Tis the season to be single, la la la la la, la la lonely. Every year, December brings thousands of singles out of the woodwork looking for love, friendship and fun, and FreeAndSingle online dating numbers surge by around 30%. All around the world, it seems everyone is looking for local singles over the festive period.
But why? Is there something about mulled wine and mistletoe that makes everyone a little bit horny? Or is there something else about the ‘most wonderful time of the year’ that makes us more willing to give love a chance? FreeAndSingle has been doing some digging to discover how your online dating habits change over Christmas, and here’s what we found.
We asked FreeAndSingle members 3 questions that would give us an insight into what makes people tick in December and what their take is on the end-of-year rush to find a match online. Our first question:
Why do you think that online dating goes crazy over Christmas?
Everyone has their own motivation to try free dating online, but that doesn’t mean that your perception of the rest of the dating community will be the same. I drive because it gives me an opportunity to belt out Beyonce tunes, but I reckon most people do it to get from A to B. We gave 5 possible answers for this question, and the results were overwhelming decisive.
Bring out the violins, because at 58% loneliness wins hands down as the reason why people think that online dating numbers soar over the festive period. Elvis and MUD had a point when they crooned ‘it’ll be cold so cold without you to hold.’
It’s not difficult to see why December is a pretty lonely time. Christmas parties can be pretty painful for us single folk, and since the summer of freedom it seems that everyone and their dog is suddenly in a relationship. Of course the situation is only made worse when a couple introduce you to the only other single friend in the room – an accountant or acne-laden nerd who you get ciphered off with for the rest of the night. Maybe it’s best to stay at home? Oh no, not another rendition of Love Actually…..
Having said this, the second most popular response was that the Christmas season has a much more positive effect on singles, making people feel more romantic. There is something about this month that’s hopelessly romantic, with 22% of respondents saying that this was a big driving factor for more people to sign up to online dating. Yet with less than a quarter of FreeAndSingles supporting romance over loneliness, the feeling is overwhelming negative with this question.
Whilst online daters may view their fellow dating community as desperate singles crooning melodies into their Christmas cake, the picture is somewhat different when you turn the question on it’s head. Our next question is rather open ended, asking singles what they think December dating is for…
Interestingly, the reasons why individual singles increase their dating activity in December differs from why they think others do. Whilst only 11% of people thought that online dating goes crazy over Christmas because people have more time on their hands, when asked on their own opinions ‘finding time to focus on me’ came joint first place.
However loneliness still played its part, and level pegging as the most popular response was a wish to avoid being the only single person in the friendship group. People unashamedly rub their romance in your face over Christmas – a tip from us, don’t spend too much time scrolling through your Facebook timeline if you want to avoid wallowing in self-pity! Take action and spend that time scrolling through online dating profiles instead J
But what is everyone looking for out of their online dating experience? Have you asked Santa for your knight in shining armour or your future wifey, or is no strings attached fun stirring up your curiosity? Nope, it seems that all those soppy romcoms are making you go soft on us! Whilst 17% of you were looking for a bit of adult fun, focusing on your love life was more important for most of our respondents. Or at least having a girlfriend who can accompany you to those couples only parties.
We know that more people sign up to free online dating in December, but our next question focused on specifically how online dating habits change for those who are already active internet daters. We asked FreeAndSingle members:
Does your online dating technique change in December? (tick all that apply)
It certainly does, and as our members have more time to focus on the best person in their life (that’s YOU!), people spend more time on their accounts but also seem much more open to meeting someone new. An impressive 40% of you said you’d be more likely to respond to a first message, ‘even if I’m not 100% sure they’re my type.’ In other words, if you’ve been working up the courage to send a first message to that sexy local single, stop pussy-footing around and do it!
In fact, it seems like many of you already got the memo, with 34% saying you send more opening messages over the festive season than at other times of the year. After all, what have you got to lose? Whether it be out of loneliness, a seasonal pang of romance, or any other reason, people are much more willing to mingle as the New Year comes closer. And with around 30% more people singles online and active, you’re much more likely to find someone who not only tickles your fancy, but who feels the same way!
If there are 3 takeaway facts that we’ve learned from our survey, it’s that Christmas:
1. Is seen as a lonely time to be single by most people (even if we don’t all agree!)
2. Gives us an opportunity to focus on our love lives
3. Makes us more open minded about meeting new people
So whilst on the face of it the surge of online dating activity in December looks like a desperate attempt to find a match before the dawn of the New Year (and Valentines Day just over a month later!), in fact there is a practical element to the phenomenon too. Whilst Christmas is a busy time of year for socialising, it also gives us a breather from work and other commitments to be selfish for once and focus on ourselves.
It’s also a time to reflect, and when you do realise that you’re the only singleton in your friendship group, it’s a reminder that life soon passes you by – wasn’t it only Christmas 2013 yesterday? Being lonely or feeling romantic may make you more likely to respond to a first message, but that certainly isn’t a bad thing. That person who might not be your ‘type’ could in fact be ‘the one’.
Thanks to all those who took part in our online dating survey, and to everyone in our free online dating community for making 2014 the best yet at FreeAndSingle. A very merry Christmas and a happy New Year from the team, and be sure to let us know if you have any dating success stories to share in 2015!