That is the question.

When you greet friends, family or new acquaintances do you kiss hello? What is your protocol and personal preference?

Mine varies from person to person with an understanding of individuals gleaned over time. With my girlfriend V it is always a double cheek kiss ending in a hug. She is Spanish you see, so there is no point in doing anything unless it is with passion and flair.

My in-laws are also cheek kissers however my Mother-in-law most commonly kisses one cheek whilst my Father-in-law kisses both. This can cause confusion when greeting them one after the other, mistakes are often made, by me.

Then there are the air kissers. The aforementioned cheek kissers actually make contact with their lips to your cheek, but the air kissers do not. Now if you make contact with someone who is an air kisser you might be putting undue pressure on the air kisser to convert before they are ready. The majority of my friends would be in the air kisser category, possibly torn between the cultural customs they have experienced.

Then there are the non-kissers. The ones who just do not like the concept of kissing people hello. They are not only opposed to kissing strangers but also friends of many years standing. Friends D and J, a married couple, are some such friends.

We have known each other a long time and the topic has been raised in casual conversation. I understand it. However I am not adverse to a bit of juvenile ribbing and give the occasional hello kiss on special occasions such as weddings, birthdays and the birth of babies. Always ensuring I mention I remember how much they LOVE hello kisses. They are good sports thankfully.

A newer dilemma for me has arisen with the rise of social media. I have had the pleasure of getting to virtually know some friends to a greater degree than previously attainable before meeting in person. So what then should one do when meeting these people in person for the first time? The familiarity that has developed from online communications calls for a kiss if you are a kisser like me but that may be taking liberties they are uncomfortable with.

So I find that like most things in life when in doubt, ask. Prior to meeting I just ask people if they are a kisser or not. Most have an answer readily available and for those that don’t, you can’t go wrong by showing restraint and just shaking their hand.

So tell me, do you kiss?