Kissing helps us size up potential partners and may even be a way of getting a partner to stay.
The importance of kissing in long and short-term relationships was assessed by a team from the Department of Experimental Psychology at Oxford University.
Women were more likely to rate kissing as important in a relationship than men.
Both men and women in short-term relationships and casual encounters rated kissing as important.
Rafael Wlodarski and Professor Robin Dunbar found that kissing’s importance changed for people according to whether it was being done in long-term or short-term relationships.
Particularly, it was rated by women as more important in long-term relationships.
In short relationships, survey participants said kissing was most important before sex, less so during sex, was less important again after sex and was least important at other times.
In committed relationships, where forming and maintain a lasting bond is an important goal, kissing was equally important before sex and at times not-related to sex.
More frequent kissing in a relationship was linked to the quality of a relationship, while this wasn’t the case for having more sex.
The results came from an online survey in which over 900 adults answered questions about the importance of kissing in both long and short-term relationships.
The researchers report their findings in two papers, one in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior and the second in the journal Human Nature, both published by Springer.