Please note that starting in 2013, Erika E’s dating column will appear once a month, on the 4th Wednesday of every month. If you have burning questions that you’d like addressed in a future column, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ah, December… the time for lighting the menorah, spinning the dreidel to get that elusive gimmel, and, of course, wondering whether you’re going to have a date for New Year’s Eve this year.
People ask me all the time, “Is there a best time of year to do online dating?” In short, the answer is no. I’d first say that the best time for you to do online dating is when you’re emotionally ready for it. Remember, online dating takes work, so make sure you know what it entails. Online dating is not simply about writing a few lines as fast as you can and posting it to see who writes to you. It’s about being creative, proactive, and patient. Once you’ve crossed that emotional threshold and you’re ready to take the online dating plunge, there is one time of year that it may suit you well to log-on: the week between Christmas and New Year’s. And if that goes well, ride that wave all the way through Valentine’s Day.
Match.com’s relationship expert, Whitney Casey, when asked last December how the numbers stack up, said, “From December 26 to February 14 is our busiest season. New Year’s Eve is such a big deal because it’s a new beginning.” Plentyoffish.com also reported a 15% jump in signups, in addition to a 20% spike in activity from current users during that time period. Lastly, JDate.com’s Community Manager, Rachel, says the holidays are the perfect time to get online and get excited about meeting someone new. “This is definitely one of our busiest times of the year and that’s simply because the festive fun of the holiday season often reminds singles there is nothing better than being around those we love – that includes romantic relationships! Plus, we often see a big bump in membership numbers with so many people adding ‘find love’ to their New Year’s resolutions!”
As we all probably know, some of the top New Year’s resolutions out there are to work out and find love (in addition to saving money, spending more time with family, volunteering, staying organized, and reading more, to name a few). In order to find love, though, you have to do something about it, and that something, according to the statistics, is to look for love online. And when you do, make sure you’re putting your best foot forward with flattering, accurate pictures, a profile that truly represents you without sounding too generic (“I love to laugh and have fun” will sadly not make the cut), and a positive attitude about what the future might bring.
Maybe this year is the year to find love and maybe it’s not, but for what it’s worth, signing up with a brand spankin’ new JDate profile on December 26th (or on December 25th for that matter, over some veggie lo mein and moo goo gai pan) isn’t a bad idea. At least you know you’ll be in good company.
Erika Ettin is, as the Washington Post has noted, a “modern day Cyrano.” She is the Founder of A Little Nudge, where she helps people with all aspects of online dating. Check out her interview on NPR here. An archive of all of Erika’s columns is also available. Want to connect with Erika? Join her newsletter for updates and tips.