On social media, what’s old is often new again. Or at least new to you. And this is never a bad thing when it comes to signal boosting relationship advice. Recently, TikTokers began sharing their love for a simple marriage hack first offered by author and relationship expert Dr. John Gottman. Called “The Six-Second-Kiss”, it’s an easy way to increase intimacy and connection.
The “Six-Second Kiss” has been blowing up on TikTok ever since Alexandra Fine, who posts as @afinehuman, shared her enthusiasm for the hack, saying that, “it’s an act you can do every day that builds intimacy that doesn’t involve talking or problem solving.”
Since Fine’s May 12 post, the Six Second Kiss spread, with users opening up about their experience with it. @aleigh_loves_jayden_2 shared a story about how she and her boyfriend tried the kiss after an argument and it enabled them to talk through the problem. “Start doing the six second kiss,” she wrote. “I promise it’ll help your relationship.”
The Six-Second Kiss suggests that partners should have one kiss that lasts for at least six seconds per day every day. The idea is that small pecks on the lips, while fine, are not substantial enough to stir up all the feel-good chemicals that help sustain connection and intimacy. So, you can think of the the Six Second Kiss as a more mindful approach to kissing, one that asks us to make intentional what can easily become thoughtless. Relationship experts agree that the tactic is well worth implementing.
“The Six-Second Kiss helps maintain connection by providing physical contact, which leads to an increase in feelings of love and intimacy,” says Ian Jackson, the clinical director at Recovery Unplugged. “It also allows both partners valuable time to reconnect with each other before continuing on with life’s demands. Instead of jumping straight from one responsibility or task to another without pausing to share a moment together, the Six-Second Kiss gives you that moment.”
However, physical contact is only part of the equation: communication. Kissing for longer can open the pathways to better communication and verbal expressions of affection.
This is why Dr. Gottman suggests saying some sweet things to your partner before and after the kiss.
“Sharing something positive with each other like ‘I love you’ or ‘I'm so happy to be with you.,’” says Kalley Hartman, a licensed marriage and family therapist. “Acknowledging each other in this way during the kiss can help affirm your partner and create a strong bond between you both.”
By taking these extra few seconds to connect each day, partners can be present with each other and connect in a deeper, more meaningful way, experts say.
“During this timeframe, individuals move past the notion of ‘kissing for the sake of kissing’ and head towards a greater awareness of the pleasure and connection derived from the act,” says Jenae Stainer, LCSW. “This experience triggers the release of oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin, among other hormones, which help reinforce feelings of love while lowering stress, fostering deeper emotional connections, and enabling the development of positive associations with a romantic partner.”
Ultimately, Stainer adds, these physiological responses contribute to the strengthening of the relationship. “There is a behavioral response involved where attention and physical intimacy are recognized between both partners, helping to show mutual appreciation and adoration, which can go a long way in the relationship.”
So, do yourselves a favor and try the Six-Second Kiss. It’s truly a low-on-effort, big-on-results ritual that can pay big dividends in your relationship.
Two More Relationship Exercises That Increase Connection
In addition to the Six-Second Kiss, there are other ways that couples can give their relationship an intimacy boost. Here are three additional love hacks to keep the connection strong.
- The 20-Second Hug: Similar to the kiss, this habit involves partners hugging for a full 20 seconds, which releases a lot of the same endorphins as a six-second kiss. “Through the embracing sensation, more warmth is shared and felt by partners, fostering a sense of security, which lowers heart rate and helps prevent cardiovascular issues,” says Stainer.
- The Daily Check-In: Taking a few minutes each day to check in with each other and share feelings can be a great way to forge stronger bonds and keep each other engaged. “This can be done over dinner, through text, or even on the phone,” says Jackson. “The most important thing is that it’s a consistent practice and that both partners are heard.”