are welcome.

Dating, Love and Technology.

“I love you” are important words to say or hear. But, what if you were “told” this the very first time in your newly developing relationship via a text message, or e-mail? Then, a few months later you’re told, also by the same modern-day digital technology, “I’m completely finished with you.”

Are these examples of emotional disconnect or just another luxury of today’s digital technology – where you don’t have to lose any shut eye or have a good enough sense of character to mull over the reactions or consequences of your technology-based behavior?

It’s a well publicized rumored that even Britney Spears broke-up with her now famously ex-husband Kevin Federline with a text message.

As I researched more about dating, digital technology and its effects on our behavior, relationships and potential love, I found an online site that will send an e-card to one of your sexual conquests notifying them of your pre-existing STD.
Imagine opening your e-mail to this: “Good morning Mr. Smith, you are now infected with Herpes.” STD Card

The last time I used the Internet to send a birthday greeting; contagious sore notifications were not included in my card options along with the singing e-card balloons.
The Internet isn’t the only technology doing our dirty work. I also discovered services that will end a relationship for you via voicemail, such as the Breakup Butler and Breakup Bitch, Voicemail Message

I called the site’s four message numbers, and with the Breakup Butler the voicemail selections were “nice,” and “not so nice.” On the Breakup Bitch, the message choices were “mean,” and “no more booty calls.” Interestingly, there is no option with the Breakup Bitch to be “nice.” Sorry boys!

And just in case you never want to connect with a person that you have just briefly met or had a one night stand with, you can now throw salt into a potentially raw and open wound by giving them a fake telephone number from a rejection hotline such as: Rejection Hotline where he or she will reach a pre-recorded good-riddance voicemail instead of you.

It’s clear that technology is giving new meaning to how we connect and communicate – or even find our potential mates.

How times have changed since the ink well, hand-written letters carried by the Pony Express, hand-cranked phones, and Elvis Presley being banned from TV for pelvic thrusts!

I was curious about how digital technology has changed dating for the 20-something generation, so I set up a phone interview with a 23-year-old woman to pick her brain on the realities of what is going on behind the cell and computer screen.

We spoke for 30 minutes and this is only a small slice of what unfolded from our conversation.

“One of my boyfriends gave me the password to one of his online e-mail accounts to do something for him, and it happened to be the same password for some of his other accounts as well. I began checking my ex’s e-mail as much as I would check my own. He was online a lot and I had so many thoughts and feelings about him always being on Facebook and MySpace; I wanted to see what he was doing. I wanted to validate my feelings that he was up to something. I would think about it so much. It can make you paranoid and at one point I did find something on his Facebook account, so I told him, he understood because he had done it to his last girlfriend [read her e-mails]. I’m in a very healthy relationship now and I don’t check his e-mails. Some of my friends still read their boyfriend’s e-mails, but I don’t think that makes for a strong relationship.”

So, is checking your significant other’s e-mail a new digital trend driven by instant gratification or is it simply a lack of trust we have for one another?

Dating and E-mail

What do you think? Has technology had a positive or negative effect on your relationships?

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About Jennifer

Jennifer Kelton

Jennifer Kelton CEO / founder LLC is a Los Angeles native and a pioneer in the worldwide dating industry, investigating the game of love while providing encouragement and support since 2007, starting with the acclaimed dating book Don’t Use My Sweater like a Towel. An accomplished CEO, visionary and entrepreneur, Kelton’s work in the […]

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