Apparently now is the time to jump on line and find love, Boxing Day at 5.18pm is the most popular moment of the year for logging onto your dating profile and finding others for whom Christmas without that special someone has spurred them into action.
Some 59 per cent of current members said Boxing Day is a good time for striking up conversation with someone, with many citing ‘escaping from family’ as the reason for sneaking off to spend time along.
Dating website mysinglefriend.com analysed site traffic and found a 250 per cent increases in traffic at that time on Boxing Day last year, and with even more members signed up this year they expect an even sharper rise of over 300 per cent today.
The dating site experienced a huge surge in activity and sign-ups throughout 26 December 2012, with the peak time for exchanging messages being 5:18pm.
Sarah Beeny, TV personality and founder of mysinglefriend.com said: ‘By Boxing Day, everyone is a little sick of catching up with relatives and answering probing questions about their love life.
‘People have more free time on their hands, and are reflecting about the past year and making plans for the new year, so what better time to sit down with friends and set up a dating profile.
‘Forget watching Elf for the tenth time, or gorging on a family sized tin of Quality Street, and do something which could change your life.
‘What better way to start the New Year than with a new relationship?’
‘If you make sure you’re online during the busiest time of the whole year you’ll have an even better chance of meeting someone special’
The week between Christmas and New Year is traditionally the busiest of the year for online dating, with researchers believing that a combination of post-Christmas and back-to- work blues, plus New Year’s resolutions to find a partner send millions of people to sites such as My Single Friend, Match, Eharmony, LoveStruck Guardian Soulmates.
On match.com alone, interactions between members during that week was last year 11 per cent higher than average.
In January, an estimated 3.2million people will go online in search of a date.
Kate Taylor, resident relationship expert at match.com, said: ‘It’s the time of year when we vow to eat more healthily, exercise more frequently and budget better.
‘As the Christmas festivities calm down and we re-evaluate our lives, it’s little wonder that looking for a partner will top the list of New Year priorities for many single people’ Match.com found that financial security, work performance, family relationships and body confidence improved when people are in a relationship.
Internet dating is now the third most popular way to meet a partner in Britain, along with meeting someone at work.
It has become so central that it is now included in the Office for National Statistic’s UK ‘shopping basket’ of goods and services that measures the UK’s cost of living.