Did you feel a low, distant rumble as you packed yet another holiday season away in a plastic bin? It could be the stampede of online daters sprinting toward love and glory in the new year.
Jan. 5 is Dating Sunday, which online dating platforms like Coffee Meets Bagel, Match, and Zoosk say is the busiest day of the year for folks signing up, matching and messaging. Match, for example, is predicting an 80% increase in user activity over its average. Bumble is expecting a 30% increase in new users. Zoosk anticipates 1.5 million messages will be sent in the US (a 17% hike from average).
So what accounts for this surge in activity on The Apps? (Aside from humans' bottomless capacity to think about getting their shit together?)
Maybe it was the way your aunt asked you if you were still single as you popped another piece of fudge in your mouth over the holidays. Maybe it was that awkward moment at midnight on New Year's Eve when everyone seemingly paired off and you were left checking your credit score on your phone.
Or maybe you've been swiping all along.
"It's the first weekend after New Year's Eve, which means that people have not only set themselves New Year's resolutions, they've had a few days to think about how to put them into practice," Zoosk's CMO, Luciana Telles, said in a statement, noting that's it's only six weeks until Valentine's Day.
Ah yes, life on the hamster wheel.
If you plan on joining this apparent legion of freshly optimistic daters, thumbs raring to go on Sunday, there are a few ways you can prepare -- a refresh of your profile couldn't hurt. Allow me to shamelessly direct you to some past Love Syncs columns that may be of use.
- If you're going to take another stab at your profile pictures, be thoughtful about the pics you select. Make sure your face is visible (ditch the sunglasses and ski masks), avoid bathroom selfies and show off your lifestyle.
- Perhaps your bio's gotten a bit stale because a massive personality shift has squelched your love of hiking and tacos. Here are some more tips on what to say about yourself. Be specific. Proofread. Stay positive.
- And what about dragging your Instagram account into the mix by connecting your account to your profile? Is that even a good idea?
- Maybe you're wondering if free dating apps actually worth anything. Turns out free apps actually have a higher satisfaction rating, according to one study from Consumer Reports.
- WHY ARE ALL THESE DUDES HOLDING FISH?
- Plot twist: You're looking through profiles and you bump into someone you know from work. Ack. Here's how to handle the situation.
- So you've set up a date with someone… you might consider a restrained Google session to make sure they're real and not bonkers before going out with them.
- Always remember: Burnout is a thing, so pace yourself.
There's also app-specific info you can look up to help you boost your odds of finding a match. For one thing, many of these services have put out time frames when their platforms are the busiest: Zoosk's messaging peak comes around 9:30 p.m. local time, Inner Circle is between 9 and 11 p.m., Match peaks around 9:15 p.m. Whether you'll get lost in a crowd or get more eyes on your profile is a coin flip.
And if for some reason you're locked in a concrete bunker on Sunday, all isn't lost. Match says "peak dating season" runs from Dec. 26 through Valentine's Day. Bumble expects more than 3 million new users to join between Thanksgiving and Dating Sunday. Likewise, Coffee Meets Bagel said the following Sunday was its second-biggest chat day in 2019.
CNET's Love Syncs is an advice column focusing on online dating. If you've got a question about finding love via app, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration.
Originally published Jan. 3.