Dump or Fix a Bad Kisser?
Q: I'm dating a guy who's great in every way except the way he kisses. I don't know if I can stand dating him because of this problem, seriously! He sticks his whole tongue all the way to the back of my throat, and I can't move or breathe! This is not fun! How do I tell him he's a bad kisser? Or do I just break it off? Why hasn't anyone told him so far? I guess they say you can teach a guy to kiss better, but I don't know if I can stand even one more time without gagging! Help! - Hillary, 38
Dr. Susan: I personally had two experiences with bad kissing. I think they must have both been new at it. One was like your guy in his style, but once he was told, he learned to be less overwhelming. The other was a guy whose tongue seemed to have a mind of its own: his kisses didn't feel like his mind was attached. Too much movement without enough genuine passion. Hard to explain. That guy wasn't worth keeping, as the relationship was brand-new and not that promising anyway. I imagine he went on to inflict himself on others.
For you, I'd suggest saying something (quickly!), like, "Whoa, when you use your whole tongue like that, I can't breathe." Don't call him a bad kisser, just let him know that you don't like that gagging feeling, but you like HIM a lot, and could he take it easier? His reaction will tell you a lot. If he's offended, it might be time to get out. If he asks you to show him what you like, great. If he improves, he could be a keeper.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.