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The Do's and Don'ts of New Year's Eve

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New Year's Eve is meant to be a celebration of friends and family, a reflection of all we've learned over the past year - combined with the anticipation of the year to come. Oftentimes though, it's a holiday filled with tremendous dread and anxiety - especially if you're single. Where am I going to go? Do I want to spend all this money? What if I can't find a date? What if I don't kiss someone at midnight? What if I go home alone - again? What if I make a mistake and don't go home alone? Let's face it, next to Valentine's Day, New Year's Eve is the most pressurized day for singles of the entire year. And, we put so many expectations and hopes onto this one day that it's almost impossible not to be disappointed.

Of course, there are many contributing factors to this set-up for failure; the media is certainly stirring the pot of insecurity, and so is New Year's Eve's blatant announcement that TIME IS TICKING. The biggest culprit however, the one we need to point the finger at, is, of course, OURSELVES. When did we decide that everything we've accomplished for an entire year should be represented by the social success of one night? Somewhere along the way, we've convinced ourselves that New Year's Eve is a magical night and anything less is a failure.

The Do's and Don'ts of New Year's Eve

Do NOT put unrealistic expectations on New Year's Eve! If you find yourself imagining and fantasizing about how amazing New Year's is going to be without applying a bit of realism, you may very well be disappointed. You have to ask yourself, what are you expecting from New Year's Eve? Are your answers realistic compared to your plans? Have you chosen to do something that will help you make the most out of New Year's?

If you feel like being at a big party and part of a big celebration, it's not realistic to expect that you're going to meet someone and be able to have a meaningful conversation with them. The same rules apply for big New Year's Eve parties as to bars - they're not great environments for much else than being social and friendly in a peripheral way. Exceptions exist of course, but the odds are not in your favor that you're going to start a relationship in a loud, drunken, party-filled atmosphere.

If you don't want to spend a lot of money and just want to hang out with your friends, you can plan a potluck dinner. Relax and enjoy each other's company and celebrate your friendships.

If you're looking to meet other singles and want to connect with someone, choose a singles-specific party/celebration. Pick something though, that's conducive to talking in a fun atmosphere, not a large dance club. Remember that this is like any other night, you may or may not meet that special someone - but you do have to get out there and make an effort to talk to people. The advantage of the single-specific party is that you don't have to wade through the people who are not single to find some common ground.

Choose to have a positive attitude. All too often we see people who are miserable on New Year's - this night is what you make it! Look around you and be thankful for what you have and the people in your life. If you want to change anything about your life, use New Year's as that stepping stone to fulfilling your happiness.

Don't forget to pat yourself on the back for all you've accomplished this year. What have you done that you're proud of? Let yourself reflect on the good choices you made throughout the year.