Myth 5: You must have a date for New Year's Eve.
According to Helen Fielding, author of Bridget Jones's Diary and spokeswoman for single women everywhere, this alleged rule can be traced to a conspiracy of the coupled. "Smug marrieds will find any excuse to torture singletons," she says. But the pressure reaches a fever pitch on December 31. "It's obvious on New Year's Eve that another whole year has gone by during which everyone you know seems to have mutated into smug marrieds having children plop, plop, plop, left and right and center, and here you are, once again," she says.

Judy Ford, author of Single: The Art of Being Satisfied, Fulfilled, and Independent, recommends you tune out the message. "Being dateless is not a tragedy, a calamity, or an affliction," she says. Instead of looking for late-December love, spend the time planning your dream evening, whether it's a lavish dinner party for one (Ford favors lobster and a martini) or a night of bar-hopping with your most fun-loving friends. And Fielding suggests you focus all the while on one of the best parts of being single: "You have the opportunity to shag an attractive stranger without fear of reprisals." 

— Justine van der Leun  

See 5 more holiday myths debunked.