No matter how many dates I go on, there’s one part of meeting a stranger that always makes me feel rather awkward.
The air kiss.
Do you go for one, or two? Which way do you start? What happens if you lean too close and clink cheekbones, or worse, both go the same way and smack heads?
It sounds silly but I’ve had far more awkward moments ‘kissing’ someone at the start of a date, than I ever have at the end!
I can’t remember when I first started greeting people with an air kiss. For all its pomp and decorum, I’m pretty sure most of the time we hugged others as a greeting at Cambridge, and that’s how I’ve always greeted most of my closest friends. It’s actually weird thinking about it, because it comes as such second nature that I barely notice doing it.
I know I have one friend who hates human contact, and so with the exception of her, I will hug most people I know relatively well.
At the start of dates, I have to admit I only ever used to go in for one kiss. Somehow it seems more formal, and business-like (not that you ever kiss anyone in the office?!). I think I would lead with a handshake, and then lean into a brief air kiss.
And that’s where the trouble begins, because if someone then instigates a second kiss and you’re not prepared, you get in all sorts of bother. They’re leaning in, you’re pulling away … cheekbones clash, or the air kiss is puckered in genuinely thin air. It all ends up feeling really awkward, and sets an uncomfortable tone for what should be a polite greeting.
Now, I’m a giggler, and someone who isn’t afraid to point out an awkward elephant in the room, so often my failure in the synchronised air kissing department has ended up breaking the ice.
I’ve gradually trained myself to always go in for two. Because if you always go for two, the person you’re kissing will never go in for an air kiss while you’re pulling away. Worst case scenario, they’re the one pulling away, which oddly, is a less awkward situation for you to be in!
I still occasionally stumble over it – mainly because, as I mentioned, once I know someone relatively well, I see a hug as more fitting … so they’re trying to avoid all contact and air kiss me, and I’m bear hugging them round the waist. But for the most part I know my kissing etiquette just about! (Apart from in Holland, where we were told they do three kisses! As if it wasn’t all complicated enough!!!)
Why am I telling you all this?
Because I don’t think I’m the only one who makes a tit out of myself in this way! Something proven on Friday at the Charity Auction when a bunch of RAF boys were laughing over whether we were doing one or two kisses. In the end, I was literally leaning in and whispering ‘I’m going for two’!
Again, an icebreaker of sorts!
My solution – ALWAYS GO FOR TWO, no matter how OTT and pompous you think it feels. If you go for two, you’re the one in the driving seat (unless you’re in Holland), and you can always make a joke of it by giving the receiver of the air kisses a head’s up in advance!
Also – avoid the face. An air kiss is just that – no actual contact. I used to try to briefly brush cheekbones, only to realise I have rather sharp cheekbones, and I’d end up coming away worrying that their face was stinging just as much as mine was!
And you thought just getting a date was complicated enough!! 😉
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx