“If you needed proof that New Year’s resolutions are real, you probably could have found it on OkCupid/Tinder/JSwipe/Hinge Sunday night,” says Ellie Krupnick in her recent article on mic.com.
According to data from Match.com and Mashable, the first Sunday in January (as in, this past Sunday) was, and will be, the year’s busiest night for online dating. The first week of January alone is predicted to see two million users logging onto Match.com, the site said, with traffic reaching its highest numbers January 4th.
Why might this be? If people have been home for the holidays with family around asking (prying?) about their single status, then the Sunday following New Year might be the first chance that they actually have for themselves. So why not online date?
If you missed the window the other night and think all the good potential mates are taken, don’t worry. All hope is not lost! The period between New Year’s and Valentine’s Day is the most active season, so you still have plenty of time to sign in and schedule those dates.
The fallacy, though, is that many people think that by simply signing up or logging in to an online dating site or app, they are well on their way to coupling bliss, if that’s what they are looking for, of course. Everyone says, “Relationships take work,” but finding love (or even just a quality date for next Tuesday night) also takes work, which some people don’t realize. I wish we were all so lucky to have Prince Charming (or Princess Charming) fall into our arms, but I don’t know anyone who has that kind of luck. Just like in our jobs, we have to make our own happiness. (I know first-hand since I quit my job in finance back in 2011 to follow this passion of starting my own business.) We have to do that in the love arena, too. Maybe it won’t make for the best meet cute, but you won’t care when you’re in the arms of someone you love and who loves you.
Online dating isn’t easy, which many people don’t realize. They think they can just throw a profile up there and wait. No way, Jose. That’s like walking into a bar and just plopping yourself on a stool without even trying to make conversation with anyone. Or assuming you’ll lose weight simply by paying your gym membership every month even if you never set foot inside. It’s just not going to work.
Let’s refresh ourselves on a few pointers to make sure online dating can work for you:
- Choose three to five photos, including a clear shot of your face and a full-body shot. It also helps to have a shot of you doing something interesting to provide some “email bait.” Tinder allows six photos. Match.com allows 26! Less is more.
- Make sure your profile is well-written (check it for errors) and not too long. After a long day of work, people have a hard time focusing on profiles that ramble on and on, especially on the apps. Bullet points work well here.
- Stand out from the crowd. Do you like to laugh and have fun? Me, too. Someone would rather see that you like the color turquoise, have a pet turtle, and build five-tiered snowmen than that you’re “just as comfortable in a little black dress or tux as you are in a pair of jeans and flip flips.”
- Be proactive. Reach out to people who interest you. It’s 2015. The ball is in your court.
Erika Ettin is the founder of A Little Nudge and author of Love at First Site, available on Amazon. Her work has been seen on NPR, Talk Philly, The Washington Post, and more. To join her mailing list for tips and events, please join here.