Dating during the holidays

Remember that online dating takes time and energy, both the literal kind and the emotional kind. Consider whether pursuing a new relationship fits into your holiday plans.

As we enter the holiday season, I want to talk about whether there is a best time of year to do online dating or meet someone.

People ask me the same question all the time. In short, the answer is no. I would first say that the best time is when you’re emotionally ready and available for it.

Remember that online dating takes time and energy, both the literal kind and the emotional kind. Online dating is not simply about writing a few lines as quickly as you can and posting it to see who writes to you … or doesn’t. 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 (the prerequisite, if you will), 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.

DATING INCREASES ON MANY SITES

Match.com, Plenty of Fish, and eHarmony have all reported in the past that their usership goes up during the holidays, with the first Sunday in January now deemed “Dating Sunday.” What used to be an interesting phenomenon is now a self-fulfilling prophesy — if you think everyone is online on a certain day, then you go online that day!

Why might it be the case that the holidays foster the desire to use an online dating site? For starters, family has a huge impact. If you’re sitting at the Thanksgiving table, and Aunt Mildred can’t resist the urge to ask you when you’re “finally going to bring someone home to meet the family,” you might just start swiping on Bumble to put you out of your misery. (Though, as we all know, it’s not her business. Too bad it’s not socially acceptable to say, “When are you finally going to leave Harold?”) Alas.

Also, with little or no work to do over the holidays, there is simply more downtime — to watch football, finish that jigsaw puzzle, and, of course, get back into online dating.

RESOLVE TO FIND LOVE

Lastly, 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. (I know mine for the last three years has been to drink more water and go to bed earlier … still dehydrated and overtired over here.)

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 (five recommended), 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 a partner and maybe it’s not, but for what it’s worth, signing up with a brand spankin’ new profile this holiday season — or simply being more proactive about it — isn’t a bad idea. At least you know you’ll be in good company.

Erika Ettin is the founder of A Little Nudge, where she helps others navigate the often intimidating world of online dating. Want to connect with Erika? Join her newsletter, eepurl.com/dpHcH

Copyright 2019 Tribune Content Agency.

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