How to avoid the Air Kiss Dilemma…

Air Kiss greetings are just the WORST! I can grab a hand and shake it, high five, hug or even fist bump, but I just can not fathom air kisses! The reason being because I can never successfully pull it off! EVER! There are so many unwritten rules, each of them different to every culture and it’s enough to want me to stop greeting people altogether!

I am writing this post because yesterday whilst I was undergoing this seemingly simplistic social act, I happened to get my lipstick all over a stranger’s cheek. Not Cool. ( I then battled with myself about whether I should tell the lady that she has my lipstick smudged across her cheeks, but that’s a different story!)

So here is a Step by Step guide for Air-Kiss Gestures, so that you do not make the mistakes that I do (again and again!)…

Step 1: As you approach the person, focus on which way they begin to shift or lean because that is the side of the cheek they will kiss first. There are far too many times where me and another lady have been caught in a limbo of trying to air kiss on the same cheek, and almost going for a smooch right in the middle! Highly Awkward!!

Step 2: Anticipate how many times they will give you an air kiss. Their culture or country of origin is usually the best indicator. (If you simply have no idea, then you are screwed and might as well brace yourself for the awkwardness to follow.) In some parts of the world, its one kiss on either side, right and then left. In others, its right, left and right again. My experience with Emirati ladies is by far the most confusing. For them it’s a right, left and then right, right, right, right…(depending on how much you like the person- the more, the merrier!)

Step 3: Do not actually kiss the cheek! An air kiss is just that, kissing the AIR rather than any part of the face! (Having said that, I have witnessed Middle Eastern men that greet each other with kissing of the cheeks, so following this step may not be wise either.)

Step 4: Make the right sound. This is key to a successful air kiss. For some, no sound must be made, whilst for others there is a soft mwah sound as the cheeks embrace. There is also another type of air kiss that must be delivered with a very loud but quick smacking kiss sound that originates from almost pursing your lips like a puffer fish in quick succession. (Yes, the first time I encountered this, I was baffled!) I have found that the louder the kiss, the more amiable you are.

Step 5: Semi-hug the person as you deliver your air kisses and part away with a smile, having successfully deciphered the conundrum of Air Kissing.

Step 6: Repeat the process again for the next in line, and do not expect it to be the same as the previous encounter. The second person could be hiding another unknown air kissing ritual up their sleeve, ready to create another awkward meeting.

Perhaps this step by step guide will save you from an awkward encounter, or perhaps it will make the social gesture even worse and more confusing.

Perhaps I am not really the right person to be writing a guide on this matter at all and you should probably forget all that you just read…

Till next time.. *Mwah -lipstick smudge – forehead bash- trip over and fall*

What has been your most awkward encounter? Can you successfully pull off an air kiss? I would love to know your thoughts, so feel free to comment below! 



  • Laura's Lovely Blog May 22, 2015 at 10:14 am

    OMG I hate air kisses. Absolutely hate them. Once at work when an agency came into see me I accidentally planted a smacker on one their cheeks – mortifying! Although your lipstick scanario sounds just as abd. #thelist

    • MOMM May 22, 2015 at 11:16 am

      Haha so glad I’m not the only one to have gone through horrific scenarios with air kissing!! Makes me feel a lot better!

  • doctomum May 22, 2015 at 10:21 am

    This is great! I have always suffered from socially awkward air kisses. Now I just kind of push my cheek against the other persons…making it more awkward. May as just embrace the awkwardness, as I was not made from air kissing. #thelist

    • MOMM May 22, 2015 at 11:17 am

      Haha you’re right! I have also reached the point where I am simply embracing the awkwardness to come!! Glad I’m not alone! Haha!

  • Random Musings May 22, 2015 at 11:16 am

    Love this, I found myself nodding along. The air kiss is the most awkward greeting ever! I always feel kind of phoney doing it and it never goes right. What happened to saying hi and maybe a hug if you are good friends? #TheList

    • MOMM May 22, 2015 at 11:19 am

      Haha So glad you understand my pain!! You’re right, the handshake/hug/HI needs to make a comeback!!!

  • Angela Milnes May 22, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    This is certainly Not something I enjoy doing! lol. I like my personal space. When i lived in New Zealand I found it difficult to do Hongi. This is a Maori custom where you press nose and foreheads together… I am part Maori but I could never get used to it lol. Angela

    Angela recently posted ” Awards and Nominations”

    • MOMM May 22, 2015 at 4:26 pm

      Oo wow! That sounds much more invasive than air kissing! I definitely wouldn’t do well in those situations!

  • ApparentlyAwkward (@AwkwardParent) May 22, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    I haaaaaaaaaaaaate the air kiss or kissing of the cheeks! I always feel *SO* awkward, I never go to do it but then person is going in for it and I’m like “Oh, haha, oh sorry”
    ::sweats profusely:: Ugh. I’m getting anxious just thinking about it!

    • MOMM May 23, 2015 at 4:25 am

      Haha it really is just the worst greeting ever!! Who invented it this anyway?!

  • You Baby Me Mummy (@YouBabyMeMummy) May 25, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    It should be banned, always so awkward, no-one gets it right. Great post. Thanks so much for linking up to #TheList x

    • MOMM May 25, 2015 at 5:17 pm

      Thank you! It really should be banned! Always a pleasure to link up! ?

  • Lisa@intotheglade May 25, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    Hehe! This is brilliant! I always try to avoid it but it’s becoming more and more popular, why? I think I’m going to do the cheek thing and embrace the awkwardness ha! Great post x #TheList

    • MOMM May 25, 2015 at 7:29 pm

      Thankyou! Yes SADLY it is becoming more popular! Haha woohoo Team “Embrace the awkwardness”!

  • dearmummyblog May 26, 2015 at 5:41 am

    Sounds like my mummy’s worse nightmare! How awkward! What did you do about the lipstick in the end on the women? Wipe it off her? Oh dear. We prefer a handshake or a hug…#TwinklyTuesday

    • MOMM May 26, 2015 at 6:22 am

      Haha yes I did infact apologise and notify her that my lipstick is smudged across her cheek and even went as far as try to wipe it off, before I realised that I was probably invading her space, and apologised again!! Haha! Superrrr awkward!

  • sabrina May 26, 2015 at 7:27 am

    LOL! My worst nightmare – I always move my head the wrong way and it’s always so awkward! So glad you wrote this post! #twinklytuesday Sabrina xx

    • MOMM May 26, 2015 at 7:54 am

      Haha thanks! Glad to know I’m not alone!

  • suzanne3childrenandit May 26, 2015 at 8:43 am

    Thanks for this, I’ve never been able to fathom this air kiss tradition – neither a kiss, nor a hug. What’s the point?! I’m always one to get these social encounters wrong though 😉

    • MOMM May 26, 2015 at 10:16 am

      Haha thanks fo reading and understanding my plight!

  • yespeasmumma May 26, 2015 at 9:57 am

    Have never ever done one to be honest with you. It sounds very hard and awkward, so I will just stick with the high fives thanks. You should put a video up of you demonstrating an air kiss. That would be super funny. Make sure you put the awkward parts in there too :).


    • MOMM May 26, 2015 at 10:19 am

      Haha what a great idea!

  • Love From Clueless Mum May 26, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    Haha I don’t think I could get any more awkward on this front. I usually end up unintentionally giving air kisses in an attempt to avoid kisses on the cheek! #TwinklyTuesday

    • MOMM May 27, 2015 at 4:39 am

      Haha I think this is a widespread problem that must be addressed on a global level!!

  • mummascribbles May 26, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    You are so right, they are just so awkward, why di we even bother?! I have the most awkward kisses with the in-law’s! I’m always like, do I do a big squeezy hug, do I do one kiss or two, arrrgh it’s just a nightmare! As for strangers, well, I just try to avoid that kind of thing haha! Great guide though, I might print it out so I can refer to it at the time of air kissing! Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

    • MOMM May 27, 2015 at 4:38 am

      Haha Thank you! Glad I’m not alone in finding it so awkward. I really wish I could put a stop to it!

  • Lifeloveanddirtydishes May 29, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    Brilliant! I have done the air kiss where I went the same way and ended up giving them a smacker on the lips. It was my boss. 🙁

    • MOMM May 29, 2015 at 6:20 pm

      Haha oh no!! It can’t possibly get any worse than that!!

  • Nicole Webb June 9, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    Oh I hear you sista! In Hong Kong they love to give a kiss on each cheek and sometimes (read always) I find it sooo awkward! Ha ha! Great blog. Cheers, Nicole

    • MOMM June 9, 2015 at 1:50 pm

      Haha glad I’m not alone! Thanks for reading! ?

  • occupation:(m)other June 15, 2015 at 8:22 am

    Awkward! And so true. I have to deal with a lot of air kisses and the panic at not knowing until too late whether they are an air kisser or a hugger or something in between is just horrible!

    • MOMM June 15, 2015 at 12:05 pm

      Haha you’re right… Sometimes the awkwardness building up to it is even worse than doing it itself! Thanks for reading!


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