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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Queen's U chapter.

I grew up on Disney Channel originals and tween romance novels. I longed to live the life of the sweet girl next door with the picturesque love life, all beginning with a nervously perfect first kiss. I romanticized the idea of the first kiss, especially when my friends began to have theirs. Most took place cross-legged, in a game of truth or dare, with the entire grade crowded around someone’s basement. I knew that this was not what I saw on TV, but it was something—some window into that girl-next-door love life. So, that summer at camp, I curated the perfect scene for my first kiss. As we paddled across the lake for a two-night trip, I remember staring out and scheming the game of truth-or-dare where it would all finally happen. Did I really know how to do this? Did it matter?

When it came down to 20 of my friends sitting cross-legged in a tent, and I was dared to kiss my suitor, my 12-year-old heart skipped out of my chest. I knew it was not romantic, nor was it what I saw on TV, but it was something. And so, my first kiss was out of the way—simple, sweet, and “something”. 

I am not one to keep a kiss list in my iPhone notes app, but I am one to remember the nervous, quirky, and rarely smooth things that have been said to me before a kiss. Sometimes they’ll make a joke and before the punch-line hits, boom, their lips are on yours. They’ll just look at you with a complement on their lips or they’ll lead with the simple “can I kiss you?”. They’ll calculate what they are going to say so much you can barely respond. It’s the little moments that propel you into a first kiss that make me look back and grin.

I am beginning to realize that a first kiss is no one thing. It will almost never be as perfect as my younger self romanticized it to be. There are the kisses you picture in your head before they happen or the ones where the moment surprises you. Nervously cuddled up to a movie whose plot you can barely focus on, or drunkenly falling into each other after a night out downtown.

A first kiss can be a window into something; a whirlpool of romance, a later-realized mistake, or it can be just that—a kiss. The simplicity of kissing just to kiss brings curiosity, passion and clarity. These were not the feelings that marked a good first kiss in the tween romance media of my youth, but they are feelings that mark my sweetest first kisses.

Alisa Bressler

Queen's U '24

Alisa Bressler is a third-year business student at Queen's University, currently studying in Sydney, Australia. She loves Broadway, ice cream, and Legally Blonde!