The Kissing Break - Help!!!


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So here's the situation: (Warning! Long story ahead. But bear with me!) ūüė≠

(I'm 25.)

     My boyfriend and I have been dating for six months, but he was already talking about marriage when we had only been dating for two. I entertained the idea for a while, thinking that it might be very nice to be married to this man; He's kind to everyone, he's thoughtful, he treats me like a queen, he's cogniscent of my needs and feelings and he's very slow to anger - usually.

     I say usually because last night for the second time in our relationship, he became angry.

     [[The first time was because I got sneak-attack kissed by an old guy friend from way back when (even though this guy knew that I was dating someone else and I was chatting with him on a friendly basis only.) It was on the cheek, and he ran away right after it and drove off. I felt shocked and guilty that that had happened so I called my boyfriend to tell him. He became angry and silent at first but later told me that his initial instinct was to hang up the phone because he was having spiteful thoughts. We were able to talk things through and he apologized for getting angry.]]

     This time, his anger was based on a little idea I had: A "kissing fast" of sorts.

     Let me preface my eagerness for this idea by saying that relationships and eternal marriage are very hard topics for me because my temple-sealed parents are considering a divorce after 26 years of marriage. They seemed so happy before and their marriage fell apart in just the last six years (I won't go into details as to why.) I can't ask dating or marriage advice of my parents because I've tried before and only recieved childish answers or the age old "I just don't know anymore."

The idea of marrying the wrong person or not having a strong foundation terrifies me even more now, so I decided to consult the Lord about it through prayer and read up on marriage and relationships on LDS.org. I wanted to know what could make a relationship successful and how to properly evaluate it. Soon, I remembered something:

  I had read somewhere that a good way to see where your emotional relationship is based would be to take a break from kissing. That way, you can take a step back and see what the other strengths and weaknesses of the pairing might be. I believe the source I read it from said the break would last three weeks, so I presented the idea to my boyfriend. 

     I told him that since I'm going to be staying with my aunt for a few months and she lives so close to his house, I'm most likely going to be seeing him every day. I told him that I wanted to cut out kissing for three weeks so that we can see if it's clouding anything we might have missed about one another. 

     He immediately became silent, then he started grumbling, so I explained that it was nothing personal. I just wanted to see how the relationship would be affected without kissing.

     More silence. So I said, "Two weeks?" 

     Silence.

"One week?"

He finally spoke. "I just think that kissing is an important part of the relationship. That would be like me saying, "Oh, we need to cut out scripture study together or talking about our feelings for a week."

     I told him that he was comparing apples to oranges. I said that cutting out the two things he mentioned would be counterproductive whereas cutting out the kisses for a week could actually be good for relationship evaluation. I would be very happy to find that our relationship was more heavily based on sharing emotions and our mutual love of the Gospel. 

     "We just need to adjust the pie chart a little." I said.

     He became mopey and upset and I told him that his reaction alone concerned me. 

     We took an hour or two to think about it, then he admitted to having grouchy and spiteful thoughts again. 

     We talked it out until we had nothing more to say, but now I'm still upset and I can tell that he's still upset.

     I'm questioning everything about our relationship now. Was I disillusioned the whole time? It certainly didn't start this way; We were great friends before we even shared a first kiss, so I thought our relationship could be strong.

     Am I in the wrong for wanting to do this break from kissing? :( If so, I'll just scrap the whole idea.

     

 

     

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My wife and I did that during our whole engagement (four months). ¬†I don‚Äôt think you‚Äôre in the wrong at all; and I think he‚Äôs just revealed something very interesting about himself to you‚ÄĒnot only about the physicality he expects from you; but about the way he‚Äôll treat you anytime you don‚Äôt agree with him.

Run away, girl.  

Edited by Just_A_Guy
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11 minutes ago, Vort said:

Just my own take, but I'm not sure couple scripture study is really appropriate for an unmarried couple. Not at all helpful to your question, I understand, so forgive the interruption.

Please elaborate! Why? I want to learn as much as I can and would appreciate any insights.

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6 minutes ago, Squoogie said:

Please elaborate! Why? I want to learn as much as I can and would appreciate any insights.

Purely personal feelings. I have no prophetic teachings or scriptural citations to back this up. I find my scripture reading with my wife to be something, I don't know, sort of intimate. Which I guess kissing is, too, but I'm not saying people should never kiss before marriage. So I don't know. Scripture reading as a couple strikes me as somehow out of bounds, kind of like an unmarried couple going on a "date" to the temple to attend an endowment session together. Such things just don't ring true to me. I guess they seem like a use of sacred things (temple attendance, scripture study) as a way of "playing house".

I'm sure I'm in the minority in this opinion, and perhaps I'm a minority of one. But that's how I feel, fwiw.

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Something an old friend told me before I was married, was that by doing a lot of really spiritual stuff together before having decided to get married you‚Äôre inviting confusion‚ÄĒam I feeling the Spirit because she‚Äôs The One; or am I just feeling the Soirit because I‚Äôm in the temple?

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11 minutes ago, Vort said:

Purely personal feelings. I have no prophetic teachings or scriptural citations to back this up. I find my scripture reading with my wife to be something, I don't know, sort of intimate. Which I guess kissing is, too, but I'm not saying people should never kiss before marriage. So I don't know. Scripture reading as a couple strikes me as somehow out of bounds, kind of like an unmarried couple going on a "date" to the temple to attend an endowment session together. Such things just don't ring true to me. I guess they seem like a use of sacred things (temple attendance, scripture study) as a way of "playing house".

I'm sure I'm in the minority in this opinion, and perhaps I'm a minority of one. But that's how I feel, fwiw.

I agree with you.

I was concerned about this when my son started scripture study with his then-Catholic girlfriend.  But then he ended up baptizing her a couple years later.  But then I thought that was an exception as he was helping her through her faith journey.

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55 minutes ago, Squoogie said:

He finally spoke. "I just think that kissing is an important part of the relationship. That would be like me saying, "Oh, we need to cut out scripture study together or talking about our feelings for a week."

     I told him that he was comparing apples to oranges. I said that cutting out the two things he mentioned would be counterproductive whereas cutting out the kisses for a week could actually be good for relationship evaluation. I would be very happy to find that our relationship was more heavily based on sharing emotions and our mutual love of the Gospel.      

Running with JAG's comments, this exchange reveals something interesting about you as well.  He shared openly how important kissing is to him, and compared it to something he figures would be of equal importance to you.  You respond by poo-pooing his perspective, basically telling him it's wrong.  

You want your relationship to be heavy on sharing emotions and mutual love of the Gospel.  
He is telling you he wants the relationship to have not a lack of physical stuff.  (He's not saying the whole relationship should be built on it, but that a certain amount should be there.)

So, are you telling him that kissing is gross and you don't want to do it?  Probably not.  Well, he's not saying reading scriptures and talking feelings are gross and he doesn't want to do it, either. He's saying the absence of physical affection in the relationship would feel something like the absence of talking about emotions.

And you dismissed his perspective, and entrenched in yours.

Yeah, you might want to give that some thought.

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Welcome to the site @Squoogie

You said that the whole idea of the Kissing fast was to step back and see the strengths and weakness of the relationship...  Congratulation Mission accomplished (and all you had to do was bring the subject up).  Sadly it seems your relationship is not as strong as you would have hoped.

Every couple has disagreements, every couple has rough patches, the fact that it happens is not in and of itself a deal breaker.  How the two of you handle the disagreements and rough patches can be though.

You are starting to see how he (and really both of you) deals with such (Both of you seem to be dismissive of the others concerns)... From what you see is this acceptable?  (Only you can answer that... and only you need to hear the answer to that)

 

 

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1 hour ago, Squoogie said:

     Am I in the wrong for wanting to do this break from kissing? :( If so, I'll just scrap the whole idea.

         

First of all - you have a very different view of anger than me.  The first day I met my husband he followed me down the freeway trying to catch me so he can get my number.  I got so mad, I pulled over to the side, angrily got out of my car, went to his car to beat him up (I'm an idiot), realized it was this guy I met earlier and started yelling my head off at him.  He still ended up marrying me a couple years later.  He's very good at ducking the plates I threw at him over the years.  Did I mention I'm an idiot?

Anyway, you're not wrong if you want to try something to determine where your relationship is headed.  It could be as stupid as - I'm going to stop wearing make-up and wear a sack cloth when I'm with my boyfriend to see if he just likes me because I'm pretty.  Even just his response gives you an idea of how he processes things in his head.  So, no kissing, sure.  His reaction gives you clues as to who he is.  Of course he's going to be upset - he likes to kiss you (fact #1 you gathered).  Now, how he deals with being upset is another clue - does he mope and then end up respecting your wishes?  does he mope, respect your wishes, then beg and plead to change your mind?  does he mope, disrespect your wishes and try to manipulate you to feel guilty for your decision?  does he drop you and go find another girl?  All these things give you clues as to his personality (those responses are not all bad).

Interestingly, this also gives you clues as to how you respond to him... "am I wrong, should I just scrap the whole idea?" is a response that gives you a clue.  Over the vast internet, this tells me something - you have a weak resolve.  This probably displays a lack of self-confidence which makes you easy to manipulate so self-improvement in that area would be needed.  But, like I said, I'm just spouting off my armchair over here on the other side of the internet not knowing you at all.

 

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14 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

Running with JAG's comments, this exchange reveals something interesting about you as well.  He shared openly how important kissing is to him, and compared it to something he figures would be of equal importance to you.  You respond by poo-pooing his perspective, basically telling him it's wrong.  

You want your relationship to be heavy on sharing emotions and mutual love of the Gospel.  
He is telling you he wants the relationship to have not a lack of physical stuff.  (He's not saying the whole relationship should be built on it, but that a certain amount should be there.)

So, are you telling him that kissing is gross and you don't want to do it?  Probably not.  Well, he's not saying reading scriptures and talking feelings are gross and he doesn't want to do it, either. He's saying the absence of physical affection in the relationship would feel something like the absence of talking about emotions.

And you dismissed his perspective, and entrenched in yours.

Yeah, you might want to give that some thought.

As much as I hate to quibble with my brony bud, I would note that in context boyfriend‚Äôs response doesn‚Äôt seem to be rooted in ‚Äúgosh, you‚Äôre right; and here‚Äôs another thing that might be clouding our judgment that we might also want to cool down on‚ÄĚ. ¬†This is a spoilt little boy throwing a tantrum because he might not be getting any action for a couple of weeks, so he gives the silent treatment until he comes up with a way¬†to retaliate.¬†

I‚Äôd bet some pocket change‚ÄĒand maybe a couple of wads of lint to go with it‚ÄĒthat kissing isn‚Äôt all this boy has tried to get OP to do.

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10 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

As much as I hate to quibble with my brony bud, I would note that in context boyfriend‚Äôs response doesn‚Äôt seem to be rooted in ‚Äúgosh, you‚Äôre right; and here‚Äôs another thing that might be clouding our judgment that we might also want to cool down on‚ÄĚ. ¬†This is a spoilt little boy throwing a tantrum because he might not be getting any action for a couple of weeks, so he gives the silent treatment until he comes up with a way¬†to retaliate.¬†

I‚Äôd bet some pocket change‚ÄĒand maybe a couple of wads of lint to go with it‚ÄĒthat kissing isn‚Äôt all this boy has tried to get OP to do.

In fairness, you only heard the side of the girl.

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59 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

As much as I hate to quibble with my brony bud, I would note that in context boyfriend‚Äôs response doesn‚Äôt seem to be rooted in ‚Äúgosh, you‚Äôre right; and here‚Äôs another thing that might be clouding our judgment that we might also want to cool down on‚ÄĚ. ¬†This is a spoilt little boy throwing a tantrum because he might not be getting any action for a couple of weeks, so he gives the silent treatment until he comes up with a way¬†to retaliate.¬†

I‚Äôd bet some pocket change‚ÄĒand maybe a couple of wads of lint to go with it‚ÄĒthat kissing isn‚Äôt all this boy has tried to get OP to do.

I don't think so. Based on what the OP wrote, her fiancé's reaction seems pretty appropriate to a mid-20s college student, and frankly much better than many that age would have done.

Here's a possible scenario playing out in fiancé's mind:

OP: I think we should stop kissing each other for three weeks.
Fiancé: What the...?
OP: Well, okay, how about two weeks?
Fiancé (looking into the future and wondering) :  What about when we're married, and she says, 'Hey, how about no sex for three weeks?'
Fiancé (voicing his thoughts) : That sounds like a pretty bad idea to me.
OP: What's wrong with you? Is that all I am to you -- a pair of lips? This is a GREAT idea!

I don't blame the OP, but I'm going to be slow to condemn her fiancé. In his position, I might be pretty unhappy, too.

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Ok, I am going to play devils advocate here and pretend I am the guy and you are my smoking hot girlfriend.

I am enjoying life, looking forward to seeing you, spending some time with you and yes, kissing you.  I enjoy everything about you.

Then out of the blue, you spring a kissing fast on me.  What in heck is my GF thinking?  Does she not like me?  I don't understand.  Is she mental?  Did I do something wrong?  Is she interested in another guy?

There could be many other thoughts racing through his mind.  You thought this kissing fast over a long time before springing it on him.

You are young.  He is young.  You both have youthful reactions to things that frustrate you.  He got angry and you are ready to throw in the towel.  Dang, dang, dang.  The both of you need to chill.  Seriously.

To you, you had time to mull it over for probably days.  In your mind it was absolutely the right thing to do.  You even get people here that will agree with you.  He on the other hand was essentially afforded no time to think it over.  He may actually agree with you given the chance to think about it.  

Was his reaction out of line?  Sure.  Was it uncommon?  I doubt it.   He does need to work on the anger issue a bit.  But consider this.  What is anger?  It is basically a heightened form of frustration...  The inability to get what on wants.  Tone it down a little and you are back to frustration.  He needs to figure out how to tone the anger back down to frustration before saying something.

What if he sprang a I don't think we should see or talk to each other for a month on you?  How would you feel?

And also consider this.  Has he been acting inappropriately with you?  If the answer is no, there will be a ton of confusion for him...  He will be thinking why are you trying to punish him when he hasn't done anything wrong.

There is a book called the 5 love languages and in it it theorizes that different people have different ways of feeling love.  Some feel it through physical contact.  Others through acts of service.  Others, gifts, etc.  My wife feels love through acts of service.  That is her love language.  She likes to show me love through acts of service for me.  I am a physical touch guy though.  Honestly, I appreciate the acts of service she does for me, but they don't impact me much.  I much rather her coming up to me and throwing her arms around me and squeezing me till my head pops off.

I would dare bet that he is more of a physical touch kind of person and you are not.  It isn't that you don't mind and or enjoy physical touch, but it probably does not hold the same significance to you as it does him.  So for you to go on a kiss fast may not be a big deal whereas to him it could be a pretty big deal.  And don't think someone is shallow for them liking the physical touch.  I put a lot of effort into doing acts of service for my wife so she will be inclined to give me my physical touch.  I don't particularly like doing acts of service, and she doesn't particularly like the physical touch.  But when I do those acts of service for her, I can see that she really appreciates it.  And when she hugs me she knows very well that I truly enjoy it and appreciate it.  And even though I am not a natural at acts of service and she not a physical touch type, we both happily do those things because it brings us true joy to see each other happy.  And if each other is happy, we are more likely to put more effort into showing love.

Sorry for being winded here, but hopefully I have given you a few things to think about.

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3 hours ago, Squoogie said:

Let me preface my eagerness for this idea by saying that relationships and eternal marriage are very hard topics for me because my temple-sealed parents are considering a divorce after 26 years of marriage. They seemed so happy before and their marriage fell apart in just the last six years (I won't go into details as to why.) I can't ask dating or marriage advice of my parents because I've tried before and only recieved childish answers or the age old "I just don't know anymore."

The idea of marrying the wrong person or not having a strong foundation terrifies me even more now, so I decided to consult the Lord about it through prayer and read up on marriage and relationships on LDS.org. I wanted to know what could make a relationship successful and how to properly evaluate it. Soon, I remembered something:

  I had read somewhere that a good way to see where your emotional relationship is based would be to take a break from kissing. That way, you can take a step back and see what the other strengths and weaknesses of the pairing might be. I believe the source I read it from said the break would last three weeks, so I presented the idea to my boyfriend. 

I'm going to zoom out here, to the MUCH bigger picture (^this).  

OP, I'm sorry you're parents (and you) are going through such a hard time.  Divorce is always a tragedy, even if sometimes better than the alternatives.   I TOTALLY understand your fears about want to make sure you "do things right"-- nobody wants to go through that tragedy and you want to go into dating/marriage with your head on straight.  I 100% get this and commend you for your valiant goals.  

If you and this boy are considering marriage, have you looked into pre-martial counseling?   It's a service wherein an experienced consular talks to you two, and 1) helps you build really healthy communication bridges and boundaries, 2) goes through an inventory of important topics to make sure they've been discussed between you, 3) provide that evaluation/wisdom/guidance you're seeking.  My (now) husband and I really benefited from this ourselves, and I've also seen it help many other couples.   I think such a service would also benefit you two to really build a strong foundation rather than the present course of action you're on.  

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1 hour ago, Vort said:

I don't think so. Based on what the OP wrote, her fiancé's reaction seems pretty appropriate to a mid-20s college student, and frankly much better than many that age would have done.

Here's a possible scenario playing out in fiancé's mind:

OP: I think we should stop kissing each other for three weeks.
Fiancé: What the...?
OP: Well, okay, how about two weeks?
Fiancé (looking into the future and wondering) :  What about when we're married, and she says, 'Hey, how about no sex for three weeks?'
Fiancé (voicing his thoughts) : That sounds like a pretty bad idea to me.
OP: What's wrong with you? Is that all I am to you -- a pair of lips? This is a GREAT idea!

I don't blame the OP, but I'm going to be slow to condemn her fiancé. In his position, I might be pretty unhappy, too.

I think there‚Äôs a significant difference between a married couple where one side or the other says ‚ÄúI‚Äôm going to unilaterally terminate sex just because I can‚ÄĚ versus an unmarried LDS couple where one side or the other says ‚ÄúI want to see what‚Äôs keeping¬†us together besides hormones‚ÄĚ. Certainly as a relationship¬†progresses there need to be open discussions about what sexual expectations would be after marriage; but at this stage in their relationship the guy has NO reasonable expectation of his¬†girlfriend‚Äôs physical ‚Äúservices‚ÄĚ in any way, shape or form. ¬†Obviously neither of us were there; but based on the OP‚Äôs statement her boyfriend‚Äôs¬†reaction to¬†her breaking the news to him, suggests he thinks otherwise¬†(I‚Äôm not sure the proposed¬†‚Äúshocked silence‚ÄĚ paradigm fits here since she does recall immediate grumbling). ¬†

Love languages are all well and good for preserving existing marriages and building relationships that *need* to exist for whatever reason; but when it comes to dating¬†it‚Äôs all about trying to find shared values and compatibility¬†and ruling out the potential¬†partners who would make marriage more work than it needs to be. ¬†Moreover, we have this second anecdote¬†about his being upset at her just because she was essentially the victim of a sexual assault‚ÄĒso upset, he darned near hung up on her(!). ¬†So what if his love language is physical contact? ¬†His status as a single person means he‚Äôs either never been in a romantic relationship,¬†or that every romantic relationship he‚Äôs had so far ended in failure. ¬†Maybe he should focus on basic things like ‚Äúrespect‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúempathy‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúlistening‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúnot going tit for tat just because a partner¬†said something you don‚Äôt like‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúnot trying to guilt¬†a partner into showing love‚Ä̬†before he starts forming expectations¬†about how his partner is supposed to cater to his specialized physical needs.

Taking all factors together, I‚Äôm seeing BIG red flags all over this. ¬†If this childish, possessive, manipulative, drama-queening horndog¬†is representative of the Melchizedek Priesthood-holding RMs of our rising generation, then may the Lord help us all. ¬†But I thus far have a more optimistic view of the Church‚Äôs corps of single RMs; and I submit that the¬†OP doesn‚Äôt need someone who will eventually ‚Äúgrow out‚ÄĚ of his proprietary attitude about women. ¬†She needs someone who just plain never treated her¬†like that to begin with.

Edited by Just_A_Guy
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1 hour ago, Just_A_Guy said:

Moreover, we have this second anecdote¬†about his being upset at her just because she was essentially the victim of a sexual assault‚ÄĒso upset, he darned near hung up on her(!). ÔĽŅ

That's the incident that caught my attention most.  Both of them could be justified in being upset at sneak-kisser (OP more than her BF), but the BF getting angry at OP because someone kissed her on the cheek without her consent? :rolleyes:

But I'm trying to stay out of this because it appears to be about human-human relationships.  Let me know when we get to the human-android relationships (and I'll tell you I can't help there either).

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7 minutes ago, zil said:

That's the incident that caught my attention most.  Both of them could be justified in being upset at sneak-kisser (OP more than her BF), but the BF getting angry at OP because someone kissed her on the cheek without her consent? :rolleyes:

But I'm trying to stay out of this because it appears to be about human-human relationships.  Let me know when we get to the human-android relationships (and I'll tell you I can't help there either).

That's not how I read the account.  I read the account as the BF getting so angry at the the perp he wanted to hang up so he can get hold of his emotions.  My husband would do the same thing minus the hang-up.  He'd go ballistic and demand I give him a complete description of the guy and where he can be found.  I'll have to calm him down.

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Just now, anatess2 said:

That's not how I read the account.  I read the account as the BF getting so angry at the the perp he wanted to hang up so he can get hold of his emotions.  My husband would do the same thing minus the hang-up.  He'd go ballistic and demand I give him a complete description of the guy and where he can be found.  I'll have to calm him down.

Either way, you're married.  They aren't - they're not even engaged.  And it was her cheek.  So unless we're talking about her gluteous cheekimus, I'm not sure it warranted nearly the reaction it appears to have gotten.

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7 minutes ago, zil said:

Either way, you're married.  They aren't - they're not even engaged.  And it was her cheek.  So unless we're talking about her gluteous cheekimus, I'm not sure it warranted nearly the reaction it appears to have gotten.

No.  My husband - even when we were just good friends - if he found out some guy snuck an unwelcome kiss and I confided to him about my displeasure would go pound the guy.  Basically, if it bothered me enough to confide in him about it, it would bother him enough to go want to pound the guy.

Edited by anatess2
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I'm seeing the points in all sides of these comments, so thank you all for your input. It means a lot that you're trying to dissect this.

One thing that I probably should have mentioned before is that this is his first exclusive relationship. He's gone on a lot of dates in the past, but I'm his first real girlfriend he's ever committed to.

Today I talked to him about our argument and he said that his initial thoughts were, "What? The other aspects of our relationship weren't good enough already? I haven't been doing enough for her? It's already been two weeks since we've seen each other already and now she wants to go another?" 

So some of you were absolutely right that I should have considered how he was feeling or what he must have been thinking.

I explained to him that I just wanted to see how our relationship would fare refraining from kissing if we were actually in close proximity to one another. We kiss a lot. And I was starting to get worried about it because we HAVE started giving longer kisses; Even straying into the territory of passionate kissing. Hence, the want for a shift in the pie chart. I also failed to mention that we had already talked about the dangers going too far with kissing several times prior to me bringing up this break. So he's recognized it too, and this break wasn't necessarily 100% out of the blue. 

Edited by Squoogie
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