You’ve locked eyes. You’re moving closer. Your heart is beating faster. And now you would like to take your lips and push them against other lips and hold them together with the option to get your tongue involved. It feels pretty good, actually. So good, in fact, you forget to ask, “What possessed me to do this?” “Why do people kiss?”
Kissing scientists, or philematologists as they’re called, are somewhat conflicted on the issue…
It bonds us.
Some scientists argue that we’ve come to learn this behavior from our prehistoric ancestors who chewed and passed food to their babies mouth-to-mouth style. Even after the babies started teething, mothers would comfort their little ones by putting their mouths on their babies’ mouths.
It’s only natural.
Or, is kissing instinctive? Other species—like the bonobos —kiss each other after fighting and after meeting to establish close ties. Birds will touch bills and snails will rub each other’s antennae. Kissing-like behavior is popular among animals that want to cultivate social bonds–and pave the way for romantic relations down the road.
We’re secretly judging each other.
A third school of thought concludes that kissing is another way to evaluate a mate. Whereas the early stages of dating are dominated by external cues, kissing is your first foray into evaluating your mate on a deeper level. The close proximity allows you to sniff your potential mate’s pheromones; if you are able to subconsciously detect the right smell, you can get a sense of his or her genetic potential.
We want to seal the deal.
Finally, there’s an easier theory: people kiss each other because it feels good and it’s arousing. Men tend to initiate kissing before having sex to increase the likelihood of actually having sex. Women, however, tend to initiate kissing after sex to maintain a romantic bond.
Whatever prompts you to smooch—keep doing it! The answer to why do people kiss is easy… Lots of kissing is a tell-tale sign of a healthy and happy relationship.