JACK KNOWS: I Kissed a Girl, and I Liked It.

We’ve all seen this scene a hundred times—in movies, television, and on stage. Two people in an impossible situation fight their desire for one another…until, in one magical second, they give into their exigency and steal a romantic, passionate, long-delayed-but-much-anticipated kiss.

Sometimes the stolen kiss is laced with regret; sometimes it opens a new door to love; sometimes it is rebuffed.

It is an oft-used scene in the arts. But what about in reality?

I have long fantasized about grabbing a stolen kiss from the object of my affection. I long thought about Jessica at my local coffeehouse who would always give me that girlish smile and was oh so kissable—but also unobtainable. Then there was Sarah, at the beach, with my friends—but I didn’t have the nerve. Rachel lived across the hall from me during college, but that seemed—quite literally, too close to home. Then there was Kerry—but she was dating my best friend. I often fantasize about a stolen kiss with each of these ladies—and many more. But never did I have the nerve.

In my nearly three decades of life, I’ve only seen it on-stage, in-film, or on-television. Never have I been stolen, or stolen a kiss.

Until this week.

And I didn’t even see it coming.

Maggie and I were friends in college. She dated Todd—a friend from weekend soccer games. Recently, she moved out to San Francisco. One weekend we were both invited out on a friend’s boat for a day out and around the Golden Gate. The crew was a mix of old and new friends, and Todd’s parents who owned the boat (she had remained close after their breakup). She arrived at the boat with a guy she introduced as Steve. Was Steve her new boyfriend? Her Gay Bestie? Just a guy?

The day went great. While Maggie and I didn’t get to spend time alone together, I felt a clear chemistry between us…I thought. Did I just catch her staring at me? Was that a wink, or did she catch a splash of salt water in her eye? Did her leg run against mine when we walked by each other, or were her sea legs a little unsteady?

My desire, and my self-doubt were at odds.

Then it happened. We found ourselves in the galley below deck. Face to face. Staring at each other.

And in a moment—POW. The kiss—the stolen kiss in the movies. Without words or hesitation, one of us (both of us?) moved in and made all of those television show kisses and stolen movie smooches look tame.

For a moment, we got lost in ourselves (one of the key indicators of a stolen kiss) and forgot all others on that boat, and in the world.

When we returned to reality, we just stared and smiled at each other, and walked away. No words—just feelings.

I got my stolen kiss. And I liked it.

Author Jack Reid is a relationship expert and author of the “Jack Knows” column on FIVE THôT.

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