When it comes to love, action speaks louder than words. And sometimes, the different types of kisses someone gives you can speak the loudest.
Sure, there are people who love spending their time sitting around and talking about each and every one of their feelings, but those folks tend to be the exception and not the rule.
Wondering how to tell he loves you by his kiss? There are 12 different ways men kiss, and they each mean something different.
By and large, if you’re trying to figure out how a guy feels about you, understanding his kissing style can offer some insight into what’s going on in the deepest parts of his heart.
Kissing creates a deeply soulful connection as little else can. Guys get turned on by kissing, and what it does to their bodies is actually fascinating.
Kissing causes a chemical reaction in your brain, including a burst of the hormone oxytocin. It’s often referred to as the “love hormone,” because it stirs up feelings of affection and attachment. According to a 2013 study, oxytocin is particularly important in helping men bond with a partner and stay monogamous.
How do you kiss a man so he falls in love? Each man has their own preference. Some like a kiss to be steamy and passionate and wild, while others like it gentle, sensual, and slow. In order to make a guy fall in love with you with just a kiss, you have to learn what he likes.
And even better, once you know the meaning behind the types of kisses explained below, you’ll have a new vocabulary through which you and the person you love can communicate.
Here’s a look at 12 different ways men kiss and what each of them means — so you can tell how he loves you by his kiss:
1. Kisses on the lips.
What this type of kiss means: He truly values your love.
A quick, pretty dry, often closed-mouthed kiss is the way a man in a loving relationship says hello or goodbye.
If he kisses you like this at home where no one can see, it’s a sign you’ve become a valued part of his routine and his life. If he kisses you like this in public, it’s proof to you and to the world that he’s serious about where your relationship is going. There’s nothing like a kiss on the lips.
2. Kisses on the top of your head.
What this type of kiss means: He wants to take care of you.
When a man kisses you on the top of your head, it means he’s feeling protective of you. It means he couldn’t help himself, he had to stop what he was doing and let you know that he cares about you, that he loves sharing space with you, and that you mean the world to him.
This kissing style is sweet, fond, and nurturing.
3. Kisses on your hand.
What this type of kiss means: He’s kind of a flirt.
If a man kisses your hand, you can be sure of a few things, the first of which is that he is extremely confident and a little bit of a showman. It takes courage to kiss a woman on the hand if you aren’t a member of some European royal family.
A man who kisses you on the hand is all about performance. This doesn’t mean his feelings for you aren’t genuine, but you should probably prepare yourself, as you’re about to be courted big time.
4. Kisses on the inside of your wrist.
What this type of kiss means: It’s about to get seriously sexy in here.
If a man kisses the inside of your wrist, you can be sure of the fact that the only thing keeping him from ripping off all of your clothes is the fact that you are out in public.
When he kisses you on the inside of your wrist, he’s telling you that he knows the way a woman’s body works and that he isn’t afraid to put that knowledge to good use. It gets even hotter if he maintains eye contact while doing it.
5. Kisses on your neck.
What this type of kiss means: He has strong romantic feelings for you.
This kind of kiss is excellent, provided the man you are dating is not a vampire.
A kiss on the neck is a romantic overture. If he kisses you on the neck, he’s telling you that he wants you and he wants you now without saying a word — and it’s super effective.
6. Kisses with tongue.
What this type of kiss means: He’s totally smitten with you.
When a man French kisses you, especially when he uses his hands to cup your face, whether he knows it or not, he’s revealing just how smitten he has become with you.
We tend to associate French kissing with our teenage years and hours of making out. This kissing style is his way of showing you just how attracted to you he is.
7. Kisses on the cheek.
What this type of kiss means: He’s just not that into you.
A kiss on the cheek is the total opposite of a kiss with tongue. In many respects, if the man kissing you on the cheek in the one you want to be kissing you with tongue, being kissed on the cheek is worse than him offering to shake your hand.
A man kissing you on the cheek is telling you that he cares about you, but never ever wants to see you naked and he’s not even make out with you.
8. Kisses by your eye.
What this type of kiss means: He truly appreciates you.
When a man kisses you by the eye, it might seem strange. And fair enough. The eye is not typically considered an erogenous zone.
But you might enjoy knowing that when a man kisses you by your eye, he’s telling you that he loves you and the way you see the world. It’s a gesture of love and appreciation he feels so keenly he’s got to express it, even if it seems a little silly. He does this because he wants you to know that you are loved and adored.
9. Kisses on your forehead.
What this type of kiss means: He loves you for more than just your body.
A man kissing you on the forehead can be strange because it can read as a tad paternal, and there may be something to that on a certain level. When he kisses you on the forehead he’s telling you he will be there for you and he wants to protect you. He’s also telling you that he loves all of you, not just your body.
A forehead kiss is basically a kiss on the brain.
10. Kisses on your stomach.
What this type of kiss means: He’s comfortable with you.
If a man kisses you on your stomach, he feels 100% comfortable with you and he trusts that you feel that way with him too. Not all of us feel 100% great about how our stomachs look, so a man kissing you there is thanking you for sharing your vulnerability with him. He also wants to show you that he pays attention to you.
This type of kiss could also mean that he can picture having a baby with you. Just saying.
11. Kisses on your breasts.
What this type of kiss means: He’s totally about to sleep with you — or at least he wants to.
Kissing you this intimately is his way of showing you that he’s attentive and experienced.
He wants you to enjoy kissing him and everything that follows as much as he will.
12. Kisses on your shoulder.
What this type of kiss means: He completely trusts you.
When he is kissing your shoulder, on a subconscious level he is surrendering his heart, body, and soul to you, and he is saying thank you for being there to lean on. Above all, he is saying he trusts you and appreciates you.
He is physically and emotionally attracted to you. He wants you to feel loved and is showing you the strong emotional bond he has with you.
Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cat, Batman. She’s the Senior Editor of Pop Culture at Newsweek with a passion for lifestyle, geek news, and true crime.