The demise of snogging in a long-term relationship
When did it all get so serious? We’ve been together 7 years, we are married, home-owners, and parents to two toddlers. We have a cat. We have all the right insurances. In short, we are ordinary, a bit boring, and a bit knackered.
We don’t wake up snuggled, spooning, quietly listening to birdsong. We are brought into sudden consciousness by the 3-year-old screaming very loudly for a poo. Within a minute of being awake, we are assaulted by the cold caused by the swift removal of the duvet, and the bathroom tiles under our feet. Then the smell that can only be created by a 3-year-old whose diet is mostly beige food. It’s a virtual slap in the face. Then we wipe his arse and congratulate him for a job(by) well done. So far, we’ve been up for about 3 minutes. We don’t go back to bed together. One of us goes downstairs, one waits for Child Mark 2 to wake up. He’s probably got a turd in his nappy, so at least the shit division is fair.
So far, no lingering. No snatched caresses, no whispered sweet nothings. We are just seeing who gets to the coffee machine first.
Evening comes. We do the guilt-ridden sprint out of the workplace at 5pm, knowing that the smug 24-year-olds will work til 7pm, go for beers, and perhaps snog each other. We know they judge us, because we judged parents at that age (and I’m so, so sorry). We leg it to nursery, collect two sticky kids, bags of dirty t-shirts and a brightly coloured picture covered in macaroni. Home, snack time, a bit of telly. The negotiation to get them in to bath, pjs and bed is fraught with peril, and when all is quiet, we can breathe a sigh of relief.
We’ve already texted in the day about which box set we want to watch. New parents are encouraged by a zillion opinion pieces to send sexy, flirty texts in the day to get you in the mood for that evening. Broadchurch vs The Line of Duty is less sexy, but far more relevant to me. “Can you buy some pasta?” is as close to foreplay as our SMS gets.
Slumped on the sofa, having been clawed at by toddlers (and occasionally bearing the scars) I don’t want to touch or be touched. I can just about tolerate holding hands. When did it come to the point that we stopped ripping each other’s clothes off and started communicating in grunts of a non-sexual nature? And when did we stop snogging?
From rainy bus stops, to university night clubs, boyfriends of varying levels of suitability, and the occasional beach, I’ve snogged in some good places. Snogging tells you so much about a person. A good snogger is rarely crap in bed (this isn’t just my research, my girlfriends back me up). I hug my girlfriends, and might hold their hands on a rare night out, before dancing together in a sweaty mess, touching at the hip. I cuddle my children, and kiss them all over (including on the mouth, cos I’m like Victoria Beckham in so many ways), and have intimate access to their squat little bodies (see above: bum wiping). On the Central Line I’m crushed by strangers, and stare close-up at another girl’s smudged eyeliner just millimetres away. Physical contact is regular, and occasionally unwelcome, in my life.
However, snogging, and all it leads to, is unique to me and my husband. And when we are knackered, and choose Broadchurch over bonking, then perhaps a snog is all that is needed to remember that we are a partnership, and share something together that we don’t want to share with anyone else.
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