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Meaning of A Kiss on the Cheek

Cheek kissing, they say, is the mother of all kinds of kissing. This is because everyone kisses someone on the cheek.

Notice how many people have given you a peck on your cheek.

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Your parents or guardians may have given you many kisses on the cheek as a child. As well as giving and receiving this kind of kiss from others in the family, you have also received it from your significant other at some point.

A kiss on the cheek is practically meant for everyone, which is why it is also referred to as a ritual or a social kiss. Others would even go as far as calling this kiss a platonic kiss as it is often innocent and sweet.

But what exactly is the meaning of a kiss on the cheek?

A Hello or Goodbye

hello and goodbye kiss

As it is a social kiss, a kiss on the cheek normally occurs when one wants to say hello or goodbye to another person. When in a social gathering, you kiss someone on the cheeks maybe twice. Or maybe you find yourself kissing your parents or partner on the cheeks at least twice a day.

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Try to remember the first thing you do when you arrive at a social gathering. Most likely, you end up giving the hosts, your friends, and even acquaintances a peck as soon as you arrive. Many people would go as far as kissing everyone on the table on their cheeks upon arrival.

Some cultures even consider it rude when one doesn’t kiss on the cheek to say hello.

Many parents also require their kids to announce their arrival at home by kissing them on the cheeks. The same can be said of romantic partners as many couples prefer that they acknowledge each other’s presence by kissing on the cheeks.

Many also give kisses on the cheek when saying goodbye.

Notice how many guests at a party would say their goodbyes and kiss their hosts and other friends. Parents and partners may also have this rule where they ask their kids or partners to kiss them before heading out of the house.

To Say Congratulations

Couple are happy for pregnancy

 Kissing on the cheek is also a non-verbal way of congratulating someone.

Imagine yourself seated among friends in a gathering. Then one of your friends or family members announces some good news like an engagement or pregnancy. Most likely, the friend who made the announcement was given a peck by people attending the gathering.

Various gestures are used to congratulate winners in a contest or competition. These can include shaking the winner’s hand or kissing them on the cheeks.

A kiss on the cheek is also a way of showing how happy or proud you are of another person’s good fortune.

To Show Support

Many people also show their support to friends, family members, or significant others who are going through difficult times by kissing them on the cheeks. Usually, the kiss is followed by a loving and warm hug along with back rubs.

Typically, the kiss will be quick but the hug may be longer. Kissing someone on the cheek and hugging them for quite some time signifies that you are ready to stand with the other person until he or she is steady on their feet or feeling much better.

To Express Gratitude

son kisses mom

Many also kiss another person on the cheek as a way of saying thank you. For example, a friend may have given you a nice token such as tickets to an already sold-out concert or event. You may be overwhelmed with gratitude and you jump out of your seat to kiss your friend as a way of saying thank you.

Kids also do this a lot to their parents. Some children are overcome with happiness when their parents announce that they have something they have always wanted.

Perhaps, a child has been asking for a vacation somewhere or a bike. Aside from jumping with joy, they head to their parents to kiss them and say thank you.

Many parents also encourage their offspring to accompany their word of thanks with a kiss on the cheek.

For instance, if an uncle or aunt brought them some gift, the parents would often ask the child “What will you say?” to prompt the child to say thank you. After which, the parent may also tell the child “ Won’t you give aunt a kiss to say thank you?”

In Early Stages of Dating

Gratitude kiss

Unlike other kinds of kisses, a kiss on the cheek is the most common and safest option in the early stages of dating.

On a first date, you may be kissing the other person on the cheek, if you’re not receiving one. In this case, the kiss could mean several things.

It might signify that your date had fun and would like to do it again. A kiss on the cheek could also be a platonic one and is a way of saying, I have no plans of taking this relationship further.

If a lady plants a kiss on your cheek, perhaps she is showing some boldness. After all, there’s always the traditional school of thought that a real lady should wait for the man to be the one to make the first move such as kissing even if it’s just on the cheek.

A lady may be saying that she’s feeling comfortable enough to break society’s rules especially since you have given her a grand time.

To Express Adoration

Adoration kiss

Ever noticed how some parents would plant multiple kisses on their child’s cheeks? Or how a man or woman would give several pecks on the cheek to his or her partner? In both instances, the parent or lover cannot seem to give enough kisses to the child or the partner.

In such cases, kissing on the cheeks is a way to express one’s adoration and love for the other. Kissing someone on the cheeks consecutively shows how the person is experiencing an overwhelming feeling of adoration for another person.

Wanting Something More Intimate

Many couples also start their lovemaking by planting kisses on each other’s cheeks. This is then followed more intimate forms of kissing.

A peck on the cheek is sometimes seen as a way of expressing love and as an invitation to more intimate sexual activity.

A Painful Goodbye

Meaning of kiss on the cheek

Sometimes, a partner says goodbye after realizing that his or her feelings have changed.

During the breakup, one might lean over to plant a kiss on the cheek as a way of saying goodbye. Since the person initiating the breakup no longer feels intimately connected to the other person, a kiss on the lips would be inappropriate.

On the other hand, a kiss on the cheek, especially if the lips are lingering longer on the cheek is also a way of saying, “I adore you but it’s time to say goodbye.”

Wrapping Up

A kiss on the cheek is one of the most common gestures you will see anywhere regardless of culture. It could also mean a variety of things.

Kissing on the cheek can happen among family, friends, and lovers and could signify familiarity, closeness, or intimacy.

Kisses on the cheeks could convey positive emotions like gratitude, happiness, or excitement. Landing kisses on someone’s cheek could also mean something sad like saying goodbye for good.

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Dani Rhys
Dani Rhys

Dani Rhys has worked as a writer and editor for over 15 years. She holds a Masters degree in Linguistics and Education, and has also studied Political Science, Ancient History and Literature. She has a wide range of interests ranging from ancient cultures and mythology to Harry Potter and gardening. She works as the chief editor of Symbol Sage but also takes the time to write on topics that interest her.