Alright, alright, I know we’re all grown-ups and, as single people, we pride ourselves on embracing the utter lack of romance in our lives in order to show just how mature we’ve become and how comfortable we are with our perpetual relationship status. A first kiss is just a way to say “thank you I had a nice time” at the end of a date. Or a gateway to hooking up.

What? Not so, you say? Your heart is not yet withered and cold? Somewhere, deep down, you still believe in the legendary power of the first kiss? Then, why are you just throwing it away?

Okay. Not every first kiss is going to be magical. Sure. Sometimes the chemistry’s just not there and you don’t know it until you’re already lip-locked. Nothing you can do about that. But you at least want to be able to say you tried, don’t you? So here’s a couple things to think about before you shrug your way into your next sub-par smooch.

1. The Moment

So much of what makes a first kiss memorable is timing. And it works both ways.

If you know you want to kiss and you’re pretty sure they do, too don’t wait til the end of the date. Just go for it. Kissing in the street on the way from dinner to the movie is romantic as hell. Whereas, kissing goodnight? It’s nice, but it’s been done.

On the other hand, you shouldn’t force it. Waiting for the right moment, even if it’s on the second or third date, can up your swoon potential astronomically.

2. Location

Under the stars. In a candlelit corner of a cozy bar. In the park on a beautiful sunny day. Under a shared umbrella. All of these beat the hell out of “in front of a waiting cab driver,” right?

3. Music

Kissing is better if you’re listening to kissing music. This is a fact. If you and your date both say “I love this song!” at the exact same moment? A kiss is better than a “Jinx! You owe me a coke,” any day.

4. The Reward

There is nary a better kiss than the kiss that you get for being SO awesome. Being the provider of such a kiss is also cool, because it implies that your kiss is worth something. Did your date say something you’ve never quite heard put that way? Did they just give you the compliment you’ve been waiting to hear all your life? Good time to suck face.

5. The Accident

You know how sometimes, like, one of you spills your drink and you both go to clean it up at the same time and your faces end up closer than they have been before and then you just totally kiss? Then there’s that embarrassed laugh? And then you kiss again? And then you realize you’ve really got to get that drink cleaned up because your expensive handheld electronics may be in danger? I love that.

I think the point here is that it’s time to stop expecting major romance and being perpetually disappointed when we don’t get it. If we want more romance in our lives, we have to start asking ourselves what we’re doing about it. Bringing back the first kiss seems to be a good place to start.

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