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The way you kiss your partner could reveal everything about your relationship

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Harriet Hall
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What do you do when you’re planting a wet one on your other half?

Do you stare deeply into their eyes and slowly lean in? Or do you launch at them like a crazed lunatic in love?

A new study has revealed that the way we kiss might speak volumes about our relationship.

Researchers at Canada’s University of Saskatchewan analysed over 500 photographs of people kissing – including parents with children, platonic friends and lovers in lip-locks – to glean how body language signals differed in romance.

The results showed that lovers were more likely to tilt their heads to the right when they kissed or hugged –  80% of romantic kisses were performed with a right head tilt - whereas in platonic situations, people went the other way.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their wedding day

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their wedding day

“Our research demonstrated the novel finding that turning bias was modulated by the context of the kiss, as a leftward directionality was observed for the parental context and a reversed rightward bias for romantic kissing,” say lead researchers, Jennifer Sedgewick and Lorin Elias.

It's certainly an unexpected way to tell if that person you’ve got your eye on has the same feeling back. But why do we do this?

“Your brain is split into two halves: the left and right hemisphere,” says Sedgwick. “Activity on one side makes us focus on (or move toward) the opposite side.”

Since the right side of our brain holds most of the emotion, the left side of the face is where this emotion is expressed, therefore, Sedgwick concludes, we tilt our faces to the right so that our partners can see the more emotive side of our face.

Kate Moss and Jamie Hince, 2011

Kate Moss and Jamie Hince, 2011

Whereas, when we are kissing family members, this has more to do with the way we were cradled as babies.

“The position in which parents kiss their children most throughout the beginning of their child’s life is likely while the parent is cradling their infant. Parents would predominantly cradle using their left arm,” says the report.

“A left turn kissing bias could persist beyond the stage of cradling due to the repetitive movement in that direction since it may feel most natural.”

But, don’t panic if you and your partner automatically go left when you’re doing PDA, because the researchers acknowledge there are other factors at play, too – including being left-handed or just awkward.

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Harriet Hall

Harriet Hall is a former Stylist contributor.

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