The voice mail message sat on my home phone answering machine for over a week before I listened to it.
“Hi Nadia, this is Z. We went out once or twice. Hope you are well. I wonder if you have 10 minutes to talk. I have a rather awkward question to ask you.”
I listened to the message twice. I was confused and a bit alarmed. Mr. Z and I had briefly dated about 3 years ago. We got together 4 or 5 times. One time we attempted the 36 questions. I liked him but could not imagine a future with him due primarily to his religion-based lifestyle. I didn’t want to ghost him so when he called one day to arrange a date I told him the truth and said goodbye.
I racked my brain wondering what the awkward topic might be. My mind started making up all kinds of wild scenarios. I checked my medical files and was reassured that I had a clean STD-free bill of health. Oh, wait; I didn’t have sex with Mr. Z. Could I have some new STD that takes 3 years to develop? Oh, wait; I didn’t have sex with Mr. Z. So you see my bizarre and non-logical thought process. It was the word awkward that threw me. What could be awkward? Perhaps he was dating someone I know. There was only one way to find out. I needed to call him back.
“Hi Z,” I began, “Sorry about my delayed response to your message. I rarely listen to my home machine since it’s usually filled with sales calls.”
“No worries,” he said, “and thanks for calling back. I have an odd question to ask you,” he said.
“I’ve been dating someone for about a year and she’s a terrific person. But she’s not a very good kisser. We’ve talked about it – or tried to but I don’t have good language to describe to her what I want. I even gave her a book on kissing. But nothing has changed. Last weekend, I was thinking about it and I thought, who do I know who’s a good kisser. That’s why I called you. Also, because you’re a words person and I thought you might give me some language.”
I laughed. I was relieved (again, remember my weird thought process), somewhat flattered (he remembers my kisses 3 years later), and touched by Mr. Z’s heartfelt desire to attempt a “fix” with a woman he obviously cared about.
I shared my relief and worries about the nature of his call. “But we didn’t have sex,” he said. “I know,” I said, “it doesn’t make sense.”
I asked Mr. Z if his friend was offended when he gave her a book on kissing – or even during his talks with her about it. “No,” he said, “we’re able to be very honest with each other and we don’t take offense at suggestions.”
I can tell you right now that if a guy I was dating gave me a book on kissing I would be offended…but apparently (insert smiley face), I don’t need to worry about that happening.
The rest of our conversation was a brainstorming session led by me, Kissing Therapist. Just call me KT. “Do you think she likes kissing?” I asked. “Who doesn’t like kissing?” Mr. Z replied.
Kissing is not important to everyone. From my experiences and conversation with friends, some people just ‘aren’t that into it.’ They may enjoy sex but kissing is not that essential to them. Perhaps they grew up with a less than affectionate family. Oh, wait; I’m not a psychotherapist, just a kissing therapist. I happen to love kissing. And I think that’s a prerequisite for success.
I also suggested that Mr. Z consider whether his friend is a sensual person, a trait that I believe is associated with good kissing.
“Maybe you need to focus on her mouth – but not necessarily kissing,” I suggested, “try feeding her strawberries. Use your imagination.”
The more we talked about the kissing challenge, the more detailed were my suggestions. No, not everything goes in this blog post. After a few minutes I could tell that it was time to end our conversation. I suggested that Mr. Z might need a cold shower after we hung up.
We laughed. He thanked me for my suggestions and asked if I’d mind if he called me sometime with an update. I said that would be fine. Later I thought about our conversation. Women often say they train their male partners to be better lovers so I guess it’s reasonable to assume that a man could “train” a woman to be a better kisser. What do you think? Have you ever stopped dating someone because he was a bad kisser? Would you try to “fix” the situation before breaking up? Let me know.
Until next week, happy dating or not dating. And, hopefully, happy kissing.