Q Dear Miss Abigail:
When is the right time for the first kiss?
A Dear Larrisa:
Ah, kissing. Certainly one of my favorite things to do. But your question is a serious one. When is the right time, when the time always seems to feel right? Hopefully this advice from Evelyn Millis Duvall’s 1956 Facts of Life and Love for Teen-Agers will help answer this question.
1956: That Goodnight Kiss
In many communities, a goodnight kiss is expected as the customary way of ending a date. It is usually enjoyable to both boys and girls, especially if they both know what it signifies. A goodnight kiss can mean any number of things. It may be the way a girl says ‘Thank you’ to the boy for giving her a good time. It may be a way of saying, ‘I like you.’ It may signify their special awareness of each other as dating boy and girl friends. It might just be a way of saying, ‘Come again.’ Or it may be a very special token of genuine affection. What it means depends upon the two persons and their definition of their relationship and of themselves.
Most girls, and boys too, agree that the first date is too soon for a goodnight kiss. Girls say that it seems too easy when it closes the very first date. Boys sometimes confess that they will try to kiss a girl the first time they take her out but that they really do not expect her to allow it, especially if she is the kind of girl they respect. Both boys and girls generally feel that a couple should have seen each other long enough to have become somewhat better acquainted than is possible after just one date, before they kiss each other.
How many dates before the first kiss? This is a good question, but hard to answer precisely. It depends upon the persons involved, how they feel about each other, how well they know each other, and what kissing means to them. Some couples date for a long while and never are particularly interested in kissing. They may enjoy each other’s companionship but do not feel the need of expressing their interest that way. Kathy liked Tom a lot. They had great fun together on bike trips on Saturday afternoons and playing together in the school band. Yet she never thought of him as a kissing partner, somehow. Not that he was repulsive; just that he was a pal, a friend, a comrade, whose contact with her was such that kissing him never entered her head. Perry on the other hand had swept her off her feet and she was ready to kiss him goodnight long before he took the initiative.
Source: Duvall, Evelyn Millis. Facts of Life and Love for Teen-Agers. New York: Association Press, 1956.
~ p. 169-70 ~