If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to stop thinking that using the Internet to find love isn’t cool and to actually get on a dating site, there’s no better time than now.
And by now, we mean, well, now. According to some of the world’s largest dating sites, Match.com and Plenty Of Fish, the single most popular time for online dating – when people sign up, log on and browse profiles – is today and tomorrow (even more specifically, between 9am and noon tomorrow, Singapore time).
It’s understandable, of course – the holiday season is a time for reflection, when lonely hearts resolve to find love and couples who aren’t really in love come clean with each other (then frantically trawl dating sites to reassure themselves that they won’t be alone for the rest of their lives).
According to British psychotherapist Phillip Hodson, the season “gives you the chance to observe existing models of relationship – the ones that you have, the ones you want to avoid and the ones you want to emulate.
“It’s also…when you review what has been missing in your life and what you want in it, and a period of great loneliness for people who don’t fit into the government-approved vision of family,” he says. “Many sense they want a crack at feeling better than they did in the preceding 12 months.”
Which all explains why the numbers for dating sites spike during this time. In fact, free platform Plenty Of Fish, which has 90 million users worldwide, expects to see sign-ups jump 24 per cent between today and tomorrow.
The increased traffic also offers a bonus for those looking for love: Plenty of Fish’s PR manager Shannon Smith says those who sign up in the first week of January will “find their partner an average of two weeks faster than those who sign up later”.
Kicking yourself because you’ve got plans this week? Don’t worry. Data shows that dating sites continue to buzz until Valentine’s Day. It’s only after that when – if we still haven’t found love – our cynical selves kick back into play and we start pooh-poohing the need for a relationship again…
Until the next New Year, that is.