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What about Kissing during dating? Is it okay to passionately kiss someone you’re dating?

If we were living during the time of the early church, we would see a lot more kissing go on. It was part of the standard greeting between people that were in community. I think it is appropriate to express physical affection while you are dating. The physical aspect of attraction is one part of attraction alongside emotion, spiritual and intellectual. I certinaly don’t hear any kissing embargo in the Bible.

That said, kissing or any of the physical aspects of relatoinship need to line up with the emotional, intellectual and spritual aspects as well. Not that these four components will always be totally equal, but they need to be close. For example, if you are making out with someone but cannot have any sort of intelligent conversation where one person is actually listening and interested in the other, then back off the physical.

One popular conservative critique of kissing is that it works much like a gateway drug. That is to say, it’s called first base for a reason and it’s never the goal to stay at first base. However, I tend to think that we are capable of being able to exercise self disipline in this manner, but we do so understanding that self-discipline is difficult. We are animals, yes, but we’re people capable of moving beyond mere instinct.

Ultimately, I think I would encourage young couples to talk more about what they expect physically including naming the boundaries that each wants to honor in a dating relationship. If you talk about your physicaI relationship with other people, but not with the person you’re dating, perhaps an indication that things are off emotionally and/or otherwise. I think talking more about expectations in the phyiscal aspect of relationship allows for a freedom that’s appropriate proactively, instead of getting carried away in any given moment on the couch.

So, go ahead and kiss, show affection to this person that you are getting know on several different levels, but be okay with the single in the courting stage of a relationship, instead of swinging for the fences. And be sure that physical aspect of your relationship is one that you are dialoguing about and that is going at an equal pace with the rest of your relationship.

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One response

  1. Again, I think a huge consideration that is frequently overlooked is: why are we looking for the fence? This was touched on at the INN I believe by those guest speakers we had…but if a couple is asking "how far is too far" then they're already in an unhealthy place relationally. As I'm continuing to learn, romantic relationships and how we define them are incredibly complex and personal. The terms we use are defined differently by different people, and even then, often inconsistantly. As you said, it's something that should be couples should openly discuss. "What is God honoring? What is the purpose of our relationship? Is this self-satisfying or character-enhancing?" Communication is key. And whether a couple kisses or not should definitely be up to that couple. There should be no universal rule. (Sorry Josh Harris)

    August 9, 2009 at 5:48 am

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