As the holiday season comes to a close, people head back to work and school — and also back to their phones, apparently downloading dating apps like nobody's business.
While people have always joked about winter being "cuffing season," Match.com has confirmed that it is, in fact, a real phenomenon.
The online dating site reported that their highest trafficked season is the month of January, with a 60 percent increase in users, and other dating apps like Hinge report similar findings.
The reasons single people up their game to find a soulmate in January vary: seeing all the happy couples celebrating the holidays make us lonely, New Year's resolutions inspire us, and of course, Valentine's Day, scourge of single people everywhere, is almost upon us. It's close enough that we can sense its presence, far enough away that we think we can find a partner before it. So since love is in the digital air, now's the perfect time to download an app and start your search.
Of course, the first problem before you start looking for love is deciding on the right app.
For someone who's seen too many episodes of "Catfish."
If you're new to online dating, maybe the best place to start is Hinge, which takes away some of the anxiety of online dating, like the fear that your date will turn out to be 52 instead of 25. Hinge only shows you profiles of people who have Facebook friends in common with you, making the whole experience catfish-proof and ensuring that you'll have at least one other other conversation topic ("So how do you know Ashley?") besides the fact that the weather is, as is typical in January, kind of cold.
For someone who really believes that "less is more."
Have you ever been overwhelmed in a giant department store and secretly wished there were just LESS racks to look through so you could finally decide on a dress and go home? Then the dating app for you is Coffee Meets Bagel, which takes the saying "Quality over Quantity" very seriously. You only receive one potential soulmate a day, not only saving you time but also the terror of Too Many Choices.
For someone who's been on waaaaay too many boring dates.
Let's face it, a photo of someone with their dog and a few quick sentences about their height and job isn't going to provide much insight into whether this person is actually The One. HowAboutWe ensures you guys have similar interests, asking you to list potential date ideas and then people can pick from there. This way, not only can you know a little more about the person, but you also know the first date is going to be more creative than Netflix and chill.
For someone who wants to avoid making any and all decisions.
Are you that friend who responds to every text message about plans with "Idk, what do you wanna do?" Then Hitch was made for you: with this app, your friends do the hard work of matching for you. No agonizing decision making necessary!
For someone who can't imagine doing something without their best friend.
In a year where we talked way more about Taylor Swift's best friends than her relationship with Calvin Harris and #squadgoals were everywhere, Grouper has arrived, allowing you and your group of friends to match and score dates with other groups. First dates are awkward, but they're not quite as bad when you can pull your BFF into the bathroom to complain about just how awkwardly they're going.
For someone who says things like, "Love should be like a fairytale."
Dreaming of finding your Prince Charming? Mousemingle is actually made specifically for Disney fans. If you bought mouse ears from Disneyland and still wear them on days that aren't Halloween, if your most played album on iTunes is "The Lion King" soundtrack, and if you refuse to marry anyone who doesn't consider Disney World the only real option for a honeymoon, this the site for you.
For someone who just wants it all and then some.
Ahhhh, old reliable. Tinder is the biggest name in the dating app world with the most users, so if you're trying to meet as many kinds of people as possible, go ahead and swipe right to Tinder. From people who want a casual hookup to people looking for commitment, from college students to elementary school teachers, from businessmen to hipsters — you'll find them all on Tinder.
Of course, picking the right dating app is just a tiny first step. There's a lot to do from there, starting with creating an engaging profile and ending with well, hopefully whatever you wanted to get out of the app. But downloading the app is where it all begins, so what are you waiting for?
As Match.com has just proven, there really is no better time than the present.