French kissing

There are a few things that I have a hard time getting used to even close to 3 years after moving back to France. One of them is kissing… In France, people kiss each other on the cheeks to say hello and goodbye… Where I grew up, we give 3 kisses; in Lyon, it is 2; and I have been to places where it was 4! I just cannot get back into it.

When I first moved back, I really missed the American hugs… I like holding my friends close and I think that to this day, I still hug my mom every time I see here as well as kiss her… I like to hug my American friends cause I know they won’t mind if I jump in their arms… And there are a few French people who know that sometimes I really need a hug so they just let it happen… And I don’t mind kissing really close friends and relatives but that’s about it…

A little while back, this guy at work started wanting to kiss me hello… Once people start leaning in, there is no stepping back… So he got away with it once but now he’s on my radar and I make sure my body language is really clear on the fact that “there will be no kissing here, mister.” I guess I also have to admit that there are a couple of cute guys at work that I would not mind kissing hello and goodbye on a daily basis but the same way it is always the not-so-attractive ones who flirt with you on the street… well, you get my drift…

My point is, kissing people that you’re not really close with is just weird. They get to really invade your personal space and you get to really experience their personal smell… Kissing someone, even on the cheeks, still simply feels too intimate to me and sometimes, I just want to hold my right hand out even if it stuns some people. The worst part is when there is group of more than 5-6 people and you are somehow expected to go around and kiss everyone… That’s a lot of kisses!!! At my rowing club, everyone wants to kiss everyone and I feel a bit bad about it but I will just kiss the one who will lean in and will not move towards the one who just stay there… It know it is a little rude but in some ways, I don’t really know how to deal with it and I am not even sure I know what the rules are…

In short, if you want it, come and get it but you better smell good and be really cute! ;)


4 thoughts on “French kissing

  1. Yeah, this cheek kissing makes you confused when the person kisses right-left but you are used to the left-right and it can just get so awkward!


  2. I’m with you on my love for those big American hugs! The kissing always feels so much more intimate or invasive (depending on the other person). But when I complained about this to my French husband, he said he felt that pressing the entire length of his body against another person then squeezing felt much more intimate than touching cheeks. I’d never thought of it that way!


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