Hand kisses aren’t the answer to everything; their effect depends on the context. Done properly, they often serve as an act of old-school courtship and romanticism.
People unfamiliar with hand kissing often struggle with its proper etiquette, particularly those traveling abroad where it is customary. Here is how to kiss someone’s hand appropriately:
Offer the hand
Kissing hands is an age-old ritual with multiple meanings and can serve many different functions. Aside from showing affection, kissing the hand can also express respect and show loyalty – often reserved for older individuals like grandparents, parents and relatives; teachers as well as any others who have achieved high standing in life can receive this gesture too. There are some guidelines when kissing the hands – it should only be done between close friends in private; no gloved hands may be kissed nor should women who are married use this gesture!
Even with these rules in place, kissing one’s hand may not always be appropriate. Some individuals may not appreciate such intimate behavior in light of Covid-19. Those who do not want their hand kissed may prefer alternative greetings such as high fives or hugs instead; others may view kissing as appropriating territory.
Hold the hand
Holding her hand can be an easy way to develop intimacy with your partner and express interest in more physical contact. Be careful, though – do so gently so as not to harm her or make her uncomfortable.
If you feel confident, try lightly touching her wrist with your fingers – this will reassure her of your willingness for physical intimacy and make her feel secure. This technique works particularly well during awkward silences.
Kiss her hand gently, but remember this method may not be as romantic and should only be done occasionally.
Locking pinkies can also demonstrate that you’re flirtatious and playful, yet relaxed at the same time. This fun way to hold hands is best used when more comfortable with traditional handholding techniques; especially useful on dates where embarrassing yourself is not a concern!
Make a kissing gesture on top of the hand
Kissing hands is a cultural tradition in Malaysia and Indonesia where elders are traditionally welcomed this way, while in Roman Catholicism religious leaders frequently kiss their devotees’ hands as a sign of respect and greeting.
Although hand kissing is no longer as prevalent in North America, it remains popular in certain other countries. Once considered impolite to refuse an offered hand, people now usually exchange handshakes or kisses on both cheeks instead.
Kisses from men could be taken as an indicator of romantic interest; whether he kisses your back hand, fingers or just past the first row of knuckles could all indicate this gesture of affection; but be wary not to overthink this gesture and just go with what feels natural for you; if the kiss feels awkward or forced don’t do it – it might just be a joke!
Kiss the hand
A gentleman should kiss a lady’s hand when greeting her for the first time, such as during a restaurant visit or home gathering with friends. Generally, only married or older ladies should receive this gesture; young unmarried women or those wearing gloves are excluded.
Although not practiced as frequently anymore, this tradition remains a mark of chivalry in some countries. You might see it on screen in period movies or when some gentlemen greet elderly relatives. Even though its original meaning has faded over time, it still makes an impressive gesture showing respect and showing interest in women.