There is so much expectation when it comes to New Year’s eve celebrations. The pressure on single people is even stronger to make it a big night. They want to send off the past year of heartbreak and romantic misfortunes and see themselves as a success in love in the new year exclaiming, “this is going to be MY year.” Secretly, though, they dread the thought of standing alone at the stroke of midnight yet again.
I remember in my single days having anxiety over finding something to do on New Year’s eve so I wouldn’t have to spend it alone. Having plans was not a problem when I was younger and all my friends were single. As I grew into my thirties and my single friends started dropping like flies into marital bliss, finding a party companion became increasingly difficult. I always seemed to give out a sigh of relief when I finally had an invite to a party or ski weekend. I was comforted that I didn’t have to face the big night on my coach with old movies and a box of tissues feeling sorry for myself.
Getting to a party or event was the first step. Then, the pressure was on to find the guy who would give me my new year’s kiss. I would immediately scan the room for a suitable kissing partner. I started off the evening with high standards, but as the clock got closer to midnight I would settle for any straight man that looked good after a few glasses of champagne. Sometimes I would grab someone with five seconds left just in time to create that magical moment at twelve. At 12:01 am, I was ready to go home as if I made it through to the finish line. Another new year’s party, next year I will find him.
Looking back now I know that my efforts weren’t about kissing someone, but about the deep desire to belong and be a part of the couple world. My mind would trick me to believe that if I kissed someone at midnight that I would somehow be normal and not a big loser without a date. I exaggerated what New Year’s meant and how others perceived me if I was alone.