If you’ve been on the Internet at all in the last two days, chances are good that you’ve seen the viral video of supposed strangers kissing for the first time. Well, it turns out that the much loved and much shared video is actually a marketing campaign, and all of those strangers were really actors, models, and stage performers. If you saw the video, you know that it really was beautiful. The people were attractive in different sorts of ways (but still all mainstream attractive, which really should have tipped some people off, re: the veracity of the strangers claim). They had chemistry, even when it was slightly awkward. They smiled, laughed, some kissed chastely and some even kissed quite passionately. Several couples continued to kiss after the important shot was taken, leading you to believe that there was some real chemistry. There were male/female pairings, same gender pairings, older and young. Most of the “strangers” laughed a bit before they could settle down and kiss, and several of them asked, “What’s your name again?” while smiling sweetly. My cold soul was moved.
Unfortunately, it was leaked footage from a clothing company’s new campaign, falsely labeled as a sort of social experiment meets performance art. Some people feel that this doesn’t really change the piece. Others are outraged and demand that everyone must learn the truth about the video. What really concerns me is the how the video perpetuates a potentially detrimental idea of romance.
In my opinion, the popularity of this video if not the video itself reinforces the belief that romance is perfect. If you didn’t know that it was fake, and you watched that video after just having an awkward first kiss with someone you really liked, you might find yourself wondering what’s wrong with you (or with them). “Why couldn’t our kiss have been like that? It must not be right. If strangers can kiss like that, what’s wrong with us!?”
Don’t get me wrong. Chemistry is extremely important when it comes to sex and dating. You can’t learn and shouldn’t fake chemistry. And it’s important to have a genuine attraction to someone if you want to date them (obviously). Some kisses really are dead ends. You’ll have kisses where there’s just no chemistry, no intensity. It’s perfectly fine to write those off. But an awkward kiss that’s the culmination of an amazing date with a fantastic person? That, I really think you should explore further.
Realistically, it takes time to learn about another person. Hell, it probably took you at least twenty years to get a good handle on yourself. Expecting to know another person’s body intrinsically is unhealthy. When you’ve just had a wonderful first or second date, you’re probably jittery. You’re excited, nervous, maybe even a little anxious. That’s not really the recipe for an absolutely perfect, flawless interaction. You don’t know yet how the other person moves, how they feel. What really matters is whether or not you want to kiss them again. And if you do, maybe you’ll keep doing it until you both get it absolutely perfect.