General Etiquette > Family and Children

Kissing on the mouth

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I guess since you've said non-verbal signals aren't working, that you've tried the constant head-turning?

Can you hold her by the elbows, and don't let her head near yours?
Or hug, put your head right past hers and give an enthusiastic air kiss, then launch straight into a greeting?

I would be stunned if someone kissed me on the mouth.

OP here. Thanks for the replies.  :)

Nice to know I'm not alone in the discomfort stakes on this one.

Have tried non verbal stuff (presenting my cheek *really* obviously). Expected she'd pick up on those cues but not so far (they've been married a few years). Have managed to dodge her a few times but she keeps doing it & has freakily fast reflexes or something.

Suddenly switching to a handshake (while a little tempting) would feel awkward at this point & probably hurt her feelings as well which I am trying to avoid. It is however something I've done with acquaintances who want to be more huggy/kissy than I prefer.

Think I'm going to have to say something to her and would really like some suggestions on what to say, how to approach.

Admit I chuckled over weeblewobble's suggestion that "If she protests that she wants some of that sugar, tell her that you're more comfortable with kisses on the cheek." Humour may in fact be the way to go. 

ETA. CakeEater posted at same time. Hadn't tried the elbow grab. May have to rehearse as a manouvre or there could be some accidental knocking of heads.

I don't think you have to make a big production out of a pre-emptive conversation. Just in the moment, turn your cheek and say, "I'm a bit more comfortable with cheek kisses, thanks!"

Maybe add, "I'm saving the sugar for my (romantic partner)."


I have a relative who wants to mouth-kiss me. I am wildly uncomfortable with this. I preemptively kiss her cheek, making it natural for her to then kiss my cheek.

I'm actually not a fan of the cheek kiss either, but in this case it works and it's much better than the alternative.

Tea Drinker:
If it's true for you (as it is for me) you might tell her "For me, that sort of kiss is romantic and/or sexual in nature. I'm not comfortable kissing someone I'm not dating on the mouth."

If she then protests that she doesn't mean it that way, you can agree and say "I know you don't. That's exactly why I don't want to kiss you that way."


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