Give Kisses, not XXX’s

I have never been one of those people who put kisses on the end of every text message. In the past people have told me off for ending a text message with a full stop instead of an x. They have asked me if they have done something to deserve the apparent lack of affection I show in text messages. It’s not that I am cold and have no affection, I just don’t see the point in rows of x’s and prefer to put a smiley face instead. I think we should get in the habit of giving actual kisses, rather than x’s, after all didn’t X mark the spot? What spot? Why an X?

The phonetic sound of the letter X sounds similar to the word kiss and the shape of an X can be interpreted as two mouths joining together in a kiss. In the UK, there are “rules” for the amount of x’s or xo’s you should leave for different types of people. These can be interpreted in different ways, but I think the general rules are:

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx – little brother/sister gone a bit OTT

xoxox – hugs and kisses for friends

xxx – for close family, boy/girlfriends, people you love

xx – for close friends, other family members and a good middle ground between one kiss and three

x – for friends

– enemies, people you are angry with, your boss

I pretty much always use the latter for everybody I text.

I don’t understand where these kisses on the end of messages came from. In the UK we prefer handshakes and waves when greeting our friends. When British people do give kisses, it’s often awkward with people not being sure which cheek comes first…is it one, two or three…and do you rest your hand on their shoulder or their hip?

Kisses aren’t all that bad though. I know us Brits are very happy in our own personal space and when strangers try to invade this things can get uncomfortable…


but I think it’s a nice way to greet people. I remember when I was living in Chile and every morning at school I would have to walk around the staffroom kissing everyone it seemed like a huge, pointless task (that would be repeated later in the afternoon at hometime) but now I see the benefits of it. It’s so much more social than a 2 second wave and glance around the room. By going to each person and giving them a little kiss on the cheek you get to give everyone eye contact, learn new people’s names and it’s just nice to have a one on one interaction with everybody. Yes it takes a little time but put the effort in with your friends and stop pressing the x on your keyboard.

Here are some pictures of cute kissing animals!

Afterthought: On the rare occasions when I do put kisses on text messages it means you’re very special to me!

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