Post-holiday loneliness sparks biggest online dating day of the year

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Maybe it was family pressure, maybe it was seeing all the couples that come out of the woodwork during the holidays. Whatever the reason, the biggest day of the year for people to sign up for online dating profiles is just around the corner.

Image: Couple in winter / Shutterstock

SEE ALSO: 35 awesome winter SuperDates in Vancouver

Signups for Vancouver-based dating website Plenty of Fish will jump 24 per cent on January 3, 2016 alone, and will experience the highest volume of traffic of the year.

“I think it happens when singles find themselves coming back to reality after the holidays,” Shannon Smith with Plenty of Fish told Vancity Buzz.

“The holiday season has a way of constantly reminding single people of their relationship status, and when it’s over, I think many people find themselves armed with resolutions to find love in the New Year.”

She adds cold weather and early sunsets mean people don’t go out as much during the winter, making the allure of online dating that much more appealing.

And while loneliness is likely an aspect that comes into play with the jump in online dating profiles, Smith is adamant that’s not the sole reason people sign up in droves on January 3.

“It might be a little bit of exasperation, but I think a lot of it is hopefulness, too.”

Signing up for an online dating profile in the first week of January appears to have practical benefits too. Users who create profiles during that time tend to find love two weeks faster than those who sign up later; that’s 10 weeks compared to 12.

The surge will see more than 80,000 people signing up for dating profiles on Plenty of Fish alone, but Smith notes this is the most popular day across all dating sites. As for how many people end up finding relationships in the end, she said it’s a difficult stat to track.

“Two Plenty of Fish users have to disclose that they each met each other on the site and then close their accounts. We like to say it’s around one million relationships a year, but it’s most likely a lot more than that.”

If you’re planning on opening an online dating profile in 2016, Smith does have some tips for first timers. She advises uploading a few good pictures (“the days of the grainy bathroom selfies are 100 per cent over”) since you’re eight times more likely to receive a message, and to try and keep your personal checklists to a minimum.

“You’d be surprised how many couples write into us saying ‘I would have never given this person a chance, they weren’t my type on paper, but I took a chance and now we’re married,’ so there’s a lot to be said about going into it with an open mind.”

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Lauren Sundstrom Lauren is a Staff Writer and Projects Assistant at Vancity Buzz. She is a graduate of BCIT's Broadcast and Online Journalism program. She loves reporting on breaking news and lifestyle content. If you feel like you have a story that needs to be told, fire her a tweet.
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