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From Single At Christmas To Holiday Romance: Data On Festive Dating In 2020

couple spending their first Christmas together

A new study from our friends at dating site Zoosk has polled 700 people about being single at Christmas. The best discovery? 2020’s difficulties have made singles more determined than ever to look for love this holiday season.

What’s more, despite it all, people still agree that the festive period is the best time to introduce a new partner to friends and family. Yes, even if it must be done virtually.

Being Single at Christmas Isn’t Easy

2020 has been a strange year to be single. Social distancing has made it tricky to meet dates face to face and forced singles to get creative about finding alternative date ideas. Now singles are facing another challenge: the holidays.

Feeling a bit blue about being single at Christmas isn’t just for cutesy leads in cheesy holiday movies. In fact, more than half of the 700 singles in the study (53%) say that it’s harder to be single during the holidays than at any other time of year.

Similarly, one-in-three people in the study (32%) say that Christmas is the one major holiday they’d least like to be single on. That makes it second only to Valentine’s Day (38%) as the holiday singles feel is built for couples.

Other major holidays can’t compare: only 16% of people said they’d least like to be single on New Year’s Eve, and just 6% picked Thanksgiving or Easter.

Social Distancing Could Nudge Singles Towards Love

Yet, being single at Christmas isn’t all doom and gloom. In fact, the survey also showed that the holiday season could be a great time of year to start looking for a partner. That’s particularly true of the 2020 holiday season.

The study revealed that 2020’s many difficulties could actually be making singles more enthusiastic than ever about looking for festive romance. More than half of those surveyed (51%) say that experiencing social distancing throughout the year has increased their desire to look for a romantic partner this holiday season.

Then there’s New Year’s Eve to think about. 20% of people surveyed say their number one resolution is to find love in the new year. That means singles aren’t just longing to meet someone, they’re determined to make it happen.

Holiday Romance in 2020

Those who are single at Christmas are not the only ones facing festive dating challenges. For many new couples, this is the season that can make or break the relationship.

Traditionally, this would be the time of year when a couple would be deciding where to spend the holidays. If they’re newly together, they might also be facing that famous holiday dating test: meeting each other’s families for the first time.

In 2020 though, holiday dinners and get togethers are going to be more limited than we’ve been used to. For safety reasons, many families aren’t gathering in large numbers, or they’re restricting the social circle to just those they can quarantine with. So, what does that mean for couples facing romantic holiday milestones like meeting each other’s parents?

As it turns the desire to meet up hasn’t changed – it’s just the method of meeting that will be different.

Embracing Holiday Dating Milestones Virtually

76% of singles still think that the holidays are the best time of the year to introduce a new partner to friends and family, with men slightly keener on the idea than women (79% of men would be pro a holiday meeting, compared with 74% of women).

Yet, only 34% of singles believe that it’s important to have this meeting in person. For 42% of singles, it would be just as meaningful to have that holiday dating milestone happen virtually. This has a hidden bonus too: no more tiffs about where to go for Thanksgiving or Christmas. With video conferencing, new couples can check in with both families on the same day and make double the introductions.

Interestingly, the study also showed that this shift towards virtual introductions might affect the timeline of milestones like meeting the parents.

More than half (56%) of those who would introduce their partner virtually would want to do so within the first month of dating. In comparison, only a third of people (38%) of people who prefer face-to-face meetings think that the first month is the right time to make introductions.

Additionally, 25% of face-to-face meeting fans would want to wait six months or more before making that all important introduction. Just 10% of virtual meeting fans feel the same.

Three Tips for Those Who are Single at Christmas

If you’re single at Christmas, don’t let it get you down. Christmas 2020 might not be what you expected. But there are a few tips that can turn your festive season from ho hum to ho ho ho.

  1. Be Social – Online!

In 2020, holiday parties might not be happening in person, but that’s no reason to abandon the idea! Get dressed up in your best ‘Zoom formal’ attire (an elegant top plus pajama pants) and arrange a group call with some single friends.

Make a night of it by playing some online games, or get your friends to bring their single friends and turn the evening into a virtual singles mixer. The only limit is your imagination.

  1. Be the Festive Boss

While holiday traditions can be fun, they can sometimes be full of compromises. Not this year! This is your chance to ditch all the food and festivities that you don’t particularly enjoy and make a day that truly suits you.

Don’t like turkey? Swap it for something you find delicious. Can’t stand Christmas movies? Put Die Hard on repeat. Want champagne for breakfast or hot cocoa for dinner? This year, it’s all about treating yourself. 

  1. Use the Situation as an Icebreaker

You might be feeling like you’re the only one who is single at Christmas, but the reality is that there are thousands of singles facing the same thing. Why not mention it in your dating profile, or send messages to other singles online asking how they’re approaching the season? You might just find that this shared experience is the perfect icebreaker and the start of something great.

Three Tips for Those Who are in a New Couple at Christmas

If you’re in a new couple this Christmas, you might be facing up to the idea that’s it’s just going to be the two of you…plus all the friends and family you’ll be meeting online. Here’s how to make it merry.

  1. Plan Your Schedules Together

One of the difficulties of being a new couple in December is picking whose family you’ll be spending the holidays with. That’s one of the silver linings to online festive dating milestones – you don’t have to choose.

However, if you’re planning on saying hi to both families, make sure to plan so that your schedules don’t clash. Remember to leave lots of time for both calls, as introductions like this shouldn’t be rushed! 

  1. Don’t Forget the Gifts

If you were meeting your new partner’s family in person, you’d bring a gift, right? Make sure to keep that in mind if you’re meeting them online. Charm their socks off by sending them flowers or a festive treat, or mail them a holiday card. Make it heartfelt, and you can show just how much it means to be introduced. 

  1. Make a New Tradition for Just the Two of You

If it’s just you and your new partner for the festive season, it might be quieter than you imagined. However, this gives you a great chance to make some holiday memories that are just for the two of you.

Whether it’s picking out a special ornament together, baking something, or picking a seasonal movie, create a new tradition that the two of you can share for many holiday seasons to come.

Whether you’re in a new couple or you’re single at Christmas, 2020’s festivities will be looking a little different. But, as the study shows, that’s no barrier to romance. With a little planning (and a good internet connection!), this festive season will still be full of love.

About this study: all data based on a Zoosk study of 700 singles in November 2020. All data is anonymous and cannot be traced back to the original source.

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