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Addressing kissing mismatch

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Hi Dating Goddess,

I’m dating someone I’m very attracted to, and we have lots of good chemistry on a variety of levels. The only issue I feel the need to question is the way she kisses.

When I move in close to kiss her, she appears to retreat within herself and becomes passively accepting. She barely moves a muscle to kiss me back, so I feel like I’m kissing someone who is asleep. I’ve tried kissing her all kinds of ways — soft & hard, lips & tongue, dry & wet, shallow & deep, high & low, short & long, and yet she just doesn’t reciprocate. She’s otherwise a very sensitive and sensual person, and she says that connection and intimacy are important to her. She says she quite likes me and that she’s turned on when we kiss.

I had a therapist once who said this kind of behavior could be indicative of some kind of previous sexual abuse, so I wonder if that could be something. We haven’t been dating long, so it’s entirely possible she hasn’t told me of some traumatic experience in her past. Or maybe she’s just shy or just doesn’t like the way I kiss.

Equal participation and reciprocation is important to me in all areas of a relationship, and I feel that passive kissing is generally a bad sign that a person is not assertive enough to handle their side of the equation. It may be too early to have that discussion with her, but it’s the backdrop of why this is important to me.

I want to address this passive kissing before we go much further. I’m able to bring up “difficult” topics, I just don’t know how to approach this one. My first guess says be straight-forward and positive, “I enjoy kissing you, and I would love it if you kissed me back.” But that sounds kinda blunt.

Another approach is potentially invasive, “I notice that when I kiss you, you seem to freeze up. I’m wondering where you go when that happens and what your thoughts are.”

Any advice greatly appreciated, thanks!


Hi William:

How about starting just a tad softer with something like, “I love the sensuality of kissing and get quite turned on when my woman also seems to enjoy it. What’s your perspective on kissing?” Then you’re inviting her to share. You can even say, “What kind of kissing do you like?”

I’ve dated men who’s kisses didn’t turn me on or that actually turned me off. I said to one man overtly, “Let me show you how I like to be kissed.” That lasted a little while, but then we stopped seeing each other, but it wasn’t only about kissing.

So if you like her and feel it’s worth the effort, open the conversation!


Readers, what advice do you have for William?


For more info on dealing with challenging difficult dating situations, get your copy of Ironing Out Dating Wrinkles: Work Through Challenges Without Getting Steamed.

About Yury Zvyagolskiy

Yury Zvyagolskiy
In almost all American movies there is a bad guy who is usually Russian and his name is Yury. If the bad guy is not from Russia, his last name usually starts with Z. So here I am - Yury Z. My specialty is personal effectiveness. I am an expert in goal achievement, personal effectiveness, relationships and effective thinking.

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