Meeting friends’ girlfriends that you don’t know too well can be awkward. How do you greet them at those early meets? A handshake’s not on. I can’t do the handshake. Shaking a woman’s hand, to me, just seems very masculine and wrong. That leaves the continental style kiss on each cheek, which can, if you’ve only just met someone, come across as over familiar, and be fraught with danger. It’s all about the timing. If the timing’s off, then you’ve got a problem on your hands.
Recently, after meeting a very good mate’s girlfriend for the first time, (by the end of that first meeting she was calling me ‘Dan’, which I loathe), against my better judgement, I opted for the continental kiss and ended up kissing her on the lips. Awkward. Not half. It was her fault. All she had to do was proffer her cheeks. The left first, then the right. Simple. We both pretended it hadn’t happened. But even now, knowing her far better than I did that night, this kiss is still there between us. We both know it happened.
Another recent incident saw me and a mate’s girlfriend drag out a conversation to a painful degree – a shame as it had started so strongly and she laughed at several of my opening lines - as we both tried to weigh up whether we were going for the continental kiss or the handshake. Having seen her shake various friends’ hands that night, it was obvious which she favoured but she wasn’t getting my hand and a continental kiss was probably six months too soon for us.
Next time a mate’s introducing me to their new girlfriend, I’m just going to go with a ‘hello’ and perhaps on leaving, I’m thinking my exit could involve a fleeting hand on the small of her back. I’m contemplating piloting this during the summer. I’ll see. But I am, for now, putting the continental kiss on hold.
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