Online Dating: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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finding love in 2017
In a series of posts to follow this week, we’ll show you how to find your match in 2017.
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If finding love in 2017 is your New Year’s goal, you just might have more luck this month. January is the most popular month of the year for online dating.

New Year, New Relationship?

Since the start of the New Year means new beginnings, the number of singles “signing up” to find love skyrockets.

Just look at these trends and statistics reported by popular online dating apps:

• From Christmas through Valentine’s Day, Match.com reports a 60 percent spike in new singles joining their network.

• Tinder expects a 12 percent increase in the number of matches on January 8, 2017.

• Hinge usually sees a 50 percent increase in registrations the Sunday after New Year’s.

• Happn found that the week right after New Year’s is very popular: Last year there were 33 percent more “likes,” 13 percent more “charms,” and 19 percent more “crushes” made during that time.

• With an expected 103,910 sign-ups, Plenty of Fish POF projects that Sunday, January 8 will be the second busiest day of the year for them.

From Taboo to Trendy

Let’s go back to 1993. This was the year we saw the first dating website ever established.

It wasn’t Match.com, as most people think.

Web Personals was the beginning of dating app evolution. Created by Stanford University student, Andrew Conru, and run by a group of other Stanford grad students (and one high-schooler), Web Personals made its debut on the Internet in 1993.

It is widely considered the first dating website ever created.

In the 18 months Conru ran the site, he saw 120,000 people sign up, “about half of them had .edu emails.”

The dating website pioneer noted the stigma that online dating developed in the early 90s: “If you told anyone you were using any kind of dating process other than church or your friend network, you were looked upon as desperate, a loser, even a seedy person.”

But despite the stigma, online dating continued its rise. And in 1995, Match.com – one of today’s biggest names in online dating – went live.

“More Normal”

As time progressed, so did online dating; and for a few different reasons.

For one, the stigma changed. The idea that online dating was only for desperate, hopeless romantics would later turn into the Tinder culture; a culture that made online dating current and “cool.”

Word of mouth played a big part in normalizing online dating. And the more people heard about someone they knew meeting someone online, the less taboo online dating became. According to Conru, “The more people you knew who found their significant other with online dating, it became more normal.”

To add to this, the evolution of the Internet has contributed immensely to online dating.

Swipe Culture

The Internet means instant access to information. Going on multiple dates to get to know someone is not instant. The time and energy it takes to go on numerous, “in real life” dates just to get to know someone causes a lot of singles to give up. But online dating sites offer the ability to sort through dozens of candidates quickly – without having to invest in a date to figure the same things out.

Another contribution has been the advent of smartphones. Tinder was among the first to tap into “dating on-the-go,” with a feature that allowed people to find matches in the area close to them – wherever they are – simply by swiping left or right on their phone’s screen.

Now we see new niche dating apps created constantly. There’s Hinge for finding serious relationships, Bumble for women looking to make the first move, or Farmers Only for people who have a “less materialistic view of the world than their urban counterparts.”

Since Web Personals, online dating has come a very long way. No longer are there only 120,000 people looking for love via the Internet, but some 40 million. As we can see from New Year’s statistics and the growth trend of online dating in general, these numbers will only grow. So, if finding a match is your goal for 2017, now might be the best time to give it a shot.

In a series of posts to follow this week, we’ll show you how.

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