If you've been sitting on your parents’ couch this holiday season glumly contemplating failed relationships past and your inevitable partnerless future, do not despair. There is hope for you yet. Because when the clock strikes midnight Thursday, not only will you be making out with some random stranger, you’ll be entering the hottest month of the year for online daters.
That's right: January sees far more matches and dating-related messages than any other month, according to data from dating apps Coffee Meets Bagel and Hinge. So hit pause on Netflix, take a shower maybe, and get ready to meet the person of your dreams via a match notification pushed to your phone's homescreen.
"Without fail, January is our biggest month each year," Karen Fein, VP of marketing at the dating app Hinge, told BuzzFeed News. Same goes for dating app Coffee Meets Bagel, which saw a 44% growth in matches last January over the previous month, and a 56% bump in messages exchanged on its platform.
The uptick may be due to an unscientific phenomenon called cuffing season, during which people look to form relationships to get them through the colder months.
"We think there is an uptick in matching and messaging post-Christmas because people are seeking a flame to warm the winter/post-Holiday chill," Coffee Meets Bagel spokesperson Liina Potter explained. "You could say 'cuffing season' is in full effect. In the New Year, people also seek the seed to create new beginnings, which includes new relationships."
If you mess up in January, you should still be OK. The next two months or so are still prime time for online dating, according to Hinge's Fein. "Men on Hinge are 15% more likely to want a relationship in the winter than they are in other seasons," she said. "Women are 5% more likely."
If all else fails, pray for snow. According to Fein, snowstorms also tend to cause big increases in activity on Hinge.