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Last Night Was the Busiest Time of the Year for Online Dating

Jan 05, 2015

Last night, hordes of lonely hearts went online to oversell their love of Wes Anderson, Sriracha and being "down-to-Earth" in an attempt to find love. In other words: they tried online dating.

The Sunday after New Year's Day is the busiest time of the year for online dating, according to data provided by dating sites Match and Plenty of Fish. More specifically, the most traffic to those sites came between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. at night, the Washington Post reports. Zoosk, another popular dating site, added that the Sunday after New Year's was also its biggest day for traffic in 2014.

But if you missed the window last night and think all the good potential mates are taken, don't worry. The period between New Year's and Valentine's Day is the most active season, so you've still got a chance to find somebody.

It's not difficult to imagine the surge in online dating has something to do with New Year's resolutions to "put myself out there more," though researchers suggest it comes from the abundance of spare time people have during the holidays, meaning they're spending more time on their phones and computers. Plus, the holiday season is generally a lonely time for single people, so it could also be an attempt to combat that.

So get to it, single people of the Internet. Time to create a new profile or dust off your old one. For a new, modern touch, try adding that you have conflicting feelings about Serial, or for a more classic approach, just say you "hate drama." Happy hunting!

TIME Top 10 Online Dating Stories 2014
Illustration by David Saracino for TIME
10

Dating Doppelgangers

Here's a pretty good sign that your suitor isn’t over his last relationship: He pays $5,000 to have Match.com find him someone that looks like his ex-girlfriend. Match paired up with startup Three Day Rule in June to charge premium prices for their facial recognition software services. I mean, we all have types, but maybe this is taking things a little bit too far?

TIME Top 10 Online Dating Stories 2014
Illustration by David Saracino for TIME
9

The App for Spooning Strangers

Cuddlr is the app that nightmares are made of. Although its founder Charlie Williams promises that the location based app isn’t for sex, he says it is for facilitating “platonic” cuddle sessions with nearby complete strangers. “A cuddle is longer than a hug, but shorter than a date, so you’re not faced with having to sit through a drink or two if you’ve decided someone isn’t for you,” he explained to Salon. “You can politely end a cuddle any time.” Cuddlers can then rank their partner, like an Uber ride.

TIME Top 10 Online Dating Stories of 2014
Illustration by David Saracino for TIME
8

Time to Retire

In February, Wired looked into the 1,000 most popular words that appear on men and women’s online dating profiles on Match.com and OKCupid. There were quite a few dichotomies. For example, while “retirement” was the most attractive work-related word found on a man’s profile, potential suitors thought it was the second least attractive word to see on a woman’s profile. While it’s unclear what context “retirement” was being used in — be it a current state, asipiration, or favorite conversation topic — Wired came to the “sad but true” conclusion that “For men, age seems to equal money. For women, age equals age.”

TIME Top 10 Online Dating Stories 2014
Illustration by David Saracino for TIME
7

Four Little Words

A New York OKCupid user reacted to his online date declining an offer to go back to his apartment after a decent first date by 1) throwing a water bottle at her, 2) stealing her phone, 3) posting “I’m available for threesomes” on her dating profile. “I guess he doesn’t take rejection well, he was acting like a child,” the 22-year-old single mother of a 2-year-old who definitely doesn’t have time for this told the NYPost.

TIME Top 10 Online Dating Stories 2014
Illustration by David Saracino for TIME
6

The One With the Lawsuit

New York dater Michael Picciano sued OKCupid in March for the $70,000 (not-so) “genuineguy62” scammed him out of during their month-long, online correspondence which started on OKC. He thought that the self-proclaimed “best free dating site on Earth” wouldn’t let catfishers through its virtual doors. The results of the suit were not reported. Even though it seems like common sense to not open your heart and your bank account to a total stranger without meeting, Picciano wasn’t the first person online to get played this year. And with a few weeks left of 2014, he probably won’t be the last.

TIME Top 10 Online Dating Stories 2014
Illustration by David Saracino for TIME
5

The Other One With the Lawsuit

Jennifer Purdie wrote a first person account for Daily Dot in July about a very short — and very expensive — first date. As Purdie tells it, she had been working on her laptop before her online date joined her at a coffee shop. As soon as he sat down next to her, he allegedly spilled his scalding hot tea on her legs and her computer which she says “started gurgling and then made electricity sounds like the ones you hear coming from haunted houses at Halloween.” According to Purdie, the guy offered to go halvsies on the $900 repair, but then texted “If you want my money, sue me.” So she did. Ah, modern courtship.

TIME Top 10 Online Dating Stories 2014
Illustration by David Saracino for TIME
4

We Are All Human Guinea Pigs

Facebook isn’t the only website running experiments on people. To relaunch its beloved company blog in July, OKCupid revealed some pretty deflating news: It runs tests on its users all the time! One time, OKC told people who were bad matches (30%) that they actually were 90% compatible. Just to see what happened. So if you had any truly heinous conversations with “good” matches, you know what happened. Just stop trying.

TIME Top 10 Online Dating Stories of 2014
Illustration by David Saracino for TIME
3

Your Obnoxious Date Always Has the Chance of Going Viral

In November, a truly atrocious Tinder date went viral after innocent bystander Carrie Matha, owner of a couture company called the Indira Collection, started tweeting out all cringe-worthy things the guy was saying to his date.

They revealed him to be:
Culturally insensitive

Immodest

Not all that generous

And not so loyal either

The tweets went mega-viral and even if they’re fake, anyone who’s spent anytime dating online would probably vouch for the idea that these kinds of conversations go on all the time.

TIME Top 10 Online Dating Stories 2014
Illustration by David Saracino for TIME
2

Insults and Other Forms of Modern Dating

It can be tough out there for women on dating sites. An Instagram account called Bye Felipe made headlines in November for posting hostile interactions between men and women on dating apps and sites. They range from funny to downright terrifying — often including violent threats to women who spurn advances. The horrifying posts can be read here.

TIME Top 10 Online Dating Stories of 2014
Illustration by David Saracino for TIME
1

The Santa Claus

Thirty-year-old Genoveva Nunez-Figuero had to get rescued by California’s Ventura County Fire Department this October after getting stuck in the chimney of the home of a man she had met on a dating site. They had been on six dates. Her date, a man named Lawrence, told KTLA 5, that he found her up on his roof, at around which point he ended the relationship. That did not stop her from trying to see him again which is how, we presume, she wound up stuck 8 ft down his chimney. The fire department had to use soap as a lubricant to slide her out. They also posted pictures of the debacle on Twitter.

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