The Verdict

When you were first married, you kissed your spouse more often (and longer) than you do now.

Your Sentence

Read this brief article and be willing to do the homework (best homework ever).

Warning #1

If you haven’t yet been married for a year, this article will be confusing and hard to follow. Please wait to read this until you are no longer a newlywed.

Warning #2

If you aren’t married, don’t start getting any crazy ideas. While our oldest is only 14, my wife and I are toying with the idea of having a “no kissing until 30” family rule. We haven’t totally thought this through yet, including the potential risk of delayed grandparenthood, but we think the rule has potential. 🙂

Your Life

Odds are, you’re busy. You have many responsibilities at home, at work, and likely in the community as well. You’re probably often tired. And, when you and your spouse are reunited, you quickly peck his (her) lips as you continue on with your hectic schedule.

The Problem

While you’re dealing with the business of life, your marriage still needs physical affection! It’s true that physical intimacy (including kissing) is just one of many aspects of a happy marriage. Yet in my years of studying, teaching, and observing marriage, it seems that physical intimacy isn’t optional for those who truly want to experience marital bliss.

Happy couples know that they need to nurture every aspect of the marriage relationship in order for their marriage to thrive. And while this intentional nurturing certainly involves more than just physical intimacy, and physical intimacy clearly includes more than simply kissing, this article focuses on the benefits of the six-second kiss!

The Research

Dr. John Gottman, PhD and renowned marriage researcher from the University of Washington, has studied marriage for decades. Dr. Gottman has frequently referenced the importance of connecting during times of departure (leaving for work, falling asleep, etc.) and times of reunion (returning from work, waking up in the morning . . . you get the idea.). How does he recommend that you connect with your spouse? You guessed it! With a six-second kiss. Why six seconds? According to Gottman, this kiss is “long enough to feel romantic,” yet it doesn’t make the kids late for school :).

Did you know that kissing also releases oxytocin, which is the same hormone that is released when a woman breast-feeds her baby? This hormone is partly responsible for the connection and comfort that mothers and babies share with each other. This hormone can also help husbands and wives bond more as… drum roll please… you kiss more.

Gross Your Kids Out! (Secretly, They Like It)

My wife and I have been practicing the six second kiss for a while now. I told her it was research for a future article. 🙂 There are certainly times where we can enjoy a kiss without children being around. However, with five energetic children often hovering near their mother, my “good-bye kiss” and my “I’m home kiss” often have an audience. For years this show of affection has been met by loud resistance from our oldest son (now 11). Of course, being the sympathetic parents that we are, we have begun to either call his name before we kiss or prolong the kiss if he starts complaining. 🙂

On a more serious note, children really do crave the security of knowing that mom and dad love each other. Knowing that their parents enjoy kissing each other is one such assurance. So, you have my permission to “gross your kids out.” It’s good for you and good for them.

Homework Time

Alright, now it is time for one of the most enjoyable homework assignments you’ve ever been given. Your assignment is to kiss your spouse for at least 6 seconds at two different times during the day! Try this for one week. Then, before, during, or after your assignment, please leave comments with this article or on our Facebook page. I want to hear from you!

Also, if you haven’t already, please be sure to sign up for our newsletter (on our home page). That way you won’t miss out when we post new articles! And, if you like this article, share it with your married friends. Chances are they need to be kissing more too. 🙂


Please help us strengthen families by sharing this article with your friends and family! Likewise, to see more of Dr. Rob’s articles (as well as articles by Dr. Tim), please also check out the rest of our blog and our Facebook page.