Nonverbal communication and kissing

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Nonverbal communication and kissing Empty Nonverbal communication and kissing

Post by Kiskadee on Thu Oct 22, 2015 7:59 pm

Hi, I haven't really been on the site at all lately, things have been so busy, but after a pretty stressful night I was hoping someone might answer a question (that hopefully hasn't been done to death here already)?

How can you politely refuse to kiss someone? I mean, I know you could just tell them not to, but it's hard with someone you've just met and you don't want to hurt their feelings. Will most women be offended or hurt and not want to see you again if you stop them?

I was on a first date last night, and meant to hug her goodbye, but she surprised me by going for a kiss instead. I tried to escape/give her the cheek, but she caught me, and apparently mistaking my unwillingness for awkwardness, she wanted to try again. I held still and let her because I have no spine, and feel like I never know best when it comes to dating anyway.
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Post by eselle28 on Thu Oct 22, 2015 8:24 pm

Oh, I'm really sorry she kissed you when you didn't want to be kissed. That sucks.

The only non-verbal cues I know of are stepping back and turning a cheek, which it sounds like you did. Frankly, someone who doesn't pick up on the combination of the two isn't likely to respond to any non-verbal communication on the subject and might be purposefully ignoring it, which studies have shown is often the case with people who ignore soft nos. If you still have some interest in getting to know her better, I'd suggest keeping a really close eye on whether she can respect other boundaries or whether this is typical behavior for her.

As for being hurt or offended, some women will be and some women won't. If you're not big on physical contact on the first date, the latter category of women might not be super compatible with you anyway, and it might be more of a screening device than anything.That being said, I think you're more likely to transition from declining a kiss to going on another date if you follow up the non-verbal refusal with a script where you affirm you had a good time and mention that you don't kiss on the first date or that you like to get to know women before kissing or something like that. I think that even some people who are good at respecting boundaries would take declining a kiss as a sign the other person isn't interested at all rather than an invitation to talk about boundaries, so adding some words to things would probably help the situation.
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Post by Caffeinated on Fri Oct 23, 2015 2:13 pm

I think it depends on what you mean by "politely".

If you mean that you're worried that she'll get the idea that you're not interested in going on another date, when you just don't like kissing on the first date/before you get to know someone, then I think you probably can't do it nonverbally. Best in that case to say something before the end of the date, maybe toss it in earlier in the conversation, that you don't like to move too fast/kiss on the first date/get physical before you get to know someone better. That way she'll not expect to do something physical at the end of the first date, but won't take that as a sign of lack of interest.

If you mean that you're not against kissing on the first date, but just don't want to feel pressured to kiss someone you're not interested in seeing again, but also don't want there to be some kind of a big scene, then I think you'd want to handle it a little different. In that case, I think you could take a step back, put your hands up, and say something like "whoa" or "hold up now" or "that's my face". Something light like that. And if she were to move in to try again, there's taking another step back and going with "um, no thanks" or "too much". Or sticking your hand out for a handshake.

Someone who doesn't get/doesn't want to get that giving them the cheek means you don't want to kiss them will probably need some verbal communication.
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Post by Kiskadee on Thu Nov 05, 2015 5:41 pm

Belated thanks for answering!

What I mean was that I am against kissing on the first date, personally, but honestly it comes up so infrequently (like, this is the first time), and I have such low self-esteem that I feel like saying out loud on a first date that I don't want to kiss would be very presumptuous. Like, she's going to be think, "well that works, since I would never consider kissing you anyway, you arrogant jerk."

So I think I'll go with the advice to have a script or two ready for after a refusal, especially since I might have to reject even kisses I'm interested in due to an allergy to a very common food.
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Post by Kiskadee on Tue Nov 24, 2015 6:42 am

Aaah, this happened again! With someone else. I need to be more assertive, for real: in theory I believe in enthusiastic consent 100%, and that's how I treat others, but when it comes to me I feel like if I go out on a date I have to do whatever the other woman wants or I'm a weirdo.

I tried to gently tell her that I didn't really want to kiss, for my own reasons, but she wanted to anyway and I went along with it. Then she seemed upset that I didn't like it, and I tried to make her feel better. All around mess. Doesn't help that we are both super awkward. I'm kind of weird about kissing at the moment, because all experiences with it have been negative, and I'm not sure how to get past that.

Guess I'm mostly just venting - my friend definitely thinks I'm in the wrong here for hurting this woman's feelings, and that's probably right. I'm seriously considering a long break from dating since I don't want to lead people on but I do want complete control over my body (long story).
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Post by reboot on Tue Nov 24, 2015 10:56 am

You are not in the wrong at all. You felt pressured into doing something you did not want to do. My guess is the woman was upset because she thinks you did not like being kissed by her, not that you were not ready to kiss at all. Her pride/self-esteem was hurt. You might even be able to salvage the relationship, if you want, by letting her know that it was not her, it was that you were not ready for the relationship to get physical yet. One warning on this path, though, the stereotype of men always wanting everything physical all the time is strong. It might open you up to the type of shaming your friends are doing or worse.

As for laying off dating for a time, if you do it, use the time to practice being more assertive and enforcing your boundaries. Whether or not you ever date again, those skills will serve you well in the future.
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Nonverbal communication and kissing Empty Re: Nonverbal communication and kissing

Post by Kiskadee on Tue Nov 24, 2015 4:54 pm

reboot wrote:My guess is the woman was upset because she thinks you did not like being kissed by her, not that you were not ready to kiss at all. Her pride/self-esteem was hurt. You might even be able to salvage the relationship, if you want, by letting her know that it was not her, it was that you were not ready for the relationship to get physical yet.

Thanks, yes, I tried to tell her something like this at the time, and I think she understood, and is still in touch. I'm just super conflicted about her and things in general right now, and I'm not really sure yet how much of it is her and how much is just me. Like, I'm realizing I might be mostly demisexual, since I'm not physically attracted to hardly anyone I've just met, but I'm not ruling out the possibility that that's just the depression talking (which it has been doing loudly lately)

reboot wrote:One warning on this path, though, the stereotype of men always wanting everything physical all the time is strong.

Haha, I guess I should have specified that I'm a lesbian (and relatively feminine at that). I'm 28 but only started dating at 26. The friend I mentioned is also a woman, who is supportive but thinks I'm a bit of a baby about love.
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Post by reboot on Wed Nov 25, 2015 1:02 pm

Oops! Sorry Kiskadee. I totally mixed you up with another poster whose name starts with a K. My apologies!

So ignore all the gender stereotype things Smile
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Post by Kiskadee on Thu Nov 26, 2015 5:14 pm

No problem Smile I don't expect people to remember that.

As a side note though, I do think that these types of stereotypes are held by too many lesbians about other women. So it's not entirely off-base, just doesn't apply to my particular case.
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