By Patricia Leavy, PhD
Sometimes people use New Year’s Eve as a barometer to measure how well their life is going: Big plans equals a big life. Over-bloated expectations can make this a tough holiday, especially when you’re single. It is impossible to escape the questions that highlight great expectations others have for your “big night.” And on top of it all, if you’re single there’s the dreaded tradition of someone to kiss at midnight.
There are two typical ways single gals may deal with the New Year’s Eve pressure-cooker: avoiding it or faking it. But there’s no reason to crawl under the covers or to slap on a make-believe happy face and stay out until all hours. Here are my top tips for single women looking to genuinely enjoy New Year’s Eve, either with your single friends or on your own.
If you have some other single gal-pals this is a great opportunity to spend some time with them. Use New Year’s as an excuse to capitalize on the importance of strong female friendships and to celebrate the women in your life.
· Have a girlfriend get-together at your place. If you’re with your friends I recommend avoiding the bar or club scene. It’s a high-pressure night and you’re likely to feel like it’s all about forced-fun, flirting with anyone around, and potentially hooking-up with someone you would avoid on a “normal” day. Instead, grab your girlfriends and stay in.
· Host a finger food party. Have each guest bring an appetizer and a bite-size dessert. These fun foods can be passed around all night or set up on a buffet. You can munch throughout the evening as you talk, drink and laugh. This will be less work than serving a traditional dinner and a lot more fun.
· Have a classic movie marathon. Pick up a set of classic mysteries (like Hitchcock) or have a horror film festival. Avoid anything sappy, like dramas and romantic comedies. Pop a few batches of popcorn (you can add fun flavors to them to make it more festive) and ask each of your friends to bring a bag of their favorite fun-size candies/chocolates. Create a little movie buffet, sit down and have some fun. Incidentally, this movie night can just as easily be adapted for one. Don’t skimp on yourself—do up the popcorn and candy and see some of the movies that have always been on your “list.”
· Make your own spa night. Stop at your local beauty supply store and splurge on some relaxing spa treatments: bubble bath, a body exfoliator, a face mask and some luxurious lotion. Follow-up with a do-it-yourself manicure and pedicure in a cheerful color that embraces the day.
Don’t forget, in life you need to take care of yourself first so kick off the New Year celebrating the most important person in your life – YOU – and get ready for your best year yet!
Patricia Leavy, PhD, is an acclaimed pop-feminist author and expert commentator as well as a leading qualitative and arts-based researcher. She is also the author of the new book, Low-Fat Love. For more information, please visit www.patricialeavy.com