Looking for love: New Year marks high season for online dating
Published Sunday, January 6, 2013 8:30AM EST
Last Updated Sunday, January 6, 2013 8:50AM EST
With New Year’s resolutions still fresh on the minds of many Canadians, one that often tops the list is love – or at least locking down a few dates.
In the world of online dating, the New Year marks the industry’s high-season, with a spike in membership numbers that lasts until Valentine’s Day.
According to a recent Match.com survey, 64 per cent of singles say their resolution is related to love, while Lavalife.com reports an uptake of both its online and phone dating service.
“During the holidays, people tend to reflect on the past year,” said Lavalife.com’s single and dating expert Kim Hughes.
“Singles especially are inclined to look back and relive relationship mistakes, bad dates and the ones that got away. We want to encourage singles to not dwell on the past but to be proactive about the future.”
But there are other reasons that drive singles to dating sites around the holidays, according to Grant Langston, vice president of customer experience at eHarmony.
“You have people going home with their families, and they of course see family situations, they see relationships, and that brings it front of mind to them,” Langston said. “They also get questions from their parents if they’re that right age. ‘Why are you single? What are you doing about this?’”
The pattern is so consistent that eHarmony boosts its marketing around the holidays, typically promoting free trials of its site the last week in December, Langston added.
Hughes said that the increase in new users leaves singles with more dating prospects.
“Critical mass is always a plus, so the more the merrier,” she said, adding that there’s an estimated 14 million single Canadians that are over the age of 18.
“That kind of puts it into perspective the kind of people out there.”
The efficiency that comes with looking for companionship through a dating site also seems to suit those with a goal.
“I think if a person’s got a New Year’s resolution to get serious about meeting somebody, the best thing they can do is to look for a service that’s serious about it,” Langston said. “Because you’d have to go out to a lot of bars on a lot of nights to cover the same amount of ground that you could cover in an hour.”