The Best Time Of Year For Online Dating Is January & Here's How To Make The Most Of It

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I’m an avid Tinder user, and even though I live in Manhattan — which has a population of more than 1.6 million people — I’ve come across the same profiles more than once. I’ve even had to increase my search radius and change my desired age range, because the app said there were no new people in my area. If it feels like you’ve swiped on practically every person around you, I have some good news. Your dating app options may soon be opening up, because the best time of year for online dating is here.

That’s right: According to Match.com, online dating sites are at their busiest between Dec. 26 and Feb. 14. Match reports 50 million messages sent and 1 million dates occurring during this time, which is referred to as peak dating season. If you’re single and considering signing up for online dating, get ready. Apparently, 8:55 p.m. EST on Sunday, Jan. 7 is the absolute best time to join. Match predicts a 42 percent increase in new members during the most popular day of the year for online dating.

If you’re curious about other strategies for maximizing your chances of meeting someone great, I’ve got you covered. Here are three ways to attract quality matches on dating apps and sites, just in time for peak dating season.

1. Keep Your Profile Current

Old pictures and an outdated bio just won’t cut it. You should be updating your information regularly, for a number of reasons. First, you obviously want your pictures to look like you do now, not the way you did six months or a year ago. Even if you think your appearance hasn’t changed, you don’t want to give potential matches any reason to question your authenticity.

Secondly, changing up your photos and bio every now and then can get you more matches. Certain pictures actually attract more people. That's why Tinder's Smart Photo feature uses an algorithm to reorder your photos and show your best one first. Make sure you have the Smart Photo option toggled on, because it will increase your number of matches. A timely quote or interesting question in your bio could also encourage users to swipe right. The only way to find out what works and what doesn’t is to try.

2. Send The First Message

While Bumble requires girls to send the first message, most dating apps do not. If you usually wait for matches to reach out to you, you could be missing out. Make it a habit to always send the first message. Your matches will be impressed by your openness, and you’re more likely to have quality conversations. As you’re reminded far too often by generic Tinder bios, "You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take."

3. Don’t Swipe Based On Looks Alone

Yes, dating apps can be superficial. They’re often based on “like” at first sight. There is more to a person’s profile than their pictures. Not everyone is photogenic, and sometimes photos are just taken poorly. Rather than swiping at the speed of light, take the time to read bios and look at all the photos. If they’ve taken the time to tell you something about themselves, that’s a good sign. Blank bios might mean the person isn’t serious about finding someone, as does a bio that says “not looking for anything serious.” Whether they’ve written one clever line or listed all their likes and dislikes, a person’s bio is a good indicator of their personality.

Looking through all their photos is also a good idea. The first picture might make you want to match immediately, but if the second shows them holding a dead deer and you’re a vegetarian, that could be a sign you are not compatible.

Getting a ton of matches is great, but on dating apps (and in life), quality is better than quantity. Attract interesting people and go on more promising dates by swiping right on these tips.

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