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Online Dating Sites Boom As Singles Make New Year’s Resolutions

Late December through January is the heaviest time of year for online dating websites

Will this bear find love online? Image: Joanne Wan

Late December through January is the heaviest time of year for online dating websites, from Match.com to Plentyoffish.com. The Daily Mail claims this spike is due to singles looking for someone to smooch when the ball drops:

For many, New Year’s Eve is all about that kiss under the mistletoe, and no one wants to be left standing alone when midnight strikes.

So that could explain why online dating sites have reported a traffic increase of 15-20 per cent at this time of year.

According to Match.com, December 26th to February 14th is the busiest time of year. Pentyoffish.com also reports a jump of about 15 percent in new sign-ups and a 20 percent boost in activity from users that are already signed up. Lovestruck sees a jump in registrations of 48 percent, and traffic to the site increasing 21 percent. At eHarmony, registrations the week following Christmas tripled their usual number. The site AshleyMadison.com, which is designed for married people who want to date on the side, saw an increase in sign-ups of 413 percent.

But it’s probably not just one-night date seekers who make up those increased numbers. New Year’s Eve is also a time for those dreaded resolutions, and for many the list might include: “get out there and date.” Kate Taylor from Match.com told The Huffington Post:

“We know that top of many people’s list this year will be finding a partner, and online dating offers the perfect chance to widen the number of potential partners available to you – and to find a potential date from the comfort of your own living room,” she said.

Or, perhaps it’s family pressure. The Huffington Post’s theory is that holidays with the family put the pressure on singles:

Mark Brooks, a dating analyst and consultant to the internet dating industry, told Huff Post UK it was the endless stream of awkward questions from family members that prompted many to search for love online this time of year.

“The effect becomes more pronounced over the Xmas vacations and party season,” he said. “Questions such as ‘have you been dating anyone recently’ and ‘do you think you’ll ever marry’ become ‘On your own, are you?’.”

Or maybe it’s just because it’s cold, and people are spending more time on their computers inside than they were before. Here’s the Huffington Post again:

Brandon Wade, founder of sugar daddy dating site SeekingArrangement.com, told Huff Post UK that part of the reason for the spike in site visits was because it was one of the quietest times of the year for every other sector.

“Virtually the whole of business apart from retail has shut down and people are stuck at home, crawling up the walls trying to entertain themselves. Christmas ends on Boxing Day night – that leaves five very quiet days between Christmas and New Year when we all have a lot of time to kill,’ he said.

It doesn’t help that Valentine’s Day creeps up after New Year’s, either.

More from Smithsonian.com:

Zoo Dating Service for Cranes Produces Baby
Inviting Writing: If It’s a First Date, It Must Be Sushi

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About Rose Eveleth
Rose Eveleth

Rose Eveleth is a writer for Smart News and a producer/designer/ science writer/ animator based in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Scientific American, Story Collider, TED-Ed and OnEarth.

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