Alison Taylor on relationships: Much like gyms at this time of year, dating sites are seeing a spike in new recruits


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The Independent Online

Now that we're into January proper, I feel it's time to get serious about dating. Why? Because everybody else is, of course. If December, and its early-Jan hangover, was about casual hook-ups and drunken flings, now it's the time for something a little different.

In the office, all I (over)hear the girls talking about is different professions with days of the week attached to them – the bar owner on Tuesday, the architect on Thursday, the doctor on Saturday. And that's just one colleague's week.

Several people I know are hitting up dating sites and apps with a vengeance. They're speculating to accumulate by messaging several suitors at the same time and the odds are proving pretty decent. Much like gyms at this time of year, online dating sites see a spike in new recruits in January, so there are more bodies to choose from. I won't say fresh meat because that would be crude, but the gene pool has definitely widened.

I think there's a shift in mindset, too, which you only really get with the advent of a new year. I can definitely feel it – a renewed sense of motivation and, dare I say it, determination to make it work this time. The abstract 'it' is where I probably fit into all this. I need to give 'it' a go (again); take the plunge; get back in the game, and all those other strenuous-sounding clichés associated with romance hunting.

Virginia, my pal, asked me earlier in the week over wine, "Have you done your internet dating profile yet?". I answered by way of not answering because no, of course I haven't. I have, however, been paying for the service while having a completely inactive profile which is something, right? I am, at the very least, a tangible threat.

So, January Proper, I'm coming after you. I'm even considering – and this is serious – joining Facebook for the First Time Ever in order to use Happn (Tinder's slightly less sex-pesty sibling). I'm going to heed friends' advice by being pro-active but also relaxed about 'it'. I'm going to 'enjoy myself'. I will 'update my profile pic' and persevere through the awkward first meets, endless messaging and inevitable knock-backs.

And I'll do all of this just as soon as I dispose of my Christmas tree.