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6 second kiss Gottman

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The Magic of the 6 Second Kiss

It would be a little awkward to start a stopwatch every time you lean in for a kiss, but it turns out there may be some method to that madness. While most kisses shared between long-term partners are short and sweet – a brief one on the way out to work, a quick thank you for washing the dishes – it might be worth adding a little extra time. Turns out one of the keys to a better relationship is something as simple as a 6 second kiss.


6 seconds sounds short, but in the moment, if you’re focusing on that stopwatch ticking next to you, it can feel much longer. According to Dr. John Gottman, “it’s long enough to make a moment of connection with our partner. It stops the busyness in your brain and puts your focus on your partner at that moment”.

The 6 second kiss is long enough to feel romantic and acts as a temporary oasis within a chaotic and fast-paced day which creates a deliberate break between the hustle mentality many of us are stuck in. 

In fact the 6 second kiss, he adds, it can be an exercise in mindfulness.

6 second kiss

The benefits of the 6 second kiss

It sounds too easy to be helpful, doesn’t it? But here are some of the things the magical 6 second kiss can do for your relationship, according to Dr Gottman:

  • It can build a ritual of connection.
  • It can create an opportunity for physical touch.
  • If your partner has initiated, then it’s turning towards your partner.
  • It boosts fondness and admiration.
  • It builds appreciation between you.
  • It can increase your love maps of your partner’s kissing style.
  • It adds to your emotional bank account.
  • It can lead to sex.
  • It can be self-soothing.
  • It can reduce cortisol (the “stress” hormone) and boost oxytocin (the “love” hormone).

If you’re already a fan of Gottman’s work, you’ll notice that this simple act links to many other fundamental Gottman principles. If you have no idea what some of these points mean, click through them to learn more about how to connect meaningfully with your partner.

The Gottman website, which boasts a myriad resources and homework tasks for those looking to build better relationships also has this to say:

“A 6 second kiss is one of the least time-consuming ways to improve things with your partner. In fact, if you have two kisses per day the total time per week amounts to less than 90 seconds”.

So grab that chapstick and get kissing, folks! It’ll only take you 6 seconds.


Relationships are difficult for a number of reasons, and involve a lot of problem-solving and teamwork. The 6 second kiss is one of the simpler strategies to add to your routine if you’re looking to build intimacy with your partner.

It involves no long, difficult talks, you don’t have to spend a cent. All it takes is a few seconds more to connect physically with someone you love in between the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

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