Wanna get really technical about your online dating game? Fortunately, there’s all sorts of fascinating data at your disposal. What’s the ideal time to purchase a boost on Tinder? 9:00 p.m. on Sundays, according to Nielsen data. The most effective opening line? Something about food, according to 2015 Hinge data. (Apparently, women are 40 percent more likely to reply.)
But to me, the most interesting kernel of dating app data is that the first Sunday after the New Year is the highest traffic evening for singles on the internet — at least, according to the romantic geniuses over at Match.com. The company’s research says that January and February are the best months for online courtship. It also projected that dating sites would attract the highest influx of new members at a specific time: namely, 8:55 p.m. on Jan. 7, a.k.a. “Dating Day.” (Blame it on the optimism associated with making New Year’s resolutions, as well as the realization that you’re not getting any younger.)
Honestly, at first I was pretty skeptical of the concept that there was an optimal time to use dating apps and websites to begin with. The whole idea of a “dating day” seemed ginned up by the evil geniuses over at Big Dating App. What better marketing tactic than convincing the world that there’s a magic night where all of your swipes come true and nobody gets embarrassed?
That said, as someone who’s been single for about three years now, I had to give it a shot. So I decided to spend all day this past Sunday, Jan. 7 trying to find love.
When Dating Day finally rolled around, I didn’t do anything particularly unique or inventive to maximize my chances. I used the same bio and photo that I’ve used for most of 2017, because frankly, if I was going to fall on my face during prime hook-up hours, I’d prefer to fail on my own terms. My plan was to log on to dating sites and apps as soon as the clock hit 8:55 and spend the rest of the day swiping. So I bought a six-pack of Miller High Life and started by opening my Tinder account. (I also used Hinge and Bumble.)
Immediately, I made a promising match with a farm girl from Missouri who loves Future, The IT Crowd, and has her own herd of cows. It was kind of spooky! Unlike the bots and weirdos that I typically encounter on Tinder, this girl seemed pretty cool. We talked about our favorite Hank Williams songs and our Tinder profile preferences, and by 9:30pm we were texting and evaluating each other’s schedules to set up a date. I’d achieved the impossible: I made an actual authentic human connection on the internet. Maybe the number crunchers at Match.com were right, after all.
Throughout the rest of the night, I got a few more matches (including someone who asked me to come over while they were working on their law school applications, an invitation I politely declined). The next morning, I woke up with one match who opened with a GIF of Kevin from The Office, but that conversation didn’t really go anywhere; another told me she owned a Dwight Schrute bobblehead. So if there’s one conclusion I can definitively draw from my experience on Dating Day, it’s that 2018 is a great time to be on dating sites if you’re looking to meet people with a healthy appreciation for NBC comedies.
Overall, while I did manage to get a few matches, I don’t think Dating Day was significantly more successful than any of my other dating app binges. But January is still young, and we’ll see how the rest of the winter pans out. What I do know is that I have a date penciled in for Wednesday night. Thank you, Dating Day, you’ve given me at least one success. If things don’t work out, I’ll absolutely be logging on January 7 next year.
By Luke Winkie