Single on New Year’s Eve never looked better. Think about it: would you rather push through a crowd of sweaty strangers just to find a spot on the dance floor? Spend a half hour to simply get the attention of your waiter for a water refill and another 10 minutes to get it? Forget that! Instead, put a little thought into the night and ring in 2012 with a real bang (and possibly a kiss). Here are five ideas to inspire you.

1. Throw a singles party
Do you ever wonder where all the other single people are? Wonder no more — they’re in your living room. Invite all your single friends and their single friends over to ring in 2012. Keep the mood light and fun with upbeat ’80s tunes and encourage a little impromptu karaoke. Flirty finger foods like hot wings and chocolate-covered berries are easy and fun. Create a signature punch for the evening. Mixologist Dan Fink says: “A light, fruit-based beverage is a tasty bet. Toss a fun, bubbly mix of ginger ale, pure fruit juice and some seltzer water in a fancy pitcher or punch bowl. Garnish each serving glas with a slice of fresh fruit.” There will be plenty of singles to raise your glass with at midnight.

2. Purge the past
Are you holding onto an ex — hoping for reconciliation or thinking that no one can compare? Whatever the case, it’s time to let go. Relationship expert Carla Sikes says: “The time is now. Box up the photos, movie stubs and stuffed animals that remind you of your past affection. Store them somewhere hard to get to, like the back (or top) of the closet.” This way, even if you are tempted to browse through the box, it will seem like a big hassle and will discourage you. Try a symbolic gesture, too. Light a candle, say something to the tune of: “I loved and now I am letting go.” Blow the candle out. Now join your closest friends and family to ring in 2012 with the people worth concentrating on!
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3. Go on a date
You’ve been making eyes at your neighbor for months. But when you finally muster up the courage to ask this cutie out, you chicken out and resort to something like: “Nice weather, huh?” Enough. It’s almost a new year, so why not break out the new you a few days early? Invite your crush to New Year’s Day brunch. Leave the romantic restaurant for next time and head to that kitschy diner or funky coffeehouse. Get to know one another over a celebratory morning-after muffin. Don’t be scared to go in for a belated New Year’s kiss.

4. Do good
Start the New Year right by making a difference in someone’s life. There are a million charities out there looking for contributions. Why not donate a tax-deductible buck to, say,, share that bridesmaid dress you’ll never wear again with or bake a batch of cookies for your elderly neighbors, even? For thousands of opportunities to volunteer globally or locally, go to and get busy helping others. It’ll feel great, and there’s the chance you’ll meet a like-minded single person if you donate your time to a group activity.

5. Host a movie marathon
Invite some friends over and bond with your support system over a film-fest. Ladies, how about Made of Honor, The Notebook, The Holiday or Titanic? The idea is to savor the joys of being both single and coupled up with your best buddies. Grab the soda and keep the popcorn coming; pajamas and slippers are encouraged. Men, you’ll probably want to skip the slumber party trappings and the chick flicks. Instead, go straight to the gold standard of guy movies: The Godfather series... enjoy!

Try one of these ideas and see if it isn’t a fun, fresh way to spend the night. Or come up with your own special spin on the 31st — but whatever you do, no wallowing in loneliness while home alone, got it? Good!

Christine M. Coppa has written for Glamour, Marie Claire and First. She plans to spend a quiet New Year’s Eve at home with a very special date — her son.

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