Some may consider holiday rom-coms just another sugar-coated indulgence of the season, but I’ve seen a lot of them, and when I think about what holiday classics like Love Actually, The Holiday, It’s a Wonderful Life, Elf, Bridget Jones, and The Family Stone all have in common, it’s pretty clear that the way love works around the holidays is a little different than it is the rest of the year.
Here are some tips that will help you enjoy the holidays and land the love of your life by New Year’s…
1. Stop hating the hottie, because he’s probably the love of your life.
According to rom-coms, that devilishly handsome jerk that makes your life a living hell might actually have a heart of gold. You just have to wade through all of his childish bullcrap, drink a little too much wine, almost kiss him, have an existential crisis, and go through a personal tragedy to realize he’s the one by your side when no one else is.
2. Stop being distracted by the hottie, because the love of your life is probably your best friend.
This directly contradicts dating tip #1, but what can I say, love is complicated. If you fall for the hottie, there’s a real chance he’ll overlook you completely and repeatedly take you for granted, while your completely platonic male best friend that you never even considered romantically is gazing at you with doe-eyed admiration.
3. You’re going to have to endure at least one melancholy evening alone amidst glowy Christmas lights.
We can’t help it, something about Christmas lights makes for a very introspective environment, and that’s only magnified if you’re love-sick. If a slow instrumental version of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas is playing the background, you’re about to have a love-epiphany, so get your boots on and gear up for a sleigh bell fueled dash to the door of that hottie (or bestie, or whomever everyone but you has figured out is the love of your life already). Which brings me to the next lesson…
4. Step up the cardio and wear comfy shoes.
You’re going to have to out-run someone’s cab to the airport. I’m sorry, but it’s just a given.
5. Whatever career thing you’re preoccupied with doesn’t matter, what matters is love.
If your boss has been riding you, and you have to knock this one project out of the park to nail down That Big Promotion™, be prepared to give up everything you’ve been working for since the day you set foot out of college as soon as you realize what’s really important.
6. If you’re so charming that you have to choose between two handsome and available men, open their Christmas gifts.
The guy that gives you a beautiful diamond necklace, although he means well, is just a rich a-hole in the end. You will have a fabulous, fairytale life full of galas and jets and a huge, gaping void somewhere in your heart-area. The guy that tracks down the rarest limited edition version of your favorite novel, complete with hand illustrations and a personal note from the author, now he’s the one. Sure, he’s rough around the edges, and you never even considered him in the beginning because he’s marginally less conventionally attractive than guy #1, but this love will endure.
7. Your quirky best friend WILL fall in love with your newfound love’s goofy assistant.
Don’t worry, this won’t happen until the end of the movie, so it won’t take away from your emotional journey. But if throughout the holiday season you’ve been shaking your head at your bestie’s bumbling awkwardness, then oh man, it is SO happening for her.
8. All of this is null and void if it doesn’t start snowing when you finally kiss the love of your life.
I don’t care if you live in Alabama, love conquers all, even longstanding conventional climate trends. If this Christmas miracle doesn’t happen, you’re not really in love.
But don’t worry, you can try again in a couple months with an, “I’ve given up on love, so don’t even bother” Valentine’s Day rom-com storyline. Spoiler alert, go for the clumsy neighbor who you can always call to fix your heater.