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Why The First Sunday in January is The Biggest Day for Online Dating

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There’s a lot of evidence that the first Sunday in the first month of the year is the biggest day of the year for folks hunting down the next romantic adventure. 

It makes sense once you delve into the reasons why. The folks behind the dating app Coffee Meets Bagel (CMB) were obviously motivated to figure this out after noting a big spike in their usage statistics for the first January Sunday.

Gwyneth Paltrow and Jack Black not having coffee and a bagel in “Shallow Hal.”

After analyzing their data, Coffee Meets Bagel made the following conclusions as to why the first Sunday is when more than a few people find The One. Or someone, whichever. 

The numbered sub-headlines quote CMB; we condensed the explanations for a speedier read since you’ll undoubtedly want to get to swiping right ASAP:

1. It’s Prime Time for Meeting New People

So, you’d think the holidays and going to parties between Christmas and New Year’s, the peak of “cuffing season,” would be ideal for this—and getting it on in a drunken haze at a New Year’s Eve bash is an unfortunate (and sometimes fortunate) memory for many. But Coffee Meets Bagel (CMB) found that “on Dating Sunday in 2018, there was a 75 percent spike in new-user signups, compared to the previous 30 days.” They recommend updating your online profiles in preparation. Go ahead, use that current profile pic instead of the one from 1998.

2. You’re More Likely to Make a Match

The key, according to CMB, is getting out there and doing plenty of liking of your own. If your ratio of liking to being liked is high, you’ll “have a better chance on Dating Sunday. That’s because we predict you’ll be 17 percent more likely to match on the special day, compared to the prior 30 days.”

3. Daters Are Happy to Get Chatty

Even if you’re not prone to any kind of seasonal-related depression, it’s still a pretty gross time of year. Boredom sets in quickly and people want to talk. CMB found in their data that “community members will be 16 percent more likely to chat with their matches on” the first Sunday of the year, when “compared to the previous week in December.” 

4. …It’s More Like Dating January

For Coffee Meets Bagel members, it’s reportedly really “the entire first week of January” that provides “an ideal time to connect.”

Inside Hook got more information on the phenomenon from Dating.com veep Maria Sullivan, who indicated resolutions have a lot to do with this surge in swipe-happy users. Her reply is worth quoting in full:

“Dating apps see a spike in users around this time of year because of the ‘New Year, New Me’ mentality,” she tells InsideHook. “As people get older and the years start to go by, singles begin to buckle down and really want to find their other halves. During the first weekend in January, everyone is still into their resolutions and trying hard to fulfill them. For singles who want to find their soulmate, dating apps are the best place to start their search.”

In other words, it’s about the same as the reason why your gym is suddenly full of new people sweating it out on the treadmill come January 2nd. New Year’s Resolutions might seem kind of cliche, but people do make them, and many work hard at seeing them through.

This is probably a human behavior pattern far older than dating apps. Spring will be here before you know it in the northern hemisphere, and many folks have already turned their minds in that direction, consciously or unconsciously seeking a sense of renewal, of promise.

We can look at it as a romantic, optimistic moment or a sad one, really. Either way, we swipe on, singles alone in winter, driven ceaselessly into hooking up with a hottie.