Since who you kiss on New Year’s Eve is pretty much the most important decision you’ll make this year, it’s essential to consider your options carefully. This is a choice that could determine the next 365 days of your life — you can’t go kissing your future away to just anyone. Luckily, we’ve compiled a handy field guide to the many species of potential kissing partners you’ll meet before the clock strikes twelve.
1. That Girl From High School
Nothing happened between you guys then, and nothing would be happening now, except that you’re the only two people at your hometown bar who aren’t married with babies. You don’t have a lot in common, but if every single aspect of your life was completely different, maybe you would, you know? It’s a good kiss, one you will think of in three months, when she “likes” a picture of your dog on Facebook.
2. The Dude in the Sweater Vest
You came alone. He came alone. He seems nice. He’s wearing a sweater vest. Is it ironic? It might be ironic. But not too ironic. Hopefully the right amount of ironic. At 11:55, you realize you are the only two single people in the room. You make apologetic eye contact with each other, acknowledging the inevitable: in five minutes, you will be kissing. It will be a brief kiss, without tongue.
3. Your Ex
You broke up two months ago, but you came to this party together, because it’s not like you have other friends yet. Everyone you know is a couple. You know, like you were, before you broke up. It’s been a rough two months. Kissing would be easy, but you’re not going to fall for it. You are Strong. You are Independent. You are Crying in the Bathroom. At 11:59, you look at each other and nod sadly. Kiss for longer than you meant to before excusing yourself. You have places to be, like the bathroom.
4. The Person You Met Online Three Months Ago
You guys are in love. You love as no lovers have ever loved before. Your passion for each other knows no bounds. The fireworks at midnight cannot compete with the fire in your loins. At 12:15, someone will want to get past you to reach the snack table. Ignore them. At 12:30, people will start to whisper. Ignore them, too. 2014 is going to be great.
5. The Person You Keep Accidentally Hooking Up With
IT’S 2014, BITCHEZZZ! You guys have no real romantic interest in each other (YOU ARE TOTALLY SERIOUS) and she’s basically your sister (SERIOUSLY, YOU ARE NOT INTERESTED IN EACH OTHER), but sometimes you get drunk at parties and slobber on each other’s faces. Usually no one cries afterwards, except that one time.
6. Your Actually Platonic Friend
To be clear, you have no problem kissing your friends on the cheek. Or on the lips. It would just be nice if you guys had negotiated that first? Now you seem like you are weird about platonic kissing, and you are totally not weird. You are the most normal about all kinds of kissing, practically. But you thought it was clearly a cheek situation, and then they just, like, went for it, all lippy. How were you supposed to know that was coming?
7. The Crush You Just Met
You two just met, and it’s going well. Really, really well. Like, could-actually-be-something, same-favorite-episode-of-This American Life kind of well. Which is why midnight is going to be real weird. Will you kiss? Will you not kiss? When the clock strikes, opt to stand next to each other awkwardly, shifting your weight a lot. Probably everyone else will be done kissing eventually. And whatever — you guys have all year to make out, not drunkenly and not in public.
8. Your Serious Relationship
You share your lives. You share your secrets. You share your bathroom. Your love is true and your love is real, but apparently your love needs to be reminded that it’s fucking New Year’s Eve, because your love has decided now is the perfect time to head to the kitchen and make a sandwich. What can they say? That countdown really sounded like 10-9-8-turkey-on-rye. Make them kiss you anyway — it’s 12:02, but who’s counting (you, you are). It won’t be your hottest kiss ever, but it’ll be warm and nice and you’ll get half a sandwich after, so you basically win.
9. The Exotic Stranger
You’ve never seen them before, and you’ll never see them again, because they’re heading back to Istanbul or Crete or Beijing in the morning. Probably to be a spy. Or a foreign correspondent. Or an international drug dealer? Who knows, it’s loud in here. What you do know is that they are here for one night, and they look real good in pants. (Also, they might know your cousin from grad school?) As you lock lips, consider the changes you’ll make in 2014, like traveling more.
10. The Hot Bartender
The last free drink you got was when the Starbucks barista messed up your order, but from the moment you two locked eyes over the bar, you felt a connection. When he wouldn’t take your cash, you knew. As the crowd erupts in midnight cheers, you sidle up to the bar, like you are a person who regularly makes out with bartenders. Which you’re about to be: he kisses you, and if some guy hadn’t interrupted to order a lager — no, no, not that lager, the other lager — he’d probably still be kissing you.
Images via Veer