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New Year, New Love

Just as I missed out on the frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, I slept on what is fast becoming a "day after" holiday event for singles. Popular online dating site revealed that on the Monday following New Year’s Day, they receive more registrations than any other time of the year. These findings were echoed by other sites like OK Cupid and Plenty of Fish. Yeah, instead of working hard for “The Man”, singles are on a mission to find their man…or woman, as the case may be.

These findings probably shock absolutely no one. There’s enough anecdotal proof that one need not look to the analytics of to know that a lonely holiday season (with Valentine’s Day just around the corner!) will turn reasonably happy and fulfilled singles into desperate relationship seekers who pray to Patron Saint Bridget Jones to be “booed up” ASAP. No one wants to live this cautionary tale:

Felicia* (This is not her real name. She’d be far too humiliated if anyone knew her real name) had it rough this holiday season. On Thanksgiving Day, her nephew, home from college for the first time, brought his new girlfriend to meet the family. While happy for her favorite nephew’s newfound love, she was incredibly grateful for the dressing and sweet potato pie. The carbs left less room for the mass consumption of Haterade. A few days later, Felicia received her old college roommate’s annual holiday newsletter, which went into graphic detail about her perfect husband and perfect kids and perfect pets. Blah, blah, blah. Next up was Christmas dinner, where Felicia was subjected to endless questions about her seemingly endless singledom. She would have rather been hit in the head by a fruitcake than have another question about her love life, or lack thereof, hurled at her by well-meaning, but clueless relatives. Finally, New Year’s Eve was upon her. That magical night when if you have no date and no kiss, then you’re a two-time loser fated for a whole year of loneliness and sadness. Instead of happily ringing in the New Year, Felicia wrung her hands around her own neck.

Okay, Felicia is not real. I made her up. Kind of. There are many people out there who’ve had similar experiences, but haven’t committed suicide as a result. Seriously, it’s not that serious! The fact that so many people hit the Internet looking for love tells you that you’re not alone. It’s just like being elbow to elbow with people in your suddenly packed cardio class on January 2nd. People are motivated at this time of year to improve all aspects of their lives. It’s not and shouldn’t be all about finding love. That being said, cuffing season is in full swing! The weather seems to have a huge impact on our dating habits. When it gets cold outside, many people want someone to cuddle with indoors rather than being “out there” living the single life. Yet another reason online dating sees a surge in January.

The other huge reason for this surge is the phenomenon of renewal. New Year’s resolutions and the attempt to reinvent one’s self in the new year are common practice. The new year beckons us to bring about a new you, new look, new love…heck, the only lyric I know in Auld Lang Syne (you know, the New Year’s Song) is “Should old/auld acquaintance be forgot.” It's that time of year that not-quite-singles may be looking for an upgrade, too. The time of year when people take stock of their lives, assess their options and prepare themselves for a better year than before.

While my holiday season wasn’t nearly as bad as fake Felicia’s, it wasn’t spent being booed up with somebody special. I missed the frenzy of first Monday, but I know it’s never too late to get online. Another cold Monday in the heart of cuffing season is coming around. I just might have to apologize to my boss in advance for stopping work on my main job to work on my love life.