An image of a woman on a dating app
Sunday swiping (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

January: the weather is bleak, finances are low (because, Christmas) and it’s the return to work after weeks of festive fun.

If you’re about to hibernate under the covers and not come out until February, we don’t blame you – but for those looking for love in 2020, this is actually the best time of year to get back on that horse.

Research by the dating apps Hinge and The Inner Circle, as well as the dating site Match.com, shows that this coming Sunday (5 January) is the busiest day of the year for online dating.

And the best part? You don’t even need to go outside to score yourself a date.

Spruce up your bio, take some fresh pics (no genitals, please) and voilà – you’re ready to go.

As far as dating trends go, this one isn’t new; the first Sunday of the year has been a peak swiping time for the past two years.

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It’s so popular that it has its own name, dubbed ‘Singles Sunday’ or ‘Dating Sunday’.

In difference to previous years, however, people will be logging on later than usual, according to Match.com, who anticipate user traffic to peak around 11pm.

If that’s past your bedtime, The Inner Circle expects new users to sign up around 7pm, with activity at its highest around 9pm.

Or take your chances on Hinge – the app hasn’t shared a specific time for best results, but if last year is any indication, you’ll have plenty of profiles to peruse.

Last year saw a boost in downloads by 38% in January.

If you want to expand your dating radius or will be on holiday in Europe this weekend, the timings will differ slightly; France, Germany and Sweden are feeling frisky around 9pm, but Spain will get cracking the earliest at 2pm.

For those fresh on the online dating scene or who are coming back from a break, here are some top tips from Match.com on how to improve your chances:

  • Put up current pics: ‘It’s important to have up-to-date pictures on your profile. You want them to be a true representation of you so you match with people who you have a genuine connection with.’
  • Avoid filters: ‘If your picture is heavily filtered and doesn’t look like you in real life, then there’s a high chance that you’ll start off on the wrong foot with your date. Lose the filters to create an honest and authentic dating experience.’
  • Take your time with the bio: ‘Take the time to draft a profile which truly reflects who you are. Make sure you proof it for any errors or spelling mistakes. It’s your first point of contact with someone, so you want to make a good impression.’
  • Don’t overdo it with the group photos: ‘It’s fine to include a picture of you with your friends but if every picture is a group shot then it’s difficult for the other person to know whose profile they’re looking at! This can often put people off as they don’t want to spend the time trying to figure out who the right person is.’
  • Be respectful and stop with the ghosting: ‘If you start talking to someone and don’t feel a connection then it’s best to send a kind, simple message that politely lets the other person know that you don’t see it going any further. No one likes rejection but it’s best to be honest so you can both move on in your dating journey.’
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And we’ll say it again: no unsolicited photos of genitalia.

Once you’ve matched with someone you like and decide it’s time for a first date, here are some tips on how to be safe when dating.

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