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Data Study: A Dating Sunday User Guide

Smiling man checking his smartphone for new messages

Have you ever heard of ‘Dating Sunday’? It’s the name given to the first Sunday in January which, according to CNET, is “the busiest day of the year for online dating”. But just how busy is busy? And is it a phenomenon experienced by everyone equally?

To find the answers we enlisted the help of online dating site and app Zoosk. The Zoosk data team crunched the numbers from Dating Sunday 2019 to try and predict what potential uplift members can expect in 2020. Spoiler alert: if the trends from 2019 continue, it’s going to be big.

The Busiest Time of Year on Zoosk

One of the key insights from 2019 was that interactions were at above average rates throughout the day. It was a trend seen right across the platform: January 6 2019 saw spikes in all forms of online actions, from smiles initiated, to likes given, to messages sent.

Zoosk Dating Sunday infographic showing on site uplift

Zoosk Dating Sunday Uplift 2o19

Likes: +15%
Messages: +17%
Smiles: +18%

So what does that mean for 2020? It’s important to note that this day gets more and more media attention every year, leading to an event that just keeps growing in popularity.

Zoosk is envisioning that their members will be part of this trend on January 5. Not only is the site predicting their busiest day of the year, they’re anticipating that the number of messages sent in the US alone will hit the 1.5 million mark.

For singles looking to truly make the most of the day, the best time to get online is in the evening. Sometime after dinner is best, as the messaging frenzy is forecast to hit its peak around 9:30 pm local time.

Women Have the Biggest Increase in Action

While Sunday’s dating peak is a busy time for all Zoosk users, it’s women who experience the biggest activity boost. In fact, in 2019, women’s activity uplift was often double that of men’s!

Zoosk Dating Sunday graphic showing uplift by gender in 2019

Zoosk Dating Sunday Uplift 2o19 by Gender

Smiles Sent by Men: +15%
Smiles Sent by Women: +31%

Messages Sent by Men: +16%
Messages Sent by Women: +20%

Likes Sent by Men: +13%
Likes Sent by Women: +25%

Zoosk expects that this will also be the case in 2020, with women using the day as a confidence-booster for making the first move.

Why January is So Good for Online Dating

Its clear that this is a busy time on Zoosk. But why would the first Sunday in January be so popular year after year?

Zoosk’s CMO Luciana Telles says that it comes down to perfect timing. She explains: “Dating Sunday falls during a time period when singles are extra motivated to look for online connections. It’s the first weekend after New Year’s Eve, which means that people have not only set themselves New Year’s resolutions, they’ve had a few days to think about how to put them into practice. Additionally, it’s about 6 weeks out from Valentine’s Day, meaning that singles who spark something on Jan 5 have plenty of time left to lock down a date for Feb 14.”

The data supports this. While that first Sunday is traditionally January’s busiest day, member activity tends to stay higher than average right throughout the month, all the way through to to Valentine’s Day.

Tips for Enjoying Dating’s Peak Day

Feeling motivated to take part this January 5? The Zoosk team is here to help you make the most of it. They’ve even provided some handy tips for singles wanting to get involved with the peak time of year.

1. Get Your Profile Ready in Advance

Come Jan 5, the online excitement will be in full swing. With so many messages, likes and smiles flying around, you’re going to want to devote your full attention to your inbox. Make sure that you give yourself the freedom to focus on it by refreshing your profile in advance; adding up-to-date info and insights about your current passions.

The Date Mix’s Tips: How to Write A Dating Profile People Say Yes To

2. Take New Photos

No online dating profile is complete without a few fresh, fun profile pics. If yours are clearly from last summer (or earlier!) it might be time for a profile photo makeover. There’s no time like December for this: with all those holiday parties, you have multiple chances to take photos of yourself looking sharp.

The Date Mix’s Tips: Dating Profile Photos: How to Pick and Take Them

3. Let Your Confidence Shine

With so many extra people online, you could just sit back and let the messages and likes come to you. However, to really get the most out of the day, it will pay to be proactive. If you see someone you like, message them! Keep it short, sweet, and just personal enough, and you’ll be giving yourself the best chance of a reply.

The Date Mix’s Tips: Over 100 Online Dating First Message Examples

Data source: Statistics based on comparing Zoosk user activity on 01.06.2019 to average Zoosk user activity from 12.06.2018-01.05.2019. All data used is anonymous and cannot be traced back to the original user.

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