Jason, 34, of New York, NY, keeps the reveling low-key when he finds himself single come December. "I'm not going to go out stag with some vague hope of meeting someone to end the night with a kiss or more," he says. "It never happens. It just leads to drunken disappointment and a hangover, which is a terrible way to start a new year."
But even having a significant other doesn't guarantee a romantic smooch at midnight—though many couples aren't even bothered by it. Take Jennifer, 44, of Oklahoma City, Okla. She and her husband have replaced a romantic night out on the town with a family-friendly community event with their three children.
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"Who has time for New Year's Eve kisses or money for a babysitter?" she says. "My husband says the New Year's Eve kiss is passé because we're too tired to stay up that late." Jennifer intends to share a New Year's kiss with all four loves of her life, even if it doesn't happen when the clock strikes twelve.
This relaxed, flexible approach seems to be the key to enjoying New Year's Eve, whatever your relationship status. Celebrate with loved ones in an environment that makes you feel safe and comfortable. The midnight kiss isn't so different from a New Year's resolution—despite your best intentions, you probably won't pull it off perfectly, if at all.
Christine Clifford, President and CEO of Divorcing Divas, a Minneapolis-based organization dedicated to supporting women as they transition through divorce, spent her first post-divorce New Year's Eve with one of her best girlfriends. The two women rented a limo, ate dinner at a fancy restaurant, and kissed each other on the cheek at midnight.
Besides kissing friends, Christine's got other suggestions for those of us who are single and not quite ready to mingle. "Close your eyes at midnight and remember your favorite kiss," Christine says. "Or get a big bowl of Hershey's Kisses, and eat a dozen of them at midnight." If you want to be really cheesy and aren't worried about embarrassing yourself in public, make a photocopy of your dream New Year's Eve date and give him or her a big smack.
Or take it from another very romanticized piece of popular culture and think, "A kiss is just a kiss."
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How do you feel about the New Year's Eve kiss?