NEW YORK The bubbly, the ball, the midnight kiss. Not all single ladies want a ring on it, but do they want a date for New Years Eve?
Yes, its almost here, that milestone of love and romance. This year, the holiday has its own movie (of the same name) filled with intertwining couples and a cast dripping with Zac Efron, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jon Bon Jovi, Halle Berry and oh so many more of Hollywoods sexiest.
Theres love lost and found, confusing new love, love in an elevator and sweet father-daughter love. Director Garry Marshall packs it all in, but back here in the real world, New Years Eve is one of those nights of all nights when the date monster rears. For others, though, Plan B (not worrying about a date) has become the new Plan A.
A lot of us are starting to wake up to the fact that those are silly traditions meant to make us feel desperate about having a partner, said Jayelle Hughes, 32, single and happy in suburban New York. Just because youre single on New Years doesnt mean theres something wrong with you.
Avoiding that feel-bad trap requires strategy, she said, especially in the bright lights, big city glare of ball-dropping New York City, where Marshall unfurls his film.
Hughes, for one, will seek out other single friends and certain non-annoying couple friends on New Years Eve. An annoying couple is one that is either constant PDA, ignoring their friends, or theyre fighting all night long, she said.
Now that online dating has gone mobile through a variety of phone apps, hooking up er, dating in real time has never been easier and seems ready made for New Years Eve.
Alex Weissner, 26, in Denver isnt interested.
Ive never been on a date on New Years Eve, and Im pretty sure most of my close friends havent, either, she said. She, too, will celebrate with a group of friends.
And that kiss?
I feel like so many young women out there need to have that date, Weissner said. But honestly, why not just enjoy your life, and you never know what might happen?
Shannon Mouton, 43, in Washington, D.C., has been in several long-term relationships that involved being together for New Years Eve. This year, she isnt. Like Weissner, shell be with friends, with a likely stop at church.
I did spend one New Years Eve with just a single girlfriend of mine, and it was depressing, she said. I knew I would never do that again. It felt like two spinsters sitting at home watching time and the world go by us.
Its tough for Jennifer Marcus, 25, in Fort Wayne, N.J., to be around coupled friends on New Years Eve, especially because she just broke up with her boyfriend of three years.
Part of me is dreading the holiday, she said. I think Ill be really sad watching people around me with their significant others. But the other part of me is excited. I can spend the holiday with close family and friends, ringing in the New Year with people that really matter most.
The New Years Eve dread, for those similarly prone, sets in right about now, said 29-year-old Doree Lewak, who wrote The Panic Years: A Guide to Surviving Smug Married Friends, Bad Taffeta and Life on the Wrong Side of 25 Without a Ring.
Women still feel huge pressure around the holidays and certainly exacerbated by New Years to have a date, said Lewak, in New York City. I dont think that moment has passed.
Lewak interviewed about 300 20-something and 30-something women for her look at single life.
An overwhelming number felt angst and despair during the holidays and especially in places like New York, where the holidays really loom large, she said.
New Years Eve and the midnight kiss, Lewak said, are so tied up with having a significant other. I dont think women can articulate why. Its just so built into our DNA.
Christine Clifford in Minneapolis owns a resource site for divorcees, Divorcingdivas.net, and hears the same sentiment on a regular basis. She offers these tips to staying on the right side of happy. They could work for any single, whether divorced, widowed or never married.
Plan ahead. Dont wait until the last minute. Plant a seed early with several of your closest friends, she said.
Host the night: Occupy New Years Eve and host a party, Clifford said.
Get out of town: If money isnt an issue, plan a trip to a spa or resort. Go horseback riding, golfing or hiking, she said. Go to a place that youve always dreamed of visiting.